Buying a home often means finally having the space and freedom to turn it into your very own sanctuary.
The moment Carl Raine of the United Kingdom saw the inside of his new house he knew renovations were in his future. Each room was dated and needed serious refreshing. Not only that, but Carl was determined to make the house a special haven for himself and his toddler son Oakley.
There was one room in particular that spoke to Carl. It was originally a first-floor bedroom with a large bay window, but it was covered with ugly wallpaper, sad carpeting, and a ’70s era ceiling that simply had to go. Carl didn’t need a guest room or an extra living area, so he decided to give the space to Oakley as a playroom.
Using the Facebook group “DIY On A Budget” as a resource, Carl got to work remodeling the room himself. He spent hours ripping the room apart and designing a space he envisioned as a sensory playground for his little boy. The room would have a series of platforms, a built-in abacus basketball hoop, a Velcro board, and a slide that plunges from a platform into a ball pit.
“I wanted to keep as much of the floor space free as possible, which was the starting block [for the design],” Carl explained. “It made me use the space around the room and by creating two levels, it has just made the absolute most of the space to keep the floor free.”
Colorful foam mats cover the floors and stairways and Oakley’s name is spelled out in big block letters on the wall. Carl says the whole project cost him just over $1,000 because he was able to do all of the construction work himself.
“The project, if I’m honest, would probably round up about the £800 ($1,037) mark,” he said. “The fact that I’m in the trade helps as I’ve managed to do absolutely everything in order to keep costs down to a minimum!”
When Carl shared pictures of his handiwork on the Facebook group the response was instantaneous. Carl was praised as a dedicated dad that he is, and people everywhere asked for tips and advice on how to create playrooms for their own kids.
Carl says he is just happy Oakley loves his new room, and he hopes the sensory aspects prove to be stimulating and educational as well as just plain fun.
“So the features I’ve added are all things that I have picked up along the journey of being his dad, what he likes and also what I know will push him to hopefully naturally better himself and help him along his path,” said Carl. “Simple things like the slide, ball pit, and steps are all there to help him be active but [there also are] tunnels to allow him to separate himself from the lights if [they become] too much for him.”
Carl and his sensory playroom are now inspiring countless others to devote the time and effort into creating fun and enriching areas in their own homes. What a lucky little boy! Not only does he have the sort of playroom you’d normally find in a school or gym, but he’s clearly got a dad who absolutely adores him.
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