Wednesday, October 10, 2012

18 Reader Space: A Modern Place for Messy Kids

This week, my friend Steph, author of Modern Parents Messy Kids, and I are swapping spaces!

I am over at her place guest posting about our favorite room in the home, and she is stopping by here, to share her fantastic creativity center! 

I think one of the reasons that Steph and I have clicked so well is because we both share a love for organizing and kids!  Well, that and the fact that she is the sweetest gal around...

When I saw her wonderfully charming and fun creativity center, I couldn't wait to feature it! 

I asked Steph a few important questions about her happy little nook. 

What is the main function of the space?
     "The  big idea here was to keep our art supplies visible so the little ones would be enticed by them, yet still organized and out of reach of my littlest."

Any superstar tips for keeping it organized?
     "Purge and adapt!  I have to be sure to stay on top of what we pile on that shelf.  We're always adding new art supplies there so I try to always clear out nearly empty paint bottles, broken crayons, etc... when we do."

What items did you find were essential when organizing this space and why?
     "I absolutely love the IKEA magazine rack for our paper storage.  It's a great way to organize white paper, colored paper and coloring books.  And it's really easy for my kids to use on their own."
What did you do to go the extra mile and "make it pretty"?
     "I used mason jars for some of our storage because I just love that vintage look, but I'd say the biggest thing making our station "pretty" is the magnetic white board.  Not only does mounting the kid's artwork there make it look cool, it also gives their masterpieces importance and makes them feel special and valued for creating them."

Where did you find your inspiration?
     "Well - Jen is the IKEA queen {although I know she is branching out a bit these days} so I'd be lying if I said I wasn't trying to emulate her lovely style."

How has it impacted your life for the better?
     "As soon as the station went up, the kids started making art nearly daily and they haven't stopped since!  I love how this one little change in our playroom has made such a big impact on their creativity!"

Steph was kind enough to put together a source list for us!

  • Anything that promotes creativity is a win!
  • The area takes up a very small space in her home, but it has a huge impact on their day to day life!
  • The messier art supplies are kept out of reach, ensuring art doesn't end up on the hallway wall while dinner is being made.
  • Her storage system requires her to constantly evaluate what they have and doesn't allow her to over-purchase.
  • The magazine rack is a brilliant way to store paper and coloring books!
  • Buckets on a rail.  I get giddy every. single. time.
  • There is a built in place for art to dry and be displayed at the same time!  
  • The spice tins are double duty, holding the art and storing itty bits of goodness.

Thanks to Steph for stopping by today and inspiring us to inspire our messy kids with an organized creative zone!  You can find more details on her blog here.
How do you handle the craft situation in your home?  Bins?  A closet?  A happy little nook?  

ATTENTION!!  Want to be featured in a Reader Space edition?  Have an awesome organizing story to share?  I am looking for projects that have made a positive impact to your life.  Please submit your story and photos here and I would heart to feature them right here, on the blog!!  Photos should be high resolution and unedited.  Please include a description of the project, including any costs, inspiration, and how it has changed your life and routine for the better!  Oh, and no worries my friends, we will NEVER judge "before" pictures because that just wouldn't be nice!  Only love goes on at this blog!


  1. I found this on Pinterest awhile back when you both did the Closetmaid giveaway. I love it! I have the perfect spot for a creative zone like this in my home. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I just need a reality check. How many kids does she have? Does it look like this at the end of every day? Just want to know. I have seven kids and struggling to find a way to organize and simplify where we can actually be semi-clean. Not going for perfect, just not disaster! :) Does she have a clean up time where she makes sure they clean up after themselves or do they just do it? thanks

    1. Hi MamaJenny,

      I have two kiddos and these photos were taken when the creativity center was first put up so it doesn't always looks this put together. We do make sure to have clean up time once we're done with the supplies though so it stays pretty neat. Also, the idea here is that the kids can see the stuff but only have access to some of it so it's not a free-for-all! They have to ask for a lot of the stuff and we make sure to only get a few things out a time.


  3. I love this! Thank you for including the names of the products, as well as the prices! I think I might be going out to buy the magazine rack, and the magnetic board!

  4. Do we have any links on where we can purchase? I'm really interested in the magazine rack for coloring books! What a great idea.

  5. How funny that I came on the blog to search for kids art center ideas...and this is what you have posted today!! Fantastic ideas...I love it.

  6. I love the rail and buckets idea for holding supplies, toys, etc. Do you know of any place besides Ikea that sells something like that? Ikea doesn't sell them online, and I don't live by one either. Any suggestions would be great! Thanks!

  7. This space is SO cute! Unfortunately I don't live near an IKEA either, but I am thinking that the rod could be created using a small curtain rod?

    1. Towel rails can also work, like in this example (although she's also used Ikea products, it should be fairly easy to recreate elsewhere. Darn Ikea!)

  8. What a great space! I have similar tables and supplies, I think I know now just what to do with our art space in the playroom. Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. I like the magazine rack on the wall. Looks like it works good for collecting special papers.

  10. Love it. We are getting an Ikea in Kansas City in 2014, less than 3 hours away from me and I will be one happy person when it opens. I always find it hard to find items as cute and cheap as Ikea in my area.

  11. I have just finished adding the bygel rail and containers to my daughters homework station. I even sorted all her colours for her and it looks really great. Now hopefully there will be no more colours in the floor. Thanks for all your great tips.

  12. So, so, SO smart!! I love the thought she put into making it easy to access & put away supplies with the open storage while keeping the messier stuff out of reach! And all of that amazingness packed into one little corner -- SO impressive!

  13. Thank you! What an inspirational post! I have no space in my home, but I want to make a similar craft station in my kitchen! Hugs from Moscow, Russia.

  14. freaking adorable play area! x


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