Amalia’s Playroom

About a month ago, Anel and I realized that Amalia needed more room for her toys and to move around. As she became more mobile and active, her tiny play mat wasn’t cutting it anymore. Our dining room (across from the more formal living room in our house) was seldom used, despite my grand visions of constant dinner parties in the ‘burbs, so we decided to turn it into her play room.

Within a matter of days we had rolled up the rug, put our table and chairs in storage, and had an empty slate. We decided to keep the pretty Moroccan mirrors and the vintage chandelier that I grew up with in my childhood home in the room because they were already there and we figured we could add a little bit of glam to an area that’s pretty central in our home. We knew the playroom would be messy and lived in, so why not keep a little bit of prettiness?

The first order of business was what to put on the floor…

One of our friends with a new baby had just gotten a Little Nomad play mat, and as soon as I saw it I knew we needed one too. The company was started by a Connecticut mom who was sick of baby play mats that were ugly and made from toxic materials. She created a line of gorgeous, non-toxic play mats that I’ve been seeing everywhere I turn. We went with the Starry Night pattern (currently on sale!) because it matched with all of the blue and white in the attached living room and kind of tied the whole space together.

I couldn’t be happier it! The mat looks like a designer rug but feels soft and comfy for the baby to crawl around and play on. If she spits up, I can easily wipe it down and not have to worry about it getting stained. Just note that dog nails can poke holes in it, so we’ve made this space off limits to Boots for now.

Next, I knew we needed storage for her toys, so I found these stacking shelves that we put in one corner (Of course after I bought them I found a nearly identical set for a fraction of the price). I added two baskets for her current favorite toys so that I can easily clean up at the end of the day and throw all of the toys she’s loving right now into the baskets and move them to the side. But to be honest, I usually just leave everything out and only tidy up if we have guests over or if I’m feeling especially ambitious aka never.

Anel has done an amazing job at training the dog to never touch Amalia’s toys, so we don’t have to worry about blocking off the room, even if it’s covered with her things which is nice.

After a week of using the space, Anel and I realized that we needed some place for us to sit because our backs were starting to hurt from being on the floor all the time. I bought a super soft and cozy faux fur bean bag chair and brought up my favorite ever striped chair (made by my friend Roxy!) that had been sitting in the basement for six months gathering dust. I use the chair to feed her bottles, and sit with her on the bean bag chair while she plays. If Anel and I are both hanging out, we both have a place to sit which is nice too.

She’s on the verge of really crawling, and we have a gate ready to put up for when that day comes so that she can’t escape and hurt herself easily.

On most days, this space is covered in toys, books, used bibs and teething crackers…  I’m just waiting for the day when she starts coloring on the walls!

Little Nomad Play Mat (in 8×12)
Pottery Barn Kids Faux Fur Bean Bag Chair
Custom Society Social Quinn Club Chair c/o
Land of Nod “Storagepalooza” Shelves (These are almost identical for a fraction of the price)
Blue Tassel Basket
Pom Pom Basket
Minted Artwork c/o
Vintage Chandelier
Wisteria Moroccan Mirrors
Pottery Barn Kids Bunny Rocker
Wall Color: Farrow & Ball Cornforth White










Little Nomad Play Mat (in 8×12)
Pottery Barn Kids Faux Fur Bean Bag Chair
Custom Society Social Quinn Club Chair c/o
Land of Nod “Storagepalooza” Shelves (These are almost identical for a fraction of the price)
Blue Tassel Basket
Pom Pom Basket
Minted Artwork c/o
Vintage Chandelier
Wisteria Moroccan Mirrors
Pottery Barn Kids Bunny Rocker
Wall Color: Farrow & Ball Cornforth White

Photos by Lindsay Madden Photography.

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  1. Jessica Dupont said:

    I love it! Most things/spaces in my home have been recycled or surrendered to be for the kids! They come with so much stuff!

    2.28.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      They really do! For such tiny humans, it’s amazing the amount of materials they acquire!

      2.28.18 · Reply
  2. Elizabeth said:

    So cute! Do you have a problem with Amalia going after Boots’ toys? (and my shoes … not sure why we even bought baby toys!) Right our baby (9 mo.) seems more interested in the dog’s things than her own. But the dog never touches her toys, we didn’t even train him that way, he just knows to stay away!

    2.28.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      We try to keep them pretty separate so not so far. She’s also not quite crawling yet but as soon as she can get to them I’m sure she’ll try to pick them all up. I don’t know how we’ll handle that but I’ll keep you posted!

      2.28.18 · Reply
  3. Justina said:

    I love how you made a really functional playroom that is also pretty!

    2.28.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Thanks Justina!

      2.28.18 · Reply
  4. Morgan said:

    This room is gorgeous! I don’t have kids but kind of just want that play mat for my own home! Not sure if there’s a wide interest in this, but I’d love to read a post from you/Anel on how you’ve trained Boots, both pre and post-baby. I’m getting closer to getting a dog, but training is the one thing that really overwhelms me. Thanks!

    2.28.18 · Reply
  5. Hillary said:

    I bought one of these over Christmas, and we loved it so much we got another to cover our entire living room floor. What products do you use to clean yours? The website said to use just water, but i feel like we should be using something “more”. Especially since our dogs are NOT so well trained as to stay off them :/

    2.28.18 · Reply
    • Hillary said:

      And by “these” I mean the little nomad mat in starry night.

      2.28.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I just use the Honest baby spray and a rag. Then I vacuum it weekly! I didn’t look at the website but it seems to be fine with the spray so far.

      2.28.18 · Reply
  6. That play mat! I wish that was available when my son was young (although my dog was/is hard to keep out of the mix. Gorgeous room and you make me realize I either need to start if more dinner parties or repurpose my dining room.

    2.28.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      My vote is for more dinner parties! 🙂

      2.28.18 · Reply
  7. Amy said:

    Cute! Just a tip about the comparable storage you linked to. Having purchased both, the Land of Nod bins are far better quality. We went with the cheaper ones first and the front piece came off almost immediately (obviously so dangerous with screws sticking out). My kids are not hard on our things either! The screws are covered with thin stickers, which just looks kind of junky. If you can swing the bigger price tag for the Land Of Nod storage, it’s worth it. My advice from one Mom to another.

    2.28.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Oh wow so good to know. Glad I went with the pricier one after all although that price tag was brutal, right? Definitely worth it for safety though.

      2.28.18 · Reply
  8. Morgan said:

    Beautiful and so functional! Would you mind sharing the source for the blue prints on the wall? Really lovely!

    2.28.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Yes! They’re linked above but they’re from Minted. Great price point too.

      2.28.18 · Reply
  9. Victoria said:

    I can’t with her pigtails. She is the cutest ever!

    2.28.18 · Reply
  10. Monica said:

    in our first house we also turned our dining room into a playroom, it was so convenient for us. cute post!

    3.3.18 · Reply
  11. Meg said:

    Just bought those cubbies – thanks for the idea! 🙂

    3.19.18 · Reply