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Turning a Cramped Basement into a Dream Play Space

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

This playroom was designed for my client Sherri-Lynn and her beautiful family. She has two children (ages 5 and 4) and as a former Kindergarten teacher, learning through play has always been very important to her. You can check out her amazing Instagram page @diyteach . Her mother-in-law gifted my e-design package to her last year (how thoughtful) and it was an absolute pleasure working with her and getting to know her!

Fine-Tuning the Pre-Existing Play Area

She already had an amazing setup in her basement but requested my assistance with a few specific ideas in mind including: - wall decor - organization - dedicated play areas - a space to display the kid's work - storage solution for large trucks Here are two pictures of an area that was pre-existing. The only thing I suggested for this space was having a table close to the dramatic play centre as children love to set up vignettes such as cooking and eating meals.

Children's play area, organized storage unit, Be In Wonder Designs

My client intake form gives me an opportunity to really learn more about each family's needs, wants, and the children's interests. I learned that her children love:

- creative play

- open-ended play

- dramatic play

- sensory play

- light table play

Children's play area, organized bins and toys, Be In Wonder Designs

Keeping these things in mind, I knew that I wanted to transform the long and narrow hallway into something more inviting and purposeful. Sherri-Lynn was open to relocating and donating some toys that were no longer loved as much as they used to be which really helped the process. I wanted this hallway to make the family, especially the kids, smile every time they walked through it.

The Before: Play Area and Hallway

The After: Playroom Area and Hallway Design Transformation

Magical Results the Whole Family Loves

I absolutely love how the transformation turned out. It truly feels like a space where her children can feel welcomed, valued, honoured, and represented. Their interests and needs were kept in mind throughout the entire process.

  • I originally had planned for three of the toy storage shelves in the hallway with a table at the end but Sherri-Lynn decided on four units for added storage and it fit perfectly.

  • The large trucks finally have a home and are tucked away but easily accessible for the kids.

  • Leading down the stairs, the children's artwork is framed beautifully and there is a second option with an art rail to simply rotate new creations.

  • The new clear bookshelves are perfect for displaying some of their favourite books and curling up on the couch to read together.

  • I also suggested a floor-length mirror near the dress-up station as children really enjoy looking at themselves in the mirror.

I love how Sherri-Lynn sorted and organized all of the kids' materials to naturally invite her children to play!

Here are links for the items I suggested:

I also really love these trays she added for smaller toys/loose parts!

Thank you for visiting my blog, your love and support mean the world to me! If you need guidance, support or help with designing a playroom in your house, please do not hesitate to contact me at

I am currently fulfilling e-design projects for clients with a waitlist of about two months. Be sure to follow me on Instagram for more playroom inspo!

With love,



None of the links are sponsored. All opinions and product suggestions are 100% authentically mine... just doing and sharing what I love with love.

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I'm Vanessa

I’ve helped hundreds of families all over North America by designing playrooms, craft rooms, bedrooms and nurseries that blow their kid’s minds and spark a new sense of wonder!

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