It’s a little more than six months since we moved house and I can now reveal that project playroom is complete. In fact, it was finished a few days before Christmas but it has taken me a while to get round to posting an update about how it all went. Part of my excuse is the lack of any bright daylight around to photograph the room, as I wanted it to look its best and on the days when I’ve been off work it has mostly been grey and dreary, just typical January!
I’m so pleased with how it turned out and the space is working really well for us as a family. The room was originally a single garage joined onto the side of the house which had been semi-converted into a room.
From the outside it still looked like a garage, which a non-working door on the front and plasterboard on the inside. The floor was covered in laminate but there was no insulation and it was dark, cold and pretty unusable. In summer it was ok, but in winter you could see your breath in there, and even Florence, who is three, was telling her friends about her ‘cold playroom!’
You could access the room from the kitchen as the previous owners had made a doorway there, but there was a step down into the room and no natural light apart from from the glazed back door.
The work I had done was as follows:
Remove the garage door and plasterboard behind, and replace with an exterior wall and window.
Remove the plasterboard inside the room and replace with insulated plasterboard.
Insulate the floor and bring to the same level as the kitchen, removing the step down.
Insulate the roof and board out the loft space, adding a loft ladder to create easy access storage.
Add some electrical sockets and move existing ones.
Plaster the interior.
Lay new laminate flooring and add skirting boards.
Decorate the interior with white emulsion.
I’ve been left with a light, airy room which feels like a real extension of our living space. When we first moved in we did use it as a playroom, but it was more of a dumping ground for toys which lacked organisation and order.
There’s nothing like moving a room full of stuff and storing it around your house to make you feel like your home has shrunk! Just like in the children’s book A Squash and a Squeeze, the house felt so much bigger once we’d regained the playroom and I could get the living room back to a nice calm, more grown-up haven.
As this happened the day school broke up for Christmas, it meant we could get the room sorted, the house tidied and a tree up just in time for some festivities.
It’s taken a few weeks to get things in place but now it’s really starting to feel like one of my favourite rooms in the house. The window has made so much difference, the light it brings in is lovely and really makes it feel like an extension rather than a conversion.
The builder I used to do the work – Lee from Gray’s in Burley-in-Wharfedale – was fantastic and there were absolutely no snags throughout the project. I’m so pleased with how he matched up the stone on the outside of the house so the window and wall at the front look like they’ve always been there.
The loft space is great too and has meant I’ve been able to store some of those boxes I had hanging around from the move.
The finished room is kind of a multi-purpose area for all of us. It is primarily a playroom and really handy space for Flo’s dolls house, the toy cupboard, and a perfect place for teatime discos, of which we’ve had a few!
It’s also serving as an office for me as I now have a desk and writing area, right next to the window to maximise that natural light. My desk from Kit Out My Office is so handy and I love having that bit of the room for me. It will be perfect for a homework area as the children get older too.
Above the desk I have some gorgeous shelves from Cox and Cox, which are great for displaying pictures, plants and postcards, whatever I feel like really. These are called wood and metal industrial shelves and are £50 for two. I like having decorative shelves so I can switch up some of my favourite things and give the room a slightly different look when I feel like it.
The main piece of furniture in the room is the wooden storage cupboard from Habitat, a saviour for storing away toys, games and stray Lego. I’d really love a sofa in here one day as the plan is to add a wall-mounted TV for the kids to watch DVDs and play games when Sam manages to convince me to buy him a console, I’m not quite there yet!
In the meantime I have a few bright cushions and these really cool bean cubes from Room to Grow. They are called Mini B-Boxes and are covered in handy stretchable, cleanable, waterproof PU fabric in bright pink and blue. They are available in 11 colour options but these are the ones my children chose and I think they look great in the room. You can actually use them as seats or tables, or even footstools if you put them next to a sofa! They are a great addition to our new play space.
The corner of the room is housing the tumble drier, which I don’t have room for in the kitchen, and is also a good spot for drying laundry when I’m out during the day and it’s not warm enough to use the washing line.
If you’re thinking of converting a garage into a family room I would absolutely say do it. It’s been a brilliant move for us and although it cost around £7,000 to complete I have no doubt it has added value to the house. Although I’m using it as a playroom it would also make a great study, dining room or second lounge.
You can always check out my Pinterest board if you’re looking for more inspiration.
Just in case you haven’t seen the previous posts – here is a photo of how it looked in progress.
Thanks to Room to Grow and Cox and Cox for sending me the bean bags and shelves to see how we liked them. We do!