Alright.  Here’s the deal.  I’ll fess up to being so completely thrilled with Matt being home that I forgot to take pictures last week of the playroom.  I’ll fess up to waiting to hang my wall groupings and light fixture in the “new” guest room….so my big strong guy could do it for me (a.k.a. I hate hanging anything). 
Both rooms were inspired somewhat by Pottery Barn, so when I saw that the CSI challenge was just that, I got really excited.  BUT…when you wait to take pictures the morning of the “deadline,” you don’t give yourself much wiggle room.
(don’t you just love to say that–“wiggle room?”)
It’s also a good time to tell you I’ve got no business shooting without my big flash.  I mean really–no business.  I’ve gotten used to its perfectly balanced bounced light…oh, the light.
Since I’m writing the e-book, it’s gotta be done.  I’ve got to bite the bullet and get a new one.
You’ll see why.  Let’s just pretend I made the pictures all fuzzy with photoshop.
Okay, just like the writing room bath, I want to show you where this room was in February.
It wasn’t even a room.  We did hire out for the bones construction, but we got to do all the fun stuff, beams, flooring, building storage, and all the pretty stuff.
Speaking of pretty…
This can’t be good, right???
I showed you all my inspiration photos a while back…these all came from Pottery Barn.  I was going for coastal, clean, cottage, and colorful.  Whew.  That’s a lot of c’s.
I fell in love with this cameron storage system when I started looking at units to buy.  We then realized how expensive these things are.  I know this one was well over $1500 total. 
For my toddlers.
So, as my sweet husband frequently does, he just said, “I can build that.  And I’ll make it better.  That’s too short anyway.”  I will say I doubted him at first, but then I saw the unit in person…it was totally particle board….and very short.  I wanted our unit to grow with our kids, so I hesitantly agreed to give Matt one more project to tackle.
It’s funny that I’m still learning to trust his abilities…he’s amazing!  I’m sorry when I doubt you, honey….you’ve earned all my respect!
It’s one thing to find inspiration in photos, but it’s another entirely when you find those first pieces for your space.  I’ve shown you my inspiration for our room,
and I have shown you the reading nook we added at the last minute…
Here’s the whole thing….fuzzy pictures and all:
Now, we might be waiting on a canvas to hang on the wall you see over there.  And we might not have built the middle drawer to the storage and we might be waiting for the beadboard doors to the two outside cabinets.  And…we might still have some lanterns to hang from some rope somewhere in the room, but, other than that…
I LOVE IT!  This space will give our children room to play with each other…it seems to encourage wonderful, quiet play.  They have less distractions than they do downstairs.  We do limit TV and just seeing it is hard for my little guy.  I know he could watch Dinosaur Train all the live long day if I’d let him.
And sometimes I’m tempted.
Didn’t he do such a great job on the storage system??  It’s all separate pieces, which is great because we can move it around easier and if one day we need a different system altogether, we’ll just mix and match.  It’s SO sturdy, and I love that he added another 20 inches or so to the cabinets to give us more storage room than if we had bought the PB version.
Plus, it only cost about 200 bucks, including the shelf brackets and $20 in paint (It didn’t take a whole gallon).  And it’s solid pine with birch overlays.  I’ve got him busy writing plans for you guys….cuts, angles, type of wood, list of materials, etc.  Would you like some?  I hate to put him through it if you guys have all already done this and I’m just last to jump on the train. 🙂
There is plenty of opportunity for art up there…I love that.  Lots of painting, puzzles, reading, and pretend play.  We have quite the gourmet kitchen going on up there.  Minus the kitchen….but Christmas is just around the corner.  🙂
I mean, you can’t tell at all about the pictures, right?  (Insert obnoxious eye roll)  Anyway, other side of the room…I loved creating all the art and accessories for this room.  That’s the window from my window turned pic frame tutorial…a very early post.  You can check it out here if you’re interested.  I found the oars on ebay for $15 and painted them.  I think now they’ll be receiving a bit of crackle and chipped paint treatment.  Maybe by then I’ll have a flash and you’ll be able to tell.  The sign was just painted on a scrap piece of wood, but I love the grouping and how it fills up the space and pulls the eye upward.
I love the lofted ceilings, the beadboard, and those beams up top.  It feels like such an escape and such a colorful place to foster creativity.
The furniture painter sometimes tries being an artist; it’s not the same.  I do love what it reminds us of, though.  🙂
The reading nook is where Grayson and I do his reading lessons 3 times a week.  You can see the big book poking out of the bottom of his pile.  I’ll let you know how it goes….so far, so good.  It’s so rewarding to see him learning!
Speaking of that, we’ve left room to add to our playroom for that very purpose.  We’re about 95 % (or more) positive that we’ll be homeschooling, and we would love to add desks and a white board, and I’m sure my nerdy hubby will have us some kind of computer genius up there.  Love you honey, but you are kind of nerdy…and handy.
One my favorite parts of the entire room is these drawers.  Seriously, there are probably 20 puzzles in there…plus other odd-shaped games and activity (have you gotten a latches board for your little ones?  they’re great! teaches them how to be a pro at b & e, but hey, all in the name of learning, right?)  😉
I tried to think ahead of the game and leave these galvanized containers ($1 at Target) for miscellaneous pieces that get left out or misplaced.  You know how you just have to find the system that works for you?  This is saving me tons of time.  Having these containers (and more) and a large basket just for random toys helps me contain the clutter in one place and when it’s time to re-organize, I’m able to do it quickly. 
You’ll see more about these containers in the video, but I enjoyed making them and using the metallic and natural accents help ground the space for me–not too cartoon-y.
Recognize this?  It’s just a standard train table.  I couldn’t stand one more pattern in the room, so I just flipped the pieces of the top over and painted them with chalkboard paint.  Functional and a clean slate…literally.
My goal was to spend very little on containers, and this was no exception.  I think maybe $4 at Hobby Lobby, unfinished.  How about I just compile a post on all the storage I painted/created for this room?  That will be much simpler.  It was great to take my time the last 6 months and fill the room with functional, pretty containers that are not breaking the bank.
Love these mod podged books I did for the room…and that the tag on the bottom one says, “grow in grace.”
I’m anxious to add maybe one more thing to that wall and I love those oars!  I’m sure they’ll receive several makeovers as my mood changes.
What do you think??  If you’re not too bored, take a look at the video…it’ll give you a much better picture and plus, you get to see the writing room.
**edited to add: apparently only uploaded half of video. I’ll get it fixed after supper. :)**
*linking to the fabulous parties under “friends and inspiration.”*