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The Ultimate Basement Playroom Makeover

Updated: Feb 13

"Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning." - Mr. Rogers Welcome to our basement renovation/playroom design makeover! I am thrilled to share the transformation process with you and highlight all the intricate details that went into crafting our dream playroom. Despite the challenges, witnessing our vision come to life has been an incredibly rewarding journey. Before the Magic: Unveiling the Basement's Past

Before delving into the magical world of our renovated basement, let's take a step back and explore the humble beginnings of this space. The initial snapshot paints a picture of the raw potential that inspired our vision for the ultimate playroom experience. From the simple yet functional setup to the creative workarounds, this space was a canvas for countless shared memories and imaginative adventures.

The first picture is what the basement looked like right before we purchased it and moved in. The second and third pictures are our quick updates as we couldn't afford to completely finish the basement. We painted all of the panelling in a very light grey/almost white colour. We found a decent laminate flooring for a ridiculously affordable price and my amazing brother installed it for us, right over the vinyl flooring. This setup was perfect for us for about 7 years. We made it work as best as we could and I made it as cozy as possible - even though the ceiling was not finished, there was no bathroom, and most poles and pipes were exposed, it was a space for learning through play and we made many memories together.

Must-Haves for Creative Play: My Vision as a Playroom Designer

Being a Playroom Designer, I had been dreaming up the perfect playroom for our own children for years. When I design spaces, it is not just about the aesthetics. I used my expertise in Education to ensure that every space I create meets the wants and needs of each family and most importantly, allows the children to feel welcomed, valued, honoured, and represented. When we began this renovation our boys were ages 5 and 2. Their interests included climbing furniture, building with their toys, running around, reading, and arts and crafts. I knew that when designing our basement I wanted to include:

- a rock wall

- a climbing swing

- an under-the-stairs reading nook

- plenty of toy storage

- open space for building and playing with toys

- a magnetic chalkboard

Progress Unveiled: A Glimpse into the Renovation Journey

Living through a major renovation is difficult. I'm not going to sugarcoat any of it because it was hard! With two young kids, working full time as a Teacher and running a business full time, I was utterly exhausted. However, seeing the progress along the way not only made it worth it but allowed me to literally see my vision come to life.

After the Renovation: Enjoying the Beauty of a Completed Playroom

As the renovation dust settled, we found ourselves immersed in the beauty of a fully realized playroom, meticulously tailored to our children's needs and interests. With every corner carefully crafted to inspire learning and play, the revamped space has become an invaluable sanctuary for our growing family.

An amazing children's playroom designed and built by Be In Wonder Designs by Vanessa Silva  with a rock-climbing wall, rope swing, storage shelves, and an under-the-stairs reading nook

An amazing children's playroom designed and built by Be In Wonder Designs by Vanessa Silva,  with a rock-climbing wall, rope swing, storage shelves, and an under-the-stairs reading nook

The timing of this renovation couldn't have been more perfect. We completed everything beginning of February (including the workout room, bathroom, all of the built-ins on the other side of the basement and kids' art studio - I will save these for other blog posts). Then, not long after everything was completed we were in full lockdown due to COVID!!! I'm not sure if we would have survived the lockdown and quarantine life without this space. Shortly after the lockdown was announced, we found out we were expecting our third miracle baby. And here we are, twelve months later, enjoying every moment with our baby girl and two boys. Since last March we have spent every single day in this space!

The Sources: Crafting a Playroom Haven

Curious about the elements that brought our playroom vision to life? Explore a comprehensive list of the key sources and inspirations that contributed to the creation of this enchanting playroom haven. From specialized play equipment to decorative touches, each item played a vital role in shaping the aesthetic and functional appeal of our transformed basement.

Under the Stairs Reading Nook:

- Main grey paint colour: Benjamin Moore - Silver Chain

- White trim paint colour: Benjamin Moore - Chantilly Lace

- Black roof: Benjamin Moore - Black Onyx

- House Light (discontinued-Wayfair)

Rockwall & Swing Area

- The Rockwall was designed by me, painted by my husband and installed by our contractor. It is 8ft tall and 5.5 ft wide. Some of the accessories can be found here. The paint colours are: Grey Huskie & Silver Chain by Benjamin Moore

- The large black storage bins are amazing and were purchased at Structube but were discontinued shortly after

Toy Storage Area:

- Most of the open-ended toys that we love and use can be found here

- The world print, Wonderful print, cushions, and faux fur rug were all Homesense Canada purchases.

The main wall colour of our basement is Silver Satin by Benjamin Moore. I loved it so much that we ended up repainting the entire house! My husband was thrilled about that lol. Baseboards and trim are all Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore.

I hope this answers most of your questions. If you need guidance, support or help with designing a playroom haven 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!

Thank you for visiting my blog, your love and support means the world to me!

A special shout out to Alex Russo Snaps for these amazing after photos!

With love,



Full disclosure that I receive a small commission from any purchases made through my Amazon Storefront and Ruggable. I have put many hours into setting it up and truly hope that you find it helpful! 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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