Playcave Extraordinaire!

Okay, maybe my title over promised a little, but if you know my lack of skill in all things domesticated and my patience for anything tedious, I’m thrilled with how the boys’ new playroom turned out.

A little background: Our TV room has been a 10’x10′ den with a square TV from 1990-something. The couch was from not much later and was from Kyle’s bachelor pad. It’s also been through 1 dog, 2 cats, Kellen who projectile vomited after his first bottle every morning (reflux is awesome), Owen’s tube feeding spills and plenty of toddler eating and rubbing their hands on the couch…or worse (Lisa, I cleaned it well before passing it off to you).

Basically, here’s the before:

269277_10151359947232319_817463394_nThat’s pretty much it, I’m standing all the way on the other side of the room and that space was the toy room and the TV room. At the same time we have a great room that is the biggest room in our house and, other than the dining room table, it basically was going  unused. The sectional in the great room that can comfortably hold 7 or 8 people, was only being used for folding laundry (and then holding folded laundry when I failed to put it away). We weren’t using our space well and were always frustrated by the mess in our den.  It made it hard to relax at the end of the day.

Now we (thanks to a very generous gift of some of my friends) have a TV in the great room and were able to turn the den into a full-on playroom. I call it the playcave because it’s a cozy sunk-in room and now has black, chalkboard, walls. Take a look!

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As you can imagine, the above pictures aren’t really what the room looks like when it’s being used. This is a little more like it.

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I’m so excited about the space. The mess stays in this room and the kids both love it. They have their own table for art and working on fine motor skills.  They can write on the walls and all the toys are kept in that room.  At the same time, our great room stays cleaner because if I want to relax on the couch to write a post at the end of night, I have to put away the laundry. We also have a modern-day TV and don’t have to squint to see the score.

As an added benefit, that adorable round love seat in the playroom has come out of our bedroom, making more space in our room. The love seat was given to me by my Grandma. She’s had it for years and years and when she downsized decided it would be mine. It’s such a special chair to me and I love that my kids get to play on it just like I did when was little. It will, of course, need to be reupholstered when they are done, but this is the 4th upholstery that’s been on it in my lifetime, so I’ll just be keeping up with Grandma’s habits.

I posted a sneak peak on Facebook last week and had a few questions about the accent walls and the chalk board paint. Owen’s expression sums up the painting process.


It’s very tedious! Grandma Sandy was here to help. In our house, this is not the type of project that husbands and wives do together, if you know what I mean. So, I waited for a work trip for Kyle and suckered Grandma into helping. She did almost all the taping and I did all the painting. Day one was painting the black. Day two, we taped and painted the stripes (using a laser level to keep the lines straight) and day 3 we taped the opposite side of the stripes and did some touch-ups to where there were drips from painting the strips. I probably could have not done day 3, but with all the work into it, I really wanted to be happy with what I did and I didn’t want to walk in the room noticing mistakes every time.

I do love it and my favorite part is how much the boys love it too. The first morning Kellen woke up and went downstairs by himself and played without waking us up. He’s never done that before. He also has had several times where the room was getting messy and he said, “we have to pick up, I don’t want this nice room getting to be a mess”. I call that a big fat success.


With all the good I can say this; it will be a really, really, really, extremely long time before I try painting accent stripes again. Unless of course, Grandma Sandy wants some in her house. I owe her big time!  Also, if you’re considering a chalkboard wall or room, my advice is to skip the erasers and just clean it with a slightly damp rag.  The chalk dust can be a little overwhelming if you brush it.

P.S.  Because of the work on the playcave, I was off schedule on my posts.  If you missed them, please check out

A Zebra Story – A heartwarming story shared by a family friend of why zebras are also special to her and her family.

Owen’s (Second) Open Letter to Nasal Cannulas – He’s getting to be such a little spit fire.

© Copyright Tatum, All rights Reserved. Written For: Ain't No Roller Coaster

4 thoughts on “Playcave Extraordinaire!

  1. Wow Tatum, you and grandma did an excellent job and maximized your space really well. From, of course, the cleaning standpoint I agree with the damp rag to wipe the walls! The chaulk dust is yucky.

  2. Everything looks great. How fun! And the chair, I recognized immediately as Grandma’s. My moms wedding pictures were takin all around that chair. How time flies.

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