Home and Garden

DIY Playroom Upgrade for $420


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Bringing any home project to life is such a rewarding experience, but it’s especially rewarding for home improvement when they are able to breathe new life into their spaces with their DIY expertise. And it’s especially rewarding when you’re upcycling items that you already need to.

This playroom – a room where their three little girls pretend to be creative – was a “garbage room,” as Ndandu put it. “It was filled with toys they never used,” Ndandu says of the room, which had blue-gray walls, clunky furniture, and an outdated ceiling fan.

But the space for the kids to get creative is now also evidence of their mom’s creativity, as 90 percent of that three-month $ 420 repetition is Ndandu’s DIY.

From installing lights to sewing pillows to building furniture out of reclaimed wood, “I thought it would be great to give them the space to be creative and have fun,” says Ndandu. “A little studio apartment design came to mind.”

The new little studio playroom has a sofa for reading / napping / snuggling, custom wall art behind the sofa, a desk for drawing or maybe doing homework, a clothes rack for putting on clothes and the most adorable play kitchen.

Ndandu made the wooden sofa base from old toy stores and sewed the black pillows – a great kid-friendly color choice – herself. She also made the abstract artwork behind the sofa.

Ndandu made the desk – with its funky, stylish legs – out of pine. “I had to seriously apply some geometry knowledge here,” she says. “After cutting tens of pieces, I managed to get the angles right and balanced.” And the dressing rack? This is a $ 3 project made from scrap wood and an old broomstick.

She built the play kitchen – the girls’ favorite part – out of plywood and added a pine countertop with a DIY coffee stain on it. The small breakfast table was a second-hand find; Ndandu only stained and sealed it, and it was good to go. The dainty poufs are made from reclaimed wood and have DIY pillows that match the accents of the sofa and leather straps.

“This is like your little home where you can explore and use your imagination,” says Ndandu of the new space.

The hardest part of the project, says Ndandu, was the DIY bookcase, which actually makes an electrical distributor on the wall child-proof. “I had to make sure it was hidden, but not in an obvious way,” she says. “This was part of the project I wasn’t sure about, but it worked. I went with the handleless handles. With a little research, I found the right router bit and decided on it. “

Ndandu takes great pride in how much DIY went into creating this space for their daughters. “You don’t have to have millions to have what you want. Before you buy anything new, consider the environmental impact, ”she says. “Reuse, recycle, upcycle and leave a legacy.”

Sarah Everett

Production assistant

Sarah is the production assistant for Apartment Therapy. She recently completed her MA in Journalism from the University of Missouri and an undergraduate degree in Journalism from Belmont University. Past write and edit stops include HGTV Magazine, Nashville Arts Magazine, and multiple branches in her hometown of Columbia, Missouri.


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Robert Dunfee