Monday, January 21, 2013

Playroom Progress

Last week, I mentioned how the playroom is looking cozier.  Well, here is what we've done so far:

1.  hang pictures - see this post
2.  bring in bookcases
3.  add a rug
4.  raise up the light fixture

and the best part is, I didn't spend any money.

I mentioned in this post here that we are turning our rarely used breakfast room into a more functional space for our family.  It will be a playroom / reading room.  I like the idea that it is something that can grow as the kids grow.  I've thought long and hard about how to use this space and am taking my time in putting it together because I want it to be done right, not just thrown together.  So for now it will house a lot of the Babes toys, but as she outgrows the big stuff like the kitchen set and doll stroller, we'll take those out and bring in another chair so the kids can use it to read, play video games and on their laptops or kindles or whatever electronic device they will have at the time.

Here is what the room looked like before:

We sold the table and chairs and were left with and empty room.

That didn't last long.  I quickly junked it up with all the Babe's toys so it could function as a playroom.  At this point, I was wondering if I had made a mistake.

I had grand plans for this space and thought, if only I could find just the right bookcases, everything would look so much better.  I was thinking of something with a built in look to it so I wanted white bookcases (to match our existing trim work) and would add molding to make them look built in.  You know, something like this:

Well, after thinking and thinking about it, I was no longer wanting to add the molding and paint the whole bookcase to match the newly attached molding.  It seemed like a lot of work and I am lazy like things to be simple.  Plus, the more I thought about it, the white screamed playroom and not reading room, which is what the space would eventually turn it to when the kids got older.

So now I was thinking I'd get some darker brown, possibly cherry bookcases to match the cherry cabinets in our kitchen.  I had my mind set on something with feet so it looked more like furniture instead of a built in.
I really wanted to get this from Sam's Club and for 2 of them plus shipping, it would be around $500.

My next option was not as nice, but was significantly less money.  Coming in at just under $200 for both bookcases were these from Target:
Hmmm, I was still torn.  I really liked the higher quality, more expensive ones, but did I like them $300 more?

That's when it hit me.  Or rather my husband suggested the obvious.  We already  have high quality bookcases in the color I want.  They didn't have the feet on them, but that was a sacrifice I was willing to make in order to use what we have and not spend any money.  Two  months ago I had rearranged and reorganized the bookcases in our living room.  It looked better, but the bookcases didn't exactly match the entertainment center and you could tell.  So I wasn't too heartbroken about having to move them.

I just needed to find a place for everything but the kid's books, and this would work.  The kid's books could stay on the bookcases and go into the new playroom/reading room.  So I emptied out one bookcase and moved it to the playroom.  I was able to find a place for most of the stuff, some of it went into the basement since we rarely looked at those books anyway, while other books are now stored on the sofa table in the living room.   I still have to find a place for other things, but I'm getting there.

The other bookcase which housed mostly kid's books, got emptied on the living room floor so I could move that bookcase into the playroom.

I haven't added the books back to the bookcase since I'm waiting on my husband to secure the bookcases to the wall.  I'm a little timid when it comes to drilling holes in furniture.  I want the books on the highest shelves and the toys on the lower shelves, so even if the Babes takes off all the toys, the bookcase won't topple over.  Until then, the books will be on the floor because I don't know where else to put them.

Here is what the bookcases look like in the playroom.

It's hard to get a picture of both bookcases together, but you get the idea.    I like the dark wood with the golden color of the walls, it really warms up the room.

Well, that and the rug I put down.  Again, I was able to work with what I have.  This rug was in Sweetie Pie's room in our old house which had all hard wood floors.  When we moved here we just stored it in our unfinished basement since we had no where else to put it.  I added it to the playroom to make it more inviting for the Babes to play in there.  I don't know if it will stay, we'll see if I still like it once the whole room is put together, but for now it works.

We also raised up the light fixture.  It hung low since it used to be over a table.  Now I don't have to worry about hitting my head when I walk in the room.   We just used and extra link that came with our dining room light fixture (it's the same color just a different style) to hook a lower portion of the chain onto a higher portion.

When my husband did it, he didn't worry about the electrical cord.  But that bothered me so I had to climb on a chair and fix it.  Looks less noticeable now, right?

Well, that's where we stand with the playroom for now.
There are a couple of other things I want to do such as get a storage ottoman and replace the sheers with wood blinds.  Not sure if the blinds will be a dark wood color to match the bookcases or white to match the trim work.  Don't want things to look too dark in there.   I will probably get new valances at some point too.  I was thinking of doing long drapes but with the kids playing in there, I think they'd get in the way.  Besides, I had pictures to hang and drapes would take up too much wall space and there wouldn't be room for the pictures.  Maybe once the kids are older and it's more of a reading room, we'll put up some long, dramatic looking drapes to add some sophistication.  What do you guys think?

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