This playroom may or may not be for me. Let’s be honest. What girl doesn’t dream of a ballet bar in their room? And, I was a mediocre dancer for like four years of my life and haven’t quite let go of the dream. 🙂
The REAL reason and passion are these two little girls.
They love to PLAY. They are sweet sisters, both extremely creative and I LOVE to watch their imagination soar. Come into our house on any given day, and you might enter a beauty salon, a Chick-fil-A, a dance studio, a church large group, a school or a grocery story. Yesterday, I caught them serving their babies fruit snacks made up of balls of foil. (They also fought and went to their rooms.)
So, they had a fine playroom filled to the brim of toys. A lot of toys (that I decided to donate or save for cousins). Clear it out!!! I started noticing HOW THEY PLAYED and what they ignored.
Most days, they would build a FORT and stay in it for hours. My brain started churning – how could I create a permanent fort in our house.
We have a good-sized playroom (one of many reasons we bought this house). It’s like an open bonus room at the top of the stairs by their rooms. So, now when you walk up the stairs… you see THIS!
I remember falling in love with a little playhouse at Beth Nolen Interiors and she told the the infamous Carol Welker built it. So, I called her. I said, “I am a creative gal with some skills but I can’t build a thing. I’m willing to lift, paint, work hard and design – but I need your help.” She agreed to the project.
Part 1 – The Castle
We started with this Ikea bed. NOTE! Please note. This thing is giant. I seriously measured wrong and it’s going to work – but wow it’s huge. Way better on price than ones we’ve been drooling over at Pottery Barn.
Carol put together and we then designed our “castle” with the girls. I was thinking a house with a mailbox and even to put house number 227 on the front. Still funny -use it. The girls said, CASTLE!
So, Carol went to work.
She closed in the sides with and had such a smart idea on trim and shape of window. I painted it – added gold glitter bricks and pink of course. She thought of the details of window shape and blocks around it. I added the cross of course. We were the quite the fun team!
I like that the window box isn’t stuck in place. The girls like using the window for many things they play – from drive-through to princess time. Flowers – Marshalls.
For our sweet Larson, we added a Fairy door to the bottom. Fairies are ALWAYS welcome at our house. Even if mom’s artwork is a touch like 3rd grade level.
I had more fun thinking of the inside! I originally got the green “grass” carpet from Ikea to be grass for the courtyard of the original house. However, I loved the color and just kept it for the inside. I think some of this was years of pinning Pinterest ideas and I finally tried 1 or 100 of them. Like peg board!
Carol cut peg board and framed it out – it fit so perfectly in the inside of one wall. I bought peg board hooks and hung what I thought was cutest for the photos. 🙂 I’m sure now (after photo shoot) they have got a barbie head, underwear and something else bizarre hanging up. Ikea chair – $20. Buckets, owl sign, lamp, mirror – Hobby Lobby.
You know we are reviewing and practicing ABC Scripture Cards at our house. Duh!
The two sides are closed in with castle walls. The back is open but against the wall. And the front has two curtains you know I didn’t sew (thanks Carol’s mom). Thanks Larson for picking fabric I steered you towards at JoAnn’s.
It does get dark. Which they LOVE. We hung cute lights – Ikea. And, got another lamp from Hobby Lobby from the desk. Oh yes, of course she built a triangle desk. Carol! Oh, AND she never stops thinking – she added a small shelf/ledge around two sides for them to put toys. She watched them play and saw they would need it. For example, they have your #1 with a coke lined up by the window when you come to their Chick-fil-A.
For the “E” and “L”, just spray painted some chipboard letters from Hobby Lobby and got the white board (aka their “smart board”). Larson is learning her letters and to read so we are having fun with magnet letters and they “teach” their dolls under there.
Carol’s idea – add a flag. I made it with some good ole scrapbooking materials. Every castle needs to claim its name, right?
I know how some people feel about princesses and too much of that. I’m ok with it if done in moderation. I always point them back to their King. In fact, it’s right there on the wall of their castle. I had them each write this verse on the wall of the castle before I painted it.
And then ordered this beautiful print from this etsy shop. I love it!
On paint: I picked pink for two walls of the playroom. Pale yellow for the biggest wall. And I bought one can of gold spray paint. Oh, and white. And tried to use that on EVERYTHING. Not because I have a clue what I’m doing in decorating because I was really trying not to spend crazy amounts of money. And, I love to sneak in truth wherever I can – wrote on Hobby Lobby mirror with dry erase marker.
The Reading Area
So, the top bed is a FULL. Yikes. I thought it was a twin. And this is where they read. Or knock their block off. Uh – do you see how close their head is to the ceiling? We have been reading up there together at night. Really special.
I could SQUEAL and cry over their pillows. I recently met up with artist Chrissie Grace for coffee and almost flipped out over her work. I begged her for two pillows quick to finish up my project. They are the perfect pillows to go up in the loft bed for reading time. You can see all of her work here.
Note, these pillows are HAND sewn and can take her up to 3 weeks to fulfill orders or more if she gets slammed with orders.
These pillows are a lifetime treasure for me. Thank you you Chrissie! Praying these verses over them for a lifetime.
Then, a few of our favorite things on the walls. I have been showing them videos of the Rockettes and cannot wait to take them to a show in New York one day. It was a dreamy moment for me. I wrote about it here.
Frames from Ikea – spray painted gold, it isn’t that easy I thought. But it sort of worked.
So. once you crash off the fort. You head left past my parents old kitchen chandelier and you find yourself in the Ballet Studio. Both of my girls do ballet/tap. They are currently loving it and I really will be fine if they stop. They have ALWAYS loved singing and dancing – we are constantly singing in our house from praise music to some of dad’s favorite songs.
They got the microphone for Christmas and typically one sings and one performs. The mirrors are from Ikea simply hung close together. A hand rail spray painted gold and Carol hung it all. I did the sign up top to remind my girls to DREAM big for whatever they want to do in life. They are chip board from Hobby Lobby covered in scrapbook paper and then I hung using tulle. Carol built the floor and it just simply moves out of the way if we need it to.
If you know me, I love head gear. So, my girls are very used to head gear. I saw this idea on this precious blog. And had to add this at the last minute. In a flash, we can jump into a character on our new stage.
Great – where are your toys? On the back wall by the stairs – we have a closet with some toys – basically dolls clothes, dress up clothes and barbies. The rest had to go. We also have an Ikea shelf turned sideways that makes a bench. That holds dolls and a few more toys there against the ledge/wall. And a perfect seat for those attending the nightly performance.
I started to feel guilty about this project partway through (wrote 10 disclaimers about this project yesterday) – and I know I don’t owe anyone an explanation. We can all choose how we spend our money. Designer chairs, vacations or playrooms.
I truly believe our kids do not NEED stuff or material things for them to be happy. I had an opportunity to create a little world to enhance behaviors and passions already alive in our home. We believe our kids are only little once. We believe little girls should be little girls not teens. We believe kids should play and wonder and dream and imagine. We believe every now and then it’s just fun to say YES and enjoy the delight together. We believe in a lot of laughter and a lot of silliness. We love being parents to these two wild ones.. and we are pretty sure this puts them in the category of spoiled. However, they aren’t rotten. We spend equal time teaching generosity, love and service.
Dance your hearts out girls!
So, what does this have to do with you? Oh steal any idea you like. Let it fuel a fun idea in your world. Boys walls or tables can be covered in lego sheets. Race cars can become decor. Watch them play and have so much fun creating a little world where they can dream, imagine and PLAY.
Or, just open the front door and say GO, play! That works too.
MORE DETAILS COMING.
If you are interested, you may email Carol locally (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a project in your home. Or, if your are interested in the plans to building all of this, we can put that together for you at some point. Let me know.
THANK YOU CAROL for going way above and beyond on this project. I’m so honored to call you my friend.