Friday, January 11, 2013

Converting the Living Room into a Play Room...Am I Crazy?

I can not believe I am even typing this, however, I am thinking of converting our Living Room into a Playroom.   I am starting to tackle the organization of all the toys that we received over Christmas and Jillian's birthday and I feel like I am just shuffling toys around from one room to the next.  Putting one toy in each of their rooms, one toy in the Great Room and one toy into the Basement.  I feel like we need one designated space for Jillian and Nicholas to really play with their toys, preferably on the main level of our home which is where we spend the majority of our day.  Jeff once brought up this idea to me last Christmas when I was trying to figure out how to handle all of Jillian's new toys and I said no way.  Boy is he going to laugh when I tell him the thoughts that have been rolling around in my head!  I originally started to convert our office into an office/toy room but it just didn't work out like I wanted it to.  Too much clutter and not enough space for it to be a dual purpose room.  I need my office for my direct sales business and in the process of trying to organize and decorate that space too into something a little more functional.

Here are the PROS and CONS of converting the Living Room into a PlayRoom:


1. The kids will have a space on the main floor of our home to call their own.  We spend the majority of our time on the main level, they need a main space to play.
2. We have a toy area in our basement, but our basement is not finished yet and we do not spend a lot of time down there.  Especially with Nicholas still being so little, I am always feeding the little guy which seems to take up most of my day.  Perhaps when the kids are older and I can feel comfortable with them playing downstairs in the basement independently.  Until then, I really need something more on the main level of the house.
3. It will be a temporary solution, I am thinking 2-3 years tops until we can move all of their toys to the basement.
4. Although my Living Room is one of the only decorated rooms in the house, it is far from finished.  I never painted it and we can easily move the new end tables and coffee table to the Great Room.  The Great Room end tables and coffee table now are hideous and were purchased in a scratch and dent room of a furniture during Jeff's bachelor days.  I will not be sad to move those items to the basement and move the living room tables to the Great Room.
5. We have already moved the chair from the Living Room to Nicholas nursery.  We were in desperate need of a glider in Nicholas nursery, however, I refused to buy another one since we already had one in Jillian's room.  Jillian's glider is white and matches her furniture perfectly, plus we were still using it to read a book every night.  Nicholas furniture is a dark espresso/cherry wood and the Living Room chair matched his furniture perfectly.  It was a win-win situation all around.  The Living Room chair is now sitting in Nicholas Nursery and it looks amazing.  Matches his room perfectly.  So one piece of Living Room furniture has already been repurposed in the house before I even came up with this crazy idea. 
6. So that leaves the Living Room couch and my beloved Starburst Mirror.  I am sure I can find another home for the Starburst mirror.  I have a few ideas.  The couch may have to be moved to the basement for a few years.  That is the only piece that I can not think of re-purposing at the moment which is fine. 
7. I can see the Living Room perfectly from the kitchen and the office, two rooms I am in a lot of my day.
8. It will free up all the toy clutter in the Great Room.  It would also keep  the Great Room carpet from continuing to get trashed.  I can put an area rug down in the great room to protect the carpet that is in there now.
9. Now that I am a SAHM, simplifying my job in this role is a must.  A designated toy room on the main floor would do just that.


1. We are dismantling my beloved Living Room.  Ahhhhh!
2. It's the first room off the right of the house when you walk in the front door.  Doesn't set the tone for a calm and relaxing house.  It may scare my neighbors who stop by and they may never want to come back.
3. It's a very open room with no closets. We will probably have to buy a few more Target storage cubes and cabinets to corral the clutter.

Now that I have typed up all of the PROS and CONS, clearly I am on to something by converting the Living Room since there are so many more PROS than CONS.  I will let you know what I ultimately decide. 

Here are a few inspirational pics I found to help me with my decision.

This Living Room turned Play Room is amazing from Heather Drive Blog

And this one is adorable too from Babycenter.... the windows look like our front windows.

So what do you think, am I nuts?  Have you done something like this in your home? I would love to hear your ideas!

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  1. You won't be sorry! I turned my dining room into a play room 3 years ago and I love it. Mine is at the front door also, and yes I have squirmed a few times standing at the door or in the entry. People understand... ;-) Mine is also open with no closet, so we built two low bookcases and I use baskets to corral the small toys.

  2. We had a formal dining room off of our living room and it was our son's playroom it was so nice for him to be able to play with his toys yet be in the same area as us so he wasn't alone in his room playing! And clean up time was easy!! We had a book shelf with bins and a big toy box.

  3. Oh girl, we struggled with this too. And we ended up making our formal living room (the one that is right off the foyer and greets guests as they walk into my house (sigh)) a kids play room. Some days it's very tidy and adorable. Other days, it's a complete train wreck - but I have made my peace with it...because it keeps the kids happy and makes my life much easier. One necessity that we had - there had to be very easy places for the kids to get (AND PUT AWAY) their own toys. Slowly, as the kids grow up, we're putting more normal furniture back in (verrrry slowly).
    Just think, before we know it - our little ones will all be grown up. So why not have a fun place for them now? You'll look back at that room when your kids are older - and the room isn't a toy room anymore and you'll think of it fondly. :)

  4. It's a tough decision but it sounds like it is the best spot for it right now. You will probably be so much more happier than the current set-up.

  5. I think you'll love it! We have a combo living room/toy room, and having everything in the main room makes it so much easier for me to get stuff done and still keep an eye on my munchkins. At first, the mess drove me crazy, but I'm used to it now. :) Good luck! :)

  6. I say do it! It's only for a short period of time, and you'll love having a place to contain everything - even if it is just when you walk through the door. We turned our office into a combo only because we don't have another option in terms of space, and we spend most of our days in the playroom/office - it went from my least used room in my house to our most used! We were looking at a house in December (random perfect house came on the market, we weren't exactly looking to move, but we didn't get it) and it had a formal living room, and we were totally going to use it as a playroom for the next few years. Can't wait to see what you decide!

  7. I think you should do it. You know I did away with my craft room. I did NOT want do it what so ever, but I had to realize that my baby boy would use that space way more than I did. I haven't regreted it. You're kids will really enjoy that and it will be just as beautiful as your living room. When guest walk in they will still see beauty and that's were wonderful adventures take place with your kiddos. GO FOR IT!

  8. I think, if done right, you can make it a beautiful space. I always think our homes can be beautiful and function well for us at the same time. If your living room doesn't get a lot of use now, then I say go for it. With a busy family, you need to do what works best for you.

  9. Anything to make life easier I'm all for. I have 4 kids (ranging from 3 to 10) and I just recently took back the living room space. We turned it into a playroom about 9 years ago. Best decision we ever made. Now that they are bigger, we moved them into the basement and it's perfect. Good luck either way. You have a beautiful home.

  10. do it!!! (or- flip side, could your office switch to the living room and he playroom go in the office? I cant remember if you have doors there. If you do, you could always close those off to the neighbors?)

  11. We did the same thing awhile back, but with our dining room! And like you I didn't like the idea at first since my dining room is right when you walk in the front door! But now I am SO glad we did it! I tell my husband this is our "season" of having little ones and one day when they are older we will have a nice decorated dining room again. But for now, a playroom is more important! :)

  12. Anonymous6:25 PM

    Karen, here's the thing (and I haven't read all the other comments) those beautiful babies you have will grow up and be gone so fast your head will spin (I know, mine did) can have a perfect living room when they're on their own-the only thing that matters at the moment is them. You will never and I mean NEVER regret anything you do for them as it's also for you. I say do it. Your house is for your family, I understand wanting things to be beautiful and decorated but a) you can do both, your talented and B) it doenst matter at them moment. I promise you will never complain in your old age that you do it-good luck. You will make the right decision and I cant wait to see the results.

  13. Karen, I turned our dining room into a playroom and I LOVE it. It keeps their bedrooms free from toys and it keeps all of the toys in one room not spread out all over the house. I say DO IT. You will not regret it. But, I must say, your living room is gorgeous!! ;-)

  14. I think sometimes we have these ideas in our heads of what our home should look like. But once you have kids all this changes. We live for them..and we decorate for them. Honestly people are probably wondering why you still have a formal area with those two kids rather than what you are thinking! You could always invest In wooden gates to keep it classy or I saw on Pinterest they had like. Half door as a form of a gate. It was wains coated And beautiful.

  15. We turned our living room into a playroom and we love it. It is at the front of the house, but it has French doors that close it off a little- is that something you could install?

  16. I love, love, love these playrooms! I say go for it. Our house has wasted space and I always consider converting it. Your kids are only young once and you have the rest of their lives to have a living room. :)

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and for voting for me. It means the world!


  17. Yes! Do it!!!! We turned our formal living room into my husband's office, and it has been great. Now I'm considering turning the dining room into a 1st floor play room. We have NEVER eaten at our dining room table. Love your blog!

  18. I think with kids your age, it is definitely a win. I know a lot of people who have done this, too. Go for it.

  19. Anonymous9:24 PM

    We did this when our kids were young like yours. I didn't go as extreme as the photos above. I know many people and they love it. Just remember, it is temporary and will make your whole family so much happier to have this space.

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  21. Karen, we turned our family room (smaller than our formal living) into a playroom and made our formal living room our adult room with our TV and stuff..... we have NEVER regretted it. Half the time I just turn off the lights in the playroom and walk away at night, its just going to get trashed in the morning anyways! Do it! Its life changing!


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