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Photograph by David Lauer

How To Create A Rock-‘n’-Roll-Inspired Kids’ Space

Local mom and DIY blogger reveals how she turned the space under the stairs into the hippest playroom ever.

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Sized to Fit
The cozy space—12.5 feet long by three feet wide—sits beneath a Platt Park home’s basement stairs, a perfect spot for a miniature play zone for two young brothers, ages 3 and 4. “I really wanted to keep the floor space open and give them a creative and secret space to play,” says Angela Neese Rathbun, a lawyer turned DIY designer and author of the Blue I Style blog. “Like a secret hideaway.” But not too secret: The nook has a Dutch (half) door she converted from a full door so she and her husband can keep an eye on the kids.

Creative Genius
Rathbun made the playroom fit for a couple of budding rock stars by stocking it with creative touches inspired by a love of music: a ceiling of records (thrift-store finds); framed sheet music with clips to hold her boys’ artwork; and on-theme posters from Society6 and Amazon, framed in IKEA’s Ribba line.

Smart Style
LED rope lights line the edges of the album-covered ceiling and give off a festive glow. IKEA rugs that come lined with LED lights add sparkle to the space, and simple wall organizers from IKEAhold books, magazines, and small toys and keep the floors uncluttered. Rathbun covered one wall in custom-fabricated sheet metal (ideal for kid-pleasing magnets and dry-erase markers). A satisfying array of kid-sized musical toys—including a play saxophone, guitar, clarinet, drums, and trumpet—inspires plenty of family jam sessions.

DIY
Rathbun posted all of the tutorials for the room’s projects on her blog Blue i Style. Click “Kids” on the site’s main menu and you’ll find a post with links to all of the projects that make this space, well, rock.

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