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How to Create a Children's Basement Playroom

As your children grow, so does their need for play space. Backyards and outdoor areas are great for the nice weather, but how do you make the most of cold or rainy days? Many people turn their underused basement space into a children’s playroom. Check out these finished basement playroom ideas and easy tips for fast and affordable reconstruction:

A father and child on a cushioned play floor.

Tip 1: Cushion the floor without breaking the bank—or your back.

Create a safe, comfortable environment for crawling around, or lounging and reading. Carpet tiles1 or interlocking foam mats are a good option – inexpensive, easy to install and individually replaceable to update basic concrete floors.2

Installing high lights.

Tip 2: Keep lights high.

Keep light fixtures out of the way to help prevent accidents and breakage. The best place for lighting is in the ceiling, either tracked or recessed.3 Track lighting is generally more cost-effective than recessed lighting, and may meet your lighting needs while staying within your budget.

A woman painting colored walls in a playroom.

Tip 3: Color it bright.

If your basement isn’t filled with light, consider painting it in vibrant colors to brighten it up and create an inviting space for creative activity.3 Plus, colors can even have an impact on your children’s moods. For example, some psychologists say these colors may have an impact on kids:4

  • Red:

    Bright colors like red tend to increase a child’s heart rate and energy. It’s perfect as an accent color, but may be overstimulating if used on the whole room. 

  • Yellow:

    It’s said that yellow indicates positivity, which is useful in already dark basements. Yellow is also known to help kids work and learn – making it perfect for their playroom.

  • Orange:

    Some psychologists say orange improves a child’s communication, confidence and cooperation abilities. Like red, orange is bright and stimulating, so best to also leave it as an accent color.

  • Green:

    A soothing color that brings the outdoors inside. Some studies claim the color green improves a child’s reading skills.

  • Blue:

    The ultimate “calming” color. Research shows that blue lowers your heart rate and slows down breathing. Try to pair a blue room with upbeat/bright accents like red, yellow or orange.

Remember, have fun with paint colors. If you’re not ready to paint, you can also experiment with wall decals inspired by your child’s interests.

Two children playing on a couch.

Tip 4: Choose durable materials.

Energetic children usually don’t realize how their activity impacts furniture, especially their fabrics. With that in mind, use materials that hold well. One delicate-looking but surprisingly durable option? Ultrasuede, a synthetic ultra-microfiber fabric.5

Storage in a playroom.

Tip 5: Don’t skimp on storage.

The chaos of fun and creativity leaves toys scattered. Plenty of storage helps kids stay organized when playtime is over. Open cubbies, with or without baskets, are perfect. So are bins, milk crates and benches with hidden storage space.1

Decorated walls in basement playroom.

Tip 6: Decorate the wall space.

Children’s furniture tends to be shorter, leaving large and empty wall spaces. If you don’t decorate the walls, the playroom may look very bottom heavy. To help create a visual balance, add large artwork, frames with photographs, chalkboards or more cubby storage. Have fun with it! You can hang large copies of your children’s art to display. Bonus? They’ll feel proud showcasing their own work.

A man and a woman painting a chair.

Tip 7: Shop smart.

Remember, kids outgrow play spaces in just a few years. To keep things budget friendly, thrift store finds and discount stores are great sources for playroom gear. Refresh old chairs and tables with a coat of safe, nontoxic paint.

As your family grows, a once-spacious house starts to feel cramped. Make the most of your home by converting underutilized areas. When undergoing a major renovation, such as turning an unfinished basement into a children’s playroom, keep in mind the replacement value of your house may increase. Contact your homeowners insurance provider to make sure your policy is updated accordingly.

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1 7 Clever Ways to Transform Your Basement Into a Cool Kids Playroom, Circu Magical Furniture, 2021.
2 Create a Playroom in an Unfinished Basement, C’mon Get Crafty, 2021.
3 Lighting for Kids’ Rooms, HGTV, 2021.
4 Paint Colors for Kids’ Room. Can It Affect Mood?, Teepee Joy, 2021.
5 The Science of Ultrasuede, Ultrasuede, 2021.

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