When you have kids, it seems like your living room turns into a playroom in no time flat. Toys are everywhere, and it's hard to find a place to sit down and relax. If you're looking for a way to combine your living room and playroom into one space, we've got some ideas for you!
Here are 5 living room playroom combo ideas that will work well for the whole family.
- If you have a small living room, using furniture to separate the spaces can be a great way to create a playroom area. Use a large piece of furniture, like a couch or armchair, to section off the space. This will give your kids their own place to play without all their stuff spilling into the adult space. It's feasible to create a space that has all the most important types of play spaces even within a living room playroom combo space.
- Storage solutions are another great way to make sure that your living room playroom combo works for everyone. Make sure you are using furniture that is multipurpose, simple, and doesn't allow you to just shove all the clutter into a drawer. You can use open cube storage under the TV as a media center and have that hold the select toys and books for the kids or use a full bookcase as a piece to display toys and books. Use more sophisticated adult baskets and bins that match your decor style vs the traditional primary-colored plastic kids storage.
- Add a fun rug to help divide the kid space from the adult space. Kids are typically super visual so having this kind of obvious reminder of what space is theirs is a simple way to start the process of making half living room half playroom. Make sure you choose something that is going to wear well (aka not white) and is cozy enough that kids can be on the floor playing for extended periods of time.
- Decluttering can be daunting, but it is worth the effort. Especially when you are trying to turn your living space into a playroom combo space. After you do a big purge (I'm talking 50% of the toys you own should probably go) then work on organizing in a way that makes it easy for kids to clean up. Start organizing toys by grouping similar items like blocks, cars, dolls; and put each category into a separate basket or bin.
- Make sure you are using the negative and hidden space in your living room playroom combo to maximize space for both the adults and children in the family. For example, use the space between your couch and the side table to store puzzles or games out of sight. Use a corner of the room as a reading nook and another corner for a sensory or art space.
Things to consider when creating a playroom living room combo
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One of the biggest things I find is that parents feel they need to give up their sense of style and aesthetic for their children. You don't! You can have a living room playroom combo that is stylish and still functional. It just takes a little bit of effort to find the right pieces that will work for your family.
Beauty is an important factor in creating a play space for children
As a family, we are pretty big into the Montessori philosophy and one of the reasons I love it so much is that the philosophy encourages us to view children as very capable and independent humans, and also acknowledges that children are influenced by beauty.
Children have a very heightened sense of the world around them and they are constantly absorbing their environment. This is why it's important to me as a parent to create an aesthetically pleasing space–whether that's within a dedicated play space or a living room playroom combo.
So while children don't NEED a ton of space or a dedicated playroom, they DO NEED a space that is free of clutter, visually stimulating but calm and encourages different types of play. So, by creating a living room playroom combo that is both simple and beautiful we are also providing an environment that supports their growth.
What activities will happen in your playroom living room combo?
Another thing to consider when creating this space is what kind of activities you want to be able to do in it. Do you want a dedicated art space because your children are super into arts or crafts? Or does your toddler really need places to climb and jump? Thinking about that will dictate how you set up your space.
For many families, it's important to have a living room playroom combo that would work for multiple types of play activities–especially if they have multiple children spanning different age ranges. So while one corner is designated as an art space with a small easel and some paint supplies, the other side has a low bookshelf for storytime and a small basket of dress-up clothes. And maybe the coffee table becomes the space for LEGO building or puzzles.
Living room playroom combo safety considerations
When you have a living room playroom combo space you may end up having to think more about safety than you would if you had a dedicated playroom. Now that doesn't mean you need to go crazy with babyproofing every little thing.
Here are three of the biggest concerns when it comes to creating a safe living room playroom combo space
- Fireplaces: If you have a living room with a fireplace, it's important to make sure that you think about how you will keep children away from the fireplace while it's in use. Children are naturally curious and may try to get close to the fire, which is obviously dangerous but we have never needed to do more than make sure we keep the doors closed and have someone sit near the fire on the floor to redirect children if we choose to have a fire while the kids are awake.
- Sharp corner edges: One of the biggest dangers in any living room is sharp edges on furniture. So when choosing what pieces to put into your living room playroom combo, be sure to go for rounded edges instead of hard angles. If this isn't an option (you already have furniture and don't want to get anything new) no worries! You can take the laid-back approach (this is me) and just teach from a young age that sharper corners can hurt–we have four kids and have never had a table corner accident (knock on wood!). OR if you choose to babyproof you can use those sticker soft corner bumpers to help cushion any kind of head or body bump.
- Heavy furniture: Making sure that you secure heavy furniture is especially important in a living room playroom combo since your child is going to be spending significantly more time there. If you have any large furniture pieces that can't be anchored to the wall, consider using straps to secure them in place.
Thinking about these few safety concerns ahead of time will let you create a “yes” space where you feel confident letting your kiddos play without constant supervision.
Overall, when creating a living room playroom combo, it's important to think about what will work for your family.