We recently moved into a new house with a couple extra spaces than what we had been accustomed to. My immediate thoughts were “Oooh, finished basement, man cave. Oooh, even more space, man cave plus playroom!” The kids (who still aren’t really old enough to do anything in the bathroom on their own) get their own bathroom! There is an extra living space! Sitting room. A sitting room!
Yeah, right. The extra sitting room became the actual living room. The ideal living room became the playroom. It’s tucked away just enough that the toys aren’t within view of the front door or even from the living room. If it’s picked up enough, it’s not really even visible from the garage entry or the kitchen. My husband was right, it’s the ideal playroom.
In the eight years that my husband and I have been together we have moved six different times (he has moved seven). This doesn’t include a few extended stays in Canada with his family (three) or here with mine (three), or the three apartments and two different houses we’ve been in since moving back to Cincinnati. This was the first house we bought and I intended to do something awesome with it. My kids finally had a space all their own and I wanted it to be the best playroom you’ve ever seen.
There’s a theme in my kids’ bedrooms. It’s a little Aztec, Native American, wilderness feeling. I wanted their playroom to reflect this. If you were to check out my Playroom board on Pinterest, you’d get the idea. I also wanted something that reflected that my husband and I have lived overseas and a love of travel I want to instill in both of my children.
I scoured Pinterest, took inspiration from my girlfriend’s house and playroom (she’s an amazing interior designer), and watched one too many Fixer Uppers in hopes that Joanna Gaines would rub off on me a little. It didn’t exactly work.
The map wallpaper you find all over Pinterest, it’s so cool. But there are 1,000 options! Each of those 1,000 options comes in 4,367 color schemes. If you do the math, that’s 8,432,567,890 choices (I think). Even if I settled on something, I saw a new picture the next day that was even better and then it would throw my whole color scheme off. It couldn’t be too girly or too boy-y (is that a word?) because I have both! I also didn’t want it to be some place that was so picture perfect that I got anxiety when the inevitable bomb went off.
I think I’ve moved the furniture around 10 times in the six months we’ve lived in this house. I’ve had to scale back on how often I search the web because it makes me cringe. Now we have a couch in there that must go. There were bare walls for months because I just couldn’t make up my mind. My desk initially shared the room, now I’ve tucked myself back in the closet. Literally. A two and a half foot wide, seven foot tall closet has become my work area. There has been no rug, an ABC rug, now a patterned rug. The curtains have changed, the fireplace painted, a bookshelf from my son’s room moved down into it. A table and chairs has gone from corner to corner, now it’s in the center of the room. There’s a new bench.
In all of this Pinterest-ing, design anxiety, and change after change, the kids have never cared. Their toys are accessible, they have a place to color and play with play-doh. The only thing that has affected them is when I painted the fireplace. Even then, only because they just couldn’t wait for it to dry and we had white footprints along the hardwood floor for a bit. That was fun.
I’m done obsessing over it. It will come along as I find pieces that accommodate my growing kids. Toys will come and go, interests will change, these two kids will have their own ideas of what they want and it won’t matter what I’ve pinned or dreamed up myself. Designing the perfect Pinterest playroom just doesn’t matter. Having a place my kids can call their own does.