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

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.


fire place and ceiling lamp

(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.


play room with wall lamp and chair

(Image credit: Future PLC/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.

toy bus and toy house

(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.

Tidlo Wooden Country Play Kitchen |£144.99, at Amazon

Tidlo Wooden Country Play Kitchen |£144.99, at Amazon

Kids will love this country-style play kitchen, designed with a taller work surface for years of play.
With an oven and hob, click dials, cupboard, sink, and clock, little ones will have hours of fun cooking up their own delicacies.

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.

dining table with chair

(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?

Millie Hurst
Senior Content Editor

Millie Hurst was Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home from 2020-2022, and is now Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. Before stepping into the world of interiors, she worked as a Senior SEO Editor for News UK in both London and New York. You can usually find her looking up trending terms and finding real-life budget makeovers our readers love. Millie came up with the website's daily dupes article which gives readers ways to curate a stylish home for less.