- Brackets $27
- Wood for Shelves $35
- Paint & Supplies $70
- Frames & Art $70
- Decorative Accents & Baskets $35
- Fabric $35
- Lights $40 (darn bulbs!)
Here's a look at the before photos (eep!)
After Christmas, we realized that our toy situation needed some addressing. I've been ho-humming about updating our playroom for a long time now even considering it as an option for the One Room Challenge in the fall. But now, two weeks after starting to tackle the problem and working with a $250 budget (ok, maybe a bit over) I have made the update and the space is feeling much better. We still have a few toys, games, and puzzles to move into the space but just having the shelving to do so makes such a huge difference. Honestly, I had a few items stockpiled in the house as potential items for a few projects and I decided to use as much as possible. These items included knobs, fabric, paint, light cages
Here's a look at the before photos (eep!)
The plan was to bring in some whimsy and outdoor inspiration to the room. Being in the basement I knew it needed more light - especially under the stairs. Ugh, the space under the stairs. The 'built-ins' we had didn't function for much. They were just an awkward size to properly store anything. Reworking the space under the stairs to a well-meaning area was a top priority. I also knew I needed to update the fabrics and redesign the usable space to create more vertical storage.
I had originally thought of making an art area under the stairs but with two girls I knew that in a few years it would become too crowded to work effectively. As the girls get older and their craft stash grows (and interest in toys decreases) I would like to see us move downstairs to create. While the shelves sit mostly empty now I forsee glitter glue, sequins, and all sorts of bits and bobs. The kitchen - now converted to a puppet theatre as well will likely see them few just few more years. But for now we have been having a lot of tea parties!
I tried to tackle as many DIY projects as I could to keep costs low but involvment with my girls high. We built the chandelier together (ribbons around an embroidery hoop), they helped a bit with the leaf stamping, put the butterfly stickers on the wall, and a few other odds and ends here and there. The sewing was definitely the most time consuming even though it was all simple work! But I'm so glad for the changes and the additions! The trees are much easier than they might look and I recommend you tackle something like this on your own - provided it suits your style!
The space is feeling so much brighter and more functional. The girls have been curling up under the stairs and having tea parties with their stuffed friends. The tea cups are vintage that my great grandma had - because none of them are in sets they don't hold much value - so why not use them for play! My oldest is convinced we have succeeded in creating a fairy forest playroom and any day now they will arrive. I'm tempted to sprinkle a little glitter but I might get squirrly eyes from hubby.
It's still the new year! We still have a few days left in January to start fulfilling those New Year's Resolutions. As always they are easier said than done but perhaps with a few personal touches and some crafty flair those resolutions to be more organized, get out the door easier in the mornings, meal plan, or plant that garden. Whether it's checklists, calendars, or to-do lists, I've compiled some of my favourite local options, free printables, and my own printable meal planner for you. No matter your style there's something for you!
When you're looking to create your command station think about the time you have and then decide what kind of project you want to tackle. Search command station on pinterest and their are homes with entire walls dedicated to being organized. I say start small and tackle your biggest challenge. Maybe it's meal planning, or opening mail, or checking off your to-do list. Maybe it's keeping track of your workouts and fitness goals. There are lots of options between Home Sense, Michael's, and Staples to give you a few base pieces that you can embellish with your personal style. Look for embellishments at: the dollar store, michaels, staples, walmart. Think about anything little like buttons, beads flowers, and other small adorable objects.
My favourite items for adding your personal touch:
Little Me - the calendar is adorable - and don't forget one of her art prints to inspire you! Oh, and a puny valentine's card!
Wrinkle & Crease - I'm super into the kraft paper! (photo above)
Crafted by Lindy - I'm the worst at remembering birthdays (thank you facebook) - but one of these perpetual calendars would be so much better.
Purchase It - Lists & Meal Planning
Oh pinterest. How we love to love you and get so frustrated when links are dead. Searching through millions of pins - shoot me. The more specific you can be in your search the less time you will spend online in the abyss. So rather than searching 'printable meal planner' - try narrowing it down such as 'printable floral calendar'. Next, before you click a link, hover over the pin - it will show you the website you will be re-directed too.
On printing - don't like the size? Don't forget you can modify that in your print options - perhaps you need a smaller calendar. Maybe you want to print on both sides and use it like a diary. There are great self laminating sheets now a days - you could use one of those with a white erase marker. Or frame your printable in a picture frame (these ones from Ikea fit a standard 8.5"x11" perfectly!) to write on it.
Free Printables - To Do Lists, Chore Charts, and Meal Planning
The DIY mommy - this link is to just one of her great freebies.
Thirty Handmade Days - I love how colourful this chore chart is and how you can fill it in as needed.
Mine! - A bit of a retro vibe that might make your home feel diner-esque. You know what that's like with kids, a different meal for everyone!
However you chose to get more organized this year I hope you're able to take a few minutes to add a personal touch.
There truly is something I love about winter. Maybe it's the fact I don't have to do my hair. Or the excuse to buy yet another yummy hand lotion. But loving my home it also gives me more time and opportunity to plan and execute organization and decor schemes because I'm likely spending more time inside than outside. As the new year started I saw many people question just what to do for winter decorating in their home. After a bustling Christmas season it can be relaxing but unnerving to have what seems like such a bare space. If we take cues from nature and let our houses be quiet and restful over the winter we might have more vigour (and less items to clean around) come spring time.
I wrote for an article for Calgary's Child about decorating outside of the winter season but as you write so far in advance I thought I would do an instagram series as well as add in a few more pictures and thoughts to decorating for the winter season.
First I though I would show our hutch styled three ways for winter. These are likely items you might own or can easily get your hands on. Clear glass vases are gorgeous in a group. They are also easy to find and affordable, dollar stores, grocery stores - everyone has them. Try a group of five, eight, or thirteen. I also opted to put all my plants together. Not only does it make watering easy but I think plants really do enjoy the company of each other. It also brings life into your space when everything else seems dormant. In the end I settled on a combination of pine cones and plants.
White pots are gorgeous for winter - place your winter berries or mini-trees from Christmas in them for a stunning contrasting look. Soft blooms from your favourite florist, or even the grocery store, bring a little life into your home. A few groups of sprays can be cut and divided so your blooms can bless multiple rooms.
Nothing says cozy like blankets and pillows. Make sure you have them on hand - I even keep on in my office to snuggle under while I'm working on the computer. Sweater-knit looking pillows are super trendy right now. In a neutral tone they offer a lot of texture - and it's so important to bring texture into a space, especially if you are keeping it neutral. I am loving all the faux-fur blankets available and the chunky knit blankets. My secret hope is to splurge on this hand knit blanket from Jack and Julie.
Consider changing out a few prints in your home to winter themes - snowflakes, penguins, polar bears. There are oodles of amazing black and white options to keep your space quiet and reflective through the winter. From digital downloads you can purchase on Etsy (try searching someone local) to something like this beautiful black and white hand screened print from Whiteout Workshop - I picked it up at Market Collective in December and I'm still trying to find the perfect place for it. I am also suggesting an inspirational quote - or a few - throughout your home this winter. Typography and hand lettered prints or originals are fantastic options. Again - try searching for local artisans and makers - most people have an Etsy shop and you can search by region. Some of my favourite prints are all in one lovely online Canadian store, Little Blue Canoe. Everything sold here is by a Canadian maker!
All things hanging help your eye travel to new heights and new spaces in your home. Garlands add depth and texture. For winter I opted for a dollar store shimmery snowflake garland at the kitchen table and a (fake) crystal bead garland for our front window. Both garlands help catch the sunny rays - on short abundance in winter so all the extra light you can bring in the best. Reflective surfaces like mirrors or mirrored tea light holders achieve the same effect. This is your opportunity to do a little DIY and bust out the metallic spray paint!
I don't want you to think it's a colourless wasteland at my house. There are still lots of greens, soft blues, pale pinks, browns, coppers, golds, silvers. It just isn't bright and loud in the same way it might be through the spring or summer.
Plus, there are still plenty of new plastic and stuffed pink and purple toys running rampant through our home that I just omit in pictures. Christmas was good to us but I'm convinced more than ever to get our playrooom in order to help with toy storage. I've been plugging away at it and next week you will get the full reveal!
Owner. Decorator. Mom. Most definitely a mom.