Nathan + Maren’s Play Space | December 2019

I can’t think of a better way to end the decade than by being given the privilege to create a brand new play space for two wonderful tiny humans. When I visited their home for a consult, the kids main play space was the open concept living room that connected with the kitchen. Having toys in this space works well, because it’s a great space for the kids to play when a parent is cooking and they want to be close. But the room as overflowing and with the prospect of a new play kitchen coming for the holidays, something new had to be done. The kids’s bedrooms were also jam packed with toys, most stored in way that they just weren’t being used.

The solution was creating a new play space in the finished basement, that up until now had double as holding place for things that needed storing or donating.

Before I came to install, I gave the family some homework including clearing out the basement space and gathering all toys and bringing them downstairs, minus a few items which I recommended be kept in the living room (open-ended toys both kids could enjoy playing with together or solo). Here’s a rundown of how the install day went down:

  • First job was going through all the toys that had been pulled from around the house and even in the car. We found long lost pieces, recreated sets, add a lot to the donate pile, and figured out what we had to work with.
  • Next we built and installed furniture to outfit the space. This included a pre-fab shelf, a wall mounted clothing rack, pine shelving on brackets we created, a large thrifted mirror, and bringing down the kids new play kitchen from Santa.
  • Once the furniture was in place, we could start organizing toys and materials into their new homes – I supplied lots of new baskets and bowls, hung dress-up clothing, and made sure everything had its own designated place.
  • The last step was rolling out the new carpet, installing an IKEA DIGNITET wire having system for art work + some fun twinkle light clips for photos the family had purchased, and hanging a vintage school print above the kitchen.

A favorite little hack I found online to deal with jigsaw puzzles and the inevitable broken box and pieces getting lost, was to put the pieces in a clear zipper storage bag with a cutout of the front of the box with the puzzle picture. This also takes up a lot less space to store. Win win!

Upstairs Nathan and Maren’s parents did most of the work. :) After bringing all the toys from the kids bedrooms downstairs, they went to work making the kids rooms cozy places to snuggle and read. In Nathan’s room they used the shelves for books and a few special toys he wouldn’t want his baby sister playing with. In Maren’s room they plan to get a shelf for books too, and only kept a small basket of stuffies out. The large box that held toys now holds beloved childhood memories.

In the living room, I tweaked the under coffee table storage which now hold Duplo, train tracks, and trains. I consolidated all the modern Little People toys into a large tote, and created a dedicated art box with crayons organized in jars.

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