An inviting playroom encourages pint-size fun with clever built-ins, hidden storage, and generous work areas.

This room is meant for play, not endless meals. For homeowners Carissa and Eddie Chu and their three kids (plus one more on the way), maintaining harmony depended on keeping clutter at bay in shared spaces. Carissa worked with designer Rona Graf, principal of Grace Blu Interior Design, to ensure their playroom weaves together smart built-ins, open floor space, and a cozy reading nook.

three young children dining table chairs banquette books
Ellie, Kenzie, and Dominic use the large dining room table for crafts projects.
| Credit: Edmund Barr

Instead of piles of toys, Carissa prioritized books, blocks, and crafts supplies. "If the space is uncluttered, the kids will use what they have in more meaningful ways," she says.

gray lined basket party supplies storage detail
Credit: Edmund Barr

Gray woven bins in built-in shelves corral party supplies.

sliding glass doors looking into bright fun playroom pink couch
Credit: Edmund Barr

New double-pane glass doors dampen noise and allow adults to chat uninterrupted in the dining room while keeping an eye on kids in the playroom.

playful playroom pink sofa bright colors animal heads blocks table
Credit: Edmund Barr

The playful flamingo-pink sleeper sofa is stain-treated to stand up to daily use. A large coffee table repurposed for the playroom serves as a favorite place for building with blocks and working on school assignments.

pink sofa floor-to-ceiling bookcase chalkboard pillow playroom
Credit: Edmund Barr

Built-ins maximize vertical space for the family's book collection and make good use of odd-shaped areas. To-dos are listed on the black magnetic board; magnetic clips hold each child's artwork in place. Books kids can interact with are stashed on low shelves; special volumes are up higher.

young boy stacking blocks table girl window seat book
Credit: Edmund Barr

Drawers under the built-in bench stow toys that don't need to be out all of the time. The drawers come with a soft-close mechanism so the kids can put items away at the end of the day without any banging—or hurt fingers.

yellow Eames-style chairs corner desk playroom shelving graphic wallpaper
Credit: Edmund Barr

Carissa wanted the kids to have their own work spaces, so Graf installed a stained-wood counter at desk height. It jogs around the nook's perimeter and along one side of the room, fashioning a landing space for necessities. "I like to put school supplies like markers and pencils out where they are readily available," Carissa says. Upper cabinets store messy crafts supplies—so kids can't reach them.

neon party sign playroom open shelving counter space jars
Credit: Edmund Barr

A neon "party" sign lights up the playroom and echoes one of the children's favorite lines from Mo Willems' book I Am Invited to a Party. Shallow shelves above the counter display books face-forward as kid-friendly art.

detail built-in white shelving paper supplies clear acrylic bins organizers
Credit: Edmund Barr

Adjustable shelves make the most of available space inside cabinets. Clear containers gather small supplies in one place, and lidless bins store markers and pens. Labeled, stackable acrylic trays organize different types of paper.

detail white shelves wood counter craft supplies toys storage
Credit: Edmund Barr

A mix of container types, including painted galvanized buckets, glass canisters, and cloth bins, works together to create flexible storage for art supplies and toys. Puzzles are stacked by age level. Young kids can easily pull out handled bins when they need to.


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