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Kiddo Storage for a Grown up Space

on March 2, 2014

One of the things I write about frequently here , I think, is how our organization needs change over time and how that in turn changes the way we organize things in our home.  I would say the biggest area of change on a regular basis has to do with kiddo related items.  Sometimes the changes occur because she is growing up, and sometimes things happen because of changes we make in the house.  We actually made this switch a few weeks ago, but I am already completely in love with it.

One of the biggest changes occurred in our main living spaces.  We have a “living” room that you see as you enter through our front door and a “family” room a few steps down from there that is off of the entrance we use most–the garage.  Our house is not tiny, but it is also not spacious.  We do not have a playroom and not all of my daughter’s toys fit in her room–from a space stand point and a usage stand point as well.  Some toys are just used more often in our living spaces.  At one time, we had the items corralled in some slide out drawers, cubbies, and baskets that were semi hidden behind furniture in the living room.  This is what some of the storage looked like before…

Our kids game basket.  It's located in our living room sort of tucked away but still easy to access.

A basket of kids games–tucked to the far side of the couch.

Small drawer system for Lego pieces and a large bin to hold all of the vehicles and creations.  One black bin holds Lego instruction books and the other holds puzzles.  These are in our living room and easy to access during play time.

Above–these items were under a sofa table on the wall just near the front door.  The black boxes held Lego instruction books and puzzles.  The long box held already assembled Lego items and Below–the little drawers held Legos sorted by color/type.IMG_5289

Not too pretty, but not terrible.  Then, two things happened.  1)  We decided to retire the couch we’d had in two different apartments and that had lived in our family room.  We had restuffed it twice (yep you read that right) and it was on its lumpy last legs.  Plus, it didn’t really fit our family room space well (look for a post on our quick and easy family room turnaround soon).  The hubs suggested that a love seat would fit best in the space to go along with our recliner.  I said we should try the love seat from our living room set in the family room for a while just to see how we liked it (I’m a visual learner).  And, it has been there ever since.  The absence of the love seat in the living room gave us some more freedom with the arrangement of other furniture items in the living room.  I decided to move our sofa table to the wall where the love seat had been located because it looked a little bare and just rounded out the room nicely.  2)  The second thing that happened was Christmas–my daughter received some wonderful gifts that she wants to use quite a bit, but they added to the pile in the living room.

We were left with this…

This is what visitors to our house saw when they walked in the front door.  (the door is on a wall to the right of this one.)

This is what visitors to our house saw when they walked in the front door. (The door is on a wall to the right of this one.)

Not pretty at all.  Just a sad little pile on a very gray wall.  In my head I knew exactly what would be great in this space–a buffet, or credenza, or some sort of low storage option.  I wanted something that would hide the clutter, be easy for my daughter to access, and that didn’t break the bank.  I scoured a local furniture store’s website–but after an in person trip, I was disappointed.  Everything that might work had a $500+ price tag.  I contemplated using Craig’s list for the first time, and I missed out on 2 great pieces that had already been snatched up.  I looked online to see what else was out there that I could possibly ship or buy in some other retail store.  (And, sadly, we do not have an Ikea in driving distance!).  I was even willing to refinish a piece of furniture if need be, but I couldn’t find any viable options.  Finally, we made another trip to the furniture store to pick up some DVD storage items and look at desks…when we stumbled upon a piece that was pretty close to perfect.  It was even on sale.  It was  a little more than I wanted to spend, but not too much beyond my budget, so we snapped it up.  We had to assemble the thing, which helped with the cost.  It took me about 3 hours!, but I think it is well worth it.  Here is the after…

Voila!

Voila!

We rearranged some items on the wall to fit better with this piece, and my husband found the pretty metal leaf item on clearance at Target (it blends well with two other metal leaf wall item in this room).  This piece of furniture was pretty great, because it has both doors and drawers–and the panels in the doors can be changed out for glass sometime down the road if we’d like.  I went with the solid wood fronts, since the whole point was to hide the clutter.  Now all of my daughter’s things fit nicely in this one space and we no longer look like we’re having a yard sale in our living room.  Here’s a peek inside.

All our kiddo board games.

All our kiddo board games.

All the Lego instruction manuals and sorted bins fit in here.  The white bin is the hospital--for creations in need of repair.  And, creationary should not normally be stored on its side--everything falls out of the spaces, but a little press and seal cling wrap did the trick.

All the Lego instruction manuals and sorted bins fit in here. The white bin is the hospital–for creations in need of repair. And, creationary should not normally be stored on its side–everything falls out of the spaces, but a little press and seal cling wrap did the trick.

The two bottom drawers hold already built Legos and the top is home to puzzles, rainbow loom, lite brite, etc.

The two bottom drawers hold already built Legos and the top is home to puzzles, rainbow loom, lite brite, etc.

I LOVE this space now.  Our living room feels like a grown up space, but it is kid friendly as well. And, we know that this piece of furniture can transform into other things down the road as our needs change–a true sideboard, a tv stand, etc.  I am very, very happy when I walk in this room now.  Plus, we now have a little more surface space to spread out some of our decor items.  One concern my husband did have after we bought it is that the cabinet is more of a black wood color and the rest of our furniture is cherry.  But, we sort of have that same blending repeated throughout our house (family room, guest room/mom’s office, master bedroom), and I think since it is on a separate wall it works just fine.

Have you ever spent months searching for the right “something” for your home?  Where did you finally find it?

Creativity Unleashed link party!

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One response to “Kiddo Storage for a Grown up Space

  1. […] Kiddo Storage for a Grown up Space Mar […]

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