Thursday, October 30, 2008

Birthday Playroom

When we bought this house 3 years ago, I was most excited about the playroom. In the weeks before we moved, I schemed how to turn it into a real family room that filled all our family's needs and drew kids like flies with its kid-friendly design. It was a gift from heaven when I found wooden cubbies on clearance at Target--just what I had been imagining.

And yet, for 3 years, I've been growling at kids, "Go play in the playroom." It was dark, and jumbled, and no one was drawn to it at all. So I've been saving and plotting a multi-stage revitalization effort for months, and today--my 37th birthday--I unveil it in its bright, current form.

First it was this:

Couch literally shredding into pieces. Too many toys. Red wall that darkened the far end of the room. Then I got the couch:

Last week my father-in-law helped me paint the trim glossy white and paint the walls "celery ice," the palest shade of green. For any of you with trim that isn't glossy white: Fix it now! The white trim alone brightened the room. The paint job is my in-laws' birthday present to me:

Then my birthday present to myself was a trip to Ikea, where I got new pillow covers and this wall art to fill that awkward, asymmetrical space:

The branches and buds are stickers you assemble however it suits you, so this is about 20 separate pieces. I stuck it up with painter's tape to get the right design before I peeled off the stickers' backing. The glue is very light, so it'll be no problem to remove it all when we're sick of it.

Meanwhile, I brutally edited the toy corner. I've always used the furnace room to store off-duty toys, but now I keep only a few things out and rotate much more often. Plus (another trip to Ikea) this little computer desk gets the kids' computer out of the kitchen so I can make dinner without climbing over packs of spectators, but it keeps the computer in a public, monitor-able place. Now the playroom addresses the needs of both big and little kids and is much easier to keep tidy.


  1. It looks great, that celery ice color is really pretty.

  2. I thought rooms like that only existed in the magazines.
    It's really beautiful, I even liked the before pictures.

  3. It's fabulous! The color is great, the couch is great, the vinyl wall thingy is great! Congrats and Happy Birthday! Way to pull it off!

  4. How lovely. Glad I found your blog today.

    May I invite you back to mine so you can peek at the contest running on my blog this week and next? It's for a signed copy of H. B. Moore's latest novel, "Abinadi." Wonderful book. Feel free to spread the good news.

  5. I like the couch. Where did you find one like that?

  6. Lucy, it's from an online place called Home Reserve. You can see a picture of how it arrived in an earlier post. I did a lot of shopping and this was the cheapest option and so far we're really enjoying it.

  7. LOVE IT! I think you should paint a pot on the wall underneath the buds.