A friend of mine came to me a while back and asked if I could help create a "playroom" in her basement. The real challenge though was that the basement was an unfinished basement and we were on a very tight budget so finishing it was not an option.
As you can see by unfinished, we are talking cement floors and walls and exposed wood beams on the ceiling.
She already had a lot of toys down there but it wasn't exactly conducive for a little girl's play space.
There was also an area under the stairs being used as storage that she didn't want her daughter to get into and play with.
Well, as I mentioned we were on a very tight budget so I was stumped for a bit about what to do for the cement walls. Until I found 8 x 4' sheets of pegboard being sold on Craigslist for $10 a sheet. I bought 4 and painted each a different fun bright color, and with help from my husband, hung them from the ceiling beams with hooks and wire.
We hung them in various spots around the room to sort of divide the room into centers or types of play.
The pink board near the window became the dress up and house area. The curtains were from Ikea and were also hung on a rod from one of the ceiling beams as well.
So we hung the pegboard horizontally on this wall and hung dress up clothes and accessories using pegboard hooks and inexpensive buckets.
Sorting like with like and adding labels to what she already had helped give everything a home.
The green board became the art area, again using pegboard hooks to hang buckets--this time to hold art supplies and inexpensive clips to display artwork.
A little table and alphabet mat that she already had, a ClosetMaid organizer we found for $15 on Craigslist, and a easel from Ikea help to define the space.
The orange pegboard became the games and puzzle area. The large canvas bins (from the $ spot at Target) were used to hold games and puzzles. The plastic organizer thing to the right, she already owned, so we used it for a variety of little toys such as Dora miniatures and play cars. It also helped to separate the next space.
The final area of the playroom was reading area. We used the blue pegboard to hang inexpensive gutters which make excellent bookshelves. The pink hanging thing (from Ikea) holds stuffed animals.
And the little Dora couch she already owned became the perfect cozy spot to read a good book.
Remember this area that was full of a lot of things a little girl shouldn't play with?
We used two of these plastic curtains from Ikea (again hung from the ceiling) to separate the space. That way it was still accessible but not in plain view.
So there you have it, a fun, colorful, organized playroom created on a very small budget in a completely unfinished space. With a little creativity and help from my great friends, such as Ikea and Craigslist, we were able to add a lot of life and meaning to this space. My friend hit it on the head when she told me that after we completed this room, her daughter's play was so much more organized. She no longer just got everything out and dumped it on the floor. She actually "played" with it. Defining kids play areas gives their toys/things more of a purpose and can really help promote imaginative play. It also becomes much easier to keep it neat and organized because everything has its place and makes sense.