Buyer's Guide: Shopping For A Playroom

Do you want to convert an extra room or create a playroom for your kids? Below are tips for choosing decor and themes, as well as shopping for storage, furniture, bookshelves, seating, tables and chairs, rugs and play mats.

So you're thinking of creating a playroom for your children? If you are lucky enough to have an extra room in your house, a fun-filled playroom is a great way to utilize that space. Planning for your playroom will take a little time, however. Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for a playroom.

--Storage. The number one thing you need to consider when shopping for your playroom is storage. Kids have a lot of toys, many of which contain miniscule pieces. By purchasing an effective storage system, you will keep your children's playroom neat and organized. Playroom storage is available in a variety of ways. If you prefer to have the toys put away and out of view when they are not in use, opt for a cabinet-type storage system or a large toy box. If you want to display the toys, a large bookcase unit may be more to your liking. Stackable wire cubes are another option, and can be purchased at most discount stores. You can also consider using a wooden or plastic "cubby" type storage system.

-- Furniture. There are many children's shops which specialize in playroom furniture. You will pay a premium at most specialty shops, however, so if your budget can't accommodate that, try purchasing furniture at a discount store or a yard sale. You can always paint the furniture or decorate it to match your playroom theme. Try using stencils and paint to add a personalized flair to inexpensive furniture.



-- Bookshelves. Children tend to have a lot of books, so why not create a nook in your playroom to house your child's "library"? A small bookshelf is a great way to keep all of your child's books organized. Bookshelves are also a great way to store stuffed animals, dolls and other toys.

-- High shelves. If your children have some toys that you don't want them to access on their own (think toys with a lot of tiny pieces), consider installing a high wall shelf that only an adult can reach. Your child will have to ask you to get the toys down.

-- Seating. Kids love having their own personal chairs. You can purchase kid-sized arm chairs at toy stores, some discount stores or online. Bean bag chairs are another fun and comfortable seating option.

--Table and chairs. No playroom would be complete without a child-sized table and chair set. Your kids will utilize it time and time again while playing games or doing arts and craft projects. Once again, your budget should be the deciding factor when purchasing a table and chair set. You can buy a basic plastic set at any toy or discount store. You could also purchase an inexpensive plain white set and paint it to match the décor of your playroom. If your budget allows it, specialty shops have some beautiful and unique sets as well.

-- Wall décor. Decorate the walls of your playroom with artwork that is appealing to children. Is there an artist in your family? Consider painting a large mural on one of the walls of your playroom. Don't have a large budget to devote to wall décor? Purchase inexpensive posters and frame them with frames purchased from a discount store. You can also purchase shadow boxes to showcase special childhood mementos. Children's books contain beautiful illustrations-- consider purchasing an extra copy of one of your child's favorite books and use the illustrations as artwork for your playroom.

-- Rugs and play mats. A brightly colored rug or play mat is the perfect finishing touch for your playroom. Choose something durable and comfortable, as your children will spend a lot of time on the play room floor.

Finally, the key to decorating your playroom is to plan ahead and shop until you find exactly what you want at the right price. Peruse high end stores for ideas and then duplicate them using less expensive items. No matter what your budget is, with the right planning you will be able to create the playroom of your child's dreams.

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