Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Carving Out A Play Corner

When we last talked about the basement I was feeling pretty good about the four areas we had going on in one space: TV area, Craft/Sewing Area, Office, and Gym. 
But we slowly developed a fifth area: The Sell/Donate/Junk Pile.
You can see it a little bit to the right of the treadmill. It slowly crept onto the desk on the left too. In addition to that, the more mobile Lila got the scarier the treadmill became to me. I loved that it folded up, but there wasn't a clip to secure the belt when it was folded. If the treadmill was bumped or pulled on the belt could fall and literally kill Lila or one of our pets. Whenever I wasn't using it I would tie it up with a bungee cord. Having to undo it every time and then make sure it was completely secure was a big deterrent to using it.
Between the dumping ground under the low little ceiling and the deadly treadmill I decided something had to change and decided to sell the treadmill and the junk in the corner and turn this corner into a play space for Lila's growing toy collection. We had to buy a new car (we don't do car payments so we had to cough up the cash) the same week that I started planning the play corner. So I decided that I needed to fully fund it through selling the stuff in this corner in order to afford it. 
I was able to raise about $180 on Craigslist and eBay and had an empty space to work with. I decided to paint the wall with the window my favorite grey (Behr's Gentle Rain in Satin) that I used in the main floor bathroom, dining room, kitchen, dormer in my bedroom, and Lila's room. As I started going I realized I should just repaint the whole basement while I was at it... It turned into that kind of project!
I decided the paper bag brown didn't really match my style anyway. I liked my colored squares that I had down there so I taped them off and got to work. Each time I take on a project like this I binge-watch a different show on Netflix. This time was Gilmore Girls. I don't know how I lived so long without knowing Lorelei and Rory! 
So naturally things look way worse before they look better. The basement looked horrifying while I worked on it. I swung the desk onto the wall with the squares and scooted my sewing table a little closer to the center of the room, which gave the play wall a little more space:
Then I started finding some inspiration. I wanted it to be fun, modern, cohesive with the adult space and not distracting, and gender-neutral for whenever there are more little Coopers. Here are a few pictures of things I wanted to incorporate: 

So I took my painter's tape and taped away. Once I had a good looking mountain range i pulled out a can of old white paint and got to work
It took two coats to cover nicely
Then I pulled out my foam stencil pouncer and made some clouds on the short little ceiling
I love how it came out! It is clearly a kid's area but doesn't stand out too strongly. The ceiling isn't noticeable unless you're ducking down or under it. 
I mounted a mailbox and painted some grass and flowers under it. I ended up thinking my flowers were too cutesy and I wanted something more modern. I found what I was looking for online and printed them out and Mod Podged them around the mailbox:
I lowered the mailbox to Lila's height after mounting it up way too high. You'll see it higher in the other photos but here is the final location. I used scrapbook letters to write "1 Lila Ln" on the front and side of the box. Lila LOVES being able to stash things in here, open and close it, and put the flag up.
The globe is horribly outdated. It's from about 1970 and was in my Grandfather's office. When my Grandma moved out of her house she was begging people to take stuff. I bought Lila's dresser from her and took this globe and a metal ship with me:
Here is how the room is laid out now 
The little sign is hung at Lila's height and says "Land of Make Believe" with an arrow. 
I printed out a collage of Lila's month by month pictures to capture her first year. I moved the book ledge from Lila's room- it was awkward up there. It is hung a little high (hence the little step stool near the mailbox) so the toy box has enough room to fully open:
 Lila is obsessed with cars these days. She has a few Melissa and Doug trucks in a bin marked "Things That Go"
 She LOVES the pillows and is always giving them a cuddle:
She has tons of puzzles and the shallow drawer fits about 8 Melissa and Doug puzzles perfectly.  
 The only downside of the move is that the bookshelf is so accessible. Our girl is an avid reader! 
She loves the frame down low. Because it's plastic I don't worry about her taking it down and toddling around with it.
Again with the cars! We have bins for books, cars, tea sets, wooden blocks, puzzles, small toys, and legos. This took so much pressure off of her room and other spaces of our house moving all of this down here. Lila is standing on her Melissa and Doug piano. She loves music, animals, and cars so this was the perfect birthday gift for her from my brother! It doubles as her stairs for her and she sits on top of the storage unit.
This is where all of her random toys go:
Lila LOVES her reading corner. She is constantly cozying up by herself or with me under the clouds.
This has been a great party space for Lila. Here she is with her boyfriend. Ha

Source List:
Wall Paint Color- Behr Gentle Rain (Existing from all over)
Little Ceiling Paint Color- Behr Swan Sea (Existing from the kitchen)
Toy Storage System- Ikea $77.99
Rug- Ikea $14.99
Cloud & Sun Pillows- Ikea $7.99 each
Floor Cushion- Ikea $14.99
Happy Place Pillow- Target $13.59
Picture Frames- Ikea $4.99 & $2.49
Chalk Stickers- Amazon $6.95

Total Spent: $151.97


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