Like most people, I used to use my basement as just another storage room. I didn’t pay much attention to its organisation or tidiness – I just used it to put away all the things I thought I might need someday (but deep down knew I probably wouldn’t).
However, when my kids started needing more room for playing, I started reconsidering the purpose of our basement. My initial thought was something along the lines of how nice it would be to have a room where they can make a mess that wouldn’t affect the rest of the household. And then it came to me – why not the basement? It’s large enough for a playroom, and it’s high time I got rid of all the things I obviously no longer need. So, the project began.
First, I thought about the décor theme, and I wanted something that would be fun yet a bit more neutral, so we don’t have to remodel the entire basement when our kids get tired of it. With that in mind, cartoon characters and toy brands were out, and we settled for a nature-related theme with lots of birds painted on the walls, as our kids love animals. Then, we looked for furniture that is both comfortable and durable, because we all know it would take some beating. Plus, as the kids grow, some of the furniture pieces will probably have to be updated as well, so my advice is not to overspend on this part.
For the flooring, I chose tiles combined with a soft carpet. Tiles are much easier to clean if something gets spilt, and since my kids love playing with their toys on the floor, a soft carpet was pretty much a must. Plus, I felt like the tiles alone would make the room look too sterile, and a carpet can also come in handy if the kids trip and fall, so it was about both functionality and aesthetics.
Then, there was some wiring to be done, as there was only one overhead light in the room, and it wasn’t the best one. Since I am from Australia, and you’re not supposed to do any electric work on your own here, I called a professional electrician from Western suburbs to help me set up a few more light sources and ensure that everything is perfectly safe for my kids.
Next, if you’re building any room for kids, you want it to have plenty of storage, trust me. I had no idea how many toys they had until I started moving them to their new playroom. So, I added a few extra cabinets and some shelves as well. It really comes in handy when organising things, and you can never really have too much storage.
Finally, even though the basement is connected to our kitchen, and I did my best to childproof it, I don’t think I would be comfortable just letting them play there all day on their own, so I needed a reason to spend time there as well. I wanted to build a small home gym at first, but since our basement is not that big, it had to be something simpler. So, I figured since I love reading, I can build myself a small reading nook in the corner. This way, I can read a book, enjoy my coffee, and still keep an eye on my kids without worrying about them knocking something over or making too much mess in the living room. It was a win-win for all of us.
All in all, if you’re thinking about turning your basement into a playroom for your kids, I hope my experience can give you some ideas. Just keep in mind that it is meant for your kids mainly, so let them make a few age-appropriate choices, and your new basement might even become your new favourite room in the house.