When moving into our new home, I knew I wanted to have a playroom for our children that consisted of clean lines, neutral colors, and pops of color. I wanted the play space to be warm, playful, and inviting. Above all, the most important to me was organization.
Since space was limited, we decided to convert our formal dining room into the play space. We also wanted to make sure that there were no “eye sores” as children’s toys tend to be bright and this space was very open. So we chose to create a space full of storage units for toys and crafts of all sizes, shapes, and colors.
And the best part is: I completed the playroom storage for under $1300!! Yes: Wall unit, Cube Storage Organizer, “Craft Credenza”, Containers, Labels and More for under $1300!! It has been a process that has taken some time to complete but it was very much worth it and here’s how we did it:
The Storage Unit
First, we added the Billy Bookcase wall unit with extenders and doors. This cost us about $665. We considered the Pax unit but ultimately decided that the Billy series would be less expensive. After installing the unit and mounting it to the wall, we replaced the original pulls with gold handles from Amazon that were priced at about 15/$59. (And just in case you were wondering, yes you can add cabinet locks on these to keep little hands off all the toys.) The middle shelves include Fjalla Magazine Holders by IKEA that were $5.99/2 pack that we use to store books. I printed out labels to categorize our books. Some categories include holidays grouped together such as Christmas/Kwanza/Hanukkah, fiction, non-fiction, animals, Disney, Board Books, Series, Movies, TV Show, etc. I wanted to make sure our large library of books was not completely accessible until our children are old enough and responsible enough to put them back. For now, they get about 20 books in their room at a time. I will also display a couple of books per week in the playroom in our cube storage space but i’ll get more into detail with that in a few. Since we have such tall ceilings, I added the Grimms Rainbow stackers to add a pop of color.
As far as the space in between the bookcases that was originally supposed to be an area for a TV, we added photo frames and fun photos of the children to inspire them. The photo frames match the handles of the storage unit and were $28/3 on Amazon.
Inside the Storage Unit
Inside the storage unit, we added plastic containers to keep little pieces together. The best part of these containers is that the lids are challenging to take off for smaller children. We have a one to two open bin limit in our home. That means that we make sure that our children put away the toys that they were playing with first before we will agree to open another bin.
As far as organizing and choosing the right sized container/bin: for the smallest pieces we used Accessory Boxes priced at $1.99 and for the larger pieced toy sets, we used Women’s Shoes Boxes and Men’s Shoe Boxes from The Container Store priced at $4.99 each. We then purchased chalkboard labels and a chalk marker from Amazon (both under $10 combined) and added labels to each container. The chalk marker stays on really well to the labels unless they get wet. As you can see from the photo, our children love to empty the containers and add water to them for sensory play activities.
Cubed Storage and the Perfect Play Space
Even though we have the Billy Bookcase wall unit on the opposite wall, it just couldn’t fit larger toys that were bulky, so we added 1 larger IKEA Kallax unit and 1 smaller IKEA Kallax unit. The larger unit was about $70 and the smaller unit was $40. We then added the Bigso Flax Fabric storage bins from The Container Store on the bottom shelves. The middle shelves include toys that are mostly Montessori themed and are rotated every week or two. The top shelves include an imaginative play greenhouse from Target’s Hearth and Hand Collection, dollhouse from Pottery Barn Kids, and treehouse from Target’s Hearth and Hand Collection. We also have the perfect little Miller Family dolls by Pottery Barn Kids that are the perfect size for these houses along with the Dollhouse Pet Set . Our children will usually drag a chair over to stand on and play with these doll houses. fit in these house
As far as the letter wall art, I purchased the word “PLAY” at Hobby Lobby on sale for $5 per letter.
The Bin Labels
Originally, I was going to use clip on chalkboard labels for the bin storage but ultimately decided to purchase these gold bin labels from The Container Store. I spent about $20 for all 6. I then decided to create some adhesive vinyl labels in fun fonts using our Silhouette Cutting Machine. Our daughter loves words in cursive so I thought it was a great opportunity to introduce her to cursive and creative lettering.
The Craft Credenza
With all the storage we have, it still did not accommodate any arts and craft supplies. Since our home has a narrow long hallway, we chose to add this Ikea Besta credenza across from the playroom. It’s narrow and neutral enough to blend into our decor and I love the hexagon detailing on the doors. We call it the “Craft Credenza.”
Our home has many wooden tones and decor so we added these frames above it to continue the theme. A few years ago, I purchased petrified wood coasters and adhered them with epoxy to a thick cardboard to add to these frames.
Inside the Craft Credenza
The Ikea Besta Credenza has 3 cabinet areas with ability to add more or less depending on space. We have added the same accessory and shoe containers from The Container Store as we have used in the Billy Bookcase storage unit. We store paints, puzzles, pom-poms, markers, colored pencils, and more in here.
Since the puzzle organizer‘s depth was too big for the Billy Bookcase storage unit, we added one to either side of the credenza.
For our daughter’s birthday last year, we updated her small kitchen set to this larger functional kitchen set from Pottery Barn Kids. It accommodates more than one child at a time so our son could play at the same time and it is extremely functional with storage space in each piece. Plus I loved that it is white and neutral with handles that match the wall unit. Also, the letter board that we purchased is similar to this one and the boxwood wreath is similar to this wreath.
We store the play food in the pretend refrigerator and the cooking utensils in the drawer below that. The kitchen sink also has a cash register stored in the cabinet below. The rug was from Ikea but is no longer available but this fur rug is similar.
Yes, you can create a beautiful space too!
I hope this article helped you realize that you too can create a beautiful play space for your children on a budget. What is your favorite part of this play space? Let me know what you think in the comments below.