Before I get to the meat of the post (completely off topic but I have been totally craving steak like nobody’s business…possible iron deficiency?), I’d like to publicly state that I do not consider myself to be a decorating blogger – I don’t have a $3000 camera, our house looks like it is actually lived in, and my style is completely my own. I just simply enjoy DIY, renovating, rehabbing, and decorating. Okay. So last week, I shared a couple of pictures of our office/playroom on the main floor of our townhouse..
I didn’t say it was pretty…
And just for fun, here is what the room looked like a couple days after we moved in. I feel compelled to point out yet again that all of the paint colors on the wall are not our doing. Three cheers (or jeers?) for renting.
It is impossible to photograph the true essence of the paint color. But in real life, it isn’t too bad. The color actually carries up the stairs and into the landing on the third floor. It is a pretty shade of green…but it certainly is a lot of green. But as Roald Dahl wrote, “a little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.”
When showcasing the before pictures in a previous post, I mentioned that I really did not want to spend a lot of money sprucing up the space. I maybe spent about $60 total at IKEA picking up some odds and ends and then pushed my sleeves up and used what we had.
First order of business was switching out the formal rug for the road rug. As you can see from the September 2012 picture, I intially used the kid-friendly rug but then moved it up to little guy’s room in favor for the more plush fancy pants rug Clay’s parents gave us years ago but after living with it for a couple of months, I moved it down to the basement, where it is much happier (that reminds me, I must do a basement tour soon…).
I picked up the kid table at IKEA for $39.99. They have a cheaper version that also comes with chairs but I opted for the sturdier table (well, as sturdy as IKEA can be – ha!) because I’ve been hanging on to those blue chairs since our time in Oklahoma! I found them at Goodwill for $3 each. I like the fact that they’re meant for kids but they’re also somewhat comfortable for adults to sit in too. Not that I would subject our guests to such torture, but it is nice being able to sit down with the little guy at his table every now and then.
In the before picture, you can see our $40 IKEA coffee table on the rug, which was intended to be an activity table for the little guy. However, it pretty much just became a catch-all for toys and Weston found himself using the dining room table or the kitchen table for crafts and such. So I pushed the table against the wall and got all sorts of crazy and put the 9-cube storage bin on top. This set-up allows for space to set up matchbox car scenes, provides ample storage, and hides the not-so-pretty-small toys that seem to multiply like rabbits.
I purchased four shelves and eight brackets at IKEA. I am not one to spend a lot of shelving due to our transient lifestyle; we never know if it will work in future houses. So for about $24, we now have four shelves – two above the play kitchen and two above the printer.
I scored the giant bookshelf (obviously nothing fancy) for $7 at our neighborhood yard sale last fall. The top shelves hold office-type supplies while the bottom shelves are home to puzzles, games, crayons, etc…
I am a huge fan of storing such items in clear bins with a label identifying the contents. I’ll admit that Weston doesn’t always put things back accordingly, but I find this system works a lot better than trying to keep things organized in the original boxes and packaging. Life just seems to flow more smoothly when everything has a place. At least it does to me.
More office items and messy crafts like glue and finger paints are stored above the desk. Speaking of the desk, I simply pushed the two desks we already owned into an L shape and slid our filing cabinet underneath. Clay and I both use laptops and we have never had a moment where we were working at our desks side-by-side so having the two desks take up that much wall space seemed a bit silly. We have a monitor on the desk for the rare occasion that we need a bigger computer workspace.
One last look. The bookshelf that the printer sits on holds Weston’s train set and matchbox car collection. Those are his most go-to toys, so I find it easier to keep the playroom clutter-free throughout the day when the most-used toys are grouped together. That’s not to say that the room doesn’t become a disaster area – it totally does! But because everything has a place, clean-up is a breeze. And that, my friends, is a beautiful thing.