More, and more clients with young children are using spaces in their homes for playrooms that were originally intended for more formal areas like living rooms, or studies. I think this shift makes perfect sense. It provides a practical solution for young families in getting the best use of their spaces. 

That said, it does create a few design challenges. The biggest one being the potential mess and chaos of a playroom being one of the first things you see when you walk in the front door. With some thoughtful and careful planning though, these concerns can be lessened.

Take for instance the Shake Front Project, almost immediately to the left of the front door is what was intended to be the living room but is now being used as the playroom. Here’s what we did to get the best function from the space while still making it presentable from the entry.


  • Coordinate rugs and large upholstery patterns and colors with the general color scheme that is being used throughout the rest of the house. The neutrals will lessen the visual chaos and clutter by providing non-competing backgrounds for the colorful toys and accessories.

  • Just as you would do for other spaces in your house, mix furniture so it’s not all from the same collections, or company.

  • Include grown-up furniture too so the space can function as both a playroom, and a gathering spot for families.

  • Use stylish storage, like natural fiber baskets that would feel at home in any other rooms of your house.

  • Include multi-use pieces like poufs that can be used for a play table for children, or an ottoman for adults.

  • Incorporate pin-up wall lamps for beautiful illumination of lamp lighting while keeping them secure during rambunctious play.

  • Choose art that would be interesting to kids but could also transition into other spaces of the house.



  • Leave plenty of clear floor space for play by positioning most of the furniture around the perimeter of the room.

  • Place the furniture in a balanced way so each piece relates well to the next, just as you would do in other rooms of your house.

  • Avoid blocking windows with furniture.



Do you see the theme weaving these tips together? The commonality is that aside from the toys in the space, for the bulk of the selections go with furniture and accessories that would transition well in other rooms of the house. This approach will create a more refined and ordered look from the entry.

For tips on designing a nursery, go here. Thanks for following along!