Removing a fireplace transformed this tired space into a colourful modern playroom

A wall mural and smart storage took this room from drab to fab
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  • Two DIY lovers created a stunning playroom by removing a bulky old fireplace to turn a former snug into a child-friendly space on a budget.

    The room previously looked like a time warp into the 80s. However, it has been completely transformed with lots of playful playroom ideas including a mural, kids’ kitchen, and upcycled storage solutions.

    Modern playroom makeover

    Laura Crombie and her husband Rian, who live in a four-bed detached house in Worcestershire with daughter, Sophie, 3, are both serial renovators. They wanted to have a space in the house that would house Sophie’s toys, but also be a space that would grow with her.


    playroom before makeover with fireplace and old fashioned curtains and lighting

    Image credit: Laura Crombie

    The couple did all the work themselves, and a lot of work was needed before it could be transformed into the dream modern playroom makeover it is now. The original space featured yellow textured wallpaper and a bulky brick fireplace.

    Laura and Rain got to work stripping the wallpaper, adding new skirting and foam coving, and even moving light fittings and sockets to create a blank canvas to work on.

    ‘Stripping the wallpaper from every surface was the worst as it’d been painted over so many times!’ Laura told Ideal Home.


    playroom after makeover with large colourful rug, mural and pink wall

    Image credit: Laura Crombie

    Laura and Rian removed the fireplace to make it safer for Sophie, but this can easily be reversed in the future as it’s just boarded over. Once the room had been stripped back the fun part starts, decorating it with the best children’s room ideas.

    The couple opted for a playful feature wall idea with a safari-themed mural from Munks & Me. The rest of the walls were painted in a dusty pink to complement the mural and give the space a colourful but modern finish.

    a bright blue cabinet used for playroom storage

    Image credit: Laura Crombie

    The thrifty pair not only saved money on the playroom makeover by doing all the work themselves but shopped smart to keep the project on budget. They started buying items in the sale 12 months before the room was finished to save money, picking up the wall lights and the large Berber-style rug from last Black Friday.

    They also made the most of the items they already had, upcycling a sideboard with turquoise paint to create a handy toy storage solution. The house desk, available at Sklum is the perfect playful finish to the smart playroom.

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    Laura adds that the pocket door system was one of the best things they did while renovating their entire house. ‘It takes 10cm off the kitchen-diner, but means we don’t have doors opening into the room,’ Laura explains.

    pocket doors in playroom

    Image credit: Laura Crombie

    This is a great option with kids, as the doors slide away into the new wall cavity when not in use. The playroom leads off from their open-plan kitchen-diner so the glass doors mean they can keep an eye on Sophie while she plays.

    It just goes to show that sometimes an old fireplace just needs to go so you can make the most of the space you have. Have you been inspired to give your kids’ room or playroom a refresh?

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