Are You Ready to Rock? A Music Themed Under Stairs Playroom

Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth...because I'm HAPPY! Beckett declared that our family song a few months back, and it seems the perfect anthem for today's One Room Challenge reveal post because we are one HAPPY family! Scott and I are happy that we made it to the finish line, the under stairs playroom is done, and we can sleep! The boys are happy because, well... wouldn't you be if this were your space?!

If you're new here - welcome! Let me catch up really quickly. This is our third time participating in the One Room Challenge - last spring we completed a menswear inspired bedroom for our son Beckett, and last fall we gave our master bedroom a major refresh.

This time around we were working with a space that hardly qualifies as a room - a 12.5 foot long, 3 foot wide former storage space under our stairs. In just five weeks time we've transformed the space into one pretty incredible under stairs playhouse for our two young boys (Beckett, 3 and Cooper, almost 2). 

Here's what the space looked like when we started... poorly utilized storage space...

And here's what it looked like after we emptied it out...

Under Stair Playroom - BEFORE

We resisted the urge to turn this narrow hideout into a preschool fantasy land with a typical little boy theme that the boys would quickly outgrow. Instead we created a colorful, rock & roll inspired "studio" where the boys can make music, play and be creative. 

You can read the whole back story in my Week 1 post, but two things you should know: (1) the plans for an under stair playroom date all the way back to my childhood; and (2) our boys never knew this space existed until last night - it was a complete surprise!

I'll tell you more as we go along, but first, Beckett and Cooper have a question for you...

This post also contains affiliate links. If you purchase something I recommend, you will pay the same price, but I may receive a small commission.

Welcome to Beckett and Cooper's under stairs music studio!

Music themed under stairs playroom with DIY dutch door

We wanted the boys to have a sense of privacy in this space {they love to close doors}, but we still want to be able to keep an eye on them, so Scott and his dad cut the door down to turn it in to a Dutch door with only the lower half installed. 

Once the door is open, you get a full view of the room in all of its glowing glory! We lined the edges of the room in rope lighting, and those lighted red carpet rugs would make any kid feel like a rock star!

UNDER STAIRS PLAYROOM. The disfunctional storage space under the basement stairs was transformed into a rock & roll themed kids playroom under the stairs. This music themed play space includes a music gallery wall, a wall covered in vinyl records, DIY sheet music wallpaper, and a magnetic ping pong ball wall maze.

I need to send a huge thanks to the two incredible companies that sponsored portions of this room, Ikea Centennial and Command Brand! Ikea provided us with most of the products you see on the gallery wall, and Command provide us with hundreds of Picture Hanging Strips to allow us to hang all the records on the ceiling completely damage free. We also used the Command Brand Picture Hanging Strips to keep the frames on the gallery wall securely in place - no need to worry if the boys bump into them running in and out of the space... they aren't going anywhere! Ikea and Command are two of my favorite brands {as you probably already know since I mention them both on the blog regularly} so it was a huge honor to get to work with both of them on this fun project!

If you are curious where any of the products in this space came from, I've link most within the text of this post, or you can hop over to the playroom source list for a complete list. At the bottom of this post, you'll also find links to detailed tutorials for the DIY projects in this space.

But for now, just enjoy the pictures...

UNDER STAIRS PLAYROOM. The unused storage space under the basement stairs was transformed into a rock & roll themed kids under stairs playhouse.

Rock & Roll Under Stairs Playroom for budding rock stars!

Rock & Roll under stairs playroom with a music gallery wall.

Because the space is so narrow {35 inches to be exact} we made the decision early on that this wouldn't be a place to store many toys. Instead, we wanted use the wall space to engage their creativity while keeping the floor space open so they can take toys in and out as they wish, perform on their microphones, play their little instruments, or simply curl up to read {one of their favorite things to do}.

There's a lot going on on this wall, so let me break it down for you. The poster with the chimpanzee wearing headphones was the very first item we purchased for the wall, and he might just be my favorite part! But the musical instrument alphabet poster is also pretty cool! All the frames on this wall are part of the Ikea Ribba series.

I love the music alphabet poster on rock & roll gallery wall in this playroom.

I love the music alphabet poster and he hanging guitar on rock & roll gallery wall in this playroom.

Let's talk about that hand guitar hanger, shall we? Beckett wanted a guitar for his second birthday, and we decided it should have a prominent place in this music-themed play space. And nothing says prominent more than a giant silver hand sticking out of the wall, right?!

This silver hand guitar holder makes a big statement on this music gallery wall.

This silver hand sticking out of the wall makes for a cool guitar display on this music gallery wall.

We also wanted this gallery wall to be a place where the kids could display their own art work. Four frames are filled with colorful sheet music from different Beatles songs, each with a clip to hold our boys' masterpieces.

DIY kid's art display boards covered in sheet music for art and music lovers.

Music and art loving kids will like these DIY display boards to show off their art work!

Our boys love to make noise! What boy doesn't right? So we installed rails with small buckets to hold lots of their little noise making devices within easy reach.

They even have a cute, red toy accordion that I hung from one of the rails.

IKEA Bygel storage rails for organizing and storing kids musical toys, including a red toy accordian.

The boys also have quite a few larger toy instruments that we store elsewhere, but now they have a perfect place to jam!



The ceiling slopes all the way down to the floor, making the back of the space a perfect reading nook for curling up with some comfy pillows and a good book! Our boys love to read, so adding some book storage was a must. 

Under Stairs Reading nook with a collection of music themed kids books in a rock & roll playroom under the stairs.

We bought the boys a small collection of new books all about music and displayed them in wall mounted magazine racks {similar to these}.

Under stairs reading nook in a music themed playroom with a collection of kid's music story books.

Under stairs reading nook with a collection of music books for kids in a music themed playroom.

To help fill the wall space around the book racks, I added two black and white photos taken by their uncle - one of piano keys, the other guitar strings.

Framed photo of piano keys in a music themed playroom under the basement stairs.

Toy storage rail in a playroom under the basement stairs.


The sheet metal wall opposite the gallery wall serves many purposes - one of which is for use with magnetic alphabet letters and numbers, which we are storing in more plastic buckets. But the real reason we installed the sheet metal wall is this...

Call it what you want... a magnetic ping pong ball wall coaster, a wall maze, a ball run, or a tinker track... we call it hours of fun and learning!

...pipes and plumbing pieces with magnets on the back that can be configured and reconfigured to create a ping pong ball wall coaster {also known as a ball run or a tinker track}!

This magnetic ping pong ball wall maze is just one of the many fun ways we use the sheet metal wall in the playroom.

Our goal was to design a play space that will grow with them for many years, and I can see 11 and 12 year old Cooper and Beckett having just as much fun with this magnetic ball run as they will now. Heck, I had a ton of fun setting it up just for these photos!

PVC pipes and duct tape create the ping pong ball run on a magnetic wall in the basement playroom.

When they are done creating their mazes, all the parts and pieces can easily be stored right on the wall.

The sheet metal wall in this under stairs playroom is used for alphabet magnets, drawing, and even a ping pong ball wall maze. The PVC pines from the magnetic wall coaster store neatly to one side when not in use.


So what does it look like when you're at the back of the space looking toward the door? I'm glad you asked!

A kids' music studio under the basement stairs. This mini-playroom is packed with music and fun, including the DIY sheet music wall paper on the upper part of the walls.

We installed black trim molding on both side walls, and I collaged the entire upper portion of these walls and above the door in the sheet music for Pharrell Williams' "Happy" {which Beckett has dubbed our "family song"}. 

DIY sheet music wallpaper adorns the upper walls of this fabulous music studio playroom under the stairs.

I created a series of music lyric posters that I added on top of the sheet music using thin, colored washi tape.

DIY sheet music wallpaper with music lyrics posters.

The "STUDIO" marquee letters add yet another element of mood lighting in the space. The photo below also gives you a good view of the new light fixture that we installed on the wall.

DIY sheet music wallpaper, music lyrics posters, and a ceiling covered in vinyl records make for a very cool "studio" playroom under the stairs.

I'm all about the it makes me giddy that the trim molding has ridges that look so similar to the ridges in the records on the ceiling. 

DIY rock & roll wallpaper in a music studio playroom.


And speaking of the records on the ceiling...I guess I should talk about those too! Not that you could have possibly missed them! :) 

A wall covered in vinyl records

There are a total of 135 records on the ceiling. The ceiling was the right width for 5 records across with just about a quarter of an inch to spare. And 27 rows of records fit the ceiling from top to bottom exactly. It was like this ceiling was made for these records!

If you are interested in the details about the products used in this room, you'll find the answers in the complete source list post, and in the following weeks for lots I'll be posting numerous tutorials. I've also posted an adorable video of the boys seeing the playroom for the first time, together with some fun photos of them enjoying the space. So if you like cute kid pictures, be sure to check that out here!

UNDER STAIRS PLAYROOM. The dysfunctional storage space under the basement stairs was transformed into a rock & roll themed kids playroom under the stairs.

Thanks for rocking out with us! If you want to catch up on the five weeks of work that led to this big reveal, you'll find each of those posts here.

I want to remind you that I'm not the only one jumping for joy that their One Room Challenge space is complete. Linda from Calling it Home knows how to host one heck of a party, and today there are more than 100 other bloggers sharing their room reveals on her site, in addition to the 20 incredible designers who revealed their spaces yesterday.


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