Play Area: Before & After

So our house is fairly small (although pretty big by SF standards).  Because I’m at the stage of pregnancy where nesting kicks in, we rearranged the living room.  This is huge since I was too tired to really care about how things were laid out when we first moved in (Oliver was almost 4 months old then).  So I left it up to my husband to do the layout, and let’s just say it wasn’t ideal in the long run.  Anyhoo, we moved the furniture around two weeks ago to maximize the amount of room we have, which also means we created a designated play area for Oliver, and soon baby dos.  But the state of the play area was kind of gross.

play_area_before_1So here is the gross looking play area looking from one of the couches.

play_area_before_2This is the designated art area, which I actually like.

play_area_before_3For the love of God, all the toys and madness!

play_area_before_4And this ugly old entertainment center that we used to collect random stuff.

When we moved to SF, most of our furniture we bought from a friend who was moving to Singapore.  Needless to say, we inherited A LOT of “bachelor” furniture.  Dan argued that it saved us money and he also didn’t anticipate us staying for more than a year.  Almost 2 years later, we are still left with a few undesirable pieces in SF.  So the first thing to go was this ugly entertainment center that, thankfully, the Salvation Army gladly came over to pick up.  Their website said that they would reject any furniture they thought wasn’t good enough (something like that), and I thought that this thing would certainly be rejected.  So I was quite happy and relieved they hauled it away!

In my head, I had an idea of what I wanted to do with the space once they ugly thing was gone.  A purchase from Etsy and Ikea later, I was ready to make the area what I envisioned in my head!

play_area_after_1Art area is still the same.

play_area_after_2The new toy area/reading nook.

play_area_after_3The best the toys will ever look–EVER!

play_area_after_4Some prints for I hung up specifically for the space.

play_area_after_5A better looking piece for the books and some storage.

I absolutely love the prints I bought on Etsy from Niko And Lily.  They aren’t too kiddish for a shared space with adults.  I bought them already matted because I knew that Ikea frames come with mats that are irregular, and it would have been a pain in the butt to try to make them fit.  You can buy the prints without the mats and probably go to another shop for the frames, and probably save more money that way.  But it was just easiest for me to go this route since I already had the frames.  FYI, the frames are the Ikea Ribba frames and they fit perfectly!

I also like how we are able to use Oliver’s chair, after it was on hiatus the last year (I took Oliver’s monthly photos in this chair when he was first born.).  Even though he can’t “read” on his own, he will sometimes sit in his chair and look at the books.  Hopefully it will be a true reading nook in the future.  And the chair is awesome because adults can sit in it too, and it’s light and portable enough that we can move it around the house.  The chair is from Pottery Barn Kids.

The one thing I still need to add are bookends.  I haven’t found the right bookends for the space that are cheap enough (i.e., <$20).  If you pay close attention to the books that are sitting on top of the shelf, they are a mix of books for when Oliver is older and some cooking books.  I’m looking for bookends that aren’t too childish or sophisticated.  So that is still in the works.  Hopefully I’ll find what I’m looking for before baby dos comes.

So the new and improved play area!  Hooray!  Next up, a gallery wall.  GASP!!!

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