So when we moved to Boston, we downsized quite a bit. That included the toys, furniture, and overall stuff. And that was a great thing because we wound up finding and moving into a living space about half of the size. We decided to make an enclosed porch playroom because it kept the clutter in our house at bay, there were windows looking into the room, and i just seemed right. However, the carpet was red and from the 60s, there wasn’t much space, and it seemed daunting. But here’s how we made it work.
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First and foremost we decided to go with a nautical Americana theme. Why? because we don’t currently have the money to remodel, but rather went the redecorate route. This way we could embrace some of the dated styles like paneling and not be quite so upset about the bright red carpet.
I tried to focus on bringing in a lot of the dark blue colors to offset the offensive red, and in the end, I am fairly pleased with the result until we can afford to do a little more with the carpet, paneling, and shelving issues.
How we managed the small space issue in making an enclosed porch playroom
We bought some large nautical beach bags
As mentioned, buying a house kind of wiped out any funds we would have to truly make over our house. But we’re happy with it being livable even if some of it is fairly ugly for a time. So while I would love to include some shelving along the wall(s), we opted for some very large beach bags.
They’re accessible, inexpensive, and help bring the blue color into the room. I also got a big blue whale hooks for them to hang on (once we get it installed). It will allow toys to be off the floor and even the bags to be off the floor since it’s a narrow space.
We purchased items with multiple uses in mind
We have some plastic totes that I use for you rotation that also double as a base for a crib mattress that we use for a reading nook. This means the toys are inaccessible, but stored easily, and it doesn’t have to look like garage space or storage space. In time, I plan to build a box around it so they can’t be seen, or use an old crib to make a bench to also hide the tubs. But for now it works!
We also bought a small train table. And by small, I truly mean the smallest one I have ever seen. I was originally hating that we had a train set because it was hard to store, but she loved it so much. The train table gave us a place to store it and was small enough to also serve as an activity table for coloring, building block, and more. The two pieces that hide the internal storage have a scene on one side but are a basic green on the other.
Design features that made an uninviting space more comfortable
As with many enclosed porches, it wasn’t the prettiest. Thankfully though, a lot of kids stuff has red in it, so it wasn’t a horrible stretch to make an enclosed porch playroom.
We added a map rug which broke up have SO MUCH red carpet. And then w included some navy blue pillows (one with anchors on it) as accent pieces and to also break up some of the color. The toy bags mentioned above do the same.
Then some design elements, we added a ship wheel on the wall, the whale hooks, and a few small sailboat and nautically-inspired pieces to the room.
In the end we have a very functional enclosed porch playroom that keeps the kids’ toys and “stuff” segregated from the rest of the house. For more ideas, check out my pinterest board and more of my own related posts below.
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Kara is an author, wife, and mother of 3 children living in Boston, MA. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and even helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!