6 ways to turn an unused space into a rumpus room

Clever ways to make a play space for your kids.
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More than just a play space, a rumpus room allows kids to stretch out and be themselves. Think you don’t have room? Think again.

Look to these rumpus room decorating designs and practical ideas that permit room to play, create, read, discover, build a fort or an entire city of Lego – all in a space that’s fresh, free and forgiving.

1. Reading corner

Even a narrow room can house a reading nook at the end.

Recover a pre-loved sofa or pile high with blankets and throws for maximum snuggle value. Add a reading lamp and a table or small bookshelf to store current favourites.

Bookshelves in rumpus room
Colour-coordinated bookshelves next to a day bed by Berkeley Interiors in a vibrant Brisbane home. (Credit: Photography: John Downs | Styling: Kylie Jackes)

2. Make it colourful

Designate a corner for play by anchoring the space with bookshelves offering plenty of pretty storage of games, toys and fun boxes of activities.

Add fun wall art or a cork board to display an ever-changing gallery of your children’s art.

Colourful rumpus room with layered rugs

3. Keep it simple

Any wall or alcove can serve as a place of imagination for your children. Keep things within reach of your child and don’t be afraid to regularly rotate activities.

A chalkboard wall is a vehicle for planning, play and discovery. Switch up the colours of chalk you buy from time to time to keep things fresh and engaging.

Kids room with chalkboard wall
A chalkboard wall is a great way to encourage play and creativity. (Credit: Photography: Louise Roche | Styling: Kylie Jackes)

4. Wallpaper for fun

Your rumpus ‘room’ can be a stolen corner of a kitchen, lounge room, bedroom or sun room. To differentiate the space from the rest of the room and create extra energy, cover one wall in a fun wallpaper.

Choosing children’s décor to match your own room is a great way to maximise the use of your spaces and allow them to flow into one another whilst visually keep it from looking cluttered.

Kids room with fun colourful floral wallpaper
Large scale floral wallpaper sets the scene in this bedroom in a bayside Hamptons home. (Credit: Photography: Sizi Appel | Styling: Beckie Littler)

5. Any room will do

Look again at downstairs rooms, your garage or storeroom for its rumpus potential.

Add plenty of rugs, colourful artwork and embrace the rough-and-ready nature of the space by hanging a swing, having a “messy corner” and simply going with the flow.

Rumpus room with plush rug
(Credit: Photograpy: Suzi Appel | Styling: Beckie Littler)

6. Layered rugs

Invest in a generous rug for floor play and layer smaller rugs for ‘breakout’ areas – soft and fluffy for under a tee pee, wipe-clean for under the snack table.

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