Creating a playroom.

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Around 8 months ago we did a big rethink of how we used the flat. Having a shared lounge wasn’t working. My flatmate and me both needed more space.

Our solution was to create two ‘tiny homes’ inside the flat. My flatmate took the lounge, bathroom kitchen and I had the two bedrooms.

Overall, it’s worked really darn well. Space has been a huge limiting factor on my recovery and having the space to have the buggy / beanbag setup has been transformative to my health and pain levels.

A few days ago we started a second change. Not as big as the move to the tiny home approach, but hopefully just as impactful.

The den

When we did the last rejig we created the ‘den’ in the small bedroom.

It was a really great workspace. But very much a workspace…. a room designed around a desk with everything else tucked into the corners.

The thing is… that’s not how I use it anymore. I don’t spend all that much time at my desk. I spend most of my time with the ‘other things’ which have all be pushed into the edges of the room.

As my focus shifted to ‘adventure and play’ I’ve been using space differently.

When my flatmate had COVID, I went weeks without a desk and it didn’t matter much. I didn’t miss the desk… I missed the comfortable seating and the separation between sleep and ‘doing stuff’.

With that in mind we’ve had a bit of a rethink. I don’t need a workspace a anymore, I need a playroom!


We started creating the playroom this week. The goal of the playroom is to bring all of the things I find joyful into one place.

It’s a dedicated space for me to play, create, make and try things. It’s all about being flexible. The focus of the room is the space in the middle rather than the desk. I’m aiming to have a big rug or playmat in there. The play space is surrounded by storage for all my playthings.

I’m trying to avoid the office aesthetic. The space must be as playful as the activity within it.

The room also needs to feel safe, even on wobbly days. To get that safe feeling we have to make sure nothing fragile is in harms way. I wont need to ‘be careful’ as the space itself has been designed to remove potential barriers.

Bring it home

A second goal for the playroom is to enable me to bring home all of my playthings from storage.

We’ve made a start already but there’s lots to go. I’m planning to bring back big collections like my Lego and Brio. But also my various sensory toys and all the plushies.

To make this work I’m more than tripling the total storage in the flat. Going from 14 cubes of storage to 44. The play space will be surrounded by things to play with all stored in such a way they can be directly accessed.

As well as the toys, I’m also going to be storing a small amount of bike things in the playroom. Things like my riding clothes and tools.

Activity zones

The third goal of the new playroom is to have permanently setup ‘ready to go’ activity zones.

For example, I’ll have a desk setup for use with the buggy. However I’d like it to be much smaller and friendlier. Something discrete which blends into the room rather than sticking out with sharp corners.

I have a similar goal for the gaming area. I’m thinking I’d like something designed into the bookcase so the TV is protected and it all blends together.

More space

All of these ideas require more space than the little den can provide. With that in mind we’ve swapped the rooms, moving my bedroom from the big room to the small room. My new bedroom is much simpler and more focused than before. It’s just for rest and sleeping. I’m not trying to live my whole life in it.

I’m going to spend 80-90% of my waking hours in the playroom so I’m giving it the space it needs. The old den was intended so I could close the door at the end of my workday… the playroom is intended to give me an environment to enjoy and thrive within.

Final thoughts.

I’m rather excited for changing the rooms around.

For many years I’ve kept my life in storage. Figuratively and literally. I can’t wait to bring it home and have it accessible to me. It will also save me £200 a month in storage fees.

I’ve really enjoyed my focus on adventure and play. I find it interesting that changing my lens on how I live my life has started to also impact how I use my home.

The den has been productive, I’m hoping the playroom will be joyful.


Spaced Out & Smiling is about exploring the fun side of Autism, and trying to understand what it means to be Autistically Happy.

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