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Emily Henderson

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by Emily Henderson
Suzanne's Sophisticated Childrens Playroom Makeover Neutral Kids Blue Grey Emily Henderson-087

Styling a kid-friendly space in an open plan house can seem tough at first, especially when you don’t want to forfeit “style” for practicality. Although I would love for Charlie to be able to play and have toys in every room, I am not so much into the “my house looks like a daycare center” look. So a few weeks ago, while we were styling Suzanne’s Playroom,  we shot this quick little video about how to style a playroom shelf, keeping it both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Let’s get into it.

Easy Peasy . . . and in only 6 steps (step 6 being my favorite):

1. Store unsightly toys and other necessary items in more attractive storage bins.

2. Bring in playful art to help ground the shelves and add atmosphere.

3. Displaying some of the cuter toys doubles as both storage and decor.

4. Maximize space by storing puzzles vertically, and stack books both horizontally and vertically to help the eye move around the shelves.

5. Finally, mix in some grown-up items to pull the whole thing together, and keep it from just being a toy shelf.

6. Open up a bottle of wine, because this playroom isn’t just for the kids anymore. Happy shelfie-ing.

Get The Look Kids Neutral Playroom

1. Gray Convertible Futon | 2. Stag Head Decor | 3. Brass and Marble Square Accent Lamp | 4. Everything but the Dalmatian Fire Engine | 5. Ahoy Matey Framed Map | 6. Dinosaur Framed String Art | 7. Octopus Throw Pillow | 8. Safavieh Weston Natural Fiber Rug | 9.Zig Zag Embroidered Pillow | 10. Whale Throw Pillow | 11. Embossed Ceramic Table Lamp | 12. Ceramic Elephant | 13. Black & White Striped Vase | 14. Lidded Canvas Milk Crate Box | 15. Striped Cotton Blanket | 16. Wood Rhino Figurine | 17. Duktig Play Kitchen | 18. Ivar Pine Cabinet | 19. Black & White Pot | 20. Wheely Lady Bug Ride On | 21. Black & White Patterned Pouf | 22. Rhino Wood Bookends | 23. Greenich Gray & White Polka Dot Rug

Want more Style School? Check out: How To Style A Bed | How To Pick The Right Lamp For Your Dresser 

***Photography by Tessa Neustadt

  1. What is it that you used for the puzzles? Loving that. ?

    1. Yes. Dying to know what white wire shelf type thing is holding those puzzles vertically?? Brilliant. Thanks!

  2. Love the videos

  3. The puzzle storage rack, is that a plate stacker you repurposed? I like that. My kid shelves start out looking nice then four year old granddaughter attacks… think tiny T Rex.

    1. I think it’s a Melissa and Doug product, but others make them as well: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3336535

      1. Just ordered the puzzle rack. Thanks, Lex!

  4. emily! where can I get those linen looking storage sacks? so pretty xx

  5. This looks amazing but I know from personal experience that younger children are very visual – my daughter ignored what was stored in pretty bins until I bought big plastic clear ones from Ikea.

    The only way I can keep things organised is by

    1. Oops, hit the wrong button! Purging constantly.

  6. This room is so cute yet sophisticated, love the way it’s styled!


  7. This post is fantastic. No one tells you when you first have kids how much of this stuff you will accumulate…. Much of it through gifts. This is a great balance of what’s on display.

    Side note: my aunt ran a daycare in her home for 35 years- you could never tell looking at her home!! All toys were in the large playroom in the basement. When they weren’t down there playing they were upstairs doing activities, playing outside, eating in her kitchen, watching a smudge of TV (I think just Sesame Street)… If she can do it right we can, too- there’s hope!

  8. Your blog is really interesting and inspiration to many. I’ll be looking forward for more of your posts. Keep it up! I will follow you ..

  9. great your concept emily, i can do it

  10. just wanna it, the simple concept i like that

  11. can get everywhere in goona your concept … excited

  12. wow let me concept my room again

  13. Amazing design, as always! Can somebody PLEASEEEE tell me what’s the name of this cute red car in the picture? ??

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