Playroom ideas – playful design solutions to spark young imaginations

Playrooms are the one space in the house where you can cut loose and indulge your sense of fun

When choosing a decorating scheme for your child's playroom idea, the more imaginative and colourful the better. It's a dedicated and fun space for your children to spark and develop their little imaginations.

There are a few aspects to think about when planning an imaginative children's room idea. Firstly, compromise; you and your child will probably have different priorities when it comes to decorating the playroom, but try to meet in the middle.

Playroom ideas

So, what playroom design ideas are key? Find ways to create a flexible space that satisfies everyone's needs and requirements. Next, plan for the future as decorating a playroom for a toddler is obviously totally different to creating a chill-out zone for teens. Try to choose furniture that will fit both and that will last through developing and re-decorating!

1. Display fun artwork

play room with grey wall and chairs with toys

(Image credit: Future)

Colourful artwork is a must in children's playrooms as it motivates, inspires and makes a fabulous feature to work around. Katie Thomas, founder of interior design company KTM Design explains. 'First and foremost, design the space for children – not adults. Play with patterns, colours and textures – children learn by observing and exploring their surroundings...Create a focal point and revolve your design around it.'

This brilliant red 'zoo' poster jumps off the soft grey background and is enhanced with colourful vintage-style schoolroom chairs and bright toys.

2. Enlarge the feel of a small playroom

kids play area with white wall and white tent with toys

(Image credit: Future PLC/James French)

If your child/children are lucky enough to own a separate playroom there's a good chance it will be smaller than their bedroom. Make the most of the compact space by choosing a bright and balanced colour scheme that makes the most of light. This playroom with white backdrop and grey flooring is Scandi cool with monochrome fabrics to add depth and texture.

Plain white walls are practical too as they can be easily touched up with spare paint if marked and scuffed from all that play.

3. Include a homework hub

play room with red desk and red chair with coloured rug

(Image credit: Future PLC/Rachael Smith)

As home-schooling is more common, adding a dedicated desk for study a is practical playroom idea. Set up a zone with a sturdy desk and drawers in a light-filled space to motivate your little student. Keep the surface organised with personalised stationery and a notice board for reminders will add interest and colour.

A comfortable desk chair on wheels will make accessing bookshelves easy and fun too.

4. Add a 'chill-out' chair

play room with grey wall and toys with cushion on armchair

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

Providing a comfortable spot for downtime is almost as important as a recreation area in a playroom. A soft armchair or sofa will offer a calm and inviting vibe to a playroom which can often end up looking like a room of toy chaos otherwise. Include plenty of soft cushions and blankets for snuggle time too.

5. Make it multi-functional with a daybed

childrens room with wallpaper on wall and sofa with cushions

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

If you have space, a daybed or sofa bed is a good option if there is room as then the playroom can double as an extra bedroom idea for sleepovers if needed. Bean bags are a good low-budget option, too. Choose a daybed with storage underneath to store extra pillows, linen and fresh fluffy towels for little guests.

6. Introduce natural texture

play room with open shelving and toys storage

(Image credit: Beaumonde)

Whatever your playroom design idea, include plenty of natural materials to add texture, warmth and comfort. It's also a sustainable option; this cute house-shaped rattan bookshelf offers plenty of easily accessible open shelving for toys and storage baskets. Make sure it is safely secured to a wall or floor and continue the look with wooden storage with child-friendly non-toxic paint finishes.

7. Fill up the space with fun fabrics

kids room with cartoon wallpaper and coloured cushions

(Image credit: Prestigious)

Ensure your children enjoy their playroom adventures in comfort with plenty of brightly coloured and patterned fabrics. Go for bold colours that can be easily mixed and matched.

Upholstered floor cushions are a fun playroom idea as they can be used for both lively and peaceful play.

8. Create a den for children to play in

playroom with white wall and white tent with cabinet and carpet flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

Create an area that will ignite your kids imagination with a cosy tent and a play kitchen. Children love nothing more than building a den, but protect your sofa cushions by creating a fabric teepee for your little nippers to play in.

There are plenty of children's tents to buy online, or why not have a got at making one with your children which they can personalise with fabric pens and offcuts.

9. Put together a dressing up corner

kids room with white wall and dress hanging rail on wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Whitmore)

Dressing up boxes might be perfect if you're short on space but why not make a feature out of your little ones princess dresses. Attach a hanging rail to the wall and display the dressing up collection so your daughter or son can transform into their favourite princess or superhero at a moment's notice.

It will also help keep the outfits looking as good as new for when their birthday and halloween come around.

10. Open up your playroom

play room with white wall and huge sash window with toys and rug on floor

(Image credit: Future PLC/Robert Sanderson)

Freshly painted wood and a huge sash window keeps this playroom light and bright with minimal fuss. Give your young ones ample and flexible floor space for imaginative play. Cover hard floors with soft, colourful rugs to create an inviting and vibrant room.

Add plenty of seating so there is space to socialise with friends and to find some quiet chill-out time.

11. Create a blackboard wall or cupboard

kids room with white wall and slate board wardrobe with tv on wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/Barbara Egan)

Let's face it, occasional scribbles on your freshly painted white walls can sometimes be an inevitable part of having small children in the house. So think how pleased they will be when they are actually allowed to do it!

A blackboard wall or cupboard door is not only a fun playroom addition, but the block of strong colour also looks striking against a white background. If messy chalk dust isn't your thing, try whiteboard paint, which has the same function but is a wipeable surface for washable markers. Team with an array of bright accessories to add colour to the playroom.

12. Factor in plenty of toy storage

kids room with baskets on shelves and toys

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

This playroom has had an alcove specially designed with a work station in mind. Two sturdy cupboards support the wooden worktop desk. The wood's rich tones warm up the bright room, while floating shelves above store a multitude of toys in co-ordinating storage. When planning a playroom, think about including a workspace.

From nursery ideas to the teenage rooms a designated space for colouring or homework is a must. Put a corner to good use and add in a low table and child-size chairs. If you don't have much room, try a flip-down wall-mounted table. You'll also need storage for stationery that will keep supplies and creative materials orderly. A moveable trolley is a great solution.

13. Think in themes

kids room with toys and sloped ceiling and rug

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

Once you have the fundamentals sorted you can let your child inject their own personality with decoration and soft furnishings that are easy to update as your child grows. This nautical theme is age-friendly and just a new coat of paint or quick removal of the boat rug will transform the boyish vibe instantly.

14. Factor in a floor mat

kids room with pink floral curtains and green play mat

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

Make floor play child's play and encourage them to use their imaginations with a themed road mat - perfect for driving toy cars and trucks around for hours of fun. Play mats are easy to roll up for storage when not in use, or treat them like a rug and use them to cosy up a wooden or laminate floor. Team with a daybed and a quirky chair in case all that playing becomes too much!

15. Use colour and pattern to add pizzazz

kids room with yellow stripped ceiling and woolen carpet

(Image credit: Future PLC/Melanie Acevedo)

Here's a playroom scheme where things are definitely looking up. The focal point is the bright yellow striped ceiling, which gives a lift to a grown-up monochrome decor. Texture plays a key role in this scheme with a cow hide effect floor covering and sheepskin rugs adding softness under foot and making playtime even more inviting.

16. Use wallpaper offcuts to update a white wall

kids room with tree wallpaper and birdhouse with wooden shoe rack and painted chair

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dan Duchars)

If you want to keep the walls fairly plain, a stand-out feature such as a decorative sticker can add a burst of colour and a playful element, without requiring the room to be totally redecorated as your child grows older. Here, a woodland sticker can even double as a height chart. Carry on the theme with toy birds and a pretty birdhouse to encourage a love of nature.

17. Furnish your playroom with pint size furniture

kids bedroom with chalk board wall and retro table and chair

(Image credit: Future PLC/Brett Charles)

Playing on the floor all the time is no fun - it does little knees no good - so pave the way for school with a dinky sized table and chairs that are perfect for doing jigsaws, or painting and drawing. And this retro table and chair set ticks all the style boxes as it's an on-trend grown-up design scaled down for tots. Choose furniture in white and it's guaranteed to work in any scheme, whether a boys or girls bedroom idea.

18. Invest in a unique bed

kids bedroom with timber treehouse and striped wall with green rubber floor

(Image credit: Future PLC/Paul Massey)

Be creative with furniture or try adding a tent or den. Here a cabin children's bed has been turned into its own capsule playroom in the form of a timber treehouse-style structure ready for adventure. Vibrant blue-and-white striped walls ooze creativity and vibrancy, while a quirky coloured mattress makes a modern alternative to chill-out bean bags. A funky green rubber floor gives the impression of grassy fields and makes a safe alternative to hard floor.

19. Incorporate low-level furniture

childrens room with white wall and colourful storage box

(Image credit: Future)

Accessible storage at the right height is a key element for keeping the room organised and inviting little ones to help tidy the space. Zone it off and arrange it by theme, so it is simple for children to identify what goes where. Keep it low level so it's easy to access (and tidy away) and perhaps incorporate the storage into spaces, such as under a window to make sure it's tucked away.

20. Create a cosy reading nook

kids play room with white wall and toy bag with red cushion

(Image credit: Future PLC/James French)

Reading and picture books are a vital part of your child's development and giving them a playroom with a place to take time out and practice there reading is just important as a space for lively play. Find a light corner and fill it with plenty of accessible books. Then make the area inviting with soft seating, cushions, bean bags and perhaps a cuddly friend or two. The wooden letters on the shelves are a perfect addition if your child is still learning to read and occasionally needs a little extra help with there letters.

21. Make it memorable

kids room with artwork on wall and white wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

Displaying children's treasured artwork is a must, create a corner where they can be shown off. A table beneath makes it easier for little ones to get involved. Add colourful frames that can easily be updated. Lengths of string attached to the walls and pegs is a great playroom idea for fresh drying paintings.

What should be in a playroom?

Playroom essentials include organised toy storage ideas that are safely secured and easily accessible for children to reach and tidy themselves when encouraged. As floor play is a vital part of children's development cushioned mats, soft rugs and oversized floor cushions are a good playroom idea.

A small table and chair are practical for crafting along with a set of drawers for supplies. Lastly, older children will benefit from a desk and notice board for homework and academic interests.

How do you make a playroom?

A playroom can be anywhere in the home that has been transformed into a dedicated space for children to express themselves through creative stimulation. If you are lucky enough for a separate room fantastic but other playroom idea areas can be created by converting a garage, wasted space under the stairs or even allocating a zoned area of the living room.

How do you make a playroom in your living room?

Allocating an area of the living room as a playroom may seem an extravagance but it will mean toys will hopefully be kept confined in one place rather than sprawled all over the house. Carve out a corner or zone with low storage that suits the rest of the living room scheme. Include, a space for floor play and if possible a surface for crafting and scholarly.

Deputy Editor

Jennifer is the Deputy Editor (Digital) for Homes & Gardens online. Prior to her current position, she completed various short courses a KLC Design School, and wrote across sister brands Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes, Country Homes & Interiors, and Style at Home.