Playroom/Sunroom advice and ideas needed.
September 23, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Please help me with ideas that are inexpensive, childproof, and easy on the eye for transforming this sunroom play area. It's tricky because on the other end of the room there are glass French doors that open and close in. We can see this room from the living and dining area as well. I just don't know what colors or furniture to use. Thank you
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Hi Shaun. A couple of questions: "transform" it into what? Is it staying a play room? If so, how old are the children that use it? What are the dimensions of the space? Also, can you post another photo standing at this window and facing the French doors?
September 23, 2013 at 11:34am     
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Failed to mention what I meant by transforming this space from a cluttered eye sore into a fantastic smart looking play family area :) I just don't know where to start. It's sort if a small area and with the doors and sliders I'm finding it tricky.
September 23, 2013 at 11:53am     
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why are there toys hanging from the curtain rods? is that a sign that you could use some storage shelving in this room? ... or that you are trying to keep some things out of the reach of little hands? either way, a bank of low shelving cabinets with doors under the far window might be nice (and something tidy to look at through the French doors)

I would definitely try to get at least one comfortable chair in there for when YOU need to be in that space with the kiddos -- a small love seat for "reading time" would be even better if there is room.

I think it is a great space for a play room. I'm sure it can be made to be both super cute and functional.
September 23, 2013 at 2:14pm     
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Wow, those kids have some great toys, LOL.

I understand what you are saying, because at one time my little ones needed a place to play. With our home it was our family room & basement.

Look into inexpensive storage at Ikea, Home Depot or Lowe's. They have closet organizers that can also stand alone and provide "cubbies" for the smaller toys. There are so many windows in the room that storage is going to be difficult if you don't want to block them. I'd recommend looking into corner storage units. or lower cubby style with baskets that would fit under the windows. I know the Martha Stewart line is price friendly and has bright colorful baskets.

The Billy system with Ikea has great corner storage, you can buy separate components to fit your needs. They also have doors you can purchase to hide everything.

They also have these fairly inexpensive room dividers: at $99 each. You could put the bigger items behind it at the end of the room or in another corner when you want the room to look "adult friendly" versus "kid friendly" :)

You could also get window sheers for the french doors that are attached at the top and bottom with curtain rods on the doors. It would let light in, but block the direct view of the toys when you have company and don't want it all seen.

If you have the screen at the far end, hiding the bigger toys, and cubbies or shelves neatly arranged, you can have a seating area nearer the entrance for family who is sitting there with the kids while they play.

And, this too shall pass. The "mess" doesn't last forever. Before you know it, you'll be worrying about them driving.
September 23, 2013 at 3:46pm     
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motownmom- thank you for taking the time to offer advice. I really like all your ideas and will be looking into the stores you suggested for shelves. Toys as window treatments just isn't working for us anymore....or ever lol ;)
September 23, 2013 at 4:20pm   
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Thanks for all the advice! Here is the before and after picture. I'm happy with the way it came out. Always adding to it if course!
January 31, 2014 at 11:45am     
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One thing that would work very well for you in there is to get 2 or 3 single IKEA Expedite Shelves and lay them on their sides. These would go on the floor and act as cubbyholes for the children's toys. You can even grab some foam at a fabric store and cover it with fabric for seats. Also there are baskets available to fit in the space. You could put them on an "L" with the back facing the french doors and it would hide some of the kid disaster from view.
February 1, 2014 at 12:23am        Thanked by springgg
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Laura Auton
Benches are wonderful hideaways. I love the open front idea like the one above but if your kids are like my nieces and nephews the baskets will be dead in a week after they sit in them making them cars and Barbie dream houses. I prefer closed front ones with henge tops. You can then completely hide everything and later after they're older you can use it for gardening storage for indoor plants that would look great in any sunroom. As for cushions I wouldn't go with ones that are attached to the bench but ones that sit on top. Then the kids can pull them off an lay on them and later they can cheaply be recovered or replaced when it's time to repurpose the room. I would also add really large pillows for playing on and laying on to read and such then these can also be cheaply replaced later.

There are also wonderful ideas on Pinterest for repurposing old entertainment centers as play kitchen that are much more eye pleasing than plastic. This also give you area above them to add nicknacks that you love and are out of reach of the little ones. Then when they outgrow it it's time for a yard sale and you can replace it with some wonderful shelves to house all the things that teens love.

As for cheap french doors check Lowe's and Home Depot for clearance and also look in your area for repurpose stores. Lots of people donate their old items when they remodel and then these type store sell the items to help their charity. Furniture wise since you also want it to be a living area I would recommend a sofa and chair that you like in your personal choice. You can also find great used ones at thrift stores. Then for color I would personally like something light and airy since it's a sunroom in whites and dove greys but once again that's a personal choice but when buying the paint check Lowe's and Home Depot for opps paint. This is paint that was mixed wrong so the sale it rather cheap. Not to worry if they don't have enough of the color. Just have another one made to match it or get another gallon of the color you love that is close to the first gallons color. Then dump them both in a five gallon bucket and mix mix mix.
February 2, 2014 at 5:53am        Thanked by springgg
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@shaunakate. I am pleased you like the result of the room's transformation! Very nice.
February 2, 2014 at 7:10am        Thanked by springgg
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About sunrooms and a small one at that 8 feet by 7 feet. Any decorating ideas for down scale furniture? It would be 2 to 3 pieces max.
February 2, 2014 at 11:31am   
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Noeleen Hegarty
Amazon sell small hammocks that are great for teddies and they look cute cos they are so colourful!
February 5, 2014 at 4:54am     
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I'd start with a brighter neutral on the walls.
for our little ones playroom , my husband built a bench style wooden toy box , large enough for 2 adults to sit on , added comfy cushions.The kids loved curling up on it to read and as most toys fit in it, no clutter to look at.
Another step we took was to cut down on the number of items and kept only the used most often items . Yes there was some protests, but completely forgotten about in a day or worth it :)
February 5, 2014 at 11:45am     
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You've might already done this but I would base the color scheme on the brightest colors from the living room and dining room that look into this. If those rooms are basically neutral and/or monochromatic, perhaps you have an accent color you can play with. I agree w/ mabhe that the walls could be brightened, either with a lighter neutral or a soft shade of one of the colors from the lr/dr. Also, if it's a real problem, you can put attractive fabric shades or curtains that can be pulled aside on the French doors so you can look in when you need to or visually block it off.
February 5, 2014 at 12:13pm     
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That area looks dangerous. De clutter, put toys in containers, nothing hanging from above and get rid of the above ground pool. Paint the walls any white hue and put down ,not a carpet on the floor ,but a non -contaminant tile. Also rid the space of curtains but make sure any window coverings do not have cords that can strangle a child. My paediatrician told me to actually crawl around a space myself to see any potential hasards that could harm my kids.we adults cannot always see potential dangers to our children from up above. Judethepood
February 5, 2014 at 5:44pm   
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Instead of sheers I would frost the glass in the doors. I would guess that you leave the doors open when you don't have guests so you can hear as well as see the kids. Sheers would get grubby too quickly. I don't know the color scheme for the adjoining room but brown for a play room doesn't work for me. A soft yellow would be nice and brighten the place up. I'd use Roman shades on the windows and make them blue or green if the walls are yellow. . Paint one wall with chalk paint, The bench size toy box with cushions is a great idea for story time as mentioned above and would be a plus.If you have a skilled carpenter a bench with large drawers below would be better than a hinged box. Then I would divide the room into areas one for storage, one for the kitchen toys which should include a child size table. and chairs. Carpet squares of different colors could create imaginary walls with this plan.
February 6, 2014 at 1:17pm     
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--Paint the walls a nice colorful light shade that will coordinate with the adjoining room.
--Build bookshelves all the way around the room under the windowsill -- you could add in more dividers if you like the cubbie look.
--Paint the bookshelves, window and door trims all high-gloss white.
--For decoration, either hang panels on either side of the window, or just build a wood window valence with a shelf above to put decorative items on. I'd cover the window valence in a patterned fabric.
--There's no floor space for a table and chairs -- maybe floor cushions and a small coffee table? Or just a nice rug? Also like the carpet squares idea.
February 6, 2014 at 1:32pm     
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Robin Lechner Designs
Shelving, storage, drawers, baskets to get organized and keep toys off the floor. Maybe use a color code system for each member of the family so each child knows what colored basket is for his or her stuff, or what cubby with the purple door color belongs to ____. It also teaches the kids responsibility and organizational skills.
February 6, 2014 at 5:19pm     
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Tara Tompson
I think that bookshelves of some kind would help a lot. As for colors you should definitely go with bright fun colors, it is a play room! We turned our old sun room into a library when they kids got older.

Tara |
May 22, 2014 at 2:25pm   
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