Turning Your Basement into a Playroom
For the last couple of decades, an “open concept” has been popular in home design. And why not? It maximizes the feeling of space and easily contains several different activities, such as dining, television, gaming, homework, and general family fun. It’s all about togetherness!
On the not-so-great side, though, it can be loud. Sometimes the different activities are not compatible, and one gets in the way of another. When that happens, it would be nice to have a separate playroom for the kids. Do they have a great playroom to use? If not, read on for some expert tips.
Right off the bat, it may be tempting to make this a space for the adults and the kids. Focusing this room on the kids, however, will give all of you several benefits. First, if the room is in constant chaos, swirling with kid action and activities, you can just walk away when it gets to be too much. Go back upstairs and enjoy the peace of the adult areas. The kids are then free to be kids.
Also, it’s natural for kids, especially in groups, to take over an area with no thought for bystanders. In a dedicated playroom, that’s fine! Set it up from the start as a safe space for kids and they’ll have their fun and stay clear of other activities, your activities that no longer have to compete for space in the main room upstairs.
Creating the playroom should be fun for all of you. Get the kids involved and ask what features they’re really like. What space do you have available? Can existing space be reorganized?
Naturally, safety is the first priority, so be careful with corners, whether on furniture or on walls. Electrical needs should be standard, and child-safe outlets are a great idea here. Glass, pottery, mirrors, or any other potentially dangerous items should be eliminated.
Flooring could be a challenge. You want it to be durable and easy to clean, but also cushioned. Thick foam mats might be a perfect choice. Do you have friends who have a playroom? What did they use?
As for walls, sheetrock is relatively inexpensive, easy to repaint and repair, and works well as a bulletin board for projects. Maybe the walls will be a collection of murals, one done by each of the kids.
Open Spaces for Kids to Move
A key design element is creating flexible space. Including plenty of open space gives kids room to move, to run around, to burn off that energy. A couple folding tables, folding chairs, and some shelving would be useful, and good general lighting is always welcome. This approach also leaves room for future needs, whether it’s space for taekwondo practice, a drum kit, pottery wheel, birthday parties, dancing, gymnastics, or whatever.
Whatever furnishings you choose should be safe and stable, and preferably cushioned. It’s also a good idea to have kid-sized furnishings, and those tend to be safer, too. Remember that you can never predict everything that kids will think up, but look around, do your best, and you’ll end up with a safe space.
If you need some help with design and/or construction, what elements to include, what’s possible in your space, remember that professionals are available and have done these projects before. Contact your local Mr. Handyman for more design ideas and suggestions.