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20 Playroom Design Ideas

A child’s playroom is a place of creativity and imagination. It is exciting to envision endless design possibilities as you plan the space, but it is also necessary to consider more practical matters, such as storage and layout. Rather than feeling limited by the many pieces of the playroom puzzle, view the experience as the ultimate design challenge!

Creating a space that inspires kids to experience the joys of play is an amazing opportunity for whimsical decor choices. The juxtaposition of children’s motifs with efficient organization can create breathtaking results. As you begin your playroom design quest,  don’t forget to consider the interests of your kiddos. Their ideas may spark the inspiration for a winning decor concept, and under your guidance, the room will take flight. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Playroom Layout

As you plan the layout for your playroom, pay attention to the space involved. Is the room large? Will it be shared by multiple children? Or perhaps the “playroom” is a section of the child’s bedroom, making compact living a must. If space is no issue, consider placing storage and seating pieces along the wall and leaving the center of the room free for creative endeavors. [image from Design Chic]

Include plenty of table space, as children use tabletop surfaces for activities ranging from arts and crafts to small block building, as well as sensory activities such as play dough. If tables are smaller, try an L-shaped arrangement, as shown in the room below. [image from Design Chic]

If the play area will be a part of the child’s bedroom rather than a separate room in the house, there are plenty of layout options to ponder. For example, with the bed taking up a portion of the wall space, there may not be room for tables along the edge of the room. A table in the center of the floor is a wonderful alternative, as shown in the IKEA playroom idea below. [image from nuhomedesigns.com]

A comfy sitting area is another playroom layout possibility. A couple of kid-sized armchairs or beanbags can designate a reading nook. However you plan the space, make sure your child’s personality shines through. For example, hanging kids’ artwork on the wall adds vibrancy to a room. [from Pottery Barn Kids]

Playroom Seating

When it comes to playroom seating, the possibilities are endless. From simple wooden chairs to more modern takes on children’s furnishings, there are a myriad of styles to meet your design needs. For a playground effect, consider bubble chairs that hang from the ceiling, as shown in the room below, designed by Randy Weinstein. [image from HGTV]

For a rockin’ good time, try Hut-Hut seats by Kalon. These colorful pieces are a modern version of a rocking horse, and their geometric appearance is wonderfully simple. Pieces are available in red, yellow, blue, green and pink. [image from HGTV]

The Jellio design team is making quite a name for itself. Between their larger than life furnishings based on classic children’s toys to their custom interior design projects, they are a wonderful resource and a source of inspiration. The image below reveals their work on a kids’ activity center in Palm Desert, CA. Note the Tinker Toy tables and Lego seating, which doubles as a room divider:

For comfort and style, check out Anywhere Chairs, kid-sized armchairs that can be personalized with your child’s name. These pieces come in an array of colors and patterns to match your decor needs. [from Pottery Barn Kids]

Playroom Storage

Storage can be one of the biggest playroom design challenges. How do you accommodate a large number of toys and supplies while avoiding clutter? Luckily, today’s storage options provide many answers to this question. Take the cubes below, which open and close to conceal their contents. The result: a modern take on shelving. [from Attic Room Design]

In addition to shelving units with doors that hide the contents inside, baskets in a variety of colors fit neatly into storage spaces. Handles make accessing their contents convenient. [image from HGTV]

For a unified effect, choose matching baskets and buckets for playroom storage. This technique cleverly conceals art supplies, toys and books in a way that looks deliberately decorative. [image from Pottery Barn Kids via Best Home Interior Design]

Remember that storage is only half of the battle. Make sure kids have easy access to the items they regularly use. Consider containers that blend style with creativity, such as the tiered art supply holder below. Also note the numbered baskets along the wall, which help children remember what’s inside by matching numerals with sets of items. [from Pottery Barn Kids]

Don’t forget the power of a large bookshelf. Even if some shelving is too high for kids to reach, these vertical places can be the perfect location for items that aren’t regularly accessed, such as toys out of the main play rotation, or books and supplies that children will enjoy when they are older. [from 6th Street Design School]

If a child’s playroom and bedroom are one in the same, try a vertical shelving unit with drawers, which provides an ideal space for books, small supplies, and toys of all sizes. The room below was created by Barcelona designer Sergi Mengot. [images from Home-Designing] 

Unique Playroom Features

With the practical matters of layout, seating and storage out of the way, it’s time to let your imagination run wild! What is that extra special touch that transforms a space into a work of art? How about making the wall one giant canvas? In the photo below by David Duncan Livingston, chalkboard paint has created one large drawing space. [from Dwell]

A circular motif becomes a life-sized loft module in this next creative space. Notice how the outside of the structure has round insets that hold books and toys. [image from Dekrisdesign.com]

While some prefer to dismiss a playroom theme in favor of a more eclectic look, there is power in design motifs, as shown in the bedroom/playroom below. Designed by Mimolimit, the space is a children’s wonderland where whimsy meets practicality. Don’t hesitate to include some “props” in your playroom space. For example, a few mini-trees transform the room below into a magical forest. [image from DigsDigs]

In another room from Mimolimit, a play tent becomes a cozy space that somehow seems hidden, even though it hangs in the middle of the room:

For some design enthusiasts, the playroom will become a fantastical setting where anything is possible. There is a myriad of unique features in the room below, which is based on the Moomin books by Finnish novelist Tove Jansson. The room was created by industrial designer Maria Yasko. Note how 3-D wall murals and ceiling-mounted forms add layers of style. [image from Chictip]

Perhaps the most wonderfully unusual of all is this enclosed playroom in the middle of a family home. The “room” is created from medium-density fiberboard (MDF), which is used to form a  cube that merges playtime with the concept of a secret fort. However, this fort by Danish furniture and product designer Nina Tolstrup is refreshingly modern. [from Dwell]

As you can see, there is no right way to create a playroom for children. Whether you seek a clean-lined modern room or a space where fantasy meets reality, the possibilities are endless. Enjoy the process, and don’t forget to involve the kids!


Kate Simmons

Kate Simmons is a freelance writer and design blogger with a love of all things decor. She spent her childhood writing stories and working on interior design-themed DIY projects. Kate’s published writing reflects her special interest in how design has changed through the decades. Her blog Mirror80 ( http://mirror80.com/) explores the fashion and [...]

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