Back in January we tackled our latest home project to convert the main floor’s front room from a children’s playroom to a family den (sans TV). I hinted at our progress a while ago, and now that we’ve lived in this space for a few weeks, today’s the day for the reveal.
Basically, we started with a mess of toys and clutter. (This is an old photo of everything cleaned up. This was never the regular look. Ha!)
And now we have a cozy family space for impromptu game nights, nightly readings (currently Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), and adult conversation after the kids are in bed. Even the dog has enjoyed it because she can monitor the front of the house out the window while lounging on the couch. She doesn’t even get up to woof half the time anymore.
So what did we do to make this look happen? Well, besides a lot of reorganization in this room that rippled to other rooms and closets, not too much.
- We painted the walls Owl Gray. The trim was refreshed and painted a shade of ivory to match the rest of the house.
- I ordered furniture for delivery, including the bookcases (Ikea), blue chairs (Ikea), black side table (Ikea), nested coffee table (Amazon), and rug (Costco). We brought up the couch (La-Z-Boy) from the basement.
- I largely shopped the house for many of the odds and ends as well as items to start filling the bookcases. Having the games on display adds to the vibe of the room and also encourages the kids to pick one up. I’ll play a board game any time over video games or imaginative play.
- My husband set up the bookcase lights. He also linked all of the room’s lights to our Alexa, so we can control them using our voice. Alexa turns individual lights or the whole room on or off, and she can even dim the lights to a given percentage. You could set timers or routines too (like whenever you’re in bed the lights shut off or when you arrive home the lights come on), but we haven’t done that for this room.
That’s really about all we had to do. After living in the space for a while, I can attest that I love it. It was a good move for our family. I find that everyone else in the family follows me around the house, so if I come here after dinner, they follow. The set up of the furniture in one corner of the room (rather than filling the whole space and leaving large gaps between furniture) encourages conversation and makes gameplay easier. The coffee table frequently becomes a place to play cards. And by having a nesting coffee table, we can have drinks on one and the game board or puzzle on the other.
There are many evenings where I retreat to the den after the kids are in bed to listen to a podcast and cross stitch or read a book. Without a TV in the room, I’m not tempted to zone out in front of it. I’ve finding that my TV viewing is more intentional, which is my preference. All in all, I’m a happy camper.
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