Hey guys, and happy Thursday! Hope you’re all staying warm. It felt like a frigid -37 celsius here last night so we’ve definitely been sticking to as many indoor activities as possible. I figured this might be a good time to tackle this post. With the kids being inside and all (and snow days in full swing) it might be as good a time as any to get that toy room into tip top shape to occupy them long enough to possibly go pee, you know, alone.
This toy room has been a labour of love. We first started to do a few changes to it back before we even had Bree! Jase was sleeping in the crib in the nursery and we had his toys upstairs in another bedroom that wasn’t being used yet. When we found out we were having baby #2, we knew we had to move those toys downstairs so we could have that bedroom for Jase’s big boy room, and decided to get started on their playroom space.
The room we were moving everything to was an old bedroom in the finished part of our basement, complete with John Deere green walls. Even though we had our work cut out for us (it needed a floor too), I was HELLA PUMPED to be moving all of the toys downstairs. Not even going to begin to say that toys out of the main living area had me singing from the rooftops.
Also, can we just talk about how LITTLE JASE WAS? Having such a “mom” moment over here right now. Also… I don’t know what he was swatting at, but that type of behaviour right there is why I was excited to move everything downstairs LOL. We tested a few wall colours and landed on an off-white that I hoped would brighten up the space. We stained the wood panelling on the wall (it’s still like that but to be honest, I’m pretty sure I’m going to paint that white in the near future… or maybe even a super FUN colour!). We picked out a neutral tile that would suit the room no matter what it had to become down the road, or if it would just stay playroom. The reason we went with a cost-effective tile is a) because flooring is expensive and dollar signs were already flying around in our brains knowing another baby was on the way and b) it is a basement and we’ve had water down there before. My sweet and handy hubbs laid the floor himself and I could barely wait for it to set before I started moving toys down.
The before and during pics are limited, mostly because I had no idea this would end up in a blog one day LOL but you get the point. I can happily say over two years later we have finally completed most of this space for Jase and Bree. There are tons of little areas that I love about this room, and that the kids especially love. So let’s get to it! I’ll try and link everything as best as I can as well.
This is the “feature” wall and the first wall you see when you walk into the room, so this is where I decided to put the majority of our toy storage. No surprise here, these toy storage items are from IKEA - the long bench with storage is actually just a bookcase turned on its side!
These have all come in really handy for toy storage so far. I like how it all looks clean and tidy, and you can fit a TON of toys in each bin. I think the pillows are from Wayfair once upon a time, the little galvanized pots with faux greenery are also from IKEA.
(these are 79 cents!! can’t go wrong!)
My next favourite little area in this room is a brand new addition! We finally got a chance to add some shelving for all of the kids’ books, which I wanted to do forever! I’m picturing an eventual reading nook complete with a couple of beanbag chairs or something - but the kids have been loving these so far. I love that they can reach (most of) them by themselves, and every now and then Jase goes down to get a new book to read before bed!
These shelves are actually described as a picture ledge on the IKEA website, so they work really well to prop books up!
I also had the idea to do these DIY letter signs for quite some time and finally took the plunge and got it done. These were extremely easy to do. These letters started as just plain wood letters that I picked up at Michael’s, and I got some dollar store paints and just alternated the colours to make for some colourful signage! On the back I used command strips to hang them, which also made it really easy to hang.
I had a lot of wall space that I needed to fill, and I love how this little DIY project turned out! Speaking of wall space, I also wanted to incorporate some artwork into the room. I saw this colourful heart print on Jillian Harris’ blog (seriously, that blog is DEADLY for the bank account) and had to have it! It looks so perfect in the room and incorporates all of the colours I wanted to inject into the room.
What I loved about ordering from Minted was that I got to select the size of print, type of frame, border, etc and there are tons of different options - so if you’d prefer a smaller or larger print, or a dark frame - those options are all available!
I added a few other pieces of decor on the walls overtime, again to fill up some wall space and add interest to the room to make it feel fun and playful!
Most of these items are either from Homesense (so I can’t link) or from Bouclair and are unfortunately sold out.
Next, we have some more storage options that I incorporated into the room for more toy storage (because honestly, will there ever be enough toy storage???). I had some big dreams in my head of what this would look like (including shelving, etc) but then I remembered it was a toy room and they’re kids … who climb… and want to be able to access their own toys. So I stuck with good old tote bins from Canadian Tire instead. They are absolutely the easiest way to keep everything contained, but they can also be easily accessed by the kids when they see something they want to play with. Since this room used to be a bedroom, we had a closet that we use to tuck some totes into.
As you can see, I used these for blocks, balls/pucks, magnet tiles, monster trucks and all of the many Hot Wheels cars that I find floating around. These are simply overflow from the IKEA storage boxes on the feature wall, and it’s been handy (especially with all the blocks) to still keep them contained somehow. Also, can we just talk about how the brand of these totes is “Type A”? It’s like they were made for me.
I also have the smallest version of this tote (not pictured) in various spots around the room, to hold small pieces that go with each toy. For example, all of the little ice cream cones that go with the ice cream truck - otherwise it’s an absolute tornado of small pieces! This one is perfect for all those little pieces:
I used the shelves of the closet area to store arts and crafts supplies. These are usually supplies I want my kids to have to ask for (they’re still 3 and 1, so supervision with crayons is encouraged). So it works to have them on the shelves, at least until they just start climbing the shelves to get at it LOL.
These little totes with the top handles were a MAJORLY good find for arts and crafts supplies. Right now, we have one for Playdough and tools/shapes/accessories, and the other for crayons/markers and colouring books/construction paper. All you have to do is lift up the top divider for a whole another section of storage!
Last but certainly not least, the great mystery that can’t be solved - the BIG toys. You know, the kitchens, walkers, hockey nets, activity tables, trucks, tractors, Minnie Mouse “Brunch Cafes” (face palm). I haven’t found a way to organize these in a way that they don’t look like a giant eyesore, and honestly, I don’t know if I ever will. They’re just part of the toyroom and the kids love them, so they’re staying as is. The only thing I’ve done with these is line the far wall with them so at least they’re not all over the place, but that’s as good as it gets!
The kids’ table and four chairs was a really cheap wooden set that I painted, but you can find awesome ones at IKEA, Wayfair, and lots of other places! Here’s an example:
So that just about does it for our toy room makeover! It took us over two years to get this all arranged, so don’t be too intimidated - even some simple toy organization solutions that pack a big punch in a toy room. All the little stuff can be added as you go!