Playroom Makeover - Part 2
Last week, I shared how we started the process of making over Jackson's playroom. You can find all of the details including before and after photos here!
Ultimately, I was motivated to redesign this space after getting the idea to build a large desk in the playroom closet for Jackson's Lego play. Today I'm going to show you how we built the desk and share all of the details that make this space so special!
Originally, this closet was home to a large storage piece that housed most of Jackson's toys. The top shelf of the closet was used to store all of my sewing materials along with a few other items. After we moved the storage unit out of the closet, the space felt so much more open. I decided to continue to utilize the top shelf for my sewing materials because, 1) Jackson can't reach that high, and 2) currently, it is the most convenient place to store my supplies because I sew at the dining room table in the next room.
Because they will always be visible, I reorganized all of my sewing materials and made sure all of my storage containers coordinated for a more polished look. We also chose to remove the bi-fold closet doors to widen the space and allow Jackson more access to the sides of the closet.
For the overall design, I planned to have Tim build a floating desk the length of the closet where we would place a few rolling storage carts and a chair for Jackson. Wall sconces would provide better lighting and floating shelves would give him a space to display his creations. Additionally, I planned to add a small TV to the center of the back wall for Jackson to have a place to hang and game with friends in the future. You can shop the entire look at the bottom of the page!
Before we built anything, I wanted to change the wall color in the closet. Originally, I thought I would choose a bold pop of color or wallpaper, but ultimately, I decided to go with the same wall color used on the rest of the playroom walls. Lego is very brightly colored and I wanted to let that shine in this space so everything else I chose, including the sconces and artwork, was fairly neutral.
Before I get into how I styled the space, I want to walk you through how we made our desk.
A floating desk is a fairly easy DIY project with the right tools. Building a floating desk inside a closet saves space in the rest of the room and can be used as a space for almost anything - an office, a crafting area, or in our case a Lego table! Here's what you'll need:
Floating Desk Tutorial
stud finder - insert joke here
1x3 common board cut into 3 pieces - 1 will be the length of the back wall, the other 2 will be the width of the side walls minus 3/4 inch (thickness of the back board) See step #4 for details.
cordless drill fitted with a drill bit slightly smaller than your finish nails.
2 1/2 inch finish nails
MDF cut to the length and depth of your space. We bought our MDF at Home Depot and they rip cut it for us there!
fine grit sandpaper
First, choose the height of your desk. A standard desk is between 28 and 30 inches tall. We wanted to make sure our rolling carts fit underneath the desk, so there is a 31.5 inch clearance between the floor and bottom of our desk. This is obviously higher than a standard desk, but we are a tall family!
Mark your wall at the desired height for the desk. Tim marked the height in multiple places on each wall.
Using a stud finder, find the studs on each wall and mark these areas with a pencil. You will be hammering the common board (trim) into the studs, so it is important to know where they are located!
Using your saw, cut a piece of common board the length of the back wall. The 2 side wall pieces will butt up against this board, so you want to measure and cut the side boards the width of your 2 side walls minus the thickness of the back trim piece. So if you side walls are 36 inches wide, you will cut your boards to be 35 1/4 inches. Note, measure carefully! Your 2 side walls may not be exactly the same width!
Holding your longest common board trim piece against the wall, predrill holes in the trim to match up with where you marked the studs on the wall. Using a level to ensure a level line, begin to hammer nails through the predrilled holes and into the wall studs. Tip: the easiest way to do this is to predrill a hole at the most center stud line and secure your board in place with a nail.
Repeat this process with the 2 side pieces. At this point you can fill in the nail holes with wood putty and paint the trim, if you choose. I painted ours the same color as the walls.
For the desk top, lightly sand all of the edges and wipe clean with a damp cloth. When the MDF is completely dry, paint it your desired color. I painted mine with flat black interior latex paint with a paint roller. Make sure you follow the instructions on your paint for proper drying and curing time!
Once your desk top is dry you can carefully set it on top of your wall mounted trim. Make sure the desk is sitting flush on top of all three pieces of trim. The desk will probably fit pretty snuggly so you may need to tap on it to drop into place.
I wanted the table to have excellent lighting for all of those little Lego pieces, so I chose these wall sconces, which we also used in our finished basement at Jackson's art table. I love that the arms rotate and the shade angle can be adjusted. I also chose them because we did not want light fixtures we would need to hardwire. Because the desk is flush to the back wall of the closet, the easiest way to plug in our sconces and TV were to cut holes through the desk. You can follow our tutorial on our new YouTube channel! See the link below! Using furniture caps make the project look polished and professional.
Because the sconces are mounted fairly high, we bought a smart plug so that Jackson can use a voice command to turn on the lights by himself. He just needs to say, "Alexa, turn on the Lego lights." If you don't know what smart plugs are, they convert ordinary devices and appliances in your home into “smart” ones. They do this by allowing you to control the power supply to the appliance through an app on your smartphone or with your voice via a virtual assistant such as the Amazon Echo or Dot. You can take any ordinary electrical outlet in your home and put a smart plug in it. We have this smart plug to use with our Echo Dot in the playroom
We also covered the electrical cords with paintable cord covers and painted them the same color as the wall to help hide them.
I also wanted to hang floating shelves to create a small gallery for Jackson's Lego creations. There was some initial debate about where the sconces and floating shelves should be located. Originally, I thought the lights would be mounted on the side walls and shine in toward the center of the desk while the shelves would flank the TV, but the floating shelves blocked a lot of the light. We chose to mount the sconces on either side of the TV and place the floating shelves on the side walls, where Jackson can still display masterpieces or store extra parts.
After everything was installed, it felt like the space wasn't finished, although it looked pretty awesome. I found these digital downloads on Etsy and attached lightweight frames to the electrical cord covers with adhesive velcro strips. I love the patent sketches, and I think they give a level of sophisticated fun to the space!
I have one more reveal for you and it's a really good one! I planned to share both the floating desk and armoire makeover in this post, but it was just WAY too much for one post! So stay tuned! The armoire might possibly be my absolute favorite part of this room!
Shop The Space
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