Every other year, my husband and I seem to find an impetus to change things up around the house. This year, that impetus came courtesy of the kids, who decided that they rather liked sharing a bedroom during our vacation in Calgary, and wanted to make it a permanent (for now) arrangement. As an only child and an introvert, the idea was odd to me, but they were excited about it, and so eventually we came around too. (It helps that the kids seem to sleep better, and actually longer, when they’re together. Odd but great.) After thinking about the logistics for a bit, we decided that it made the most sense to have them bunk together in the smaller of the two bedrooms (formerly my daughter’s nursery) and turn the larger bedroom into a playroom. In this way, the available space would be most optimized.
We didn’t want to invest a lot of money (or time) into this project, mostly because we weren’t sure (and still aren’t) whether this is a fleeting whim on the part of the kids, or something they’ll want to stick with for a few of years. (I’m thinking that by the time they’re 6 and 8, if not before, they’ll want their own bedrooms again. My kids currently share a lot of the same interests — Ninja Turtles, Legos, Peppa Pig, Robert Munsch books, to name a few — but that will probably change in time.) We ended up getting only a few pieces from IKEA, mostly for storage, and re-purposed the furniture we already had in my son’s bedroom (and elsewhere, because we are hoarders, apparently). If you’re interested in the “before”, you can see pictures of the bedroom in its previous incarnation here.
Our main objective in “designing” the playroom was to create a space for all of their hobbies — arts & crafts, reading, construction, etc. We bought a bigger table and chairs (from the IKEA Mammut line) so they could work side by side. This was the biggest investment, though still relatively inexpensive. We were in a rush to get this finished quickly before we went back to work, but if you’re looking for something similar and have time, I would recommend checking out Kijiji — there’s always someone selling one of these sets.
You will recognize the smaller storage unit from the previous layout; the bigger one originally came from my husband’s college-era apartment. It’s been sitting in out basement for YEARS, and is now perfectly useful once again. I won’t lie: I feel this vindicates my hoarding tendencies. Also, these Expedit units are basically indestructible it seems. They also make great storage/book/display cases.
We also re-purposed my son’s old table, which fortuitously fit perfectly in the gap between the two bookcases. I’m calling it the “homework desk”, although who are we kidding: it’s probably going to be anything but.
All in all, this playroom came together with minimal effort and only two trips to IKEA (one of them blessedly child-free). The kids love it, and I love that it’s fairly easy to keep tidy, notwithstanding the enormous amount of toys it contains (hidden from view for the most part, thankfully).
The best part of this whole endeavour? I get my library back!