Sunday, August 29, 2010

Playroom on the Cheap.

I'm not quite ready to debut the final changes we made to our former den now playroom/weight room, which I originally blogged about to show the embarassing before pictures. The room's not done, but I have a small update on our progress as well as a few pictures. It is, after all, still a work in progress, and progress is a bit slow since I don't have the endless bank account I'd really need to make it my dream come true. What would a dream come true involve?

- Wood floors
- Custom built-in shelving and cabinetry
- New paint
- New ceiling light (the room is...ready for this?...not wired for a ceiling light...)
- New weight bench that folds smaller so it doesn't have such a huge footprint

Since I'm living in reality and not in my dreams, here's what I have done:

- Cleaned and purged and organized (YAWYK update below)
- Cleaned carpet
- Sold 2 bookshelves on Craigslist
- Sorted and organized CDs and books
- Bought a large shelving unit at Goodwill on 50% off day ($30) to store books and toys
- Bought a cedar chest with seating cushion on top at St. Vincent de Paul store on 50% off day ($35), which is now used to store photos and albums
- Was gifted some $1 plastic bins for toys (Thanks, Mom!)
- Moved weight bench to make more space on the floor for the kids
- Created an 'art center' for Luca

Close up of chest. We want to get a new cover for the cushion made, but otherwise plan on bucking the 'refinish everything shabby chic' trend I see everywhere and leave it classic wood.

Cedar chest, which is living in our dining area for now (and, apparenlty, hiding a sippie cup and a scale).

Goodwill storage unit, loaded with toys and books we're still organizing.

Art center, complete with a line to showcase Luca's artwork (and someday Rohan's).

One of the more fun and creative projects we are completing involves finding a way to fit the little bins we got for toys into big openings with no shelving built-in. Sure, we could get bigger bins. We could also find a way to create our own shelves. Or, an idea I considered more than briefly, we could finish the unit off with cute patterened and solid curtains in each opening, thus hiding the mess so I can ignore it.

Instead of one of those options, I decided to try my hand at a little repurposing of something that would have otherwise ended up in the recycle bin:

Yep, diaper boxes. And even though we've only got one little bum in diapers, we sure do seem to tear through these boxes rather quickly. But as I prepared to toss them in the recycle bin this morning, I had an idea I had to try out.

Cut out one of the long sides, then attached the piece I'd cut to the bottom of the box for support, and flipped the box upside down, so that the bottom surface is now the 'shelf'.

After I covered the box in various colors of construction paper, I left Luca to decorate it as she pleased. She said the one on the left (yellow) is me and the one on the right (red) is Rohan. :)

Once complete, the 'shelf' can be put in one of the cubbies. A bin fits below and one above.

Luca was really proud to have a part in creating this, and while I don't expect it will hold up forever, it's a completely free and easy way to repurpose what would normally be 'trash' into something useful and personal.

As for YAWYK, so far for our new room, here is my count:

- 2 bookselves

Given Away:
- Nothing at this time

Thrown Away:
- 2 large bags of trash (counting as 50 items each because they included pens, pencils, paper, broken CDs, and tons of random junk that was lining the bookshelves)
- 14 CDs with no case, which were scratched and which no one listened to
- stereo that was not functional and coulnd't be salvaged
- 18 old notebooks from college
- 12 broken toys
- 2 plastic grocery bags full of assorted 'orphan' toy parts: puzzles missing pieces, beads, gamepieces that are not complete, etc), which I am counting as 50 items because I didn't count

This little room project is not yet done, and I'll update more as we get more finished, but for now I am happy with our progress. Our main living area is much less cluttered with toys, the kids have a place to go play together, Luca has a craft zone that is safe from Rohan's grabby hands, and Darrick has floor space and a bench so he can work out at home.

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