A LEGO Space in LA | #inspiredbyCPS

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I have been in full pudding mode thanks to the flu, but my dear friends in LA have been working hard to create this #inspiredbyCPS LEGO space for their (almost!) six year old son. His baby sister is now on the move and Oliver was desperate for a nook in their apartment where he could build away from interested little hands. With a few clicks on Amazon, they had the perfect place for him to build – a wall mounted shelf desk, organized LEGO storage drawers, wall shelving for displaying his creations, and artwork/lighting for aesthetics (the lightbulb in the hanging light even changes colors so Oliver can set it for “different moods” :). He was so excited at the finished product he didn’t even wait for them to clean away their tools before he started building!

Mirrors | #curatedPSA + #unexpectedtoys

You might have noticed that I use mirrors in all my installs – inside and out. Aesthetically, they are an easy and inexpensive way to make your space feel bigger and brighter. I love adding large mirrors on walls opposite windows to reflect light, over desks and work spaces, or hung low to the ground so our small humans can watch themselves play and learn (side note – all kids love looking at themselves in the mirror).

A long or full length mirror is also essential for your dramatic play nook (how else can you admire yourself post dress-ups?).

Outside I often hang mirrors over/around sandboxes and mud kitchens, but you can choose to hang anywhere where you want to add a little more dimension.

You can look to thrift a large (my general go-to) or get something simple like the NISSEDAL mirror from IKEA.

I also love to use small mirrors in play. You can buy acrylic mirror sheets, which are non breakable and make a really lovely play surface – for inside and out (note they will eventually get scratched). I’ve also used smaller square mirror sheets to create mirrored trays for a more portable play surface/display case.

I also keep a couple of table top/hand mirrors with my art cart. They are great when drawing portraits or for adding a new dimension to still life artworks. You can also use the acrylic mirror sheets as a washable canvas.

Addie + Charlotte’s Play Space | January 2020

Addie and Charlotte are such creative kids, with art and craft materials to rival a professional artist. Charlotte loves American Girl Dolls, and has an enviable collection of dolls and their fashions/accessories. Both girls also love LEGOs. All of this adds up to a lot of stuff but not a lot of space to put it all. This equaled a main level play space that was overflowing and muddled with art supplies and toys, while their basement play space was being underutilized.

This is where I come in. :) Their lovely parents were keen to find ways to maximize their play spaces and create better storage and organization. They also wanted to keep with the same beautiful aeshtetic on the main level they had created with their custom pieces from Forty Third Place. Here’s what we did:

Continue reading “Addie + Charlotte’s Play Space | January 2020”

Minimizing toys – how to do it with (and without) your kids! | #curatedpsa

Get your tiny humans involved in the sorting and organizing, just give them parameters!

In my experience the majority of children are not keen to part with their things. I know the general thought in this post Marie Kondo world is to have them involved with the purging, but I can guarantee you that every single toy will bring them joy (even the ones they haven’t played with in over a year). So, what to do? You want to downsize but your small human belongs on an episode of Hoarders.

Here’s a couple of recommendations:

  • A simple way to downsize and have your children involved is to have a set container/basket side for things. For example the stuffies (because everyone has too many) – if they don’t fit in the designated basket then they don’t get to stay. You’re giving your child control but with very clear perimeters. They may still need help talking through letting go, and almost certainly they won’t choose the toys you would keep, but it is a really easy way to downsize with your child’s help.
  • The other step, is to purge while the kids are away (be brutal, like for realz). Start boxing/bagging up toys you know they don’t use anymore and put them out of sight. I can guarantee they won’t notice anything but their play space feeling easier to play in. If they haven’t been desperately missed in a couple of weeks, donate away!
  • When purging, low hanging fruit are toys that come with kids meals and all the plastic crap you get at birthday parties. Unless your kids have a huge attachment to them, these should go. Toys your kids have aged out of using is another easy one to remove.
  • Make sure not to forget books (this one can be hard, I get it). Start with books you hate reading (we all have them), books that were gifted and nobody enjoys, and books they are too old to read anymore. Little Free Libraries make donating books so easy and anxiety free.
  • Finally, find a task you can do together. At my last install, the five year old of the house was very keen to get involved. We sat together and worked intently for over an hour sorting beads, craft materials, and testing old markers to see if they still worked (which ultimately meant minimizing materials). Being involved helped her feel ownership to the new space and made it easier for her to see how having an organized, cleaner, more minimal space made it easier to play and created.

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.

Continue reading “Nathan + Maren’s Play Space | December 2019”