When we were looking for a home to buy in Northern Ontario, we at the time, only had our daughter Leah, who was then 3 months old. We knew that we wanted 1-2 more kids and having moved three times in three years to bigger homes, we also knew that we were done with moving for awhile. So we needed a space that we could grow into, as our family grew.
When we walked through our home for the first time, we could totally picture ourselves living there. It was a raised ranch style home, with two complete floors of living space. You walked into the front door onto a landing and then either went up five stairs to the main floor, or down five stairs to the basement, which was only partially underground. It was one of those homes where the space just seemed to keep going and going and going. Whenever we would have first time guests over and gave them a tour, the comments were generally always the same, “Oh wow! You have so much space!” And that’s exactly why we bought the house.
While the space and layout were fantastic, the house itself was over 30 years old at the time of our purchase. And the previous owners did not really have an eye for modern decor, so we knew that we had our work cut out for us. Not just with paint and new decor, but bringing certain aspects of the home up to the new house code standards and making it safe for a family with young children to live in.
In the basement, they had a games room. We knew right away that this would be the perfect space for our future playroom. The main challenge was going to be brightening up the space. It was VERY dark, but had amazing natural light coming through the windows. The whole room was built around their pool table, which while that would be fun to keep, we knew practically speaking, we needed the space for our kid(s) to play in. We also noticed how cold that room was. They had built these custom salon-style, swinging french doors. While they were really expensive, they were again really impractical because they kept all the heat from entering that room (there was a gas fireplace in the other living space that served as the primary heat source for the basement). So the doors and the pool table were the first two things to go.
After we sold the pool table, we discovered an unpleasant surprise waiting for us on the floor. The flooring was all relatively new and instead of moving the pool table and covering the entire floor, they instead laid the flooring AROUND the pool table, even notching out where the legs went. We were shocked to discover this and no extra flooring pieces! Of all the flooring in our home (and let me tell you, almost every single room had a different type and style of flooring), this playroom flooring was by far our most favorite. So we didn’t want to get rid of it.
So my husband and I came up with the idea of cut the hole bigger and drop large foam playmats into the space. We were planning on buying them anyways to use as an “area rug” on top of the wood flooring, so this served two purposes. Honestly, most people had no idea that it was actually IN the floor. My hubby did such a great job of cutting the flooring precisely! And then he glued down the mats.
What followed next were gallons upon gallons upon gallons of paint! Because the walls were so dark and all the doors, windows and trim were left untreated wood, we had to prime everything, TWICE! We had some awesome friends come over and help us paint! Then came the colors! The yellow was called Lemon Meringue and the green was Fresh Cut Grass, both from Benjamin Moore. After we finished painting and doing the trim work, I found the green looked a little too boring, so I decided to add darker green stripes on top. For that color, I took one of the legs off of our Ikea Mammut kids table that was already in the playroom and brought it into the store and had it color matched!
I also hand painted the sunbeams on the yellow portion of the wall, in between the two windows. I then added a red clock for the face!
We still weren’t done with the paint, if you can believe it! We decided to add a magnetic chalkboard wall. You can buy both magnetic and chalkboard paint from your hardware store. This was probably one of the best elements of the room, in my opinion. Our kids spent many hours coloring on that chalkboard! We also had a large wall decal custom made from Surface Inspired on Etsy. The only picture I can find of the decal is from my daughter’s Yo Gabba Gabba birthday. I absolutely love how it turned out!
Most of the shelving and wall units came from Ikea. We also had to do something about our little guys trying to escape, so we installed a custom fit gate with a swinging door. This was the perfect solution (until our kids learned how to climb over it!) at keeping them in this space, but also allowing heat to still come in.
I would love to tell you that this was done in a few weeks, but unfortunately, due to the amount of work needed for this space, it was an ongoing project that actually wasn’t fully completed until we went to sell that house. The very last thing we did was have the ceiling finished, by one of our friends. It had originally just been an open, unfinished space. My brother-in-law added pot lights and then due to the fact that we were in there every single day, it just remained unfinished for over a year. But it sure does look amazing with it all done! We were very happy with the finished product and we hope that the new owners love that room as much as we did!
Hope you’ve enjoyed this playroom tour!
Love & Blessings,