Friday, April 25, 2014

Project Redecorate: Playroom School Room Makeover (Part 2)

I've finally completed the makeover of the playroom/school room and want to share this space with you! We are homeschoolers, so our goal for this room was to have a fun place for our kids to learn. We also wanted to have a place for them to play -- both while the older ones are learning, and when school time is over.

Our house was built in 1978, and many of its features are original to the house (trim, windows, some light fixtures, bathroom parts, etc.). We plan to update one room at a time and the outside of the house as well.

We're on a tight budget, so things will take time and lots of do-it-yourself. That's perfectly fine with us!

This is what the room looked like when we moved in:

Most of the furniture we had before we moved here. The rest we bought at IKEA when we moved in. (Using our refunded rent deposit!) I'll break it down for you in detail, and if you have any questions, PLEASE ask in the comments and I'll do my best to answer!

We've had the IKEA TROFAST for toy storage for about four years now and LOVE it. 95% of their toys are in this room, and the majority are kept in the TROFAST. I'm a firm believer in everything having its place, and this storage system makes that possible. There's a bin for guns and bullets, Legos, Angry Birds, wooden blocks, etc.

The other wonderful thing about this storage system is that at rest time, the boys can each grab a bin of toys and take them upstairs for quiet play. It's easy to clean them up and put them back where they belong afterwards!

The shelf above the TROFAST is the LACK shelf from IKEA. It holds board games and puzzles, and while the kids can climb up and get them, they're harder to reach so they don't end up scattered everywhere all the time.

The train table also has storage in the drawer underneath -- trains and cars and such. This train table was a gift from my buddy, and we've had it for five years now.

The EXPEDIT bookshelf holds all our school supplies. Our curriculum books and two shelves of classics are stored here. There are a few shelves for toys -- Lincoln Logs, Mr. Potato Head, robots, etc. The storage boxes hold art supplies, scrap paper, and math supplies out of sight.

The buckets on the pegboard hold markers, crayons, and glue. The top rack holds paintbrushes, buttons, and lots of free space for future storage.

The kids painted the pictures on the pegboard. The frames were originally black and we were using them elsewhere, and I just painted them the same color as the walls so they'd pop here against the pegboard.

The wire near the ceiling holds our Classical Conversations timeline cards on little clips. There are 7 cards for each of the 24 weeks of CC, so I'll change these out as necessary.

The maps on the wall -- the United States and the World Map -- are vinyl. We can use dry erase markers on them, and they are removable from the wall.

I painted the pegboard with a roller and regular paint. ACE Hardware has a promotion where they give away quarts, and I picked teal.

This little kitchen was a gift from the same buddy who gave us the train table.

It's important to me that the younger kids can play in the room while the older ones are learning. It's worked out really well for us this year.

Eventually I plan to paint the six wooden chairs around the table black. (They were a garage sale find several years ago.)

I wish I'd gotten a close up of the IKEA floor lamps. They have all the colors of the room and are a perfect fit.

The room originally had a ceiling fan, but it's the coolest room in the house, so we removed it and put up this adjustable light fixture. The sliding glass door is the only natural light source for the room, so we were in dire need of more lighting.

We painted the fire place the same color as the trim -- Valspar Ultra White. Ryan cleaned it well (it's never been a wood-burning fireplace), sanded it a bit, vacuumed it, and used a roller specifically for brick. It took two heavy coats.

The trim also took two heavy coats with a touch-up coat. Next time we will sand and prime the trim. 

The walls are Valspar Cool Elegance. It's the color of the background of a map -- very light blue with a green undertone in certain light. We love it. 

The globe on the mantle was mine as a child.

Mom bought the painting for us, and the accessories came from other spots in the house.

I sewed this fabric on the outer edges of store-bought curtains. It was the original inspiration starting place for the room. I bought it several years ago on sale at Waechter's.

The orange chairs were originally white. I found them at the curb -- each chair had a broken arm. Ryan fixed the arms and I spray painted them with a glossy coat of orange.

The table has taken a beating over the years, but we love it. It wouldn't fit in this house's dining room, so we put it here. When we have company, we eat in this room at this table.

When we originally moved in and determined the purpose for this room, I had a hard time finding sources online that included a playroom AND a school room for kids older than pre-school. So, I scoured the web for ideas and created a Pinterest board before I went to IKEA. (We were also shopping for other rooms in the house.) Let me tell you -- I went with a plan. (We went to IKEA on a Saturday. With all three kids. We met our friends there, which is the only way it was possible to get everything.)

Now I'll show you a breakdown of the items and their approximate cost. Please keep in mind that we've had some of these pieces for years!

Additional Costs:
Curtains ($17 each from Home Goods)
Curtain Rod ($15 from Home Goods)
Light Fixture ($80 from Lowe's)

Total Cost (minus $20 for table which Mom bought us back in 2005 and $20 in mantle accessories she gifted us) : $799 spaced over 4 years

I'm pretty proud of that!

There you have it. One room complete -- several more to go! If you have any questions, PLEASE ask them in the comments and I'll do my best to answer!


  1. It looks like the perfect school/play room. I think you've done a great job making the space play friendly without being a huge visual distraction for the older ones while learning. And I love hearing rest time. We do rest time here and some days it's a life saver :)

  2. What a transformation! I love the white fireplace & light blue walls.

  3. Wow! This room looks amazing! Great work!

  4. I absolutely LOVE it, Michelle! Come decorate my house, next! :)

  5. This looks great! Are you close to Waechter's? She closed recently! I see some Expedit shelving in my future--seems to be a homeschooling essential!

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