For nearly three years our house has gone through many changes and renovations – especially since our daughters entered the world.
When they first arrived, we basically lived in the downstairs den with them as infants, where I would feed and snuggle them. A corner of the room was taken up by their swings, where they would nap, and padded play mats provided space on the floor where they spent countless hours with their toys, learning to roll over and eventually crawl.
The next year I decided a change of scenery was needed and we moved their makeshift playroom upstairs to the living room. The perimeter was lined with toy storage boxes, there was a kids’ table and a quiet corner; not to mention numerous small toys that fell underfoot countless times.
Once the girls were masters at navigating the stairs and were using the whole house as their play area – with toys now located in the den as well as the living room – we came to the realization that they needed a designated space to call their own. Somewhere to keep all of their toys, somewhere they could get into anything and it would be okay.
There were two points of contention though:
1) The space would also need double up as a guest room and house a bed for when family came to visit
2) The renos were happening right around the holidays when money is the tightest
We found ourselves at a crossroads; we needed to create the space before Christmas arrived to have room for whatever toys they might be getting as well as room for company.
But how could we afford it and how would we fit a bed?
The answer: a Murphy bed and our very first line of credit.
My hubby and I weren’t exactly thrilled with the money solution – we’ve never needed one before. But with me not working and the Murphy bed being our best option, we went for it.
We are very conscious shoppers so we didn’t go overboard with our renovation spending. Another thing that helped our wallet is the fact that my husband is very handy so all of the work was done by him (with me in tow trying to help).
If you’re planning on creating a playroom on a budget here are some points to keep in mind:
1) Think about simple toy storage solutions: Don’t buy multiple storage items but instead try to find one or two key pieces that work effectively.
2) Multipurpose: In our case the room we were using had big ugly sliding closet doors, so we repurposed them by using chalkboard paint. Now the girls have a huge area for drawing.
3) Use space wisely: We put a lot of storage in the closet including some easy built in shelves and we put the dresser in there too. It doubles as a nice piece of furniture and the drawers are a great place to store little toys.
4) Look for sales: In our case Black Friday online sales really helped.
5) Do your money research: Educate yourself on interest rates and different ways to borrow money and see what works best for you.
6) Figure out a payback plan: So that you can pay down your balance as quickly as possible.
7) Have some contingency money allotted: When doing any renovations there will almost always be unexpected costs.
In the end we were left with a bit of manageable debt and a pretty awesome multipurpose room.
We are thrilled with the finished product and we think that the girls like it too.