Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Improving from the ground up!

Our basement has been a real bummer for me for a while. It is a hodgepodge of leftover and make-do furniture and rugs, but served several purposes: lots of seating for movie watching/lounging, a table for crafts/projects (we don't really eat down here ever), a play space for JJ, and storage for holiday stuff, old clothes, unused furniture, and craft supplies for me. The issue was that all of these things happened in the wrong places. JJ played and all of his toys rolled under the couch. I used the table mostly as a landing pad for tools and stuff that needed to be stored, so I usually craft at our dining room table upstairs. And all of our DVDs were displayed on shelves (which is a pet peeve of mine). I was done! After JJ's birthday party, I was inspired to give JJ and his pals more space in the basement (which would also free up a lot of space upstairs in the sunroom where we play the most). I have been referring to our style as "Mid-Century Toddler", since his toys are everywhere and I can't keep up. I wanted to relegate them to 2 spots in the house--his bedroom and the basement (he still has toys in the sunroom, but only what will fit in 1 bin and the TV cabinet).

The first thing I did was to either get rid of or store the toys that he doesn't play with or had too many pieces that he wasn't old enough to keep up with. I did that with all of our stuff, actually. Then I got to town on planning. I was inspired by this room on Apartment Therapy recently. It just makes me happy to be in there. 

So here are our before pictures. Please note that I didn't clean beforehand so you got a real sense of the chaos.

This is after Day 1. I painted the wall unsuccessfully with magnetic paint--don't know what that was about--and then successfully with chalkboard paint.

After a few coats of the chalkboard paint, I started to bring some items in to get a feel for the dimensions and whatnots. 

Almost done...


3 awesome shelves of toy storage! Love it!

 JJ testing it out.

This space feels happy to me! Here's our remaining to do list:

-Hang wire for paper art display above the chalkboard
- Make some art to go on the walls (me and JJ)
-Attach the board to the top of the bookshelves and cut it off on one side. 
-Spray paint rocking chair for JJ
-Finish redoing the octagonal sidetable (behind JJ's head in the first "done" picture)

I love how a room evolves even once it's "done." And I am pretty much obsessed with those IKEA rugs! I want to put them everywhere! 

So, who's coming over to play?

One of my favorite parts about this room is the budget! Since I used so much of what we already had, I only had to buy a few things to complete the space. Here's a breakdown:

IKEA Bookshelves: Free (already owned)
Board for top of bookshelves: $14.67
Big red rug: Free (already owned)
City road rug: Free (already owned)
Tent: Free (already owned)
Kitchen: Free (already owned)
Tan ottoman/side table: Free (already owned)
White octagonal side table: Free (already owned)
Table and chairs: $19.99 (IKEA)
Easel: Free (already owned)
Chalkboard Paint: $13.47
Paint Supplies: $10.91
2 IKEA diamond rugs: $79.98
2 IKEA cushions: $35.98 (I almost returned these, because I know I could find something cheaper, but they're big and cute. So they stayed.)
Wire for art hanging: $12.99
Toys: Free (already owned)
Poang chair for adults: Free (already owned)
Art (framed children's records and canvases): Free (already owned)

TOTAL: $187.99

For a completely new space, I love the price tag! And yes, it's pretty much all IKEA stuff, which I'm fine with. We've already spent way more time down there than usual,  It's a great classroom/playroom space with a lot of educational toys, and I can't wait for JJ to keep growing and learning.