Office and Playroom - Before & After

Updated: Aug 20, 2018


Our Thursday transformation is on the tails of last weeks. We renovated the nursery and the playroom at the same time. If you haven't seen the Thursday transformation post of the nursery, check that one out! I went into detail about how our nursery was very tiny (9x9) and the only furniture we were able to fit in there was a small dresser, rocker, and a crib (and it felt tight!).


Due to the nursery having limited space, we knew that a playroom was necessary. There was no possible way we'd be able to include toy storage in the nursery nor ample floor space to play.


Prior to the playroom, it was a very bare office. The walls were gray with a yellow focal wall (more on that great design choice in the previous post!), with old tan carpet and an Ikea desk we scored from Craigslist when we first bought the place. The room stayed this way for several years until we had an excuse to make it over. Unfortunately (well, maybe fortunately!) I don't have any photos of it in it's glory, however, this is what it looked like when we moved in. It was dark, dingy, and cramped!

The room is an awkward size. It's very long and narrow and there is no closet. The room is directly next to the stairs so there was a small storage closet in the room that was directly under the stairs as well as two built-in drawers. The room only had one small window that looked out directly at our neighbors home and didn't let in much natural light.


We used the same paint color, floors, and trim work in this room as we did the nursery. We wanted the two rooms to feel cohesive and like one large space. They are directly across a small hallway from one another.


When we removed all of the carpeting, we found original hardwood flooring that was painted gray and was extremely damp. We had no idea why this was, and brought in some professionals to look. They went into our crawl space and realized that at some point in time, there had been a leak or water damage and all of our floor joists underneath our house as well as the subfloor needed to be replaced. This was a huge bummer, as we were hoping to tackle this project quickly and within a small budget. We knew we had to replace it. The last thing we needed was rotted wood and the potential of mold right where our future child would be playing. Luckily, we were able to get all of that replaced for right around $1,000 and only set us back a couple of days. It was a small price to pay to know that the home had new joists and fresh lumber and wouldn't be a safety issue for our son. Here was what the room looked like when we pulled back the carpet, before replacing the joists and subfloor:

Once we had a fresh blank slate. We went to work! We painted the walls Sherwin Williams - Alabaster and the trim Pure White by Behr. We did plywood plank flooring in both rooms (I will do a future blog post on the entire tutorial!) and painted them white. We distressed the floors to add character and let some of the wood show through and added thick headed roofing nails to also add some character to the wood.

All of the trim got replaced with 5inch baseboards and chunky 'craftsman' style trim around the window and the closet.


We turned the storage closet under the stairs into a little reading nook. We shiplapped the walls with thin MDF board, added trim, and painted it top to bottom in a bright white. We added fairly lights strung to the top of the stairs and then tulle fabric to cover it. This made it look like a 'starry' sky and added a nice warm glow in there. We also added a canvas 'door' so that it looked sort of like a teepee from the outside. We filled the nook with bean bags, pillows, and cozy blankets so it was easy to snuggle up.




We also removed the built in drawer system. This helped add space to the reading nook. We replaced it by trimming out the drawer and making it into a small bookshelf. This was a great addition as it was low to the ground and would be easy for Jude to grab books to read.

We kept the Ikea desk in the room as it was both functional and practical for our family.


We added some shelves to the walls for various toys and books. We also included a soft shag rug in neutral tones to allow a cozy place for Jude to play (sources below).


As I had explained previously, we sold our home around 6 weeks after our son was born. Due to this, the playroom didn't get used much (well, hardly at all... newborns aren't very interested in toys!). Although it didn't get used by our family often, I strongly believe that renovating the playroom as well as the nursery helped sell our home. It added character, and made the rooms functional and bright.


Here's the finished product, for reference. Also, see sources below!



sources: [light] [rug] [desk] [shelf]

Higbie Maxon Agney

83 Kercheval Ave

Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236

(o) 313--886-3400 

(c) 248-515-2201

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