Sunday, June 1, 2008

From Drab to Fab (Elisabeth & Nathan's New Toy Room)

One of the things I was most excited about in moving to a larger home was being able to have a toy room for Elisabeth to keep her toys in. Since I was pregnant when we moved I didn't really have the energy to put much effort into making it the room that I wanted it to be. The toys were just thrown into the room and Elisabeth would occasionally make it downstairs to play. She was afraid of the basement and didn't really have much incentive to go down there by herself. As you can tell from the pictures, it wasn't really that fun of a place to be.

What the room lacked:
1. Storage, storage, storage!
2. Bright, inviting colors
3. Functionality
4. Educational items
5. Curtains, art
6. TV for the kids to watch their movies on OVER and OVER
7. Organization
8. Table and chairs to allow for coloring, "cooking", and tea parties
9. Fun flooring
10. Additional lighting

These are the "Before" pictures of the room. It was a mess needless to say and Jake & I couldn't keep up with Elisabeth to keep it clean. There just wasn't a place to put everything!

After we brought Nathan home from the hospital and had to be couped up inside the house for weeks, I was running out of things to do with Elisabeth. One evening I told Jake that I wanted to paint the toy room. Now, if you know me I love to paint everything! There wasn't a room in our old town home that I didn't paint before we moved. I have a little bit (OK a lot) of my Grandma Frost in me and have the need to paint everything about every 2 years or so. Jake told me after we moved out of our town home that since Mom's home had been freshly painted that we (meaning HE) was not going to help me add more color to the house. When I told him about painting the toy room he just laughed and told me to have fun. We took a trip to IKEA on a date and ended up buying the stuff there to decorate the room. We found these great organizational shelves so that Elisabeth could easily store her stuff. The buckets made it so that she could pull out one toy at a time and then put it back to play with another. We added a table and chairs, two rugs, cute moon lights, and picture frames to decorate the room. A couple of days later, Jake & I went to Home Depot, Jones Paint & Glass, and Sherwin Williams to pick out paint. I have to hand it to my hubby, he was the master mind behind the paint colors. I never would have painted one of the walls a vibrant green and then the rest a pale blue. I took a leap of faith and trusted him. I'm glad I did because I ended up loving the results! My niece, Erin, came over and helped me paint the room while Jake put together the shelving. It took a while to put everything together, but I'm in love with the room. More importantly, so is Elisabeth. There isn't a day that goes by that she doesn't wander downstairs to play with her toys and to watch TV. She spends a lot of time playing in there and I love that the toys stay downstairs instead of being thrown around the entire house. The pictures I took don't do the room justice. I wish that I could decorate rooms for a living because I have so much fun doing these types of projects.

The final result:
1. Storage (added 2 wall shelves, 3 closet towers and 1 wall unit to climb on)
2. Bright, inviting colors (painted green & blue walls, added primary color bins and table)
3. Functionality (toys are grouped together, individual areas of play for art, dress up, and cooking)
4. Educational items (added alphabet to top of wall) I'd like more of this to come.
5. Curtains, art (added long curtains and pictures to wall) Will add more pictures of cousins later.
6. TV (added old TV and DVD player for Elisabeth to continually watch "Enchanted")
7. Organization (easel stores art supplies, individual bins for different types of toys)
8. Table & chairs (although Kathleen donated a table to us, it wasn't quite big enough for Elisabeth's needs. We bought another table and chairs for larger activities and put the one Kath donated in the corner as an additional place to "cook").
9. Fun flooring (We bought two rugs to help tie in the green and blue colors on the wall).
10. Additional lighting (We bought 2 moon light fixtures and connected them to the wall. Elisabeth loves to turn on those lights and turn off the regular lights when she watches a movie. It has created a fun atmosphere for her).

The "After" pictures:


Mom & Dad Ellinger said...

Cool room! I love it. That inspires me to maybe make some changes in my toy room. We'll see. I love the bright colors and yes, I too am proud of Jake for his selection of colors. Smart guy. You are both slowly putting your "house in order" which will make it fun to live in. Now the next step is the family room which is making progress. It is a fun thing to plan and put it together. Good luck as you continue your dreams.

Sheena said...

How fun! I love it. I actually really love the colors on the wall. Go Jakob! I love the curtains too. So we close on our house on the 13th and I cannot wait to decorate Maryn's playroom. What you have done is what I've been thinking about doing. Eric got some playmat things for 5 dollars and they are primary colors. So that is my starting point. I would tell you to come down and decorate Maryn's playroom, but I'm excited about putting it together myself. You can still come down and help me though. :) That would be fun....someday you'll get down here, right? :)

Dan & Calli Ellinger said...

What a cute toy room! I always enjoy looking at your cute rooms that you decorate. What talent!

Janice & Don said...

You know I love IKEA- and I just love what you've done with the disacter area we parents so lovingly call a "play room". I like it so much that I may just copy your idea when we move into our house in Nashville. You wouldn't be too upset would you? Besides, immitation is the sincerest form of flattery....right?