“It is a happy talent to know how to play.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Our dear daughter comes with a lot of stuff — books, toys, dolls, puzzles — even a (faux) kitchen sink. When we were doing renovation triage, we pretty quickly scrapped the idea that we’d be able to clean up/renovate the half-finished basement to give Kate a play space. (Plus it flooded two months later, so it was a great decision in hindsight!) But since we had four bedrooms and only two occupied, we decided to dedicate one to be Kate’s playroom. (For those of you playing along at home, it was Bedroom #2 — the one that almost was Kate’s room.)
My Aunt Cheryl GRACIOUSLY AND GENEROUSLY asked if she could design Kate’s playroom as our housewarming gift. Not only was this an awesome gift, but it made me want to cry because it meant one fewer room to paint! In hindsight, that feels a little silly, but we were just. painting. so. much. For probably weeks before Do-It Day, she was craftily gathering ideas, materials, paint colors and accessories. She had a full-on design scheme for the room and, as a result, it is the only room in the house that looks complete. We are beyond grateful and Kate LOVES it!
The room had gone through a tiny “Phase One” update — it was cleaned, got new carpet/baseboards and the front of the door was painted (when the hallway was done). So it looked like this (below), which was already a step up from how we found it (above).
Although, since there was no real design/organizational effort when we first moved in, some days it looked like this:
Aunt Cheryl executed her plan in one long day, painting the walls “Spring Bouquet” by Behr, hanging fan blades she painted herself and transforming this KidKraft Nantucket table/chair set into an art table by adding her own curtain rod to hold a roll of paper and a green length of wood to act as a tear-off bar.
She built and painted a pallet storage bench (because of course she did!), to which we have since added puzzles, her nifty balance boat from Nanny and Granddad and some interactive books (lift-the-flap, feel textures, etc.). Aunt Cheryl also painted frames in fun shapes and added a clothespin so we could easily tack up Kate’s masterpieces. She stenciled the outlet covers, framed prints of flowers and hung a purple star above the tee-pee (an awesome birthday gift from Papa and Yaya).
She made a fun pompom valance to hang in front of pink curtains we already had, covered the letters P-L-A-Y in patterned scrapbook paper and picked up adorable crayon decals that each have a matching hook to hang Kate’s apron/oven mitts and some of Baby’s clothes.
She arranged the room so there’s plenty of space to enjoy each station: teepee (now more toward a corner), kitchen (side wall), baby care area (back wall) and activity desk (still near the closet) with some blank space in the center around the table and chairs. The cubes are now in the mini walk-in closet, so they’re easily accessible but tucked out of the way.
The transformation is — in my totally unbiased opinion — as good as you see on any HGTV show! (Unlike my photography, which is lacking in this post due to odd lighting, my phone and a lack of skill 🙂 )