Wednesday, August 27, 2008

PB Teen for the Younger Set

Gracious Bonita, at Streams of Living Water, writes a beautiful blog. She also provides inspiration for those of us who want to improve our home decor without waiting for "improvements" in our home decor budgets. Read any of her "domestically challenged homemaker" blogs, and leave with a smile and a great idea or two.

The room I have the greatest difficulty with making interesting is, believe it or not, our playroom! For whatever reason, my girls would rather take their toys any place in the house but the playroom. Needless to say, this drives hubby and me a little crazy. What to do to make this a place in which the girls long to spend time?

Daughter #1 is becoming infamous for taking the Pottery Barn Teen Catalog out of the mail stack and whisking it away to the family room (not the playroom) to browse. I, too, use the catalog for inspiration in coming up with gifts for the actual teens in the family (my nieces and soon-to-be-too nephew, with many more to come!).

So, taking a page from PB Teen, I moved the furniture, pulled throw pillows from the girls' bedrooms and, voila--a reading nook/lounger couch!

We had been holding on to the girls' crib mattress, not that we would dare pass that along to anyone. But, it still had life and could be used as a floor mattress for a young guest in a pinch. Well, now it has new life as a lounger (and very occasional nap spot for D#2). At the moment, this crazy terry cloth hand-me-down fabric from my mom is just wrapped around the mattress. Since D#2 likes to use any fabric as a blanket, I realize the need to sew that in place.

One of the cool elements of the room is the re-fabbed rug that I did last year. This rug started out as a basement rug for my craft area. After we moved, it became our dining room rug and received lots of ugly spills. My Internet research suggested that dyeing the rug in an industrial-sized washer might not be the best choice for me. So, I opted for another suggestion which was to cover the entire rug! I chose a fleecy sweatshirt material, which is great to snuggle into and play on even without the extra pillows. (Other folks who have done this have used a purchased duvet cover--slide the rug inside, fluff it out, and you're done.)

Another project I finished was the drapes. They are actually three full bed sheets, on end-of-season red-tag Target discount. I used two for the center panels and cut the third sheet in half lengthwise to use on the two smaller windows of the bay. Sometimes, they are pulled together as shown. Sometimes, I leave the end panels down and just tie back the center panels. Great to have that kind of flexibility--especially if we want to open windows!

Everything is machine-sewed, but I don't see why you couldn't use fabric glue or hand-stitching for seams and hems. I just love the vibrancy and symmetry of the pattern, and you can't always come by that at the fabric store (certainly, not for that price). Plus, when so much is already finished on a sheet, you can enjoy the nice edges without having to do them yourself.

The other part I like about the arrangement is that the entire room can be used for different purposes, as it is set up in more of a circular arrangement. Doll clothes and accessories are on one arc; books/music/lounger and chairs on another arc; a table and chairs is against the wall of another arc (a wall soon to include some magnetic paint for hanging artwork, poems and other kid favorites).

Granted, they can't scooter all the way around the circle from the playroom to the dining room, but.... Maybe they won't use the scooter in the house after this.


My ADHD Me said...

That is a terrific idea. Now it looks like their "own space". My sis, ET, did something similar with sheets for curtains and it too turned out great....and $100's cheaper!!

Christine said...

You are so creative! What a lovely space you've created for your kids.

On Purpose said...

Sue thank you so much for your words of support and encouragement on my blog. I love to have you encourage me and other readers.

Since my life goal is to be completely on purpose for Him, I submit myself to a lot of "stripping" of the stuff not of Him...which can be painful and hard sometimes...but if it gets me closer to His heart I say BRING IT ON!

Chatty Kelly said...

Love it. You ARE so creative, and I'm glad you're showcasing it on your blog. I mean it's called CREATE! and that is what you excel at in so many different areas.


The Patterson 5 said...

This looks great! I am excited about the old crib mattress reading nook idea-we have one just waiting in the attic! Kids love reading nooks! I used to use sheets as curtains after college and they worked great, and easy to wash!

Anonymous said...

Great ideas! Now I just need to get Daughter #3 out of her crib so I can use the mattress for a reading nook. Perhaps that will be the inspiration I need to move my "BABY" out of her crib to a big girl bed. Love the curtains too! If only I could sew - remember the dance recital costume from last May!!

Edie said...

Wow I love these ideas. I will have to bookmark this. Another thing you can use for drapes/curtains is large tablecloths. They are so inexpensive compared to drapes and are also available in a more formal fabric.

Please join us for a certificate of achievement presentation for ADHD at my blog. Feel free to bring a guest. :D See you there!

Bonita said...

Oh honey, you've just made my day. Never in a million years did I ever think anyone would find me inspiring when it comes to house decorating or other domestic things. I'll love you forever after this!

You did an awesome job! It's so inviting. I want to come play! It looks so comfy, cozy, and fun. And those window treatments are da bomb! Thanks for giving us a peek at all of your hard work!