March 01, 2006

Playroom Mania

So, this week, I got the bug to do some redecorating. Maybe I was inspired by Jenn.

See, whenever we visit my brother's family or M.'s sister and her family, we always comment on how nice it is that all of their rooms are on one level. The kids scurry off to play, yet are only just around the corner in their rooms. We can hear them and see them quite easily.

At our house, our children have beautiful rooms. I've put hours into planning, and M. has put weeks into sanding, grinding, spackling, and repainting. However, to reach them, you must first climb this:

Sass really doesn't like to be upstairs alone, nor do I like her to be, because it just feels too far away.

When we bought this house it was in a state of total disrepair. I (with a lot of help from my Mom and
Margaret) quickly began coating walls in coats of paint with names like "washed khaki" and "tortilla" and "melted butter." Ok, maybe not that last one, but I like my colors soft and soothing, is what I'm trying to say. The house has four bedrooms and an office (most of which we weren't using) and yet when Mark asked where the bold and beautiful colors would go, I raised an eyebrow at him and said, "The basement?" (Our basement is 86 years old, along with the rest of the house, and is home to a truck size cistern, an ancient incinerator, and-- before we moved in-- two dead bats. I try to pretend it doesn't exist.)

But he persisted so I said, "Fiiinnnnnnne" and "Take the office" (located just off the kitchen). He promptly painted it "jazz" the brightest shade of blue I've ever seen. Then he filled it with all of his music memorabilia and it actually turned out to be a pretty cool room, if you promise not to tell him I said so.

Then we had the kids, and said, "Hrmm. We really should have turned that into a playroom," as we were suddenly wading knee deep in our living room through a sea of bright colored plastic toys. It took us 3 years, people, -- THREE YEARS AND TWO KIDS -- to realize that the two rooms could co-exist, which leads us to today's project.

Here is the before of our messy bessy office. The office is always the last to be cleaned because it is A Non-Essential Room and before today held way too much furniture. It also belongs to the cats, who sleep in it every night.

So today, we threw things out, we dusted, we bought some shelves and a bean bag. At one point, the futon was on end in the foyer, with it's cushion lying in the kitchen, and various other pieces of furniture were spread hither and yon throughout the house. M. came home and gasped, and I said, "But look, look a the shiny new playroom/office/M's music room." It's the only remotely clean room in the house. I'm so glad we did it this way, because I would have fought that color tooth and nail and today I think it's perfect.
(Notice how in the first picture it's daytime and in the second it's dark. It took me that long."

So now the kids have a room (with a door! To close when it gets too messy!) on the ground level that is all theirs. We have a living room that still has a toy box and a few of their favorite toys, but also has room for our own things as well. Everyone is happy.

Except for the cats. Their dusty old futon is gone. We're like condo developers in the wilderness. This house used to be mostly theirs. Then we got a dog. Then a kid. Then another kid. Each year we invade a little more of their territory and it's only a matter of time before they attack.


Blogger Margaret said...

I love the neatly stacked shelves. Shall we place bets on how long they look that pretty?

When you first mentioned the two rooms could coexist (meaning the office could also be a playroom), I thought you meant the living room could coexist with the office. Horror flashes of you ripping out your beautiful bookcases to make a doorway went through my mind.

I was with you when M picked out "Jazz." I liked it from the get-go. I'm just glad you stuck to your guns on the trim color. Didn't he want red or yellow or something else that was bright for trim?

March 01, 2006 9:46 PM  
Anonymous janey said...


March 02, 2006 6:20 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

i LOVE that blue!

March 02, 2006 7:36 AM  
Blogger Her Grace said...

Margaret -- I think if we tore out that wall, the house would come crumbling down. I'm pretty sure it's a Very Important Wall! The only room I picked up last night after the kids went to bed was the playroom. The shelves will stay nice and neat until the novelty wears off, then this room will look like the rest of them!

Janey -- I'll take a picture of the cistern for you, or my laundry room, or the outside of the house which has remained partially painted for 4 summers because the painter ditched us halfway through and everyone else wants $2500 JUST TO PAINT THE TRIM! That should help your pout!

Holly -- I'll tell M. you said so!

March 02, 2006 7:59 AM  
Blogger Christi Nielsen said...

Ok - I'm impressed. I would be so afraid that I'd mess something up!

March 02, 2006 10:19 AM  

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