Thursday, January 2, 2014

Double Whammy - Our Reading Nook and Toy Storage Area

I'm super nervous to share something with you that I conceptualized and built (well, Peter Pan and Captain Hook helped too) for the back of our living room.  Nervous?  Yes, nervous.  It's the first thing I have ever built and it was a huge undertaking, so I'm nervous that some of you will notice some of the imperfections.  I'll point them out to you:  1)  The inside of the boxes aren't painted.  2)  Some of the edges aren't as sanded down as they should be.  3)  Finally, I didn't put the hinges on correctly so there's about an inch overhang.  But, I did the ol' spinaroo and told everyone it was on purpose so that my kids don't pinch their fingers. 

Okay, so let's move on to pictures, shall we?

The first picture gives you a glimpse of what the back of the living room looked like when I began.  About a month prior to that my brother helped me rip out a 13' counter with drawers that was used by the previous owner's kids as a homework station.  Some people probably thought I was nuts for tearing it out, but it was ugly and made no sense in the room, or for our family for that matter.  My husband was not thrilled when he got home from work.  Let's move on..... 

I measured the space that needed to be filled by a "box" (that's what I was calling it).  Eleven feet you say, and I'll be loading it, unloading it, carrying it up a flight of stairs with two kids "helping"?  That's when I decided to split it into three "boxes" so that I wouldn't have a heart attack.  From there I went to Lowe's with the measurements and a very helpful and patient man cut every single piece of wood FOR FREE! 


From there I laid out the pieces and began assembling the boxes.  I used wood screws on the sides and also used two brackets on each side of the boxes.

The boys and I were thrilled at this point!  We built a box!  Seriously, just doing this was a victory.

After all three boxes were built they needed to be lined up and the lids needed to be attached and boxes needed to be painted.  Let's sideline this conversation for a minute. Do you notice how the paint color directly above the boxes is lighter than the color on the top half of the wall?  This was a bitter pill to swallow.  I've always heard that you should buy an extra gallon of whatever color you paint a room just incase you need it.  But, of course I didn't.  So, when I bought the same exact color for this project they didn't match.  You'll see later that pillows cover the lighter color, but still........


In this picture you'll see I attached the hinges and you'll also notice that I put a few Imaginext toys in it to give you an idea of the storage capacity.  (I'm pointing out they're Imaginext toys only because if you have boys you'll know how huge those toys are.)
Can you believe the amount of storage space in these beasts?  They're wonderful!  This box holds all Imaginext toys, another holds all of the boys' Geotrax buildings and tracks, and the third box holds all of their Little People buildings, cars, and people.

The final thing that needed figured out was what to do with the top of the boxes so that the boys could also use this space to lay and look at books.  After looking into many options, all WAY outside of my budget, I decided to go to Target and buy two full-sized bed toppers.  Next, the boys and I headed to the shower curtain aisle because the Threshold brand shower curtains are very well made and gorgeous so they'd be perfect to cover the bed toppers.  Finally, we stopped at Lowe's, picked out a piece of plywood, had it cut into two pieces, then headed home. 
I was so excited to get this project completed that I practically ran up the stairs with the boys and all of the goodies.  We folded the bed toppers on top of the plywood the covered everything with the shower curtains.  Captain Hook sat on the opposite side of the plywood to help keep everything in place as I was stapling the shower curtain to the bottom.
After summer I scoured Target's clearance section to find some outdoor pillows. I chose outdoor pillows because of the size and sturdy material.  After hitting up three Target's in about a ten mile radius I was the proud owner of seven perfectly matching pillows for a FRACTION of what they would have cost me a month prior. 
What do you think of the final look?  It's a wonderful little space for my kids!


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  1. Emily I freakin love it...soooo stinkin proud that u tackeled this all by urself!!! Yay for ulady!!

  2. I would love to do this in my son's room eventually. Maybe one of these days! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I love this idea and would love to do it in my son's room eventually. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thank you all! It's really pretty and the amount of storage is seriously incredible!!