Before and After: Almost All the Furniture in This $420 Playroom Was Built From Scratch

published May 14, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Children's Room & Nursery
Office & Dens
Organic Modern
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Post Image

It’s such a rewarding experience to see any home project come to life, but it’s especially rewarding for DIYers when they’re able to breathe new life into their spaces by using their DIY know-how. And it’s extra rewarding when you upcycle items you already have to do so.

This playroom redo from Ndandu Khavhadi (@justamomwithadrill) is a testament to that.

This playroom — a space for her three little girls to pretend and be creative — was a “dump room” as Ndandu put it. “It was filled with toys they never used,” Ndandu says of the room, which had blue-gray walls, clunky furniture, and a dated ceiling fan.

But the space where the kids get to be creative is now also a testament to their mom’s creativity, since 90 percent of this three-month, $420-redo consists of Ndandu’s DIYs.

From installing light fixtures to sewing cushions to building furniture from reclaimed wood, “I thought it would be great to give them the space to be creative in and enjoy,” Ndandu says. “A little studio apartment design came to mind.”

The new little studio-playroom has a sofa for reading/napping/cuddling, custom wall art behind the sofa, a desk for drawing or maybe homework down the line, a clothes rack for dress up clothes, and the most adorable play kitchen.

Ndandu made the sofa base using wood from old toy storage and sewed the black cushions — a great, kid-friendly color choice — herself. She also made the abstract artwork behind the sofa.

Ndandu made the desk — with its funky, stylish legs — out of pine. “I seriously had to apply some geometry skills here,” she says. “After cutting a zillion pieces, I managed to get the angles correct and balanced.” And the dress-up rack? That’s a $3 project made from reclaimed wood and an old broom stick.

She built the play kitchen — the girls’ favorite part — out of plywood and added a pine countertop, complete with a DIY coffee stain. The little breakfast nook table was a secondhand find; Ndandu just stained and sealed it, and it was good to go. Its petite stools are made from reclaimed wood and have DIY cushions that match the sofa and leather strap accents.

“This is like their little home where they can explore and use their imagination,” Ndandu says of the new space.

The most difficult part of the project, Ndandu says, was the DIY bookcase, which actually child-proofs an electrical distribution board on the wall. “I needed to make sure it stays hidden but not in an obvious way,” she says. “This was part of the project I wasn’t too sure of, but it worked out. I went with the handle-less handles. With a little research, I found the right router bit, and I went for it.”

Ndandu’s most proud of just how much DIY was involved in creating this space for her daughters. “You don’t have to have millions to have anything you want. Before you buy something new consider the impact on the environment,” she says. “Reuse, recycle, upcycle, and leave a legacy.”