Shana’s Playroom Reveal!!


It’s no secret that we LOVE to PLAY!!!  At least as much as the kids do; sometimes more!  Nor that one of our favorite ways to play is in home design!

It’s also no secret that we TME moms love Montessori principled homes.  It’s such a mind-blowingly magnificent base and super easy to work into kid play spaces especially:  everything in its place, simple multi-use materials, all set at ‘kid-level’ so that they can manage independently:  the play and the clean-up!

This room wasn’t so much a challenge as it was an opportunity for fun!  S said, “A, our playroom lacks soul.  It’s a great space with great light and great stuff in it, it’s mostly organized but it’s just not…i don’t know…fun, warm, comfy, cozy enough???”

And so we added some warm, comfy, cozy and lots and lots of fun!

(FUN)ction First:

The sofa serves triple duty:

playroom layout

  • 1-  It’s a comfy space to cuddle for movies (and to play the video games that we hold-out for)!
  • 2-  It’s actually a futon, and flattens to a comfy bed for extra sleep-over space!
  • 3-  It’s a great landing pad for kids that fly-off of or drop from the indoor jungle gym!

The table and chairs also serve triple duty:

playroom ideas

  • 1-  They are the homework station alternative to a desk.  It’s more collaborative, less serious, more fun! Yet still a calm, dedicated space where R can retreat to work through the craziness that is loads of 4th grade homework!
  • 2-  They are also great for chess and board game playing and for builiding legos!
  • 3-  They are a super sweet place for morning coffee and chocolate and to place welcome flowers!

The stools are also on triple duty and working hard at playing and fun:

playroom ideas for 10 year olds

  • 1-  The stools are as much launch pads to climb up to the jungle gym!
  • 2-  And they are fantastic footstools for chilling hard!
  • 3– And they are extra seating when there are tons of kids (and parents) playing in the room, Hello Friyay!!!!

Translucent bins make it super easy for kids to play and to restore order:

playroom ideasplayroom ideas

Kids can see their many options.  So, so many options!!!   And bins make it super easy for kids to clean-up.  Who cares if they put things back in exactly the right bin?  The idea is:  return all like items to a bin:  blocks here, Magnatiles here, Legos here, people in this one, vehicles in this one, dress-up clothes in this one.  Voila!  Room restored to playful, colorful, fun, peace!

The indoor jungle gym is everyone’s favorite!!!

playroom ideas for 10 year oldsindoor jungle gym

We live in a city.  And the kids aren’t old enough to be told to take a basketball to the park or to go to the playground by themselves yet.  This space gives them all plenty of ways to work their physical energy out in-doors:  climb the rocks, swing from the bars and swings, climb the rope, fly onto the sofa and stools!!!  They drape fabric from the bars to make forts, they have contests and races up the rock wall and through Parkour ‘courses’ that they design in their own minds and that work their upper body and core strength hard!  They encourage one another and teach each other ‘tricks’ and they feel ‘safe’ trying all sorts of new things b/c they land on a soft, thick, under-padded carpet or on the sofa.  So they dare to try all sorts of crazy moves and they have a blast doing so-safely!

Design challenges and opportunities a-plenty:

indoor jungle gymkids playroom organization

kids book organization


The room includes a ‘retired’ chimney.  We needed to work around that and used the space to add some built in reclaimed wood and white shelves for additional storage.  The room also had two not-so-pretty hinged-doors that were just obstacles.  We replaced those two doors with barn door sliders to maximize space and painted them a fun color!  And we added a full length mirror on the wall between them.  The kids have fun seeing themselves playing on the jungle gym, they love checking-themselves-out in the mirror in dress up clothes, and the effect of opening and closing the sliders for the kids is basically creating a theatrical stage.  The mirror and sliders also help the room feel bigger and maximize the light.

If nothing else, we hope this room inspires you to say YES to FUN and PLAY!!!!  Go big!!!  Make good use of every inch and then enjoy every bit of it! For more fun ideas for kids, check out our kid style blogs!

xo A


  1. my daughter is now 25 and I am pretty sure she would still have a blast in this room. Thanks for sharing. Your kids are fortunate to have such generous parents who are working hard to help them have a childhood to remember.

    • Sweetest appreciation note ever, thank you! And yes, the kids absolutely appreciate each other, their folks, their friends, their space and their lives-for sure! And truth be told, I’m 43 and have as much fun in there as they do! xo A

  2. My biggest question is, how hard was it to install that stuff on the ceiling? How do you know it’s sturdy? And is it going to leave big ugly holes when you take it out? Same for the climbing wall. Are those screwed directly into the sheetrock or did you cover the sheet rock with something? I’ve imagined something like this in our house, but we are just so DIY illiterate that it scares me off.

    • As a DIYer and climber, I’d say the holds go into plywood – 5/8″ is probably fine but 3/4″ would be better (as for most things. :). You use T-nuts from the backside of the plywood, so you can screw the holds in from the front – use plenty of randomly placed T-nuts so you can switch up the holds! Then the plywood gets screwed into the wall studs, and painted. Annmarie can probably clarify if I’m wrong! As for the ceiling bar, it looks like it goes into regularly spaced ceiling joists, but the trick is finding those darn joists. I am in the middle of a renovation, and just did pull-ups (well, one pull-up) on a 2×2 piece of framing (that’s small!) that was held to the wall by only two framing nails. So joists (which are 2×8 or something akin) are super strong for hanging things.
      And yes, there will be holes, but a bit of patch compound does wonders.

      • You are hired! All true. The climbing wall is on plywood on masonry. The hanging bars are in the ceiling joists-so they actually determined where everything else in the room went. The room needed work on the walls and ceiling anyway, so we took full advantage of those being open in those two places!

  3. This is amazing!!! I absolutely love it. Thank you for giving me a template to send my husband. I wanted an indoor swing for the kids and he looked at me like I lost my mind. This post will show him how doabe and not-insane it is!

    • Sometimes we (and by we, I mean Shana) all need a visual. And we like to think of this as crazy good. We’re the good kinda crazy. And you are too! xoxo a

  4. This. Is. Amazing. Seriously amazing!!! You guys rock! And if you’re ever looking for a slightly older crowd of kids to hang with, you know where to find me! ? Haha!

  5. Could you source the ceiling pull up bars? We are getting ready to replace the old knob and tube electrical wiring in our 1920 house- which means basically ripping out our plaster ceiling. Turning lemons into lemonade if we could add some playroom panache!!

  6. Amazing playroom! Cam you please share how to make the indoor climbing wall
    And where you purchased the monkey bars and other accessories. I would love to create something similar for my girls. Thank you.

  7. I have had this article saved since the day it was posted, knowing we had a playroom project coming up … and it’s finally time to do ours! Thank you for the inspiration!!! Can you tell me how the couch is holding up? My son (6) is a jumper and I worry he will destroy it quickly … thanks for any insight!

    • Plenty of jumpers in S’s house, many of them bigs, and sofa is doing A OK so far! Good luck with your playroom project! xo A

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