Saturday, March 15, 2014

Home Improvement Project: Play Room

This is the transformation! But first let's take a looky at the before pics....

In a month it will be 2 years since we've moved. I can't believe that!

And we are s-l-o-w-l-y getting rooms done in our new house. Like, really s--l--o--w--l--y

Remember how we slowly redid our last house, well, it's the same concept here, I guess we are more do-it-yourselfers than we thought. 

But, the pace has been super slow this house around...up until I got pregnant with Lydia we hadn't done much...we finished Lily's room and painted our living room (still want to do something about the fireplace though) and that was about it. 

Once I became pregnant, I sort of got crazy and wanted to get a lot done, so we finished the mudroom (there will be another update coming on that room because we changed some things) and finished the kids bathroom and finished Lydia's room. We also made progress in Liam's bedroom and the Study is almost complete (pictures of those transformations coming soon). 

One of the major selling points of our house was more space, and I was so happy that we would finally have a room to put all the toys in....a playroom.

It is intended to be a dining room for the house, right off of the kitchen and the front hallway, but we use it as a playroom. 

When we moved in we just sort of put all the toys in the playroom and never really had it completely organized. We used the black hutch we had in our old kitchen as a toy storage, but I hated it and it made the room look even darker. The room was a shade of beige and I knew in time I would want to brighten it up and make it more "kid-friendly"

And apparently the kids hated the room too, because they would drag all their toys into the living room and play in there...completely defeating the purpose of the play room.

Christmas came and we the kids always receive copious amounts of toys that we don't know what to do with. In addition, we always have Christmas with my cousins at my cousin Corrie's house and her playroom was inspirational, neat and organized (her whole house basically looks like it came out of a magazine). I came home and looked at ours and it was ho-hum. Chris and I decided we couldn't live with the room anymore and it had to be the next room we tackled. 

And it had to be!

 Like, while our Christmas tree was still up. 

So, I made a list of all the groups of toys that needed a "home"...
Little People
Baby toys
Coloring Books
Craft stuff
Flash Cards (we have way too many of these)
Mr. Potato Heads and accessories
Little Ponies
Books (Lily and Liam both have a ton of books in their rooms too for bedtime)
Bitty Baby Stuff
Pirate stuff
Dress-up clothes
and lots of other random toys we had no idea what to do with

Some things did already have a spot. 

Every large toy Santa has brought for the kids has always had plenty of storage. The Pottery Barn kitchen houses all the playfood, play appliances, plates, etc. We  use the "freezer" portion of the refrigerator for all the Bitty Baby stuff. The Train/Lego table that came from Santa also had room to keep the trains and legos underneath the table. And the Tool Bench that Liam got from Santa had storage underneath. 

The next thing I did was make a sketch of what I wanted the room to look like and what items I would need to make it happen. (I actually kept the sketch to post, but Chris threw it out). Then I figured out what things I would need from IKEA (because we are IKEA lovers in this house) to make our Playroom dreams come true :)


The room was dull, painted another shade of beige and I had a hunch that the table in the middle of the room needed to come out so that Lily and Liam would have floor space to spread out with all their toys (and stop dragging them into the living room). The table getting moved actually worked out perfectly because I also had been wanting to create a homework space for Lily somewhere in our home and I ended up using the table to do just that in our study (like I said, pictures of that transformation are coming soon).

Chris thought there should be a picture with Lydia...can you spot the baby?

How about now? (I know, I know...I married this guy)

It was definitely one of those rooms that always seemed messy, even when it was clean.

More toys in the corner

So, the second week in January we set off to IKEA to get what we needed. My list included and Expedit shelf, rug, and the other piece of the Trofast toy storage system that we were missing (we had 2 already, but wanted 3) and some colored Trofast bins to add a color pop to the room.

Once we had purchased everything, we painted the entire room. I choose the color Spring Cactus by Glidden, but we got it in Behr paint-and-primer in one (we have better luck with Behr as far as coverage goes) and we used the color Watery by Sherwin Williams that we had left over from the kids bathroom for the vaulted part of the wall. 

These pictures don't do it justice, but the color immediately brightened up the room and made it feel much bigger.

And we lived in chaos for a week as we painted and put together the furniture.

Toys were everywhere.

I couldn't wait to get the room done, so we could get our kitchen table back!

notice the Christmas tree in the background?

Lily got in on the painting action...

Once the room was painted, we moved the hutch into the Study and Chris started putting the shelving together.

As soon as that dark hutch came out the room looked way bigger.


I had intended on getting the 16 square Expedit unit, but while we were down at IKEA Chris thought we should get the 25 square Expedit unit. It was sort of on a whim, I had only measured the room to make sure the 16 square Expedit unit would fit, and originally had intended on placing it on the wall where the hutch used to be. Once we got it home and tried it in both spots, we decided it looked better (more space on both sides of it) on the wall that used to house the Trofast units, so we moved those to where the hutch used to be. I was so glad that he talked me into the bigger unit, because there is so much more room and we actually have some extra bins (room to grow!). We only purchased 5 of the aqua bins to go into the unit, thinking we would definitely be back to IKEA if we needed more.

My favorite part was sorting through all the toys and finding places for them.

And was done.


Eventually I want to make some tags for these bins.

Chris and I can't believe how much bigger the room feels, and how much brighter it is.

I always know when I feel like I succeeded in redoing a room...because I keep walking back in it, to look at it again.

The best part: Our kids actually play in the playroom now. They make messes and they know exactly were everything goes when they have to clean up.



You love it? Right?


I just want to mention that this is my passion.

These posts aren't intended to make other moms feel like they aren't doing it all.

I love organizing and I love making stuff and crafting and when it comes to our home I like making things pretty.

I was an art major in college, I love creating and if I had my dream job I would actually own a pottery studio for kids to come create things and I would throw pots on the wheel all-day-long. I majored in graphic design and have a design background. But, I don't have my dream job and I am not living my passion (although my new passion would be, to be able to stay at home with my kids) that's not to say that my job isn't great.

I think when you become a mom you change and you really sit back and gain perspective, or have a new perspective, you transform a little and you want to spend your time doing things (whether it's your job or a hobby) that make you happy and fulfill you. So, I use my passion to make me happy, and at this point in my life it's been in spending time with my kids, making things for and with them, redoing rooms in my home and creating my kids birthday invitations.

You find your passion and what makes you happy and you do it! So please don't think you aren't doing it all...because I am sure you are!
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Morgan S. said...

It looks AWESOME. I love the Expedit and Trofast systems - IKEA is the best! LOOOOOVE that button adorable and really ties in all the colors in the room nicely. I too battle with toy organization and go back and forth about how and where to have it all. I'm in the process of redoing my office/play room {again}. Would love for you to view my kid's art area...the link is in the sidebar on my blog under popular posts.

Katie @ the terpblog said...

What a lovely space! Color is one of my love languages :) I love the idea of using the formal dining room for a playroom instead (we have a rarely used dining room as well). Hope your kiddos are enjoying it! (Stopping over from the iHeart Organizing party.)

Rana Dissi said...

I really love this. My husband and I are looking for a house and one if my hopes is that we can find one that has a room that can be used as a play room.

Creative Dream said...

I would love it if you joined and contribute your awesome posts at my link party at City of Creative Dreams, starts on Fridays :D Hope to see you there at City of Creative Dreams Link Party.

Nikki Cotton said...

Good job, Mama! Changing the color of the walls made such a difference. The room is beautiful and looks very practical and kid friendly!

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