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Build a play space

Flint Hills Playroom

March 13, 2024

Ideal Homes and Neighborhoods has developed several floor plans in the last few years with designs that include a “flex space.” Most buyers in the last decade have chosen to make that flex space an office or study. This was particularly true during pandemic lockdowns and increased numbers of people working from home.

Now, however, buyers with children are frequently choosing to forego the study for a practical playroom space. A place where young children (and older ones, too) can keep their toys, games, trains and prized possessions corralled in a single room, out of the way and out from underfoot of adults.

A playroom can also serve as a haven for children. It serves as a specialized, safe space that brings them great joy and a feeling of security from being surrounded by things they love.

Playrooms don’t need to be complicated or full of expensive toys to be a great space. The key to a successful play space is organization and developmental toys.

Here are some tips for creating a kid-friendly space that keeps in line with your home’s aesthetic and design style. 

Age-appropriate developmental toys

Think about toys and items that can be used in a variety of creative ways. Your child can be inventive with imaginative play. Open-ended toys stand the test of time; a toy with multiple uses can be enjoyed over the years. Our favorite imaginative play toys come from Fat Brain Toys, Melissa and Doug and Lovevery.

A storage system for toys and books

Even the most organized playroom will get messy. Just accept it! You don’t have to be super organized, but purchase a few shelves and baskets to help contain the clutter. This is the biggest opportunity to choose an organization that matches your design style. It doesn’t have to be made for children. It might be an antique hoosier cabinet or furniture buffet to meet your needs. You might even find some unique storage ottomans like these mushroom stools we use in our Flint Hills playroom.

Fun wall art

Playroom walls are the perfect place to add positive messages as well as a space for learning. Consider stylish alphabet art, name designs or anything that brings the space to life. We love Etsy for unique art that keeps on theme with your color aesthetic. Check out these colorful prints we found at World Market for our Flint Hills playroom.

A spot for coloring and crafts

A craft table for kids is a must-have and will get a ton of use over time. From the time your child first learns to sit in a chair through the ages where they are working on art projects and maybe even homework, a play table is a must-have for any playroom. We absolutely love this play table from West Elm that is low to the ground for easy play and is sturdy with a beautiful finish.

Big items for added excitement

Choose one big item to really give the playroom that wow factor. You don’t need a bunch of big-ticket items but consider one that makes the space extra special. Just because they’re big doesn’t mean they need to be expensive. We love this play tent from Crate and Barrel that provides the perfect place to lay down and read a book. This tree bookshelf from Target is also a beautiful addition to a playroom for avid little readers.

Bright colors and textures

Colors and textures are just as important. Find bright colors and materials that stimulate their minds and inspire their imagination. Take the playroom at our Flint Hills model home. There are table stools that are golden velvet and shaped like mushrooms. You’ll see some soft, white pillows that resemble fluffy clouds on a spring day. A rug with yellow sun rays of sunshine and a table that looks like a tree stump. Plus, greenery like plants and trees. All these items bring the outdoors inside, especially on a cold or cloudy day that requires them to play indoors.

Screens or no screens

The great thing about a playroom is that it can be anything you want it to be. Would you make yours a screen-free zone so the children are using their imaginations only? Or do you think screens should be allowed, but only for educational purposes? Screens that allow interactive play can be exciting, but the choice is up to you. 

Have fun creating a playroom the entire family can enjoy. No reason the adults in the house can’t use that play table for their scrapbooking, crafts, cards or whatever. Put some thought into your plan and just remember to share!