Archive for the ‘playroom’ Category

Some Playroom Ideas

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Posted by Rebecca, January 29th, 2013

Ever since we added the SmartStrand carpet to the playroom, we have been living in there. Like, Mike and I literally sit on the floor in there all the time and we hardly use our family room anymore. I bring my coffee in there on the weekends (or if Easton wakes up ridiculously early during the week) and we just play.

Just before Christmas, we temporarily moved the Expedit that used to live in the office back into the playroom, but we placed it horizontally rather than vertically.

We placed it on the wall that you don’t see when you look in, just to keep the clutter out of sight for now.

Yes, I took these pictures around Christmas time and never got around to writing this post. Whoops.

While it works temporarily, Christmas brought along loads of Fisher Price and about 4 toys that require different sizes of balls that are currently thrown all over the room. Easton throws just like Mariano Rivera, watch for yourself!

YouTube Preview Image

And then applauds himself. Humble, yet proud 🙂

When he’s not hurling fast balls, Easton is at such a great age that he is able to entertain himself for a few minutes at a time. He loves his playroom. His latest trick is crawling away from us and proceeding to pull toys out of the baskets and Expedit…resulting in a giant mess already.

He has some toy cars in one of the bottom cubes that he likes to play with, while actually laying in the cube.

Our original plan, over a year ago, was to add some Ikea bookcases turned built-ins to the room ala Centsational Girl.

(via Centsational Girl)

I still love this idea but the problem is, building in storage is relatively permanent. The room also has a floor vent in the corner that would make this project less than easy. The more we’ve thought about it, the more we think it’s a good idea to do something that is easy to remove. Let’s face it, this room won’t be a playroom forever and it will evolve as Easton and his future siblings grow. Maybe we’ll want to add a table? Or a couch? The room is relatively small (about 11’x13′ I believe) so we think that having more of a modular storage system would accomodate any changes we want to make.

Cue the Cameron storage system from Pottery Barn Kids.

(via Pottery Barn Kids)

While I like all of the storage that these units would provide, what I like more is the fact that they have straight lines and would be easy to DIY since the price is frightening. While I would like some closed storage mixed in, right now Easton is a pro at opening doors and getting his fingers stuck. Being able to add closed drawers/doors as he gets older and can manuever them would be great.

As for what direction I’m thinking for the rest of the room, we already own two pieces that have inspired me for this space. The first one is this New York print I picked up on Fab over a month ago. I ordered Mike some things for Christmas and I was close to free shipping, so I added this adorable $15 print I fell in love with.

I love the mix of neutrals and the bright yellow taxi. The grays and browns bring in the next thing we have for the room, this metal imagine sign.

We bought this piece literally years ago at a shop in New Hope, PA and it is handmade. We planned to hang it in the office when this room was the office, but the copperish line on the bottom always threw me off with the gray stripes (the sign was purchased even before we painted the stripes). But, with the addition of the taxi print, everything seems to be falling into place.

Please ignore the awful picture, but you can see how it all sort of works.

I haven’t yet decided how to hang all of the things I want to add to the room (gallery wall? clothes line? shelves? leaning on bookcases?), but that’s something to worry about later. For now, I just want a fun space full of garland (since I loved our xmas version), a play tent, fun art and one ball throwing baby.

And a hard surface for my coffee mug… 🙂

A Soft Place To Land

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Posted by Rebecca, December 12th, 2012

Last week, it finally happened, we got our playroom carpet!

Here’s the old, smelly, flat, beige one…

And our new cushy gray one!

There is always a cat photobombing my pictures. I’ve just accepted it at this point.

Anyway, I first have to admit that the true color of the carpet is hard to photograph. It often looks beige like the old one, but I promise you it’s gray. It goes quite well with the stripes and actually falls in between the two colors on the wall. It does have a slight brown undertone (the color is sugared bronze afterall), but it’s perfect because the paint does as well. The room definitely has a slight greige going to it, which we like because it goes with the entryway. It’s Mohawk’s SmartStrand Preston carpet in sugared bronze.

Our favorite part, other than the part that it’s a completely green carpet, is that it is so soft and cushy. I don’t mind that it’s the type of carpet that leaves vacuum marks because it’s so comfy for Easton. And us. We may or may not lay on the carpet all day now.

I didn’t properly white balance the camera before taking these pictures and I couldn’t manage to make the above picture less orange-y. Photoshop is not at all my speciality and the early sunset doesn’t help.

I picked up 2 gray felt storage baskets at Target last week to try to wrangle baby toys and add some style to the room. I love them, they add some texture yet are soft enough for Easton to reach in.

They are where we hide that puppy we both hate. Easton loves him more than anything (except maybe his snowman book), so I guess Puppy (his official name) can stay. First thing I do at night is throw Puppy in a basket. Usually he yells “Bye-Bye!” which just makes me hate him more.

The only other things in the room at the moment are a pack ‘n play and a jumperoo hidden behind the door.

I was cleaning off the shelves as I was taking these pictures, but then Easton started to wake up from his nap. I cut the cleaning short and just snapped some quick pictures.

The shelves and fan are going. We bought a light fixture a while ago, so we’ll move the fan upstairs. The rest of the room doesn’t have any concrete plans for now. We would like some built-in bookcases for storage, but we’re not in any rush.

Right now the open room makes someone very happy.

We spend most of our days in here now.

Easton’s favorite uses for his new playroom? Rolling from wall to wall and back again. Over and over…

Reading books…

And reading books to his puppy…

All in his pajamas. We clearly take most of our pictures in the morning…

Playroom Under Construction

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Posted by Rebecca, November 27th, 2012

Has it seriously been 2 months since we started looking for a playroom carpet? We didn’t plan on waiting this long (we wanted it done for Thanksgiving), but some things happened and we ended up ordering it much later than planned. But the moral of the story is… we ordered a playroom carpet!!

Need a refresher? The playroom is actually our former office that is downstairs with the striped walls and french doors.

Thanks to that little cat, who ironically photobombed this picture, we have to completely scrap this carpet. Darwin was diagnosed with kidney cancer last year and had a few very, very rough months that included… peeing on our carpets. We tore up the family room carpet this spring and now it’s time for this one to go.

(For those of you wanting a Darwin update, he is doing amazing. He was the first cat with renal lymphoma that his oncologist has ever treated to live past 6 months. It’s just an awful form of cancer for cats that essentially causes kidney failure even if chemo is suppressing the cancer. Darwin beat the odds and has since made it to a year post-diagnosis. Though he does suffer from some loss of kidney function, cats can actually live normal lives with something ridiculous like 75% of their kidney function lost. He has been off chemo for almost a year now!)

A few weeks ago I discovered Mohawk’s SmartStrand carpet, which is eco-friendly and you can clean it with just soap and water. We looked around some major retailers, but we didn’t see anything that you could clean with just soap and water. So after being frustrated that Easton had no where to roll free (though he has carpet in his room), we realized that we really need to choose something. I am generally a pretty decisive person, so we headed to Lowe’s all set to choose something. And choose we did.

So we trekked up to the salesperson, with this board and baby in hand and were like, “okay, we’ll take it”. That guy made the easiest commission ever. We wanted Lowe’s to install it (what the heck do we know about stapling carpets??), but we didn’t know that regardless of if we had the measurements on hand, they still had to send someone out fo measure. Whaaamp whaamp. So they wrote down what carpet we wanted and took our information. Then we had to wait to hear from the installer.

He called us within a day or so and scheduled a measurement for a few days away. He came, confirmed our measurements and called them into Lowe’s. Lowe’s then called us and told us the price and that we just had to come in to pay, yay! Except they lied. Mike got there and they needed all of the carpet information again, which is how I have the above picture. Since I was carrying Easton and whatnot, I trusted that Lowe’s was recording what I was choosing and didn’t take any pictures the day we selected it. Thankfully my memory is ridiculous and I remembered the style name, so I asked Mike to send a picture of the board because I knew the position of the color we wanted.

So we went with the SmartStrand Preston in Sugared Bronze with the recommended carpet pad. Using the SmartStrand pad protects the warranty and was seriously something like 10 cents more a square foot. Our room is incredibly small so it was something like $15 for the better pad. Sold!

Here is where I would normally give you pictures of the carpet I found while googling… but I can’t find any. My google-age (new word) has led me to believe that the big box stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot carry their own lines of SmartStrand carpet. Quite like mattresses, this makes it impossible to compare across retailers. So I’m guessing that my Preston is someone else’s Harrison and someone else’s Mason. My sugared bronze is someone elses shimmer metallic brown. It has to be in limited availability to have no history on the internet. Bizarre.

Anyway, we really just guessed what color would look best. We knew the paint color of the stripes in the new playroom has a tinge of brown to it. A bluish gray wouldn’t go as well as one with more of a taupe undertone. From there we just picked a mid-tone color that wasn’t too dark or too light.

As for the style of the carpet, we petted the larger samples to see how each one would feel on little knees. Then we compared prices and weighed the pros and cons. For example, our room is between 100-150 square feet, so we knew if the prices differed by a small amount, we would just go with the nicer one. A 20 cent price difference wasn’t making a big dent in the budget if it meant we were getting a more dense carpet. Using that method, we went with a mid-range carpet that was the best in it’s group. So it’s like the upper middle class of carpets.

We were told that the carpet would take only 2-3 weeks to come in, since the room is so small and the manufacturer should have enough on hand. We ordered it about a week and a half ago, so we’re hoping to hear from the installer soon. We were told that the whole room would take them less than an hour to do. I can’t wait 🙂

ps- Am I the only one that manages to kill an entire sleeve of crackers each time I open one? One blog post = a sleeve of saltines gone. Whoops.

The Playroom Carpet Hunt

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Posted by Rebecca, September 13th, 2012

I’ve mentioned multiple times that since we’ve moved the office upstairs, the former office downstairs will be Easton’s playroom. You know the room, it’s the one where we painted our sweat stripes on the wall.

The beige carpet never matched with our paint choice, so I’m happy to be on the hunt for something different.

One of my requirements was that the carpet be gray. I don’t care what shade of gray (nope, didn’t read that book), really I’d take anything. My number one priority is that the carpet be safe and as free of toxins as possible. Thus began my hunt for the eco friendly carpet. Dun dun dun!

I’ve posted about our search for a solid wood crib, my relevation about Easton’s Ikea dresser, the hunt for a wool area rug, using no-VOC paint and our use of solid wood/low-VOC adhesive on Easton’s paneled wall — all in the nursery. It should come as no surprise that I also want the playroom to be as non-toxic as possible. Or maybe that statement is surprising? I’m sure there are people who think that once your baby comes you become more relaxed about such things, but really, I think I worry about it more now. I mean, when you see your kid react to tummy time by immediately licking his playmat, you realize that what you lay him on should be as safe as possible.

Assuming that most carpets come in some shade of gray, I figured I’d begin my search with the eco friendly requirement. I simply googled for “eco friendly carpeting” to find out what brands made options. I knew that major retailers were starting to come around because we had spotted something in Lowe’s a few months ago, before we were really ready to start looking. My googling led me to Mohawk’s SmartStrand carpet which has received glowing reviews from eco-friendly companies as well as carpet salespeople (and apparently Better Homes & Garden).

(via Mohawk)

This line of carpet has stain resistance somehow built-in rather than sprayed on with a chemical and supposedly can be cleaned WITH JUST WATER. So not only are you dodging the chemicals in a strain treatment, but you are also dodging the chemicals from cleaning it yourself. Let’s face it, kids are messy and the less you have to use the Resolve or the SpotBot, the better. Oh, pets are messy too and that’s the only reason why I can use both Resolve and the SpotBot with my hands behind my back… and my eyes closed.

Re-read the above sentence about Easton licking surfaces and you’ll see why chemical free is number one above looks. Granted, he won’t be licking flooring forever (he’ll stop for about 18 years then resume where he left off in college), but so much of his little body is still growing. The thought of toxins entering that little body cannot be good. So this weekend, the 3 of us trekked to check it out in person.

First, we headed to Home Depot, where we didn’t see any eco-friendly carpeting. We had the guest of honor with us and thankfully he let us put him back in the car and drive to a nearby speciality flooring store. There we hunted down the SmartStrand!

I wish I snapped pictures in the store, but I completely forgot to. The salesperson showed us where the carpet was and explained that you could tell it was SmartStrand just by touching it — it was that soft. There were all different levels of softness and then a million colors to choose from, so it was very overwhelming. She also told us that our room was so small (11′ x 11′) that we could get a remnant. Unfortunately, when we entered the remnant area, there were no SmartStrand carpets in any weight or design, in gray.

We decided to continue to shop around and to check out Lowe’s this weekend. We had seen the carpet there a few months ago and we’re hoping they’re running some sort of promotion. We’re also open for suggestions of other brands/types of carpeting that are safe for Easton. While being “green” is extremely trendy these days, it’s still hard to find products that are affordable and safe. Suggestions welcome… I’d take shag, carpet that leaves vaccuum marks, berber or Beiber.

Just look at him, he loves carpet 🙂

Coming To You Live From…

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Posted by Rebecca, August 9th, 2012

… the new office!

Yep, we officially moved ourselves upstairs today. My chair just made it’s way up so that I could write this post.

I snapped these pictures with my iPhone because a) we moved up here literally just tonight and b) by the time I got Easton to bed and threw in some laundry it was too dark to take pictures.

I go back to work in the middle of next week, so we decided that we had to focus on the big picture in this room. The past several weeks, Mike has been working hard on the built-in cabinets/bench and the crown molding but there is still a ton of work left to do. Mike did conquer the crown molding beast around the built-ins and did a pretty good job. This was only the second room we’ve added crown to, which is a pain in itself, so this corner was rough.

It still needs caulk and paint, as does all of the trimwork in the office, but as I said before we’re focusing on the big picture at the moment. The goal was to have the office moved up here by the time I went back to work so that Mike had a safe place to bring Easton during the day. The former office was the victim of our cat’s kidney cancer (though thankfully the only victim!) and we used so many chemicals to attempt to clean the carpet that we don’t want Easton in there. We’re going to put a pack ‘n play in the new office so that Mike can work if Easton is napping. We will be replacing that carpet and turning the former office into a playroom.

The stripes we so painstakingly painted will of course be staying. When we painted them, we knew this room would someday be a playroom and hey, stripes are fun! The black shelves will be coming down and the fan is coming upstairs with us. We bought a new light fixture for the playroom a while back. Then we plan on building some more built-ins for Easton’s toys. I can’t wait to get started in there, though it’s going to take us a while. Baby steps.

That being said, I’m not sure I’ll be blogging next week. I may take a break to adjust to going back to work and to try to avoid any sort of emotional breakdown 🙂 The less stress the better for now. I would say it’s my first break from blogging without guest posters, but I did take that break you know, when I gave birth. I’m just going to play it day by day and see how it goes. Maybe now that we’re in the new office I’ll want to write about my ideas. It might just relieve some stress and mommy guilt 🙂

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