Continuing the new direction for my blog (our blog seeing as Dad of Mad Lads got involved) I am going to show you some of our house. Some of you have seen it from Instagram occasionally in my stories and asked where things are from and how I keep it so tidy (!!).
First of all, it is not tidy. Do not believe everything you see on Instagram or even in this blog post. I tidied it before the pictures, in between the pictures, pushed the kids out, the dog out and gave them food while I did it. Second of all, this room was designed and even BUILT for the boys to have free rein of (trash). We built this lean to extension just off our kitchen and it was completed a week before Xander was born. Before this room was here it was an old, cold conservatory that was falling down. And it was tiny. We knocked it down, took out the doors and opened the whole thing up off the kitchen. Sam had this idea that I could cook while they played in there and I could see them. I don’t like cooking. But the Kitchen is the hub of our home so it made sense to have the playroom there. It is also our intention to extend our house again and this room will probably change uses as the boys get older and have less crap. The idea, for now, is that they can literally trash it. Every item of furniture was bought with this is mind. Inexpensive, practical things that we won’t be too precious about and can go in a few (ten) years when the room changes. However, it’s still got to look nice. That’s the challenge isn’t it? A nice, stylish home but practical and kid friendly. We are lucky that we have our grown up living room featuring NO toys that we can retreat to in the evening. If we didn’t have this playroom space it would be everywhere! Well worth the investment.
I went with a grey and monochrome theme because, well, it doesn’t show up the marks so much! The Rug and sofa are from Ikea and were ridiculously cheap for a rug that size and huge sofa. The sofa has storage underneath and pulls out into a massive bed. We have had movie nights as a family on it and al four of us slept on it and looked at the stars through the glass roof. It’s the best sofa ever. It’s not comfortable, but it’s not really for sitting around on, it’s for playing on and jumping on and squashing strawberries in. I don’t really like the look of it- it’s bulky and chunky but it’s so ideal. It’s big enough for Eden to practice his forward rolls on. Where would we be without Ikea? It’s a parents dream home shop.
I have put sheepskin rugs on the sofa for a designery touch but these come off and are put over the kitchen chairs when the boys are playing in there. They are mainly to hide all the yogurt stains underneath. You may have seen my Two-nager blog post and understand yoghurt-gate. These sheepskin rugs were £14.99 each from Aldi. Bloody bargain. The table is also from Aldi and I usually put the boys drinks and snacks on there throughout the day.
The E and X cushions are from Asda and the other two are from Ikea. It’s a bit mad in this room as you can see, but it’s a kids room and I think patterns etc are a must. My throw over the back of the sofa is a huge beach blanket from Ibiza. It’s absolutely gorgeous. I’m a massive contradiction in the sense that I like individual, unique things but then also like Ikea which couldn’t be more mass produced. I’d love all my furniture to be unique but that’s not financially possible or practical in any way! But I can dream about a weekend break in Morocco and sourcing a dresser and getting it shipped back. I have odd dreams.
One way I like to make sure things are unique is to make stuff. The leopard print picture is a piece of craft paper from The Range that I framed. Below you will see there is also a zebra one. The “Born to be Wild” print is from HomeSense.
The rag doll I got in a charity shop for £1 and knew it would make a nice addition to the monochrome room. You all must know by now my love affair with charity shops. The Eden and Xander digital illustration is by the ridiculously talented Lily Dennison (Here) and it’s nice to have a personal touch and show this room is theirs. The bunting is from Paperchase and again I wanted the room to feel age appropriate for them and not too grown up! Having said that, because of the colour scheme it’s not too child like when we have adults over for dinner etc. Most of the kids stuff can be hidden away and this room our guests can sit in while I cook (see: serve up takeaway).
My one bit of advice when kitting out a playroom is STORAGE. Storage, storage, storage and more storage. And then even more storage. I bought this pine dresser second hand and painted it and changed the handles to keep all their toys in.
They get their toys out from here and I shove them all back in at the end of the day. Usually it’s bursting out. I also have all their plates and bowels in the drawers at the top. This space really is 100% theirs.
This grey storage box has their dressing up stuff in but also doubles up as a seat/ climbing frame/ foot stool. It was £14 from Wilko and is one of the best things I bought for this room. Just look at these bullet points and tell me that’s not something desirable -stylish, STURDY- yep Sold!
Everyone always says how laid back I am in the house in regards to letting the boys touch and do stuff and I think that’s because I know this is their space and they really can do what they like to it. We haven’t even given the walls a second coat of paint yet as we know it will need doing again soon. Every inch I have made sure is safe, comfortable and ok for them to use as they wish. They eat lunch on the sofa (minus the sheepskins) have drinks on there and I’m fine with it. I like to let them be kids. The best thing about this room is that it has double doors which open right out and on to the garden. In the summer these are just open and the boys go to and fro as they wish. And I get the amazing view of our graffiti wall by Mr Skosh a local graffiti artist. Find him on Instagram. In the interests of keeping it real I have also included this final image so you can get a more realistic impression of what this room mostly looks like.
Hope you enjoyed this first look of our home. Washing basket and all. Let me know if this is something you would like to see more of!