So not photography related other than the fact that this playroom has kept me away from editing. I’m sure all of my wedding clients that are waiting on images right now are thankful that I am done and can get back to my real job. Sometimes the scales just have to tip in the other direction. I spend a lot of time missing out on things with my girls or neglecting to give them attention when they want it so I can do things for my clients and sometimes it’s their turn to take my attention away from work. To be honest, I have no idea how or when this playroom makeover started. No, seriously. The fumes were so intense in there I legit think I have memory loss. One day…possibly a week ago…I walked up there with a handful of $1 clear storage tubs to clean out their toys to get ready for the new toys they will be getting for Christmas soon and the next thing you know I am sitting here writing this blog. When we started building our house we had planned “future space” upstairs. We didn’t know if we would be able to finish it out during the build and really didn’t know what we were for sure doing with the space. We ended up being able to finish out the space with everything but floors. My kids are wild. That’s putting it nicely. I really wanted to wait until the baby was older before we put floors up there so I didn’t stress about her destroying them. The only problem is they still want to play up there and besides the spinters that they were getting from the raw plywood, it is almost impossible to get all of the dirt off of those floors. So, I thought I would just sand them. I mean, I have a little sander. How much work could it be. The next thing I know I have a tub of wood filler. I’m just going to fill in the cracks so the dirt doesn’t get in there. One billion hours of hand sanding and filling nail holes later, I had my fill of sawdust boogers and let my husband rent a floor sander. 20 minutes later and we had sanded floors. Cool. Splinter problem solved. How I got from that point to 4 gallons of paint and fiddy leven coats of white on the floors, 3 coats on the base boards, a coat of poly, and 20+ cans of spray paint gone, I will never know. First I’ll show a few before and after photos of the floors before I get into my room design process and the (almost) final product.
So above is before. This is actually what it looked like clean. You have NO idea the kind of mess these kids are capable of. Below is after wood filler, sanding, and priming.
So after priming I did about a billion coats of floor enamel paint then did one coat of “clear” poly. Yeah, so not clear. My next project is figuring out how to get the nasty yellow tone off of the white floors. Even ugly yellow it was still better than the plywood and WAY easier to clean. Yes, even painted white it was still easier to clean. It’s been tested out already thanks to my make shift spray paint area fail. It looked like a good idea at the time but once the paint dust settled and I came back after coming down off of a spray paint high, I realized there was paint blow back all over upstairs. Got my rug too. Woops. Lesson learned I guess. Ahhh white floors. Pretend that you don’t notice the yellowish tint. I get a lot of flack about having an all white house. Let me say this, white IS easier to keep clean. Because it makes it easier to spot the dirt, you can clean it. My theory (or how I justify it to myself) is that even if the white looks dirtier than colors it is still cleaner. Well, it makes sense to me at least. ANYWAY…..The design process.
I knew I wanted to do some type of centers in my original planning. I got some base supplies on my IKEA trip a few months back when I went for office desk supplies. Play kitchen, art table, the small table, and the art hanging wire are all from IKEA. That was what I started with and it just kind of grew from there. I had this fluorescent pink tray that I loved from the Target clearance end cap and was going to use in Ray’s room but it just didn’t end up working in there so I wanted to work that into the room upstairs and I got this side table from Hobby lobby for $8 and painted the top white (it was teal) and put some neon green washi tape along the sides. I had been eyeballing this pink 9 by Novogratz sofa from Walmart in a green color for my office and when it went on sale, I ended up getting the pink one for upstairs(ON SALE!) and built from there. I also had some fluorescent desk organizers in my Land of Nod cart for a while and wanted an excuse to get them since they were on sale and I stumbled upon this artwork and this fun sunglasses pillow in the sale section there too and it all just made sense. I had the pink pillows in storage from our old house so I worked those in. My next struggle was my rug choice. I SUCK at picking rugs. I don’t know why rugs are always so hard for me. Luckily I have a rug expert friend that guides my rug buying choices and another friend that knows when every store on the planet is having a sale and helped me find the rug I used in the big play area 40% off at target (I got the blue one in the grocery area at Hobby Lobby for $20. WIN). I went back and forth between the rugs in the photos below and had decided on the pink one until the I found the one I purchased on sale.
I was initially going to do a full painted wall behind the art area upstairs. I took the measurements and tried doing a mock up of the wall in Photoshop. It didn’t go exactly like this and I decided that I had been exposed to enough paint fumes so I decided to try washi tape. It took a bit to get my system figured out but after the first line it was pretty easy.
Since I wanted the lines to go all the way across the wall at the bottom and feel like they were connected, I used some string as a guide. The first stripe took the longest because there was nothing but the string to go off of. After I got that line I use some rulers I bought for the art center and put double sided painter’s tape on the back and ran the rulers down the first stripe for a spacing guide.
I used the string again when the stripes changed direction.
Then it started moving pretty quicklyI decided to stop here for the night and give my eyes a rest. It gets a little blurry when you are in an all white room staring at neon for hours on end. So I went to bed feeling pretty proud of myself and thinking I might actually pull this off. Then I wake up to this the next morning………….Surprisingly enough, I wasn’t upset. Just started putting the tape back on then went digging in the 50 million boxes we still have in the garage that I’ll eventually get around to unpacking because I remembered that I had bought some Mod Podge last Christmas for the projects I’ll never get around to doing. I put a nice thick coat over the tape and it was like magicThe Mod Podge turns it into a more permanent statement piece than I originally wanted but after this much work I will probably never change this wall.
I usually go in with a plan and expect it to be maybe half the original plan and half improv when I get the final result. Like my horse painting project. I knew I wanted to bring the bounce horse upstairs because the kids love it but it’s probably about 30 years old and it needed a face lift. With all the rain we’ve been having I figured I would set up a little paint station upstairs. No big deal, I’ll paint on these boxes and it will be perfect. NOT. I still have paint I need to finish scrubbing from the floors but that will be for another day. I had some pink paint already so I after priming the horse I gave it a few coats of neon pink. The only place for the horse was on the left side of the stripe wall and it was so much pink over there that the horse didn’t stand out. I was already over this project so I was just going to go with it but when I went to the hardware store for more of the pink paint for the final coat, they were out. I had already painted the base of the horse blue so I decided to go with a mod all blue look and I’m so glad I did. I LOVE it blue. Madilyn thinks it looks super creepy but the other kids love it and now they get to play with my little family homeroom.
My next project was making the IKEA kitchen I bought look kind of like my kitchen and painting a hand me down Kidcraft fridge to look like our stainless one. Yes, completely stole the IKEA play kitchen hack straight from Pinterest. I painted the bare wood parts of the kitchen white and used some faux marble contact paper from Amazon to cover the counter and spray painted the hardware and faucets gold. Easy peasy….ish. IKEA furniture is such a PAIN to put together. They loved it so it was a win.
Added some folded pieces of felt for dish towels, some Target dollar bin buckets for utensil holders, some sticky hooks from the Dollar Tree, and a bell from I picked up at World Market. Still have to finish the backsplash (notice the foam board leaned behind it) I got an awesome set of play pots (a billion more are in the kitchen cabinet) from Aliexpress on the CHEAP.
Yes, the kitchen area evolved from a play kitchen to a grocery store/restaurant. Sometimes I just can’t help myself. I’m either at a zero and my kids are eating chips for supper or I’m at a million and my kids are getting a dang grocery store in their playroom. I know no middle ground. I was initially going to do an awning that attached to the Target shelf I was using for the grocery store but knew that it would not last long with my girls. I could picture them swinging from the poles that held it together on day one. So I contacted my magician/seamstress to see if she could make an awning for the window that looked like an outdoor market awning. Man did she deliver. Her and her husband made this amazing awning for me and I am so obsessed. $40 in vinyl fabric from Hobby Lobby and a frame made from PVC pipes and we have a market. Her husband even drew me a diagram on what the screws needed to look like that I would have to get to install it! Thanks Mrs. Tina!!! Of course the kids’ favorite part was the open/closed sign I got from the Dollar Tree, but they loved it all. They always enjoy the simple things the most like the bag I cut down to put in the grocery cart that I got from the hardware store that day haha. I got the super realistic play food from the floral department at Hobby Lobby. Eventually there will be menus and a market sign put up but it may be a while before I get to those since I have a ton of work to catch up on now that I gave that room a week of my life.
My last project was the Barbie house that my has been sitting in my garage. It needed a little make over before it fit with the room decor so I covered the floors and roof in washi tape and put up wallpaper (scrapbook paper and wrapping paper), added some touch lights from the Dollar Tree and they were thrilled. The art center and art wall will be where the two big girls play the most. They love art so they got an art table and an art hanging/drying area to make some master pieces. I may be slightly obsessed with the neon desk organizers I got from The Land of Nod….and my middle child’s curls. Here are a few other shots of the whole room. I can’t wait for them to come home from school today and go play up there with them. I half want to let them open all of the new Barbie house furniture that is sitting under the tree right now so we can play Barbies! Still working on a few details for the room like the iridescent curtain thingy (not even sure what to call it) and a black and white photo wall. All things they won’t care about so I can do them later while they are playing. And stay tuned for my iridescent curtain thingy project….if it works out.