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Posted by Casey
In Babies, Dramatic Play, Foundation & Prep, Play Spaces, Preschool, Small World Play, Toddlers   on  June 1, 2020

Well we’ve been settled in our brand new home for just over 3 months now and I cannot believe how much we’ve gotten done in this time. With COVID forcing many to stay home safe and sound, it gave us lots of time to get some big projects started in our forever home.

We knew that getting our combined playroom and office set up was very high on the priority list so Kurtis got stuck into that right away. I’m absolutely thrilled with how this project came together. We purchased a small 3 bedroom home with absolutely no storage so we decided to convert the existing single car garage into a beautiful combined office and play room for the children.

Before I get stuck into the final reveal, let me walk you through the renovation journey! When we moved into the house, we actually hadn’t finalised our settlement. The owner’s couldn’t locate the last piece of paperwork so they allowed us early entry because we had tenants moving into our rental home and needed to get out. This meant we were in our new home for a few weeks before we were allowed to begin any renovations…but the day after that last piece of paperwork came in, Kurtis began the demolition job!

The original garage connected to the kitchen via a door frame and then had an external door out onto the patio. It also had an inbuilt storage room at one end of the room and a temporary wall at the other end of the room hiding the roller door on the other side. We think they probably used it as an extra living room! After a lot of discussion, drawings and sketches and disagreements (hehe), we decided to knock it all out and put one new large window looking out into our backyard. We thought about having big doors at the end opening out onto the patio but decided the wall space was more important!

Kurtis began the demo job with Elliot (4 years), removing all of the internal walls, the back wall and door and the large roller door. We also needed to replace all of the external weatherboards as they had holes in them and weren’t waterproof anymore. Kurtis had a carpenter friend come and help to frame up the new walls and put in new windows.

Once the new walls were up and the new windows were in, Kurtis painted the floor with waterproofing. We also ordered a set of three PAX wardrobes from IKEA to place at the end of the play room. This was to become our storage for all the things I needed for the business as well as all of our toys and art supplies!

Next up, Kurtis finished off the walls and framing. He ordered some VJ boards from Bunnings and cut them all to size. He did the most amazing job finishing off the room – this is when his experience as a painter helped a tonne! The colour on the wall is Taubmans Grey Matter.

Over the coming weeks, we sorted and decluttered our toys and supplies to get them to fit inside the PAX wardrobes. We also ordered some laminate floorboards in Cottage Oak Beige from National Tiles which Kurtis laid himself. Because we planned to use the office for filming video content from time to time, we used acoustic rated underlay to go underneath the boards to help with the echo. The kids were so excited and were in playing on the floors before Kurtis could even finish laying them!

First we moved our desks in! We ordered three ALEX drawer units from IKEA for our desks and then topped them with some pre-fabricated timber boards from Bunnings. Kurtis just added a coat of sealer on top and then secured them to the ALEX drawers with screws. We decided to pop our desks along the wall with the windows so that once our native trees outside grow, we’ll have a beautiful view. This also helps with lighting when we’re creating video content for you guys! This week, Kurtis also added some floating shelves and popped our whiteboard up on the wall so we can plan out content and set our personal goals for each week!

Next it was time to move the furniture in! We popped our bookshelf from Educating Kids and IKEA TROFAST along the wall. You’ll see some beautiful framed artworks created by the kids above these shelves. The frames are just cheap FISKBO frames from IKEA. They’re acrylic and super light. We just attached them with 3M velcro tape so we can take them down and swap the artwork whenever we like. It’s so lovely having their work so proudly displayed in the space!

The TROFAST unit also doubles as a base for lots of small world play. We rotate the theme every few weeks and usually base it off the kid’s interests and requests. At the moment, we have a little dinosaur small world happening with some of our Mini Zoo dinosaurs and felt mats.

The far end of the play room is still a bit of a work in progress. Ideally, we’d like to have space for their play kitchen and a little desk here but we haven’t quite settled on a layout that feels just right yet. We set up this little desk for Lilly when she was doing her home learning here but now she’s back at school, we’re still deciding how to finish off this space. Audrey is just starting to take an interest in the play kitchen and dolls so it’s definitely going to be a great spot to set up a really cosy little dramatic play space!

We absolutely adore our new office and play room. It’s such an inviting room to walk into and I feel my creative juices flowing as soon as I sit down at the desk. It makes such a difference to my productivity when I walk into a space that is well organised and so warm and cosy.

If you have any questions about our play room and office, please do pop them below and I’ll do my best to answer them for you!

About the author

Casey is an early years teacher turned stay at home mum to three little learners aged 6 and under. She is passionate about supporting parents that want to use play as a vehicle to bond with their little learners and create magical memories of childhood! You can follow Casey on Instagram right here.

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