Playroom Makeover with PillowFort

Emily Henderson Target Pillowfort Playroom Makeover Canopy


As you know I’ve done a lot of baby rooms (I have two myself, after all), but playrooms are even more fun to do for pretty obvious reasons. I used Target’s new, very wonderful and affordable kids decor line, PillowFort, to furnish and accessorize almost the whole space – so it’s a look you can absolutely get if you are into it. The collection is so good you guys, full of easy to mix simple pieces of furniture and a lot of really playful accessories – pillows the shape of ice cream cones, for instance.


The “client” this time was the family of Green Wedding Shoes. Jen and Jayson who have a 3 year old, Sienna, and just gave birth to another daughter, Dakota. Congratulations, Jen. Welcome to the 2-kid club. It’s not exactly like the clubs I used to try to sneak into when I was 18, but it’s definitely full of excitement and way more A-list.


If you are into the whole design process, seeing the full room, and watching a 3 year old style with me, here you go:



When we first met the room, it looked like this:


Pillowfort Playroom Target Before 2


Clearly they had just moved in, and were in dire need of everything. But the bones were good, and the space was pretty simple.




They mostly had left over furniture and random little pieces.




The style of the house is contemporary with a lot of industrial vibes, like rustic beams and black railings. This playroom is a transition room – it’s a loft at the top of the stairs which leads into both kids bedrooms. Our goal, stylistically, was to make the room feel seamless in the home and yet obviously really girly and playful. And functionally it needed storage, a sitting area for reading/cuddling, and a craft/activity table.


We pulled together a preliminary moodboard to help guide the direction.


Pillowfort Playroom Moodboard Pink Mint Green Kids


More would be added and things would shift, but this was our jumping off point.


With out any further ado, the playroom of my dreams:


Emily Henderson Target Pillowfort Playroom Makeover 02


So much to chat about. Everything you see in there is from the PillowFort collection, except the wallpaper and the custom daybed (come back tomorrow for full post about that). Like I said, the collection is really good. They nailed the colors (with lots of options) and they designed it so that kids would love it, sure, but that we as parents would want to be around it. Who doesn’t want an excuse to own a pillow shaped like a panda head for instance? No one. There is so much more than we could even use in this room, so go check out the full collection before you tackle your kids room (there are even beds and dressers).


Let’s talk wallpaper. If you are in the market for some playful and fun wallpaper in a quiet/sophisticated tone, look no further. This is charcoal and white so it works with any color palette, and yes, those are tiny houses. It is designed by Sissy and Marley and it comes in a few color-ways, so check their site to see what else they have (we love all of their wallpaper).


We chose this one because the pattern was more of a texture than a big, bold, busy pattern adding to the potential chaos of the room. When choosing wallpaper know that the smaller the pattern, the less busy it is (although ironically  a medium size pattern is WAY more busy than a really large pattern – like Charlie’s wallpaper). I actually thought this pattern would be bigger than it turned out to be, but I love the scale of it. It’s soft and just adds so much texture without nutty-ness.


The Pillow Fort canopy really was the inspiration for the daybed (we are doing a whole post on the custom daybed tomorrow so please come back for full how/why/how much info). Back to the canopy. Have you ever personally met a person who doesn’t want to lounge under a canopy? They are a universal hit. It’s such a fun, cute place for anybody to read, especially a 3 year old girl named Sienna.


Emily Henderson Target Pillowfort Playroom Bench Makeover 01


We curated the pillows so that there were enough that were square, rectangular, and sculptural. I love that I just wrote that we “curated sculptural pillows” for a playroom. To be fair that panda head and “Hooray!” are indeed pillows, and pretty great. All of the pillows had our light, fun, bright color palette with enough negative space pillows mixed in so it didn’t feel really heavy.


Emily Henderson Target Pillowfort Playroom Makeover 07


We added the sconce to give them some light over there for reading, without needing any side tables. Remember for kids rooms, the less furniture the better, as they need more room for playing, resting, fort making, etc. This plug-in sconce is perfect (and it comes in white as well).


My “pillow deciding” pose is really one of my best.


Emily Henderson Target Pillowfort Playroom Makeover 03


Bean Bags. Let’s talk about those for a while. In our next house every room possible will have some form of bean bag. These two are extremely comfortable – for kids or grownups. They are low and slouchy, but oh so comfortable, and they love you back. They don’t need those pillows, but those two are a couple of my favorites, so we styled with them to show them off.


Those wall bookshelves are a great invention if you need access to some books but don’t have room for a piece of furniture. Also if you want to know my favorite book to read to Charlie for the last 2 months I think it would be Dragons Love Tacos (well, that and Frog On A Log).


Emily Henderson Target Pillowfort Playroom Makeover Book Pockets


The beanbags, shelves, and rug come in a few different colors. We have that rug in our family room right now as Elliot’s playmat because it’s so soft and we all love it. It stays put and is easy for her large noggin to land on. I started noticing that Target is making their rugs with built-in rug pads on the bottom, so they stick and stay on the ground. Genius. Some day, for my 50th birthday I’m going to announce to the world that I will never, ever, ever deal with a rug pad again. Have you ever put a rug under your bed and then realized that it needed a rug pad? That’ll ruin your Sunday, I promise.


Lets take a look at the new activity table area:


Emily Henderson Target Pillowfort Playroom Makeover 05


I love those play tables and chairs, and even tried them in my house but Charlie is still a bit little for them (Sienna is 3 and she’s barely tall enough). They don’t need pillows, but certainly look cute with them. Those chairs also come in pink, black, and white. They are designed to be really stable and not slip (see those little rubber bits on the bottom?). I had no idea how important it is to have kids furniture be really stable, but it turns out that kids sure aren’t.


Emily Henderson Target Pillowfort Playroom Makeover 04


A playroom isn’t complete without a fort or some sort of teepee. Enter this adorable guy:


Emily Henderson Target Pillowfort Playroom Makeover 10


We layered it full of pillows and hung some string lights (maybe just do this for your, say, photo shoots as they are outdoor glass bulbs…not exactly my most kid friendly move). I love that fun pattern on it – which helped bring in more black/white to that part of the room.


Emily Henderson Target Pillowfort Playroom Makeover 12


When stringing those lights make sure to sit in the most flattering (yet uncomfortable) position with a pleasant look on your face. Also thanks, Danielle, for making that hair look so pretty.


I don’t have a clean shot of the shelving, but we gave them two matching shelves and decked them out with bins for storage. The shelves are really simple, clean, and can work in most homes/styled.


Emily Henderson Target Pillowfort Playroom Makeover Kids Tent


If you are in the market for a teepee know that it takes up a lot of real estate  – when fully open they are HUGE. Obviously you wouldn’t STUFF it with pillows as we did – but I wanted to show off more product and style it up for the shoot. Just throw in a couple larger floor pillows and that pineapple pillow, obviously, and call it a day.


Emily Henderson Target Pillowfort Playroom Makeover 11


Lastly we created a little dress-up area with her tuu-tuu collection and wings/tiaras with some simple hooks and that adorable “Girls Rule” sign. I can’t wait ’til Elliot gets a tiny bit older and wants to play dress up (if she is into that) because this mama will curate the most amazing vintage girls (and adult) dressup trunk EVER. I can finally look like the crazy bag-lady that rules my insides, all in the name of playing with my daughter.


Emily Henderson Target Pillowfort Playroom Makeover Dress up Corner


We pulled off this makeover in 2 days – with a few weeks of planning, obviously.


Target Pillowfort Playroom Makeover Kids Childrens Mint Green and Pink Activity Room Emily Henderson Before and After 2


Target Pillowfort Playroom Makeover Kids Childrens Mint Green and Pink Activity Room Emily Henderson Before and After 1


There we have it – a fun, poppy, adorable, whimsical playroom for this lovely family of (now) four. In our next house I would feel pretty lucky to have a huge playroom for the kids like this to really go nuts in, and not have to worry about how much their mess clutters up our area. But, if you don’t, like us, this collection is cute enough for the whole family.


Emily Henderson Target Pillowfort Playroom Makeover Green Wedding Shoes


Feel free to copy it and get that look. And DON’T forget to watch the video and check out Jen’s perspective over on Green Wedding Shoes. 


Target Pillowfort Get The Look Kid Childs Playroom Colorful Pink Emily Henderson




1. Wooden Day Bed (Custom, but similar) | 2. Panda Head Wall Decor | 3. White & Grey Teepee | 4. Pink Stripe Area Rug | 5. Pom Pom Pillow | 6. Pineapple Throw Pillow | 7. Boone 3-Shelf Kids Console Bookcase | 8. Boone Activity Table | 9. Mint & White Striped Fabric Bin | 10. My House Charcoal Wallpaper | 11. Industrial Kids Activity Chair in Aquamint | 12. House Shelves With Pinboard | 13. Mint Desk Lamp | 14. Ice Cream Patterned Throw Pillow | 15. Corduroy Bean Bag Chair | 16. Dip Dye Bed Canopy | 17. Flamingo Throw Pillow | 18. Oh Joy Tassel Pillow | 19. Crosby Swing Arm Sconce | 20. Girls Rule Wire Wall Decor | 21. Flamingo Table Lamp | 22. Pink Book Shelf


Also available: Yellow Polka Dot Pillow | White Giraffe Bookend | Knit DollGold Modern Hook | Girls Tutu Skirt | Embroidered Striped PillowDiamond Square Pillow | Red & Mint Patterned Pillow | Small Wooden Planter | Wooden Architectural Blocks | Oh The Places You’ll Go Book | Metal Lantern | Globe String Lights | Orange Jersey Diamond Lumbar Pillow | White Flower Applique Flower PillowYarn Dyed Geo Pillow |  Panda Head Throw PillowMulticolored Tassel Throw PillowFlower Bear Throw Pillow | Ice Cream Cone Throw Pillow |  Hooray Throw PillowParty Hedgehog Figurine


Into kids design? Here you go: Elliot’s nursery, Charlie’s nursery, The Shelter NurseryA floral/glam nursery, A playroom refresh,  Neutral (Well, Mostly) California Nursery, Moonrise Kingdom Boy’s Bedroom, A Rustic Mid-Century Family Room. Kids Room’s roundups


*Photos by Tessa Neustadt, Video by Scrunch Media, Hair and Makeup by Danielle Walch. This post is part of a larger collaboration with America’s (and my) favorite major retailer, Target. 


The post Playroom Makeover with PillowFort appeared first on Emily Henderson.


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