If you're like us, walking from your couch to your kitchen means your have to navigate a minefield of toys while attempting to avoid stepping on a stray lego (which is oddly painful). We live in a townhouse, the house we moved into before we got married, and the living room/dining room, like many homes is joined. That dining room space housed my husband's first baby before we actually had kids...his pool table. Alas, it was a sad day when he realized it would have to go to accommodate a play space for our daughter (he was in denial for a while and convinced himself she could just play 'under it'). But eventually, it became more evident we would need a space for her to play. Having a playroom in a living room can present some challenges- mainly keeping it tidy and attempting to maintain a bit of chic when all kid's toys are an explosion of neon plastic (that never stop making noise!!). And though it's far from perfect we've managed to come up with some things that keep our space put together and flow-ish with the rest of our house.
- Attempt minimalism- Sometimes having a smaller space is a blessing in disguise. We literally just don't have that much room for endless toys. Keeping toys minimal is easier said that done, I realize, especially when people buy your kids so many toys (and don't even get me started on Christmas) but our kids really don't need as much as we think they do. We cull regularly toys that aren't being used and donate them. Less stuff just equals less clutter and our kids tend to value their toys more when there's fewer of them.
- Adopt a rotation system- Every few months when our kids are sleeping we put toys in bins and put them upstairs in a closer. After a few weeks or even months we bring them back out and they get treated like new toys.
- Get a good organization system- We laid an IKEA bookshelf on its side and used canvas storage bags that are a perfect fit (it took some scouring to find ones that fit just right) which gets toys off the floor and maximizes storage space.
- Tidy up regularly- At night we pick up all the toys. Sometimes, we're totally over it and decide to let it all go, but the mess just keeps multiplying. Having fewer toys (see #1) makes this a pretty quick job. Since it's a smaller space and everything goes primarily in bins, it makes it simpler...still a chore, but simpler.
- Find toys and products that match your current décor- There are so many brands out there that offer modern, simple, and chic style choices for kid's toys and playroom accessories. From foam playmats that are actually pretty to kid's kitchen sets that are not made entirely of neon, you have a lot to choose from. Here are some brands that generally fit that criteria: Little Nomad, Land of Nod, IKEA, Pottery Barn Kids, Bannor Toys are just some to name a few.
Merging two spaces that have adult and children functions is usually not a simple task, but with some creativity and organization, it's do-able. Comment below with any great tips you've found that work for your family!
*I have no affiliation with any brands mentioned in this post.