Gina turned an under-utilized space in her home into a great play space for her two children: I've always loved the idea of play rooms that are centrally located in a house. It creates a sense of togetherness, while maintaining boundaries between the kid space and adult space. The only trouble with centrally located playrooms is that you have to look at them all day. So design is important.
Bronwynn (almost 3) and Miles' (9 months) play area makes use of an otherwise dead space behind the stairs in our 1980s split-level home. It's adjacent to the kitchen and "grown-up" seating area in our family room, but also tucked out of sight. The space is a blend of DIY projects (like the play kitchen and play fridge, which I built from an old nightstand and vintage cabinet) and some heirlooms from my husband's and my childhood (the Cabbage Patch Kids, Fisher Price Little People, Tupperware tea set, and handcrafted rocking chair).
We defined the space as separate from the rest of the family room with carpet tiles from Flor and some fabric bunting that I made. The table is an activity table from Pottery Barn Kids (it's actually a chalk board surface, and it has drawers for stashing puzzles and toys). The toy bins/cabinet are from Ikea, and the art easel was a gift from Grandma (not sure who makes it).
I love that the kids can entertain themselves down there while I'm preparing dinner....I can hear them, but they're not underfoot. It's still a work in progress. We just moved in 5 weeks ago and I'm looking forward to painting and buying a few more toys to round out the space.