It was some time after Christmas that Liz Fourez noticed her kids’ playroom was totally out of control.
“It was unorganized, dysfunctional and a straight-up eyesore,” she wrote on her blog. “I decided it was finally time to get things in order and give the boys a fun space where they could play, create and read together.”
With a tight budget and some DIY ingenuity, Fourez transformed a room filled with stacks of Legos and scattered pieces of train tracks into a cute, functional and totally personal place to play.
Here’s how she did it:
The sorting process
“The first order of business was to get all those toys organized,” she said. That meant throwing away broken and useless stuff, plus donating anything no longer needed. “It is amazing how much these kids accumulate over time,” she said. (No surprise there for any parent!)
From there, the family decided what each drawer would hold and the boys put all their toys away in the the right spots. To make it clear and easy, Fourez created faux-chalkboard medallion tags to label each drawer.
In the empty wall space above the toy storage, Fourez added two shelves to hold some of the boys’ artwork and knick knacks.
Fourez filled the space with whimsical details that cost next to nothing — including a framed giraffe print that was only $1.
In order to encourage her kids’ creativity, she made what she called a “creative center” where they could build Lego structures, color and do crafts. To set it up, she found a $10 school desk at Goodwill, which provides a work surface and storage.
She also took advantage of vertical space by hanging tool organizers from the hardware store on the wall above the desk. On the opposite wall, she hung clear files that she covered in contact paper to hold coloring books.
“The boys are always wanting to draw or build something, and now they have their very own space to do it,” she wrote.
Next to the creative center is a little reading area with a soft rug, a bookshelf full of books and a rocking chair with a comfortable pillow — which Fourez made to match the curtains she also made. She also added a gallery of colorful old records above the reading area “to spice up the boring gray walls.”
Sitting along one wall is what Fourez described as “one of the most brilliant organizing or upcycling ideas I’ve ever come up with.” She turned the changing table into a parking garage for the kids’ toy vehicles!
“Even though ours was a cheap one from Walmart, it had good shelving and was still in great condition once our youngest baby grew out of it,” she said. “Big open shelving like this is perfect for [this purpose]! My boys are little farmers in training, and there is never a shortage of giant tractors in our house that are impossible to store. The boys love ‘parking them in the shed’ at the end of the day.”