Redfin | Blog
Published on June 30, 2023
by Jamie Forbes

Imagination and kids go hand-in-hand. And when it’s playtime, children should have a room filled with toys that spark their imagination and creativity. Whether it’s a kitchen play set for an aspiring chef or a crafting table for all sorts of creations, the options are endless. If you’re looking for a way to highlight your child’s creative mind in your home, this Redfin article is for you.

So, whether you live in a house in Duluth, MN, or a Wilmington, NC, apartment, read on for 12 expert-backed kids’ playroom decor ideas to help spruce up your kids’ spaces.

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1. Make sure every item has a dedicated place

First, focus on design and organization. It’s important to design a playroom with purpose so kids can learn valuable skills and make the most out of their space. “A great way to do this is to make sure that there is a place for each of their items,” says Adriano Tori, founder & CEO of RexMont Real Estate. “This not only makes the room less cluttered, but it also teaches kids about organization and respecting their belongings.” 

2. Include an organizing system

No matter the space, make sure to include an organizing system. Bins are a great way to do this. “Bins are perfect for filing, categorizing, and storing different things,” says the team at Biltmore Design Galleria. “Use a variety of sizes filled with similar items to make your organized system work best,” they suggest. “You can also bring this system to many areas of your home, including bathrooms, closets, and even small spaces.”
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3. Label storage with pictures and words

When using storage bins, take photos of the contents and label them with both the picture and the words. “Not only does this help keep toys organized, but it also promotes literacy skills as children connect the written words to the image,” comments Stacey Grumet, founder & CEO of Paper Pinecone. “And don’t forget to make books easily accessible.”

4. Choose a fun theme

Consider designing a playroom around a theme that reflects your child’s interests, like travel, outer space, or under the sea. “Incorporate fun wallpapers, murals, stencils, and decals, while adding small on-theme decorative touches throughout,” notes the team at GTC Design. “Once you establish your overall theme, complement them with cozy cushions, accessible bookshelves, art supplies, and anything else your kid desires.” 

Regardless of your theme or decor, prioritize safety by choosing child-friendly furniture, securing heavy items, using non-toxic materials, and adding soft foam mats as necessary.

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5. Use playful colors

One of the first items on your kids’ playroom decor list should be invigorating, playful paint colors for the playroom’s walls. “Options include sky blues, sunshine yellows, or warm greens,” says Heather Sheridan, owner of Decorating Den Interiors. “If you decide to go with a specific theme, such as a jungle theme or princess theme, use wall decals that are easy to peel off the walls,” she suggests. “Regardless, make sure your kid likes the colors and that they will stand the test of time.” 

6. Create an engaging art room

Build a colorful art space that will evoke creativity and help kids be naturally attracted to it. “When you’re designing an art room, first, figure out what your kids like to do, what development stage they’re in, and how you want the room to look,” suggests Ann Cox, owner of Ann Cox Design. “Then, display enough art items that encourage without feeling too cluttered,” she says. “If you have room, try to fit some of your kids’ original artwork in the design as well.”

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7. Invest in fun, transitional furniture

Furniture should grow with your kids, so it’s important to choose quality items that are safe and fun for your kids’ playrooms. “Instead of getting cutesy tiny chairs, choose a couple of great armchairs or a sectional that you can use solo or for family time,” notes the team at Mecc Interiors. “If you want them to be cleanable, get some custom washable slipcovers that will allow you to clean and swap out simply and easily.” 

8. Include ways for kids to get their energy out

Kids need to move, so their playrooms should encourage it. “Incorporate items like a toddler trampoline, nugget play couch, and wood climber that take the place of small toys and get all that toddler energy out,” suggest Kyle and Kim Griffiths from State of Play Kids.

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9. Create zones for maximum efficiency

Since kids tend to get bored with the same toys each day, use zones to create an area where items can be rotated out every day. “This way, you don’t have to have each and every toy organized and out on display all of the time,” advises Jess Klein, owner of Jess Klein Studio. “For toy storage, consider getting a bunch in one color, since toys can already be visually overwhelming.”

10. Carve out a hideaway underneath the stairs

A fun, space-saving option is to create a secret hideout by adding some fun, festive lights and shelves to the nook area under your stairs. “This is a great area to build towering block castles, do puzzles and experiment with science kits,” says the team at Green Piñata Toys. “Plus, a monthly subscription to a toy or science rental service keeps your hideout freshly stocked and clutter-free.” 

11. Stock the playroom with open-ended, age-appropriate materials

Toys should have multiple uses, especially if they’re going to last for more than a year. “Examples include wooden blocks, art supplies like play dough, and even things from nature like sand, water, rocks or sticks,” notes Lauren Besack, Ducklings Early Learning Franchise Director of Curriculum Development. “These toys encourage creativity, experimentation, trial and error, problem-solving, and critical thinking.”\

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12. Incorporate custom millwork to maximize space

No matter the room, custom millwork is great for tailoring a space to your kids’ specific needs. “You can add multi-use, custom-crafted built-in furniture to fit a variety of play styles,” says Genevieve Chambliss from Vieve Interiors. “Options include bunk beds with lots of cozy features, a built-in desk, a reading nook, or a custom closet,” she suggests. “These options will maximize space and give your kids more floor space to spread out and play.”