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By Emma Hooton

Creating the Ultimate Playroom

A dedicated play space can be a great place to nurture creativity. It also helps to keep all that joyful jumble in one place. As the children grow, the playroom can grow with them, transforming into an entertainment hub perfect for gaming or watching movies, a gym, a craft room or study. Design Director Emma Hooton shares her tips on creating a playful and imaginative playroom space.

Designing a playroom

A good playroom starts with good zoning; dividing up the area based on the activities or functions you want to accommodate. Typically, this might include a quiet zone for reading, a creative space for arts and crafts, and a play area for imaginative play. The zoning will change as the child’s interests and needs evolve, so consider this when designing. You want the space to grow with the child.

Furniture, rugs and storage can all help to create physical boundaries between the zones. Colour and paint can also be used to define the zone while still creating a cohesive look. Rather than use accent colours, zoning the space with subtly matching tones rather than one strong shade will help you create a pleasing, unbroken flow within the room.

Furniture for a playroom

Playroom furniture needs to be safe, durable and functional. It also needs to work to the room’s style, shape and scale. Additionally, some materials aren’t child-friendly, while others are virtually indestructible. Look for eco-friendly, easy to clean child-friendly furniture made from materials that can survive rough play, such as recycled plastic or sustainably sourced wood.

A large white modular bookshelf for a playroom with 16 open shelves featuring a variety of colourful books and toys and 2 white cupboards underneath

Dual-purpose pieces such as toy storage benches, or modular shelves that double as a hidden door, can be very welcome in a room that quickly clutters.

A luxury childrens desk in a playroom featuring a child sized wishbone chair in mint green besides a white wood desk. Behind the desk is a grey fabric pinboard and shelving featuring colourful pictures and toys

Typical playroom furniture:

  • Child-sized tables and chairs for crafts, games, and snacks
  • Low bookshelves or cube storage units for easy toy and books access and clean up
  • A reading nook or bean bags or floor pillows for comfortable lounging and reading
  • Play equipment such as a miniature kitchen or tents for pretend play
  • Multi-purpose storage furniture such as benches or ottomans with hidden storage
  • A craft/art station with desks or easels for artistic expression, along with a place to showcase paintings, sculptures and collages so they can admire their work
  • Sensory play furniture such as sand and water play stations, or climbing equipment to stimulate sensory exploration and physical activity

Safety note: sharp edges should be avoided in a playroom and heavy furniture safely secured to the wall. Childproof locks will need to go on cabinets with potentially dangerous items.

A luxury window seat in a high ceiling Victorian property besides a white sash window with green and white cushions on a navy blue cushion base
It’s great to have some grown up seating for watching over the children comfortably or quiet reading time – a nursing rocking chair is a lovely feature or a soft window seat area as shown.  For the little ones some miniature pieces are a must – we used these super cute contemporary Sheep Chairs by Scandiborn in this room,

For a more classic playroom, Dragons of Walton Street have some of the most beautiful hand painted furniture around.

Flooring for a playroom

Playroom flooring needs to be strong enough to survive spills and soft enough for tiny hands and feet. It also needs to be easy to clean. While natural plant fibres such as sisal can make beautiful floor coverings, they can be unforgiving when it comes to tumbles and falls. Recycled vinyl and cork flooring are eco-friendly, hypoallergenic, easy to clean alternatives. Hardwood flooring with washable rugs can also work well in a playroom, helping to define zones and cushion falls. Using the same material as elsewhere will help to create a visual connection between the playroom and the rest of the house.

In this project we have used a Roger Oates runner seamed together and fully fitted to the room. For a durable timber – Trunk Flooring has some beautiful yet hardy options which can be paired with a practical, soft rug.

Lighting for a playroom

The right lighting can help a playroom stay cheery come sunlight or overcast sky. There are a range of lighting options to help you meet various needs and create different effects. Functional lighting, such as downlights or ceiling-mounted lights, will help ensure there’s sufficient light for activities such as playing, reading and art. Feature lighting can be used to create mood within specific areas of a playroom space, for example in dialing down the energy in a reading corner. Statement lighting pieces in big, bold, fun shapes that reflect the overall room theme can inject some whimsy while cleverly bringing the scheme together.

Anglepoise has some fun oversized ‘Giant’ colourful floor lamps which are great in a big playroom to focus light where you need it; also some cute mini table lamps for craft desks.

In this project we have used a Noc Clip Light by Hay which you can easily attach to a shelf above a child’s desk.

A playroom is just one of the spaces that helps you create the ultimate home for your family. Time and again, Studio Hooton has delivered whole house renovations that have brought new life to old properties. So, if you’re planning a home renovation then contact us to see how we can help with your next project.

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