My Home Tour: The Boy’s Playroom

Natalie Langston

BY:

This room has had QUITE the journey in the time the Langstons and Botterills have lived in our house. Once upon a time, it was loosely known as, “ Gary’s office” LOL, key word being loosely. More like his sleeping room 😂 it was a great nap/TV room for him, not that I used it much myself. Then it was a den, but when we ended up deciding to put that furniture in our basement suite… And then it made sense for it to become the boys’ playroom. Honestly though, it’s probably become my FAVOURITE room in the house. 

There are so many details that went into this room that I just LOVE and so many meaningful items that I put so much heart into. This room is my HEART and SOUL for my two sweet boys. I’m SO happy with how it turned out. And I’m even MORE happy that they have a dedicated room to keep all of their toys in. Haha!! It’s bright, it’s lively and it really encapsulates their personalities and how bright and beautiful they both are!! I LOVE IT!!! And I hope you do too! I hope it brings you joy and you find inspiration from what we designed and created in this room ☀️ I wanted to have fun in this space and bring some colour into our home for the boy’s playroom! Keep reading for the 7 elements that made our boys’ new playroom feel like home!

Goals

My main goal was to make this a fun space with some colour for the boys. My second goal was to get everything OFF the ground and ORGANIZED. Lol. This meant utilizing wall units and creating spaces to close away all the clutter and mess 🧘‍♀️ 

I wanted everything to have a place (famous last words lol) so that Pierce and Bence could easily find and grab the toys they wanted to play with that day (or what am I saying…hour.. it changes by the minute sometimes jeez… anyway I digress.) I wanted them to be able to grab their toys seamlessly and self-sufficiently but also be able to clean them up without help when they were done. Now that’s independence!! 

But if everything was going to have a home, we needed enough storage solutions to make that happen!

Storage Systems

Enter Stor-X Organizing Systems. I could NOT have accomplished this goal without them. I explained exactly what I needed and showed them some inspiration and we were off to the races. Together, Felicia from Stor-X and I designed the perfect built-in wall-unit (if I do say so myself) that had EVERYTHING we needed to tuck away toys. Drawers on the left and right, cupboard space up top for items that are used more seasonally or on occasion, and a seated area in the center that I thought would be a perfect reading area. 

I LOVE what we created and how it has become such a beautiful focal point in the room. I’ll get deeper into the design and decor details later, and will also share our floor plans for the wall unit– in case you’re interested in the custom closet shelving we did in addition to using Stor-X. Getting everything off the ground in the playroom and tucked away meant we really needed to utilize our closet space effectively. The before and afters are INCREDIBLE. Just take a look!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those are closet dreams right there 😂 and it is EXACTLY how I had envisioned it would be. Gary did the shiplap behind the closet shelving and within the built-in reading seat. All of the storage solutions we used in the closet including, the wire baskets and clear baskets (here and here), are from Bed Bath and Beyond. We even detailed the closet to be a certain height off the ground so that Pierce’s trucks all fit!! WOW.

Colour & Theme

Okay so one of the first steps in this process is always deciding on a colour theme and mapping from there. We went with yellow, grey and dark green and I LOVE it. The best part about having a theme is tying all the details back to the main color scheme…  it also makes it super easy to decide when to rule things out. If it’s outside of the colour theme, pass.

For a wallpaper, we decided on the Five Point Stars from Urban Walls. Love. We chose the colours we bought based on what we pulled from this beautiful Jungle Safari rug from Ruggable that we had initially been looking at. We ended up going with a more neutral cream from Urban Barn, but how stinkin ‘cute is that jungle rug!!!

Ambiance

For drapery, I was really firm on wanting them in mustard yellow to bring alllll the sunshine and brightness into our space. Lorie from i4Design (Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest) brought everything to life so beautifully!!! She’s been a pleasure to work with, with all these projects lately ❤️ (check out her work in Bence’s Nursery).

For this space we only needed custom yellow drapery with black hardware… we didn’t need blackout curtains or anything fancy for this particular space (that was definitely necessary in the kids rooms though, lol!)

The fabric Lorie used is a blend of polyester, cotton and linen so that it doesn’t create more work for you in your home (i.e. linen can wrinkle and crease super easily, so it’s not always the most ideal material to have with kids around.) In contrast to the black-out liner she used for the nursery, Lorie used a standard lining that specifically allows some natural light into the space.

i4Design also customized the bench seat with the Mazzy Fabric from Tonic Living. It is INCREDIBLE, truly so much better than I imagined. This print was something I suggested offhand that I loved but wasn’t sure we could actually do it and turns out we could and we DID!!! I’m obsessed!!! 

Speaking of light… for the light fixture, I originally thought a sputnik style pendant would be the right fit but decided to go with something a little more dainty and white with a slight rustic feel that I LOVE!! This one is from Bed, Bath and Beyond and is definitely an investment but totally makes the space!! 

Next up is one of my all-time favourite items… THROW PILLOWS. And we got to order from Tonic Living, who really exceeded my expectations. Lauren suggested a beautiful grey pillow with black flecks (20×20”) that would pair perfectly with the velvet mustard yellow lumbar pillow (14×20) and we matched on either side and I think it’s just absolutely perfect. The BEST pillow situation in our home!! 

I can’t wait to work with them more and see what other combinations we can create. One way I like to update my decor is changing out my pillows and throws in different spaces of our home, whether it’s seasonally or just to add a pop of colour and bring new life to a space. This is a great way to do that. Also, Tonic Livings faux down pillow inserts are the best on the market AND are made in Toronto.

As you know, I love a good Canadian brand and Tonic Living is just that. They’re cruelty free/vegan friendly but carry all the things you’d be looking for in a traditional feather pillow– they hold a karate chop, never get matted or flat, and always fluff up again. Also, their inserts are perfectly plump so you don’t need to order a size up (i.e. If your pillow cover measures 20″ edge to edge, order their 20″ insert.)

Shelving Decor

I have to say… I’m really starting to get the hang of shelving decor! I think these really came together if I do say so myself. 

I really wanted the boys’ infectious personalities to be prevalent all around this room, and what better way to do that than to get some really FUN photos of them on the wall as a focal point?? These were printed and put on canvas by Posterjack in Toronto. 

I also wanted some signage that said “Brothers” and their names for them to really identify with this space and make it their own. I reached out to Etsy designer Ellise of Charlie and Pig for a few custom prints (like this) and had them printed at Posterjack. They turned out beautifully, especially tied in with a few other art pieces that I had printed/framed at Posterjack! Wall art really brings another element to a room, and putting this stuff on shelves gives them a whole new life which I LOVE. As the boys grow, I will definitely change out the artwork and continue to have pieces that hold meaning and are teachable reminders for them. 

But would it be a shelf without some greenery and florals?? Not in my house haha. Shelli from Maple Ridge Florist is fantastic and brought the space to life with some fresh lilacs, eucalyptus and pampas grass on the top of the kitchen! I used wood elements strategically on the shelves to ground them and tie in the other wood elements in the room while also utilizing some of the toys that Pierce loves to play with, like this Service Station Parking Garage.

Most of the other shelving decor is from HomeSense Canada, which are all great finds that I make when I’m running in to get this and that and somehow find the perfect things for their playroom shelves! Their pieces are a little hard to track down online to share, but HomeSense Canada is probably my FAVOURITE store. When you ask Pierce what his favourite store is he will tell you HOMESENSE too!!! Oh my what have I created? hahaha

Decor

We ordered these PRECIOUS Hexagon Growth Charts from LLDgifts by Lauren Lash on Etsy. Lauren was absolutely lovely to work with and even customized in the boys’ names 🥺 

My favourite thing about these growth charts is that they are peel and stick, which means we can peel them off and take them with us if and when we decide to leave. I have seen TOO MANY parents (moms especially) who are absolutely heartbroken when they move and have to leave their kids growth charts behind 💔 Having these as peel-and-stick means we can keep the memories and my mama heart intact haha. 

We put our growth chart right next to the door, which by the way we took off the hinges. Gary and I both agreed that we don’t want the kids to ever play with the door shut, so off it came. 

Above the growth chart was the perfect spot for our rainbow from The Wooly Canvas. Gillian custom made to fit the room’s colour theme!! I absolutely LOVE the texture that provides, it’s such an amazing addition to the playroom. She’s incredible and handmakes these rainbows to fit any space perfectly!! Highly recommend having one made for your little one’s room!!

Believe it or not, the rainbow canvas within the wall-unit on top of the shiplap was actually a last minute addition suggested by Gary!! I had a couple different options from HomeSense Canada to try around in the room, and low and behold it fit perfectly. I actually think it MAKES the space and is such a focal point in the room.. But let’s not tell Gary shall we, it will get to his head HAHA.

Furniture

For the room itself we had the boy’s Vintage Kid Kraft Play Kitchen, an Ikea white table and chairs, and two matching Polar Bear chairs from Posh Baby and Kids to position within the room. I really liked that the kitchen was positioned in the middle of the drapery so the drapes kind of framed it. And putting the table and chairs under the TV was genius and utilizes the room effectively to make the most room for play!! The polar bear chairs can be moved easily throughout the room but I love their placement in the photo is kind of their go-to position so the boy’s can tune into their favourite Disney shows. 

I also want to talk about the Kid Kraft Kitchen for a second as it is SUCH a lovely piece. It was actually a first Christmas gift from my Mom for Pierce 🥺 It’s a vintage play kitchen and we upgraded the handles to match the wall unit. Gary added a marble countertop to jazz it up a bit that we ordered from Amazon for only $12! I want to add a backsplash but THAT.. is a project for another day. 

We got the “Kiss the Cook” sign custom made by Carly of Cannfoster Creations, but here’s a similar one from Etsy.

Into the kitchen I also added some felt fruit, veggies and foods that Pierce LOVES playing with, along with pots and pans so he can have fun cooking and creating! I also got this kids cooking utensil set. And the sweetest little egg carton is from Dilly Dally on Commercial St. here in Vancouver. 

It was really important to me so Pierce could identify with the oat milk and rice milk that he loves, and I’m SO happy to have found a wooden milk set in an alternative milk option since it matches what we actually have in our home!! Clever Coconuts has the CUTEST things and these cute alternative milks are one of them!! What a wonderful way to expand your toy kitchen if you follow a vegan diet, or encourage inclusivity even if you don’t! Maybe if I get this for Bence he can teach me how to cook with jackfruit LOL.

I was planning to paint these Ikea table and chairs in yellow, add 2 and put this in the center of the room, but I’m SO glad that we decided instead to move this underneath the Frame TV. Not only did this help us to maximize our space… Gary also got out of painting them yellow. LOL. So it’s a win win for everyone haha. I like to use this space for puzzles, drawing, painting and playing word games. I added a lazy susan I picked up from HomeSense for some art supplies that’s easy to grab when you feel inspired!

Activities

I’m so overjoyed that my boys are becoming readers, so I wanted to create a reading corner for them to dig into all their favourite books. They have quite a few books at this point and the list keeps growing!! I really wanted a sign for this super special section of the room, so I got one made by Etsy designer Spring Meadow Co. that says Once Upon a Time and she did SUCH a wonderful job with it.

I had a hankering for white floating shelves to fit underneath the sign, maybe even something with a wood element to them, so I searched Etsy and found designer David from Blue Pine Innovations. He COMPLETELY brought this to life and his craftsmanship is unparalleled. These are amazingly high-quality, custom made from a small family-owned business in Ontario, Canada!! 

The books were all picked out specifically for Pierce from Indigo that I knew he would LOVE! We get so much joy out of reading to him and it’s our favourite time of day to sit down with him and read a few books before bedtime. Pierce has always LOVED reading and shown an interest in reading even on his own and there is no doubt that Bence will be the same. From The Dinosaur that Pooped Their Pants, to Frankie’s Food, Little Blue Truck books (and this one) and Go Go Monster Truck and I Am Enough, Pierce has so many to choose from, I can see why our bedtime routine takes so much longer now haha. Here’s a few more to list: Dragons Love Tacos, and The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be

Simple bedtime stories are SUCH a great way to start teaching the kids about history and important figures. I also love this box set from Little People Big Dreams: Black Voices, which features three hardcover books about Maya Angelou, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr.! And this Follow Your Dreams, Little One book AND the Dream Big, Little One book.

Alphabet and Name Puzzles make such a great gift and I really wanted something for the boys to be able to have name recognition and learn to spell their own names, especially to get ready for preschool! The alphabet and the clock are great learning tools but also make the sweetest keepsakes with engravings on the back and their names on the front from Etsy designer Dazzle Your Puzzle

I also found this incredible alphabet on Etsy that had automobiles for each letter which was ABSOLUTELY perfect for Pierce and I knew we had to have this in his playroom. He would for SURE learn the alphabet this way. And it is actually his favourite item in the room. I had it printed and framed on canvas and it’s absolutely perfect!!  

Storage

For storage, I knew at the very beginning that I wanted Pehr baskets in Marigold… and actually designed the wall unit below the seat to fit 5 of these baskets in unison across the bottom. I thought it would make for such a nice effect, it’s a beautiful colour, and it’s super functional for all of Pierce’s hot wheels! I love the look and they are such high quality, I knew they would stand the test of time. Pehr baskets are really durable and you can basically use them for anything, from toys to laundry to whatever! And I love that there’s such a wide colour selection.

So while the cubby is low enough to the ground that Pierce can grab them easily and play with whenever he likes, I have his paint and activities I don’t want him getting into without supervision up high in the pull up cupboards. The pull up cupboards have a soft open (so they’re quiet/ don’t slam) and close feature that I love. These are so great for putting things in that I don’t want him getting into. 

Lastly, we have this Critter Sitters Storage Ottoman which is SO CUTE and doubles as a stool!! The link above is really similar to the one we found at Homesense Canada.

This room has been such a joy to put together, it just makes me feel so warm to know that my boys are going to do so much of their developing in this room!! I’m sure that, despite all my best efforts, it’ll be a total mess at times but I think I really have it set up for success as long as we’re all disciplined to put everything back where it belongs LOL.

Tell me, are you going straight over to i4Design and Stor-X after reading this post?? Go live the organization reality of your dreams, please LOL. I’m so eager to hear more tips and tricks that you’ve implemented for toys and into playrooms, so PLEASE share your knowledge below in the comment section!!

Images by Janis Nicolay 

 

Product List

Wallpaper: Urban Walls 

Custom Drapery: i4Design 

Bench seat: Mazzy Fabric from Tonic Living by i4Design

Built-in wall-unit: Stor-X Organizing Systems

Shiplap: The Home Depot 

Wire Baskets: Bed, Bath and Beyond

Large Stackable Shoe Boxes: Bed, Bath and Beyond

Stackable Shoe Boxes: Bed, Bath and Beyond

Victor Rug – Natural/Beige: Urban Barn 

Filament Design 2-Light Semi Flush Light in White: Bed, Bath and Beyond

Grey Heywood Pillow: Tonic Living

Mason Velvet Lumbar Pillow, Golden Hour: Tonic Living

Art Printed and Framed: Posterjack

Brothers make the best friends wall art: Charlie And Pig

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader wall art: KIKIANDNIM

Greenery: Maple Ridge Florist

Service Station Parking Garage: Melissa & Doug

Shelving Decor: HomeSense Canada

Hexagon Wood Growth Charts: LLDgifts By Lauren Lash

Closet Shelving: Stor-X 

Custom Wool Rainbow Wall Art: The Wooly Canvas 

Pom Pom Basket – Bin (Marigold): Pehr 

Vintage Play Kitchen in White: KidKraft

White table: Ikea

White chairs: Ikea 

White Polar Bear Chairs: Dwinguler 

Play kitchen drawer handles: The Home Depot 

Marble kitchen countertop: Amazon 

Kiss the Cook sign: Cannfoster Creations 

9-piece fruit basket set: Ikea

14-piece vegetables set: Ikea 

Felt food sandwich play food set: Melissa & Doug

Cooking utensil set: Melissa & Doug

Stainless steel pots & pans play set: Melissa & Doug

Erzi wooden white eggs in carton: Dilly Dally Kids

Vegan milks wooden play set: Clever Coconuts

“Once upon a time” wall art: Spring Meadow Co.

White wood floating shelves: Blue Pine Innovations

Little Blue Truck’s Valentine book: Indigo

Dragons Love Tacos: Indigo

The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be: Indigo

Little People Big Dreams, Black Voices: Indigo

Follow Your Dreams, Little One: Indigo

Dream Big, Little One: Indigo

Alphabet Puzzle and Clock Set: Dazzle Your Puzzle

Name Puzzle: Dazzle Your Puzzle

Vehicle Alphabet: bubeetoys

Critter sitters storage ottoman: The Home Depot

 

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