Tag Archives: Cubby Holes

The Big Reveal: Playroom & Guest Room Makeover

Holy hell, y’all. It’s done.* And to think, it all started with just painting the walls. But I’m just a teensy bit blue about it… what the heck am I going to do now after the kids go to bed??? Actually clean the kitchen up from dinner? Psssshaw. Whatevs. I’m probably just going to zone out on Pinterest with a glass of wine. Don’t judge. You know you do it too.

Let’s get to the good stuff.

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I’ve seen enough design blogs and Before & After posts on Apartment Therapy to know that what people want to see when you reveal an “After” are photos in the same angle and POV as the “before picture. So for those of you people who may read this, here you go:

The guest area, from roughly the same spot.

The guest area, from roughly the same spot.

You can see that not too much has changed on this side of the room–the bed and bedding are the same, but we have added a Kallax bookshelf to serve as dresser-ish nightstandy thing for anyone staying at the O’D Inn.

Here are some detail photos:

I wanted the things in the shelves to be practical for a guest--plenty of fresh towels, some enjoyable books and some books about Chicago. Easy access to electric sockets... all the comforts of home!

I wanted the things in the shelves to be practical for a guest–plenty of fresh towels, some enjoyable books and some books about Chicago. Easy access to electric sockets… all the comforts of home!

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I'm a mom so there are always snacks around. I just figured I should put some up here for my guests, too. Oh who am I kidding. The moment the kids discover these in the baskets, they're done-zo.

I’m a mom so there are always snacks around. I just figured I should put some up here for my guests, too. Oh who am I kidding. The moment the kids discover these in the baskets, they’re done-zo.

Is there ever anything more frustrating than not knowing the password to the wifi when you're visiting somewhere? I decided to solve that with a jaunty little picture.

Is there ever anything more frustrating than not knowing the password to the wifi when you’re visiting somewhere? I decided to solve that with a jaunty little picture.

I feel like it's a pretty cozy little nook for my mom or my in-laws or whomever else decides to pay us a visit! (Come visit soon!!)

I feel like it’s a pretty cozy little nook for my mom or my in-laws or whomever else decides to pay us a visit! (Come visit soon!!)

But what my kiddos are most excited about is the playroom space. I have to admit… I am too.

Pay no mind to the painters tape that I just realized is still on the ceiling fan, ok?

Pay no mind to the painters tape that I just realized is still on the ceiling fan, ok?

I love how bright and fun this looks. It's better (to me) than some of the local indoor playspaces! I'm so glad we did the Flor carpet tiles.

I love how bright and fun this looks. It’s better (to me) than some of the local indoor playspaces! I’m so glad we did the Flor carpet tiles.

Read about the disgusting job of removing of the old carpet and how I laid the new carpet tiles!

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This is from the inside of the “secret” room… I made a conscious decision to do square tiles in here rather than the triangles in the main playroom. First, we only decided to finish out this hidden crawlspace after we had initially ordered the Flor tiles for the main play area. I wanted the secret room to have a different feel than the main room, but still match it, you know? I think the beadboard and the square tiles helps accomplish that.

The secret-hidden room slash reading nook was an afterthought, but man, am I glad we after-thought it.

We decided to finish the crawlspace all the way to the back wall... it's pretty long but I figured it would be great storage space after the kids are grown and gone.

We decided to finish the crawlspace all the way to the back wall… it’s pretty long but I figured it would be great storage space after the kids are grown and gone.

The cubbies really make it, in my mind. You can see the toys but there's also a place for everything, which is what it's all about, right?

The cubbies really make it, in my mind. You can see the toys but there’s also a place for everything, which is what it’s all about, right?

These chairs and table are my favorite shopping conquest ever! We got them at the Land of Nod's warehouse sale--they were floor models from The Land of Nod store so they had a little wear and tear, but I thought

These chairs and table are my favorite shopping conquest ever! We got them at the Land of Nod’s warehouse sale–they were floor models from The Land of Nod store so they had a little wear and tear, but I thought “Hey. They’re for kids to use! They’re going to get beat up anyway!” You cannot beat a deeply discounted 75% less than the retail price, right? Right.

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None of those books taught my kid how to swear, by the way.

My kids seem to love anything that has a million pieces. Thank goodness for Ikea's storage boxes.

We used some scrap beadboard from the secret room to back the kallax bookshelves so toys wouldn’t fall behind into the abyss. I love the look of beadboard. I want every room to have beadboard somewhere.

I love being able to display some toys and hide all the rest! Maybe this will encourage me and my kids to put things back where they belong.

I love being able to display some toys and hide all the rest! Maybe this will encourage me and my kids to put things back where they belong.

Here's a floor plan for those of you who like to see how it all actually fits together!

Here’s a floor plan for those of you who like to see how it all actually fits together!

I hope you like it as much as we do! Now I want to redo EVERY room! Maybe I should just start by cleaning every room. Ha!

Source List

Playroom & Guest Room Walls: Benjamin Moore “Atrium White” in eggshell

Secret Room Walls: bead board painted with Benjamin Moore Ultra Spec Semi-Gloss trim paint

Flooring: Flor carpet tiles

Guest bed, table, shelves and lamps: Ikea

Guest bedding: Target

All Storage Baskets and Bins: Ikea

Table: Land of Nod (discontinued)

Chairs: Land of Nod

Train Table: Melissa & Doug

*There are still a few things left for me to do up there. I need to put the shoe on the baseboard to bridge the gap between the carpet and the baseboard. I need to obviously remove the painters tape from around the ceiling fan. I’m going to sew a curtain for the secret room opening (when I learn how to sew… ha). The insanely huge and unsightly brown air conditioner that just stares at you from the wall… I’d love to get rid of that thing and get something more sleek, energy-efficient, pretty, but we just can’t right now. The thing is a tank and it works really, really, really well. It sticks out of the siding of the back of the house so replacing it isn’t merely the same as replacing a window air conditioner and it would be far more expensive. So in the wall it stays, until one day, it finally dies on us. And I want to figure out some sort of art for the walls… that is going to take time.

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Cubby Holes + Secret Rooms

The entire third floor of this house was used by the previous owners as their master suite… I can see how it would be pretty awesome. We chose not to do that though, as it just felt so disconnected from the rest of the house, and with two little kids on the second floor, it just felt better to be near their rooms in the middle of the night.

The previous owners (POs?) did a great thing utilizing the empty space behind the knee walls by inserting three dressers into them to make a lot of “built-in” storage. Super practical and I totally get it.

However…

For whatever reason, these things are just FUGLY to me. Maybe it’s the hardware? Maybe it’s the rounded molding around the sides? They just look so dated and yucky to me and since we moved in, I’ve been saying that I just want to chuck ‘em and put in something else. Anything else. Shelves? Cubbies? Different drawers? My mom, ever the practical one, always advises me to keep them (“Drawers are so functional!”) But I just can’t do it.

They’ve gotta go.

When I did a pinterest search for “Built in cubbies playroom,” a sense of omg I love these just washed over me. Seriously, there is just something pleasing about a little cubby hole, right? I can remember back to when I was in preschool… the littlest kids had hooks on a coat rack, but the bigger kids? Those guys had their own personalized cubby holes near the front door. I coveted those cubby holes and I remember how excited I was when I aged up into the part of the preschool where I got my very own personalized cubby hole.

So I feel like cubby holes are the way to go.

The Kallax just roughed in, before we get the trim and stuff up. Peanut The Cat is very excited about the cubbies. Cats + Cubbies are a natural combo.

The Kallax just roughed in, before we get the trim and stuff up. Peanut The Cat is very excited about the cubbies. Cats + Cubbies are a natural combo.

Luckily enough, we discovered that Ikea’s Kallax bookshelf is almost exactly as big as the openings in the wall! There is about an inch or two room on each side but I figured that can be covered with trim. This saves us from constructing a cubby unit from scratch and I also love that all the great Ikea storage boxes and baskets will fit into the cubbies—they’re my favorite organizational tools anyway! Ikea for the win, once again!

So that’s what is going to happen with those two horizontal dresser openings.

What I’m really excited about is what we are doing on the opposite side of the room where the vertical dresser was.

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When we pulled it out, we found that the space behind was pretty roomy, and it felt like such a waste to just block it back up with something else. So we are fulfilling one of my childhood fantasties: A SECRET ROOM! Or a reading nook. Or a hidden room. Whatever you want to call it I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE GIRLS TO SEE IT.

It just makes sense to finish out that space. Once the kids are grown up and gone, it’s great storage space… or that how I’m justifying the expense in my head. 😉

The framing inside was already done and there are already floor boards in, so I had my friend Jeff, who is also an extraordinary handyman, come over to hang dry wall and beadboard and trim. Basically, Jeff has a saw. I do not have a saw, nor do I possess the gross motor skills to use a saw safely. So Jeff is here to do all the things that I cannot do with a screwdriver, hammer, or crow bar. (Okay he can do more than saw things, like plumbing stuff and electrical stuff… basically, he’s a great guy to have on speed dial if you own a house).

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Poor guy. He’s at least six feet tall and he’s spent more hours than he ever wanted to cramped in a tiny crawlspace that we nicknamed the [horribly-bad-politically-incorrect-name-that-I-shall-not-publish-here.]

After all this talk about cubbies and cozy secret rooms, I’m sure you (and my husband) are wondering just who this playroom is actually for… the kids or me? Let’s just say “the kids” ok? 😉

Check out the finished project here!

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