Thursday, December 5, 2013

Let's Play!

One thing Iowa has that Texas does not: BASEMENTS.  A basement is a beautiful thing, y'all!  When we walked into our basement, we were amazed.  So much space we've never had before!  What would we do with it?  Almost immediately, we decided:  Playroom.  It was pretty cool to be able to design this space from scratch and go all out kid-tastic.  The space will grow with her, and we will eventually add a table & chairs and other things I'm sure.  For now, though, this is an great place for Ava to run wild and play to her heart's content.  There is nothing in here that can hurt her, so we never have to say "no" or pull her away, which makes life a lot easier and playtime more fun.  So...wanna come play?!

Playroom Before:

Playroom After:

The playroom is tucked back in this great little alcove of the basement, and it opens up into a wider space for her to run around.  One of Ava's favorite parts of the playroom are these amazing play tunnels from IKEA.  She crawls through there at least 10 times a day, and it is so cute!  Blazer loves them too, and he will often chase her in and out of the tunnels.  Best $40 we've spent in a long time! 

Since it is a basement and there are no windows in this area, it was quite dark.  The brown color on the walls added to the dark feeling.  We were going for an outdoor feeling that was light & bright, so we chose a perky blue from Behr called "pale sky".  I am in love with this color and how it instantly brightened up the room.

The rug is from, and I love that it brings in so many colors and has a fun, whimsical pattern.  I didn't want to make this a super girly playroom, but I had to have some pink!  The rug is synthetic and doesn't shed, which was a must.  It's comfy and soft, so we all enjoy lying on it.

While decorating this room, I probably had the most fun painting the wall mural.  I have always wanted to paint on a wall, but how often do you get to do that?!  Brent gave me complete freedom, and I ran with it!  I drew the tree in pencil first, looking at some murals online for inspiration, and then I painted it with plain old acrylic paints.  I am crazy about how it turned out and how much personality it adds to the space.

Still obsessed with owls!

We wanted a shelving unit that could organize books and toys.  We settled on this tried-and-true Expedit shelf from IKEA.  The books on the top shelf are for when she gets a little older.  The plastic baskets in the middle are ready to hold toys.  The bottom shelf holds her most-loved toys so she can easily access them on her own.  We secured the shelf to the wall with heavy-duty brackets, so it's completely safe.

The play tent is a crowd favorite.  Ava loves to crawl in there, and so does Blazer.  This thing was $20 at IKEA!  I've seen tents at other places upwards of $200, so this was an easy choice.  Love the pop of color and fun it adds!

Finally, I painted the ombre letters over the shelf.  I got the wooden letters half off at Hobby Lobby and painted them in about 30 minutes.  This was a cheap and easy project, and I love the effect!  

In this corner, we have a comfy reading chair and ottoman (also from IKEA).  I'll probably get a floor lamp at some point.  The bookshelf is something I've wanted for a long time.  I love how it displays the books cover out and how Ava can access the books all by herself.  I bought it on Amazon from a school library supply company.  

The art is actually gift wrap!  I bought single sheets of whimsical gift wrap from Paper Source for $2.50 a sheet!  I put them in cheap plastic poster frames.  My favorite is the donuts :-)

If you need us... we'll be in the playroom!!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is decorating the day after Thanksgiving.  This year I was tempted to put the decorations up early, but I held out, and we kept our day-after tradition.  Brent kept asking if I was in my happy place, and I definitely was.  We had our favorite Christmas Pandora station playing, and Ava loved it! She has started "dancing" when music comes on, and it's pretty adorable.  She also loved us dancing around and acting silly.  So far, she has done well keeping away from the tree.  We hold her and let her look at it, but we try not to let her go over to it or try to pull up on it.  I also didn't put any ornaments on the very bottom of the tree.  One of these days I'll do a more proper house tour, but here is most of our Christmas decor!  It puts a spring in my step to see the tree lit all day!

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