Smart Storage Strategies Curb the Mess in This Family's Colorful Playroom
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.
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 woven bins in built-in shelves corral party supplies.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.