{one room challenge} Week 1 - Planning a Play Room Under the Stairs

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Today marks the start of another One Room Challenge. Just one year ago, I heard about this event for the first time and about two hours later I threw my hat into the ring, committing to get Beckett's "big boy" bedroom completed in a mere six {really it's five} weeks time. It was CRAZY, but it got done and that made it all worth while! So worth while that I subjected myself to the craziness again in the fall when I redid our master bedroom for my second One Room Challenge. And just like that {a lot of sweat and tears later} we had the bedroom I'd been dreaming of since moving in to our home 6 years earlier.


I think my husband was secretly hoping I wouldn't join the One Room Challenge this time around, but when I told him what I had in mind, he was 100% on board... because it's for our boys!! {If you are visiting today from the Boy Mom Madness event - you are in the right place!}


Before I show you the plans - let me show you the space. We are going to be working in tight quarters! Our "room" for the ORC this spring is nearly 12.5 feet long, but is just under three feet wide! What?!

As you may have guessed - we are working UNDER.THE.STAIRS!

Under Stair Storage to Be Converted to Playroom

I am SO excited about this project because I've been dreaming it up in my head from the first time we toured our home when house hunting. As a child, we had family friends who had an under stair playroom, and I was obsessed! I think I only played in their under stair area a couple of times, but it had a huge impact on me.

I would lay awake at night dreaming up exactly how I would decorate my own under stair playroom. This is when I was probably about five... but the idea had always stayed with me, so when I saw this finished out under stair space - I immediately told Scott it had to belong to our someday kids.

And now those someday kids are 3 years old and almost 2, and I CAN'T wait to show them this space in six five short weeks.It's going to blow their minds... mostly because they don't even know this space exists! Isn't that the dream - to suddenly discover a door in your home that leads to a whole new space you've never seen before?! No really - I have that dream all the time - am I the only one?! Neither boy has ever questioned what's behind that door, which is going to make it all the better when we show it to them for the very first time and tell them it's all theirs!

When we moved in, we made a pact not to fill up this under stair space with too much stuff, because I didn't want to come to rely on it as a storage space, making it hard to later turn over to the kids. And for the most part, we've managed to keep that pact. Over time, we have randomly kept various things in the space - most recently our Christmas tree and some random other decorations - but nothing too hard to clear out.

Under stair storage to be converted to playroom

All this stuff has been relocated to the garage - a space that currently makes me hyperventilate... but that's a problem for another day. {Just ignore it for six more weeks. Just ignore it for six more weeks!}

Ok! Now you've got the back story, and you've seen the tiny space. Hopefully you're eager to see the plans! So without further ado...
Under Stair Playroom Plans

I have been so tempted to turn this space in a pre-school fantasy wonderland of sorts, but I am resisting the urge because I don't want to be redoing it again in a few short years. Instead, we are going to create a fun and engaging space that will inspire our boys' creativity!

Both boys love music - a trait the definitely get from their dad {whose second career is as a professional musical theater performer}. One of their favorite things to do is to have dance parties in front of our juke box. They sing along with so much passion, and play along with all sorts of little instruments {the recorder is their current favorite... not so much mine}!


So rather than creating a playroom centered around a typical little boy theme - we are instead giving them a space where they'll be surrounded by music and art and creative play!

The under stair area is so narrow that we don't envision this as a place where we'll store many toys at all. Rather, I want to keep the floor space open so they can take toys in and out as they wish, or can simply play their little instruments or curl up to read {another of their favorite things to do}.

But just because we aren't going to fill the "room" with a lot of stuff, doesn't mean it will be short on style! We have big plans for every surface of this space! Here's a quick overview of what I have in mind...

Let's begin the the right wall. I plan to cover this entire wall in sheet metal in order to create a large scale, ping pong ball wall coaster - a DIY version of products like this. And since sheet metal also works with dry erase markers, we'll have the added bonus of an art wall!

Under Stair Playroom Plans

Speaking of art, I plan to create a gallery wall of sorts on the opposite wall. I plan to frame a fiew pieces of art, and then use frames with clips to display our boys' art in the remaining frames}. On the lower part of that wall, I want to create very narrow book and toy storage - something that won't take up too much space in this very narrow room, but that will add some function.

Under Stair Playroom Plans

I have big plans for the ceiling. I'm not ready to spill the beans yet, although if you follow me on Instagram, I did post a hint there last night.

Under Stair Playroom Plans

Lighting is always an important element of any space, and it's certainly going to be key in this very small under stair area. Right now, it feels quite bright because all of the walls are white. I am not planning to paint, but we are going to be covering a lot of the white with other treatments - so we'll also be adding some new light to keep the space feeling bright.

Under Stair Playroom Plans

Finally, here's a view looking from the back of the under stair room back toward the door. I hope to swap out the full door for a Dutch door. And I also have a fun art project planned for above the door....I'm going to be creating a collage of sorts using music and lyrics.

Under Stair Playroom Plans

That's a lot going on in a small space, right? But since this is for the kids, I think it will be just the right amount of simulation and activity, balanced by open floor space for play. Now that I've walked you through the plans - here's one more look at the design inspiration!

Under Stair Playroom Plans

Thank you so much to Linda of Calling it Home for hosting this amazing One Room Challenge event year after year, and for graciously allowing us all to participate! Be sure to stop by and see what spaces all of the other ORC linking participants are working on and check out their design plans! 

BOY MOM MADNESS. And for those of you who came by today for Boy Mom Madness, you'll notice that I didn't post about my boy mom style today per the schedule, but I hope you've, nonetheless, enjoyed checking out our stylish plans for a creative playroom for our boys. Be sure to visit these other boy moms to learn about their boy mom style. Also, be sure to come back tomorrow for a huge "all things boy" link party and to enter the Ultimate Boy Mom Giveaway!  My Five Minute Friday project tomorrow will also fit the Boy Mom Madness theme - so there's a lot going on!

Thanks for stopping by today! I am so excited to get started on this under stair playroom project and I'll be sharing my first progress report next week!

One last thing - if you want to check out my prior One Room Challenge spaces - you can find it all here:

FALL 2014 ONE ROOM CHALLENGE:
Modern Metro Master Bedroom



SPRING 2014 ONE ROOM CHALLENGE:
Vintage Preppy Little Man's Lounge


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30 comments :

  1. Such a tiny space with huge inspiration! Good luck Angela :-)

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  2. This is so fun!! Looking forward to following along!!

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    1. Thanks, Traci! It's starting to come along!

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  3. What a fun little space! I can't wait to see how it all comes together, Angela!

    ~Abby =)

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    1. Thanks, Abby! Wish you and your boys lived closer so they could all play together!

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  4. How fun is this space! I love that your boys don't even know it's there- that will make the reveal to them all the more fun and exciting. Good luck with the next few weeks!

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    1. I seriously can't wait to show it to them! I'm hoping to get a good video when we reveal it to them (the reveal that really counts!)

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  5. This sounds like SUCH a fun space Angela! Can't wait to see how it all comes together!!!

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  6. I am going to want to hang out in this space when it is done! The dutch door idea is seriously brilliant too.

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    1. You need to come to Denver for a girls weekend and we'll hang out in there after they go to bed! :)

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  7. You have seriously epic plans for this space! What lucky little boys!

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  8. i bet this is a first for the ORC....we have an attic space in our playroom similar to this so i am excited to see what you do....may inspire me to finally get moving on our before our kids outgrow it! xoxo

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    1. I bet your right! I know there aren't that many under stair playrooms even on Pinterest ... because when I was searching for inspiration, there wasn't much to be found.

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  9. What a creative project!! I would have KILLED for a space like that as a kid! And, just a suggestion, one of the Hometalk comments on my fabric hanging book holder was to do them side-by-side to make them easier to use for little ones. Just an idea for book storage on that left wall :) Can't wait to see it come together!!

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    1. Thanks for that tip, Emily!! Books are pretty much my 3 year old's life right now, so I haven't to make sure he has a good, easy spot for them!

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  10. Wow, that's a big challenge for a little space...but I'm sure you can rock it! Looking forward to seeing the progress :)

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  11. Tiny Spaces have HUGE potential and it looks like you are going to create a winner!!

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    1. Small but mighty, right?! Thanks for the encouragement!

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  12. This is going to be so adorable. Love that you are doing this space.

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    1. Thanks Linda! And THANKS AGAIN for hosting this great event for all of us!

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  13. What an awesome space for your boys. Can't wait to see how this all turns out!

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    1. Thanks so much! It's slowly starting to come together!

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  14. I am so inspired by the story behind your playroom. So amazing that you dreamed it as a little girl, and now it is reality for your little ones, love it! Your design is also fabulous. I CAN NOT wait to see this all come together! Have fun!

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    1. Thanks Michaela! I am so excited about it and I'm pretty sure you'll find me hanging out in there all the time (with or without the kids)! :)

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  15. You are the coolest mom! I can't wait to see how this turns out!

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