Our playroom. It’s where we hang out. It’s a great place to start the morning–the first room the kids encounter as they come down the stairs. And, let’s face it. It’s the ideal diversion to keep them from starting the day with TV. But, if you read my latest post about Transforming the Playroom, you know it was a jumbled mess. It needed a makeover–for a few reasons. It was time to go from playroom to plant room…
I loved having our palette garden this summer, stepping outside to cut some fresh herbs.
How could I let it go? I’d been contemplating bringing the herbs indoors. But…could I keep the plants alive? And, more importantly, how would I style it?
Buckle Up–We’re Taking a Detour…
I work from home. Many of my hours are put in during the early morning, sometimes starting at 4am. This has never been much of a problem. I make coffee, get comfy on the living room couch, and type away. Then, this happened…
WHY? Why…why…why? These flood lights are on ALL NIGHT LONG. Are they trying to keep skunks away? Is this an attempt to be a beacon for an alien invasion? I have no idea. All I know is, this was a serious problem for my workspace.
And…yes, I have shades on that window. But, this time of year, as the light shifts, I keep them rolled up during the day. Adjusting them closed each night was just one more thing to do. (Note to self: Get motorized shades.)
From Playroom to Plant Room
I started working in the playroom each morning. I had decided that, if anywhere, this room was the best spot for the wall garden. After all, the room gets a lot of light.
In between projects, I would try to observe and envision the space, my head filled with thoughts and questions…
Would I need additional light?
What would stay? What could go?
How could I recreate the vertical garden?
How would I manage the dirt and water situation?
Before answering these questions, I decided to jump in and start making over the space. Scott was in India for 9 days. The projects I do while he travels are a combination of filling the endless days and avoiding his hesitation. I only have a dozen other projects half done–what’s the issue?
Starting the Makeover
I removed everything. Furniture, toys, artwork. I bought two colors of paint and Spackling Compound. Turns out, I had a lot of patch work to do.
I chose Behr’s Dark Pewter for the accent color. The other three walls were painted in Behr’s Silver Shadow. They look beautifully gray in the store. Our house has a tendency to turn everything blue. The good news? In this space, I don’t mind blue.
The Ikea cabinets we have in the room are the perfect solution for games, toys and puzzles. They’re deeper than most cabinets, and the adjustable shelves offer the versatility you need for the evolution of your kid’s crap.
But they needed a fresh look, without hassle. I used Rustoleum’s chalk paint in linen white. No prep work, just paint. Two coats, to be exact.
And, that hardware needed a change. For two reasons: I needed something I could childproof. I also wanted the dark contrast. Black hardware against white cabinets is such a stunning look.
Because I was doing a room makeover, I removed everything, including the toys. It’s not always possible, but I work best when I take everything out, only putting back what belongs. Which meant, I only left a few categories of toys. Turns out, taking away many of the toys–only leaving the right combination–creates better open-ended play. It resulted in them being more creative and using the room more.
The curtains…I love having them on the windows, but–I needed a change…something a bit more soothing, without pattern. You can see the new ones in the above picture of the croton plant. Grayish-blue, with some light filtering qualities.
During this process, I also removed the art wall. This is what I stare at while working. It was originally a great way to display art, but because it was so big, it was hard to maintain–I had pieces up there from when Dexter was 3. He’s almost 8. Not easy to manage, I decided to take it all down. That mess can go to their bedrooms–where it looks amazing, of course. (The “new” mom in me 8 years ago would have been horrified by this.)
The question still existed: What would I do for the plants? And, just like that, I discovered the answer–the ideal way to go from playroom to plant room…
The Plant Room is Born.
I was strolling through Michael’s one day–more like, making a mad dash down the main aisle of the store, quickly glancing back and forth for inspiration #momlife style–and I saw these amazing shelves on clearance.
It came to me. I would recreate the vertical garden in the playroom. But, now I was left wondering, How would I get the light to shine upward–and, would it be enough?
Ikea to the rescue. These globe lights were just what this wall needed. After a stop at Home Depot, I was able to outfit them with “grow lights.”
Now, to pot the plants. I decided I wanted black, as a contrast against the grays and whites.
These terracotta pots from Home Depot were just the size I was looking for. I mixed in some small planters from Ikea for additional shape–all relatively inexpensive and easy to paint with black chalk paint. I also shopped our home for some white and clear glass to mix in.
I took sections of herbs and other plants from our vertical garden, planting them in the different planters, and the result was perfect!
Not quite styled the way I wanted as a finish–but, we had gone from playroom to plant room, and everything was green and growing. When I received these wooden signs from Ebenezer Market, it seemed complete.
I was happy. The kids were happy. The plants were happy. What could go wrong??? (Cue music filled with suspense…“Dun, Dun, Dun, Dunnnn!”)