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Playroom Makeover

Pssst... Wanna see my playroom? Keep reading.

This summer we made the big cross-country move from Utah to Pennsylvania. We rented a big, old farmhouse (sight unseen!) that was built in 1902.

This house is amazing. UH-mazing. It’s huge. For the first couple of weeks I actually kept taking wrong turns and getting lost. The downside? Lots of ratty old carpet and some pretty horrific wallpaper. One room has something like seven layers of wallpaper. Not kidding.

Because we’re renters, we don’t want to do anything hardcore. But the landlords have pretty much given us carte blanche to take up carpet, rip down wallpaper and paint. All of which doesn’t cost very much if you do it yourself.

So we’ve updated the bathroom a little, then moved onto our living room. We recently decided to transform what was at first my office into a playroom. I realized we were making parenting super difficult by not having a place to dump the kids when we become overwhelmed. And let me tell you, having a designated play area makes all the difference. The room has two entrances, both of which have doors so we can lock the kids inside and we can’t even hear the Dora The Explorer theme song! Plus, when the room is a dump, which it usually is, you can just shut the doors and ignore it while you have a glass of wine for the evening.

So, I didn’t really take any before photos although you can kind of see the room in the background in this photo… But the room had dark wood-paneled walls, the horrible seventies kind and then that one wall, which you can see in the photo had wallpaper along the top half.  The room also has some old Berber carpeting. We kept the carpeting because I prefer carpeting for a playroom and baby’s tender head and hopefully soon we can replace it. But for now we focused on painting and decorations.

Now listen — this isn’t some fancy-schmancy situation here. This is something we whipped up over the course of two days. So wipe those HGTV scenarios and glossy magazine spread-type images out of your head right now. This is pretty basic, but I’m happy with what we’ve done although I’d love new carpet.

Check it out!

nggallery id=’112714′

  • Wide View 1 of 18
    Wide View
    This is the view from one end. The wall to the left was completely dark wood-paneled so we painted it a darker blue. Then, on the other wall, we painted the paneling white to emphasize the wainscoting. Where the wallpaper used to be we painted a slightly lighter shade of blue. That far door over there on the left opens onto a small foyer containing a staircase and a second door that leads to our living room. You can see the old Berber carpet... and the fact that both dogs favor this room to all others.
  • Henry’s Jail 2 of 18
    Henry's Jail
    A cage for a child is a must. They are, after all, wild animals.
  • Toy Wall 3 of 18
    Toy Wall
    Admittedly, I cleaned up a bit to take photos. But in the fast way that means I shove crap into bins. Toy bins and chests are a MUST. It's the only way to organize. Ours are from Walmart and various yard sales. That white shelf was $10 on Craigslist.
  • Alphabet Play Mat 4 of 18
    Alphabet Play Mat
    We placed these alphabet letters (from Toys R Us for $35) on the floor of Henry's "cage" as further cushion for his noggin, which he is constantly banging on every available surface.
  • Corner 5 of 18
    Corner
    I absolutely love turning my favorite photographs into canvas art. I snapped this photo on Easter, when Henry was a month old and it reminds me of some kind of Norman Rockwell image.
  • Canvas Art 6 of 18
    Canvas Art
    To turn your favorite photo into a canvas just log onto Canvasworld.com and follow the instructions.
  • Entertainment Center 7 of 18
    Entertainment Center
    This room used to be a pastor's office. When we moved in a giant gunmetal gray desk sat where the couch is and those cabinets were kind of the back office area. We turned them into an entertainment area and DVD storage.
  • Chalkboard 8 of 18
    Chalkboard
    Chalkboards are a great way to keep toddlers entertained. Just keep the chalk out of reach until you're there to supervise! Or they'll take the initiative to decorate the carpet and your couch too!
  • Artwork 9 of 18
    Artwork
    We're big Charlie Brown/Snoopy fans round these parts. Also, you can purchase that alphabet framed artwork at Target for a song.
  • Lamp & Art 10 of 18
    Lamp & Art
    That lamp and the artwork on the wall is from Target. Target has insane decorations for kids. I wanted to buy up the entire aisle. That particular wall canvas can be found here.
  • Are We Done Yet 11 of 18
    Are We Done Yet
    Listen lady, I don't have time to pose, I've got stuff to touch and things to bump my head on.
  • TV/DVD Watching Area 12 of 18
    TV/DVD Watching Area
    Sorry, I'm a TV/DVD mama. So sue me.
  • Milo Models The Rug 13 of 18
    Milo Models The Rug
    I bought this rug for $30 at Target. They have so many cute rugs!
  • Organized Chaos 14 of 18
    Organized Chaos
    Look closely and you'll see there is no real rhyme or reason here. I just shove stuff on shelves and in bins to get it off the floor.
  • Jazz Up Your Wall With Decals 15 of 18
    Jazz Up Your Wall With Decals
    We bought the lettering at Walmart for next to nothing. Next I have my eye on these killer wall stencil kits, they're pretty pricey, though. All those little animals can be found at most craft stores like Michael's and Roberts.
  • View From Above 16 of 18
    View From Above
    I just cram Henry's cage with all sorts of stuff to keep him busy. Just make sure none of it can fit into his mouth and you're good to go.
  • I Like Jail! 17 of 18
    I Like Jail!
    Henry totally digs his cage.
  • No More Photos, Please! 18 of 18
    No More Photos, Please!
    Henry is all tuckered out. I'll leave you to browse while I put SOMEONE down for a nap. Also, look! He's standing! But that's a post for another time.

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