Wednesday, August 28, 2013

16 Reader Space: A Pretty Place to Pretend

I could look at cute kid spaces all day, every day.  They are so happy and charming, there is no hiding a super-smile while gazing at the places kids grow, play and imagine.

And the second my blue eyes caught a glance of Quinn's darling {and organized!} playroom, I couldn't wait to feature it.  It filled me with all sorts of joy, and my hope is that it will for you all as well!

I invited my new girl crush from Freckles Chick here today, to share the skinny on the play space she so wonderfully created for her daughter.

What is the main function of the space?

"This is where Quinn can spread out & wreak havoc to her heart's content.  It's really just a corner we've carved out in our recently renovated basement family room.  As a playroom, it's ideal because of the open layout & close proximity to the family room.  Before I pulled this space together, her play things were scattered all over the house {in mismatched baskets/containers on a good day}.  It was overwhelming & overstimulating for all of us!  Now the playroom is fun & functional for our girl."

Any superstar tips for keeping the playroom organized?

"You seasoned organizers out there already know this, but designating a place for everything & actually maintaining it is half the battle of staying organized, especially with a toddler tornado in the midst.  I'm an organizational purist.  It's an important rule around here that we tidy up after a play session, instead of leaving it for later.  Though this is probably easy for me to say, when there's only one child involved."

What items did you find were essential in organizing the space, and why?

"An appropriately-sized shelving unit & fun tote bins!  It's amazing how these simple things make all the difference; we don't need any fancy storage systems here.  I can't sing the praises of the Ikea Expedit unit enough.  Not only do the cubbies/totes perfectly corral toys, the top surface of the unit multi-tasks as extra storage & a work surface. I sometimes fold laundry here while Quinn plays--talk about fun.  Another favorite feature is Quinn's art table {an Ikea hack; more on it below}  that has more than paid for itself in the hours of fun it's given her.  She adores it.  It organizes her crayons, markers, chalk, & drawing paper all in one spot."  

What did you do to go the extra mile and "Make it Pretty"?

"We kept things simple, light & bright.  The idea was to have the space be a blank canvas for the creative chaos that ensues in any playroom.  Let's face it.  My kid doesn't just have pretty, handmade, eco-friendly wooden toys that look like collectibles.  She also has tons of fun yet offensively bright, loud, plastic play things that aren't so Pinterest-worthy. #bloggerproblems.  I love the clean, preppy look of these charcoal striped totes & lovingly stash those aforementioned toys in there {the 'small' size fit perfectly into the Expedit's cubbies}.  I also found an art print by Sarah Jane Studios that captures the sassy, free spirit that is Quinn.  Our girl is also quite the scribbling artiste, so it was important for me to come up with a rotating display for her creations.  Her toddler abstract art defines the fun nature of the space!  I also tweaked a couple of pillow cases & turned them into pretty little seat cushions for the chairs that accompany her art table."

What items did you DIY to stay on a budget?

"The star of the playroom is Quinn's art table {click here for complete details}.  We didn't want to spend a fortune on a child's art table that she will eventually outgrow.  I was inspired by Ikea Latt table hacks floating around out there, so I showed the hubby my plans & he made it happen. We all couldn't be happier with it!  The art table holds a concealed drawing paper roll {including slats to hold the paper in place under wild toddler hands} & all of her drawing supplies are within arms' reach.  It's usually the first thing Quinn gravitates to in her playroom.  I also DIYed a simple artwork hanging system using bulldog clips & 3M picture-hanging velcro strips.  Artwork can easily be switched out.  I see this room evolving as our girl grows, so nothing is too permanent in here."

How has this space impacted your life for the better?

"Obviously we don't limit Quinn's playing to just this space, but we've noticed a positive impact now that she has a defined playroom.  She tends to be more interested in her toys & books if they're not in a jumbled, bottomless heap.  She loves "discovering" what's in each cubby or striped tote.  When we have play dates at our house, Quinn loves taking her friends by the hand & showing them her playroom.  It's even helped in teaching her how to tidy up after we play with toys {"This is where the trains go." "Can you show me where we put your books?"}.  Speaking of tidying up, the shelving unit has made the task such a breeze.  It doesn't take much effort/time to toss things in their designated spot & before long, all the chaos is corralled.......if only for a little bit. Because of course, we have the most fun when things aren't so organized in the playroom."

So why do I heart this space so very much?

  • Even with toys tossed around, it looks like such a fun and happy place to play pretend.
  • I have a few of those striped totes, they rock my world, and I love them even more in Quinn's playroom.  Soft sided and fab.
  • That table.  Seriously.  It is genius.  I love the uses and storage and everything in-between.
  • The walls are neutral, yet the space still feels colorful and playful.
  • The room is interactive, even during the nice and tidy moments.
  • Quinn's art is proudly on display.  Not only does it make her feel proud of her creations, it adds so much life to the walls of the space.
  • Um yeah... she used an Expedit.  #winning
  • The room has a great balance of display and concealed storage.  The cutesy toys stay out and make the eyes smile, the less than darling toys are nicely tucked away.
  • Everything is super simple for Quinn to access, meaning she can take ownership at pick-up time.

OK, that is my list.  Do you have any else to add?  We could do 101 reasons why this space is fantastic.  Ready.... Set.... GO!

You can read more about Quinn's super special place to pretend here.

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. Although I'm not ready for any kids yet, I love seeing play space ideas. I love the colors of this space and those buckets hanging by the table are ideal!

  2. I love this space!! I am far away from having kids of my own but playrooms still make me so happy! It's so simple and inspires creativity and invites fun! Gotta love it :)

    It has also become my dream to do something "reader space worthy"! But the only full room I've tackled so far isn't nearly this impressive! Brain wheels are day...haha

    1. Hi Corley!

      No need to do a whole space to submit for a Reader Space. Any project big or small is worth sharing!


  3. Thanks a million for featuring Quinn's playroom & for your kind words, Jen!! It's an honor, to say the least. And thank you for the sweet comments, readers!

  4. Quinn is one lucky girl - a pretty, organized space to play and create, plus one very cool and hot momma! =) Love FC.

  5. This is a sweet playroom. I need to tackle my girls play space in our lounge. My only problem, is that they have 4-5 times as much stuff to store. It's hard to manage keeping it neat in such a small space.

  6. Love. Love, love, love, love, love. Did I mention that I love this space!

  7. This is so aesthetically pleasing! I've pinned it for my son's room. He has a nautical theme so when he's old enough to play I'll have some ideas to look at! He's still an infant :)

    Also, I was wondering if you could do a Family Binder post on your blog which houses all essential documents. I just made a post about it but it’s still a work in process and I’m sure you would have wonderful ideas! In case of emergency it’s something very important to have to just grab and go.

    Take care!

    1. Hi Seher!

      I do use a Household Binder, and I also sell the printables within my shop. You can find it here:

      Thank you so very much!

  8. I love this space, it is so happy and bright. I feel like maybe my kids would use their toys more if they were more organized. This is great inspiration, Thanks for sharing!

    Tammy @

  9. Oh I love this!! I don't have any children yet, but seeing such a functional, fun and well organized playroom makes my heart flutter! Just lovely :)

  10. That is such a great set up! I love how its looks clean yet functional for young children.


  11. This space is so awesome and inspiring. I so need to implement these tips into my daughter's spaces... I know how easy it is for toys to get out of hand! Do you two make house calls? ;) hehe.

    Such a fabulous feature - that Quinn is a lucky girl to have such a lovely and talented mama!


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