Our Rainbow Family Room


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Rainbow Family Room | Kids Playroom Decorating Ideas | DiY Family Room Decor | Family Room Designs | Decorating Ideas for Family RoomsMy husband Chuck was out of town this week for a business trip so I decided to surprise him by remodeling our former guest room while he was gone. This was a project we have been planning for a while but are never able to get to. In fact, we sold our guest bedroom set a few months ago in anticipation of the project, and even started ripping out the carpet, but then life took over and the room became little more than an ugly storage room.

Before the rainbow makeover to our guest bedroom turned playroom

Taking on such a big project all by myself was a little daunting, but luckily we have a good friend who is a great contractor and could help with all the construction-y stuff like installing the bamboo floors (which had been sitting in boxes in the closet since 2004!), installing a new ceiling fan, and hanging shelves the right way (you know, the way where they don’t fall down and can actually hold stuff on them.)

In all honesty, I  didn’t do a whole lot of pre-planning for this project. In fact, I didn’t even decide to do it until last week. My main goal was just to paint the walls and have the new flooring installed, 2 things Husband and I had discussed at length but never had time to do. Because that room had always felt dark and dreary to me, I chose the most unlikely of colors (at least for me): white. (Technically the color is called “Swiss Coffee” by Behr.)

I couldn’t bear the thought of having to do 3 or 4 coats to cover up the existing paint so I splurged on the Behr Premium paint that claims to be a paint and primer in one. It ended up being a good decision because the walls looked great after only 2 coats.

The transformation, as soon as I started painting, was immediate. The room became so much brighter and instead of this awful depressing room that I had always hated, it suddenly felt like a blank canvas. A colorful plan began forming, (inspired largely by one of my favorite blogs, whatever),  and the only question became whether we could possibly pull it off in just 4 days. It was a LOT of work to get it all done in time, but everything came together really well.

The only major purchase I made was the couch, which was definitely the biggest and most expensive thing I have ever bought without first consulting my husband. But I absolutely loved the denim and thought it was perfect for the room, so I took a risk. The rest of the furniture was stuff we had on hand already, except for the little window seat stools ($25 each at Target) and the little red table ($30 at Marshall’s, spray painted by me.)

The first step to our rainbow theme was to arrange all the books in the order of a rainbow

I love the rainbow effect of these books. It is probably my favorite part of the whole room. And check out the awesome owl, a sweet surprise gift from my talented friend Angela.

This playroom gallery wall is a collection of colorful pictures and frames

Keep the room organized with creative storage that plays into your theme

This melted crayon art was perfect for our rainbow theme

The tv and movie area is a perfect place for kids to hang out when they aren't arts and crafting

 This gigantic TV was a relic  from husband’s bachelor days. Not wanting it to be the focal point of our living room, I banned it to this room where it has sat unused for years. Now it finally has a home.

We organized our DVDs into a rainbow pattern to stick with the theme

 More rainbows. What a happy way to organize DVDs!

The kids artwork graces the wall of the rainbow play room

This comfy hangout area in the playroom is colorful and cozy

More rainbow artwork from the kids is the perfect decoration in this room

The girls had a lot of fun with this simple (but messy) art project.

the kids will love hanging out and playing in their new rainbow room

The girls loved helping, especially with the art & crafts part. I’ll have to do a separate post just for all the DiY projects we did! They couldn’t wait for daddy to come home to show him his surprise, and while I was a little worried that Maggie, in all her enthusiasm, would give it way over the phone, she totally played it cool. What a pro!

As soon as the room was ready to go I became a nervous wreck worrying how Chuck would react. They make it look so fun on those “while you were out” shows, but my stomach was in knots all day. Luckily I needn’t have worried…he loved the room! And surprised was an understatement–he was absolutely shocked! I don’t think he would’ve suspected me to take on a project like that in a million years, which made it just that much more fun.

We are all excited about having this new space. We finally have a place to play the Wii, which had been sitting in the attic unused since we moved from Seattle 3 years ago, and the girls have an awesome wall to display their constant flow of artwork. All in all, it was a lot of work but I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Rainbow Family Room | Kids Playroom Decorating Ideas | DiY Family Room Decor | Family Room Designs | Decorating Ideas for Family Rooms

UPDATE:  My normally non-expressive husband totally surprised me the the other day by writing a little poem–something he’s never EVER done before. It was so funny and cute and I was blown away, & he said I could share it:

Ode to a Guest Room

There once was a room full of clutter.
One look in the door made us shudder.
The colors were less than bright; it was mostly a terrible sight.
We thought someday soon, it could be something better
All ideas it seemed, though, turned into a fetter.
It had been used for a granny, then was home to a nanny.
It was used for our guests, it was used for our mess!
The room was a crutch and it didn’t help much
with the goals on our plate, we thought that our fate
was to have this square footage be useless to us….and never be great.
Then along came my wife, the love of my life;
She decided to end this terrible strife.
Working on the room while I was away,
She worked and she worked on that room night and day.
By the time I got back, the room was all done,
It had a new floor, new paint, and new fun.
It had a new couch, and a table, and games.
It had some new pictures with everyone’s names.
She took an old burden and lifted from me,
That old crummy room was now history.
So now I must thank you for being my wife,
I love you, my honey, for the rest of my life.


  1. April 20 at 12:48PM

    Love it! The room looks so inviting!! Nice work 🙂

  2. Julie
    April 20 at 04:50PM

    Where did you buy the sofa from? I love the handprint wall art.

  3. April 20 at 07:59PM

    Oh my gosh, love how it turned out! So fun and playful- the gallery wall is amazing. How awesome that you surprised your hubby with that.

  4. Kristine
    April 20 at 09:48PM

    Love, love, love it!!! That looks like a great place to hang out and watch movies or play games, play Wii, or whatever! I totally love the kid’s art holder wall – very cool way to hang their art AND rotate it too. You are so creative. Congrats on getting such a big job done in a short time. Must feel great!

  5. April 22 at 10:46AM

    Really love it. LOVE the artwork frames!!!

  6. Claire
    April 23 at 08:08PM

    Ruth this is so great! I love it!!

  7. April 23 at 11:17PM

    i LOVE it. 🙂
    i saw your blog on my stats so i came over to see.
    this is REALLY great. you made such happy place.

  8. Jess
    April 26 at 09:45PM

    I think you should win a “Wife Of The Year” award for doing that – what an awesome surprise!! 🙂

  9. Coupon Carla
    April 27 at 05:49PM

    Love it! The colors look so happy. I especially like the wall art hung by colored clothespins. That is a great idea so you can change it to a different “work of art” when you want. Love that denim sofa too. Where did you find it? 🙂

  10. May 3 at 01:09PM

    Love the room but especially love the poem from your husband. So sweet!

  11. Love the room and *heart* what your hubby wrote!! Totally melted. 🙂

  12. Tasha
    February 26 at 05:41PM

    Where did you find the sofa????

    I LOVE it. The room turned out great.

  13. Melissa
    December 27 at 05:23PM

    Love your website! …… 1st TIME READER. As I was go about your site, I felt like it was “that type of blogger”, who you can relate to and have same taste and “beliefs”, and so much fun DIY’ers for a family. Which I have 3- beautiful children and I have been out of work for 2 years , which has placed a great deal of pressure, not only on me, but my husband. ……the most! Being out of the “work field ~ which was “healthcare”…DENTAL” I have been able to do, rather watch others have their passion for diy”ing, crafts, decorating, scrapbooking, and I can go on and on. …I am always looking at great blogs like yourself, and wanting to have that , being part of my life! !!!!! I know ENVY, is not the best trait to have. I just know if I could have enough courage and less depression. ………which is the main reason I have seemed to stop doing everything I LOVE!, I know I would have the DRIVE to work on something that I would Love to do. ……EVERYDAY! I truly enjoy reading and watching others blogs/ websites and get INSPIRED. Thank you for another inspiring SITE, that I can enjoy reading and thinking: “HOW COOL! ” One day (MAYBE TODAY! ) I will battle through this depression, that’s weighing me down, from my dreams and aspirations, which I KNOW and can FEEL, I have. …wanting to share with others, such as yourself. THANK YOU……..MELISSA (from Seattle, meadowbrook area….north Seattle)

    • Diane Mutchler
      January 16 at 09:41PM

      Melissa, Check out Dr. Kelly Brogan, MD for depression- she is amazing.
      Take care, Diane

  14. March 12 at 06:45PM

    Looks great! Where did you purchase the couch?? I’ve been searching all over for one just like it!

    • Ruth Soukup
      March 13 at 07:38PM

      Hi Tanya,
      Thanks! I purchased the couch from Rooms To Go.

  15. April 28 at 07:45PM

    Piece of writing writing is also a excitement, if you be familiar with then you can write or else it
    is complicated to write.

  16. May 17 at 10:47PM

    Love, love, love the room and the poem too!

  17. January 28 at 03:34PM

    Such a fun room, and your husband’s poem is so sweet! I love Meg’s blog too. 🙂 I have a denim couch also. I like it, but I like the trim detail on yours better than mine. Mine is the Friday Twill Slipcovered Sofa from JC Penney. We don’t have a Rooms To Go near us, and JC Penney shipped to the local store, so I went with it. It is showing a lot of wear after just two years, but I think maybe that’s just how denim is. I thought I would share in case anyone else is looking for a denim sofa. Mine was half the price JC Penney has it listed for now, though, so I would definitely wait for a sale and possibly try negotiating if you live near a store that carries it in stock. Anyway, great job on your room!

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