This update has been a long time coming as the room has been finished for months now, but time has a way of getting away from me, especially with as many projects on the go as we do (another topic for another day), and a toddler who apparently employs magical powers to dismantle multiple rooms at the same time. Seriously. The numbers of times I have refolded the tea towels back into their cupboard…
All the more reason why I am so excited about finishing a playroom/craft room for her (and for me!). The bonus room above the garage has historically been the room where orphaned and stateless items get abandoned for lack of a better home (i.e. I don’t know what to do with this crap so I’ll tuck it where no one will see it). I don’t know about you, but I think this dirty little secret lives in most homes, lurking in the deep recesses of a hall closet or in a kitchen drawer. Mine had shamefully ballooned into a whole room, especially since we have moved a couple times in recent history and the in-laws were generous enough to let me store painting and craft supplies here in one location. But now that this is becoming home, I knew this room needed to be dealt with. High on the list of priorities was proper storage for all the crafting/painting/sewing supplies, as well as a space for the little one to play and make a ruckus.
There was also this awful partition dividing the room in half, rendering each side more difficult to use and arrange. It also hid how big and spacious the room really was, so knocking that down was the first thing we did once everything had been moved out.
Brightening the room up was another priority, which meant adding pot lights into the window nooks and over the big window. Thank goodness for husbands who are willing to worm around in the attic space running electrical cable. When asked how it was up there, he replied, “It’s alright… if you don’t like your knees and shoulders.”
Painting the room a cheery cream white did wonders as well for making it a bright, inviting space.
I bought kitchen cabinet lowers from IKEA for the aforementioned storage. Turns out they have a shallow depth cabinet that worked great in this room. The full depth cabinet would have intruded into the space too far and felt bulky and awkward. These 15 inch ones were perfect! The wooden counter top completed the look without looking too much like a kitchen and added a “workspace” feel.
I’m a total junky for organization (otherwise things fall into complete disarray almost immediately) and it delights me to no end to finally have proper storage and homes for things like my sewing machine, painting supplies, construction paper, etc. I’m not sure how long these drawers will look like this, but for now, it makes me ecstatically happy.
For the playroom half of the room, my plans included custom open shelving for kids books and toy baskets, as well as a sitting area and a reading nook.
“How hard could it be to screw together some metal piping and throw some wood on?” I had thought to myself… Well. It turns out there was a lot of math involved because unless I wanted to start cutting pipe and and threading them myself (I didn’t), I had a few specific lengths to work with. And of course I wanted to make it complicated for myself (when do I not?) and have shelves at different heights. In the end we got it all put together though and I’m really happy with the outcome.
The sitting area will still see some furniture updates as our current couches will become the playroom couches in the eventual future, but the last thing I will show you is one of my favourite features. An indoor swing! This is my mom’s old childhood swing, and there is also a ladder and a “trapeze” bar as alternative attachments. It will be a while before she can use it, but in the meantime I have enjoyed the occasional swing myself.
This room is quickly becoming one of the favourite spaces in the house, especially because it is so bright and cheerful, and I look forward it’s ability to transform as the demands on it’s use change with time.
Also, a huge thanks to my dad who helped out in a major way with electrical work (moving outlets and installing the pot lights). He also put in a ceiling vent fan that will allow me to safely use oil paints and keep air moving through the space. Love you dad!