If you’re living in an apartment or a small house, you may not have a dedicated playroom and so it makes a lot of sense to turn the dining room into a dual-use space for playing as well.
To effectively combine a living room and a playroom so that parents and kids can all benefit from it, you need to consider its visual set up as well as the practical furnishing of the room.
Here are our best tips to organise and design your dining area so that it can double up as a playroom for your kids too.
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1. Create an accent wall
An easy, low-budget way to visually transform a dining room into a playroom is to create an accent wall using wallpaper. Removable wall decals are also great for rental properties because they’re not a permenent fixture.
An accent wall adds visual depth and usually is only on one side of the room so it does indeed stand out more.
2. Use multipurpose furniture
When you have a small play area, multifunctional furniture can maximise the use of space and keep toys organised. For instance benches with toy storage, or folding items that can be stowed away when not in use.
(Above) Ay-Kasa Folding Maxi Crate
The Carry-Play™ is another multipurpose product that has been designed to maximise use of space. An activity table with storage for toys, it folds into a suitcase for easy storage when not in use.
3. Make use of vertical space
To further keep the shared space organised, utilise the walls for extra storage with hanging baskets or wall pocket organisers.
The IKEA pegboard is the most economical and versatile solution, it transforms your wall into a ready-to-hang surface to keep toys and art supplies off the floor.
Wall shelves are also a great example of vertical storage. They help keep fragile or non-play items out of litte ones’ reach and they also add personality to the play space.
4. Revamp corner spaces
Corners are precious space within a playroom that is often under-used. Enlarge your play area by using corner decor and furnishing to create activity zones.
A floating corner bench creates a multifunctional space for sitting, storage, and looks gorgeous. Even just painting the corner walls and adding some shelves can turn it into a cosy reading nook.
5. Limit your colours
There seems to be good reasoning behind Scandi styles with their minimalistic interior design.
Bright coloured storage bins, baskets or boxes create visual clutter, whereas soft, limited colours create a more open flow.
This is why Montessori rooms tend to favour the use of natural materials for toys and furniture. Shades of earthy colours are visually easier on the eyes and they blend in together to give the impression of a larger, more airy space.
6. Use low profile equipment
For a space to be inviting for kids, the set up needs to be child-friendly.
Low profile items like ottomans, bean bags, coffee tables and short shelves keep everything within reach for them so they can play with ease and freedom.
Understandably in a co-use space, you will need adult-sized furniture, but whenever possible, use smaller sized ones.
7. Make it fun and educational
No playroom is complete without some numbers and alphabets around. Poster prints are a fantastic way of livening up a multipurpose dining room.
We particularly love the below educational prints by Sebra. Their soft earthy colours easily complement any room and are a quick and easy way to instantly add a whimsical feel to your living area.
8. Add rugs and playmats
Spills and mess are inevitable when kids are around, but you can make the shared space easier to clean by using waterproof playmats.
They also help with soundproofing the room by absorbing noises so everyone can enjoy being in the same room without sensory overload.
As an added bonus, rugs that have illustrations on them can be used for imaginative play and can be a fun play equipment.
(Above) Kids Concept Woodland Rug
Using a living or dining room as a playroom as well requires careful planning to keep everything organised and maximise the use of space.
By making smart choices with furniture, decor and colours, you can create a beautiful, practical shared space that will be equally enjoyed by grown ups and kids.
For further inspiration, check out this amazing playroom makeover by IKEA!
Related reading: How To Organize A Playroom On A Budget