We’ve been in our new home for six months and in that time, we’ve managed to paint the kids’ bedrooms, decorate their rooms, and paint and decorate the kids’ play space.
It wasn’t a fast process.
First, the painting had to happen. For the playroom and Levi’s small bedroom, I hired a local high school student who wanted to earn a few extra bucks. He managed to knock out both rooms in two afternoons. Unfortunately, I think he had his fill of painting after working on these two rooms because when it came time to paint Annabelle’s room, Matt and I took turns taping, rolling and cutting in. It wasn’t fun, but it turned out good enough. One of these days my kids’ rooms will be clean enough for me to photograph them and post them here, but for now, I present the playroom:
As I said, painting the room happened easily enough with the help of our high school painter. I picked lime green because I have long wanted to have a lime green room and what better room in the house to paint lime than a kids’ playroom?
Meanwhile, my husband’s mom (and my second mom) took me to IKEA and treated us to the cool white shelving system. Afterward she and I built the shelf together. She lead the way. I have to say I was pretty impressed with her building and construction knowledge–thank goodness one of us knew what we were doing!
The rest of the furniture came in the weeks and months that followed. I thought a leather or other easily cleaned fabric would be smart for a kids’ sofa, so I went with a white leather futon which doubles as additional guest space when we need it. The chairs were on a special and I managed to get them for 40% off with no shipping. My husband and I put these pieces together.
Meanwhile, the alphabet wall has been a work in progress for over a year now. I took up a collection of letters when we were at our town house. Originally I’d wanted to do an alphabet wall on the staircase leading down to my studio, but once we moved, I thought it would work better in the playroom. The kids and I sat down many mornings and afternoons to paint the letters. Then I got brave and decided to hang up what we’d made. First I arranged the letters on the floor the way I wanted them hung up on the wall. Then, letter by letter, I strategically place nails alongside the letters to hold them “just so” on the wall. It took about an hour and a half to hang the alphabet wall.
I got the idea to create a dress up rack from another mom whom we visited for a playdate. Annabelle’s princess dress up gear was accumulating but she never knew what she had because most of it was shoved into a small pink trunk, which we’re now using to store tiaras, gloves, and play jewelry. Since putting her dress up clothes on hangers, I’ve noticed that whenever we have a playdate, kids are enjoying the costumes. Levi petitioned me to gather him some costumes too, which I did after Halloween when costumes were 70% off. Now he plays trains while wearing his Thomas the Tank costume with his conductor hat. He also likes to pretend to be a Transformer thanks to a costume from his Aunt Casey.
Over the couch I’d wanted to hang large square black and white prints of the kids in white frames from IKEA. I also though about using the luxe frames that I offer my clients, though when I got those frames in they worked better on display in my office. So I ‘settled’ for these multi dimensional square frames that are smaller than I’d originally envisioned, but oh well. I still think it works. I may play with the arrangement some more, but what is important is that I have photos of my beautiful kiddos on display in their play space.
Other wall art includes stretched canvases with my portraits of the kids as well as vinyl maps of the U.S. and the world. I thought it couldn’t hurt for the kids to become acquainted with geography–sheesh, I’m lucky if I can remember all the nations in Europe. I have higher hopes for my kids.
Topping it all off are the kids’ fun toys. These are what the kids really care about but I have to say, it is pleasant to sit in the playroom with them and other parents and kids for playdates. Across the way is their dad’s playroom and behind that is my studio. While I have some work to do in the studio, I feel as though the basement of our home is just about “finished.” Or as finished as a room can be when someone who likes to decorate lives there. But for now I am on to the next space . . .