Blogging, Decor

Work at Home: Playroom in the Office, Office in the Playroom

Bookshelf with glass doors for office playroom. See more photos at

When I showed you the toddler art corner we made for Eva, I mentioned that we had changed a lot of things around the house recently. Toward the end of December, I sat down one night and wrote out all of the things that were driving me crazy. Many of them were problems we were having in our house, such as areas that were prone to clutter, rooms that didn’t feel comfortable, and a general accumulation of clutter.

I think it’s tempting when you rent like we do to just throw your hands in the air and dream of the day when you’ll rent/buy a bigger place. That’s not my go-to reaction since (A) I love our little house and (B) we’re here now and if I can avoid being crazy now I’d like to. So, we sat down and had a conversation that resulted in “OK, we’re moving all the things!” and over the last couple of weeks I’ve been able to relax a little bit and breathe in the non-crazy.

My favorite new oasis? The office/playroom.

Wall organizer with post it notes in office playroom. See more photos at Closet turned into a library in playroom office combo. See more photos at Playroom side of my office organized in Montessori style. See more photos at Wall art in the playroom office. See more photos at Office wall organizer from IKEA RIBBA frame and washi tape. See more photos at Blank books and journals in office playroom. See more photos at Mac computers in playroom office. See more photos at Closet turned into a library for our kid books. See more photos at

Yes! After three years of working on the couch, the bed, the dining room table, etc. I finally have a workspace to call my own. I was a little bit stressed out when we were moving everything, because I thought I was taking the kids’ playspace, but we’ve all enjoyed this room a lot more since it shifted. During the day, I bring the kids in with me and they quietly do their thing while I get some work done which is downright amazing. It’s also easier to take 5-10 minute breaks to join in a game or read a book, which makes me feel better about being a work at home mom who can’t give them 100% all day.

Another great thing about my new office space is that I didn’t spend any money on it. Everything is a piece of furniture repurposed from another part of the house and the organizers on the wall above my desk are actually a broken $20 RIBBA poster frame from IKEA that I took apart and repurposed. The plastic that used to cover the poster now holds washi tape columns and post-it notes to keep track of tasks I need to do. The backing from the frame is my new inspiration board thanks to even more washi tape (and a lot of love from the recent ALT summit). The actual frame has yarn laced between the clips that used to hold the poster in place and I’m using it to display photos. I think I might opt for square Instagrams soon, but right now I’m enjoying the open feel.

There are still a few things I’d like to do. I need to corral the cords and get them off the floor under the desk so Calvin can crawl around my feet since I put a mirror and a toy basket down there. I also need to empty out my work baskets and find a semblance of order since they’re currently crammed with things I don’t want to deal with. Finally, I need to take my iMac to the Apple doctor. It’s sad. 🙁

Any other suggestions? Anything you have in your office that I desperately need?

PS >> If you’re wondering where we stashed Eva’s giant bunk bed, stay tuned…

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  • Reply Alli

    Your office looks awesome! Great idea combining it with a play room. I find that my little girl just wants to be where ever I am so having a playroom & an office space would be great. My desk is currently in a corner of our spare/junk/bike room. I do find I’m much more productive when I set up in there as opposed to the couch.

    January 26, 2014 at 9:11 pm
    • Reply Carly Morgan

      It’s so true. Our house is small enough that I’m only around the corner from the dining table where I used to work, but having a designated space makes a huge difference. And my daughter is the same way – a million toys and she just wants to hang near my feet playing with the computer cord. :/

      January 27, 2014 at 1:37 am
  • Reply Hope at Disneyland

    You did a great job with the space and I love the fact that you can all work/play together in the same room.

    January 27, 2014 at 6:22 pm
  • Reply Jessica {from Petite Lemon}

    I love seeing all of the changes you’re making with that fabulous little house as your family grows. I can’t wait to see the next steps!! Love the playroom + office combo … totally smart. XO

    January 30, 2014 at 1:37 pm
  • Reply Brittany

    Love the space! where did you get your blue metal cabinet?

    August 30, 2017 at 2:11 pm
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