Our friends at Toronto Home Shows reached out to Lisa Canning, from Lisa Canning Interiors to contribute her tips and tricks for creating a functional playroom. Lisa’s a superstar when it comes to creating spaces that work for families so we’re excited to share her advice!
By Lisa Canning, Lisa Canning Interiors
Photos by Larry Arnal
As a mom of 5 I know how important a playroom is for kids! Not only is it a great space for kids to be creative and let off some steam, but it also helps the rest of your house stay stylish and put together and not overwhelmed by toys. Here are my top tips to create an epic play space, whether it be big or small!
A play room can be a fun space for kids and parents alike- and with strategic planning can set the stage for epic family memories.
1. Dedicate a space for toy storage
One of the most common complaints I get from clients when I do design consultations is that their homes are overrun by toys. This is why I LOVE the concept of a playroom, regardless of how big or small your house is. Dedicate a space in your home where the toys are stored permanently in cabinets, bins or wall shelving, and at the end of each day make sure any toys that have migrated to other areas of the house get put away. This has been a huge sanity saver in my house- and I think you’ll
2. Use vertical space for toy storage
Use the height of your walls as much as possible to maximize the space in your playroom. Built-in wall cabinets with closed storage can keep a space looking neat and tidy, but even inexpensive shelving with colourful plastic bins can do the trick. They key is to use the height of the wall as much as possible so you can free up floor space for play and seating.
3. Zone your space
A good play room should have a few zones so various activities can take place at the same time. In playrooms I design, I love to include a large table for arts and crafts, a seating area for cuddling up and reading stories, and open floor space for riding toys, indoor sports, building forts or large puzzles. Think about the unique interest of your children too- if Lego is a big deal in your house, include a Lego table with lots of Lego storage as one of your zones of play.
4. Use modular furniture
I like flexibility in spaces I design for families- and playrooms are no exception! So I like to use modular furnishings to keep the floor plan as flexible as possible. In my house, my sofa can be reconfigured into a chaise, a long sofa or even a bed. My table can shrink down to the size of a console when impromptu dance parties occur, and my coffee table lifts up and expands to create an extra space for building Lego. It’s a great way to maximize your dollars and your space when your furniture can adapt to your needs.
5. Embrace colour
A play space shouldn’t feel too serious- feel free to embrace bold colour or pattern. Think large scale wallpaper, bold paints or coloured textiles.
6. Incorporate technology
If you are customizing your playroom with custom millwork, make sure you incorporate USB plugs and iPad docks into your design. Plan the space so it can grow with your children and incorporate a homework station with charging stations.
7. Make it a functional space for adults
In my basement, I incorporated a kitchenette so it could be a really functional space for adults as well. We included a coffee maker, bar fridge for kids’ drinks and snacks, a wall oven for warming up pizzas and a sink with touch technology so little hands can turn the tap on and off with ease.