A playroom has always been my dream
Since having children, at any rate. Before that I probably wanted a swimming pool, or a huge wine cellar, but dreams change.
When we moved into this house eight years ago, long before we’d even thought about children coming into our lives, we were absolutely happy with the one reception room as well as a big conservatory, which we used as a dining room. We weren’t exactly rattling round in a mansion, but it was absolutely big enough for the two of us.
When the children came along, we turned the conservatory-cum-dining room (which was never used; we eat off our laps in front of the TV like savages) into their playroom. In retrospect, it wasn’t the best idea really.
It was always too hot, or too cold. For about five days during the beginning of spring and maybe a few days approaching autumn it was of an acceptable temperature, and boy did we try and make the most of it for that glorious week. You cannot just shut the door on all the crud and pretend it doesn’t exist, which is pretty much a must-have for a playroom, because you can see into it from all angles. There is also easy access to both the garden (mud) and the living room (mummy’s clean carpet).
So the conservatory had to be sacrificed in the name of the greater good.
In its place, we have a combined dining and living space. It’s essentially a large empty box at the moment with some lovely big bi-fold doors which open onto the garden; or more accurately, a big load of mud where there used to be decking.
My plan is to fill the new room to the brim with as much Ikea storage as physically possible. We have units in almost every room of the house and I can’t express how much I love it and how practical it is for young kids who seem to have more toys than a branch of Toys R Us.
I’ll be making sure that the floor is wipe clean, because of course it has to be. I’m no fool. I’ve also potty trained before and I would never put a new carpet through that again.
We’re going to wait until the room is decorated before buying any furniture so that it will definitely fit. I am pretty awful at going to Ikea, buying things and hoping for the best. It sometimes works out, but more often involves rearranging the entire room in a bid to squeeze it in.
It should go without saying that we’ll be looking for hard wearing, easy to clean furniture. Knick-knacks will be kept to a minimum; this isn’t an interior design catalogue, we actually have to live in it, and there is no place in a functional living space for objet d’art that can be pulled down, broken or used as weaponry against a sibling.
The biggest thing for me is that it’s light and airy; so unlike our front room which is always gloomy and has a misguided red feature wall complete with artwork from both children which we’ve failed to remove, the colours will be muted and neutral. And I will definitely have a spare tin of paint handy for when the kids decide to draw on it.