Welcome to the first post that Brian and I made alone since we distanced ourselves socially at the Berghaus. But first, as you know, I love a disclaimer. A.) This is not yet finished – I have more plans and it is not designed for camera or professional shooting because B.) That’s how we live and frankly it’s good enough (but maybe I feel motivated to do the projects I’m thinking of how we’re going to live up here for the next couple of months, so I stayed tuned for a possible “full disclosure.” In the meantime, if you want some real mom tips on playrooms, crafts, and parenting failure Thank you for sharing your time here – hopefully it’s just an escape.
Now let’s look at the past again. When we bought the house, there was a pull-down ladder to this room that the kids were obviously obsessed with.
The steep pulldown ladder (top left) leading to the attic was very dangerous as it was difficult to pull down and could easily fall on someone too quickly. and had sharp metal parts. There were more additional (read: dangerous) places to climb up there. The storage room (bottom left) was extremely tricky as you could actually fall through the gap to the second floor, but the stationary ladder on the right is fine from 3 years (but we’ll probably update it).
There was a window at the time, but that was the only natural light source, and it wasn’t in the best shape, just like the wall-to-wall carpet. It was all at least 30 years old and could use a refresher.
Many of you know and have seen this part before, but when we realized how epic this room could be, we decided to lose the closet in the room and install stairs instead of a ladder (we considered a spiral staircase for a while ). I’m not sure why we gave up this idea.
Basically, you enter the play floor through the children’s room via this staircase and make it your own little suite. At some point we will set up a kind of “pull-out” cabinet in which this small tree / stump vignette is located, but at the moment you don’t need one.
Watch this video to see how everything flows so difficult to show in photos) …
We are here now. We really wanted this room to be yourwhere they would talk safely for hours without us (read on to see how to do that). Once you get there, we have several different zones – “handicrafts”, a “grocery”, “the costume zone” (DO NOT disguise, says Charlie) and “the hiding place”.
We had that table and chair set up for 3 years (since we’ve been up here – yes, almost three years in July). They get too big for it and bump their knees against the storage container underneath, but otherwise it was great and it’s super affordable and cute.
They make a gross disgusting mess almost every day, but they have been playing alone up there for a long time – and that’s kind of the point here. It is somewhere where they can contain their clutter (ha). We put an echo point up there and they hear soundtracks (Aladdin, Lion King, Little Mermaid, Frozen 1 and 2) and draw / paint or make robots etc. We honestly can’t even hear them below. But at that point they are old enough that if one of them were hurt the other would scream for us (when they were younger we had a baby monitor connected to the kitchen).
The Peg art wall is great. I was skeptical at first, but it’s super easy to adjust and a bit awesome. There are so many ways to hold EVERYTHING and it looks really cute too. I wish I had done it so badly in LA (we tried something a little more fancy there before we knew how amazing this system is, read about this “mistake” here).
Parenting mistake # 1
A typical failure of mine is to think that my kids are ready for things they just aren’t. Things like “jewelry making”, “paper mache” or all kinds of painting alone, inside, on carpet. Yes, of course, she can Do these things, but mostly need help from us to avoid making the biggest mess, with Mod Podge all over the carpet and paint all over the walls. For example, they love postage stamps, so I bought a couple of stamp pads and stamps and decanted them into the wall pockets (easy access!) To later find them all dried out and inked on the walls (I think that was the young kid who did that played a lot, not ours, but still). It’s like I have a fantasy that you need all of these options, but then you don’t know what to do with them.
Parenting mistake # 2:
Oh, did anyone make the “cute stack of board games and puzzles” fail? It’s an oldie, but a goodie. That’s how it’s done: it’s super easy! You take a cute stack of games (Candy land, monopoly, really every puzzle – the smaller the pieces, the better!) and style them into a perfect pyramid. Then just leave them in a room full of toddlers. Come back to everyone an hour later. Single. Small. Part removed and mixed together. You can do it too !!
But I didn’t know that at the time, so my team went to all the craft stores for the event and designed it with supplies that looked good without knowing that they would essentially be thrown all over the floor, and our friends with little ones Children put these pretty Scandi wooden beads in their mouths. While it is fun to see these art walls on Pinterest, you should definitely consider what your kids are prepared for and what they really do can play independently of you – because that’s the goal. Again we wanted this space to be theirs, to be free to do what they want and to contain it again.
So we keep paints, puzzles, liquid glue, jewelry supplies, and board games down in the family room closet, where we can at least try to control how many we have at the same time (they’re older now anyway and actually want to play the games).
What do our children really want? Easy access to:
- Basic art paper – White paper, colorful construction paper, Origami paper (shiny / metallic), Handkerchief and they love post-its for some reason.
- Drawing needs – marker, erasable crayonsand while we have crayons, Birdie refuses to use them because, in her opinion, she “is an artist like an adult and adults don’t use crayons”. We tried different types of watercolor markers or Easy Glide, but they really only like the thin, cheap, washable Crayola markers in bulk (they’re finally great when it comes down to years, “This is the last marker I have if you can’t take care of it ”(lecture).
- Tape – MY GOSH YOU LOVE TAPE. Why do kids love tape so much? Now you don’t have to buy sweet anymore Washi tape just like us (although I think it was crazy affordable for about 30 colors on Amazon) because they are just as happy with blue painter’s tape or white tape. Just TAPE.
- Glue – SticksNOT liquid white glue. Sure, they can handle the liquid material, but if it is clogged, just take the lid off to try to use it, then flip it over, leave it on its side, and then yes, it will go over yours Run carpet, but no one will tell you for days until it’s too dry and crispy to get rid of. True story.
- Easy Maker delivers: Pipe cleaner, Popsicles stickstring scissors. If you look closely, you will see stamps and embroidery strings, but we don’t use them – they just sit there, FYI.
The children have easy access with this system. You can remove the cups with markers / pens and place them on the desk when coloring, then back when not in use. After figuring out what they actually use and what more parental help is needed, it was really great.
I wanted to show her art in a cute, simple way – with these clips (similar) that I think were 3 for $ 20 at Crate and Kids (but now sold out) and that’s really cute rail. The Roll of paper on wood with leather straps is from Etsy and it’s so adorable, but my imagination of the kids painting a collective mural on it never happened. It’s been the same scribble and tic tac toe game for four months.
Now to the business. Santa got this for them on the first Christmas we were up here and it is still VERY popular.
The special thing about it is that the conveyor belt moves with a crank, but that’s not all – the “product” BEEPS when it is scanned. It’s a lot of fun because it feels so real, so “grown up”.
Parenting mistake # 3 + # 4
Children like things that feel more real, more adult and less beautiful. For example, I could have bought them a really pretty Scandi-inspired shopping cart, but when I showed it to them online, they opted for the metal shopping cart because that’s what “Growmups” use. You don’t want it to look like a TOY. The same applies to our pots, pans and cooking utensils in our play kitchen in LA – they prefer the metal pots over the nicely painted shades of gray and natural wood. They even like our cleaned recycled cracker boxes and tuna cans for the store (really, it sometimes looks like a real Albertsons cracker gang).
I’ll keep talking about it as long as I have you. Over Christmas it became a joke when I thought I had made a smart, affordable hack by buying raw ornaments and decor – wood, paper mache, or unfinished ceramics. So easy! So chic! I thought it would all look calm and skandi but super affordable as it really was just pre-made deliveries. But Birdie had other ideas, and every time I looked around, she “decorated” her with pink and purple markings, glittered over her, and thought Naturally that they should be colored or painted (which they usually were). She couldn’t imagine why you would want some light raw wood if it could be pink and purple !!! We weren’t stylistic (but don’t worry, I just encouraged them to decorate beautifully and then hid the rest).
Oh that Skylights and the window – You make this room so dreamy. And yes, the skylights darken if we should ever make this a bedroom (and open to let air out in summer because the window is not functional). As a reminder, we either had to make a really tall window or this shape because of the two roof lines that create this V, and we LOVE the whim of the diamond-shaped window.
The carpet – I love this carpet from wall to wall so much. It’s from Stark and I love that it has a simple pattern that feels higher quality and more special but not too high in contrast. As a reminder, we put 1/2 “Memory Foam carpet under it, which basically makes it a padded room – it’s actually a bit springy and wonderful. I’m just wearing it Uggs Now life always feels lively.
On the other side of the room – where of course we have our big mushrooms.
Those who follow closely (I love you, really, thank you) may remember that I bought these mushrooms at the flea market almost 2 years ago. We had just bought the house and I didn’t know what they would be for, but I knew I had to have these two CRAZY HEAVY mushrooms for our cabin. They were just so unique. Please ignore the black eye patch on the stool – these are people with organic content!
I go back and forth all the time to restore them, but I’m not sure what they would be. I think ideally they would be white, but that seems stupid in a child’s room. So maybe just a lighter green? Or a green with tiny spots? OR since we brought red into the shop, maybe red with big white dots like toadstools ???? Oh, SHOOT that would be so cute. I could patch or quilt the white fabric circles to make them look really random and handmade. Lord knows I need another project right now (not kidding – I need to stay busy to stay healthy so I need another physical project).
From now on, this painting is mainly there because it was a blank wall and I had a particularly pretty painting, but I want to use this space for something that they will use more – either vertical book bags or simply more wall space to display their Art, not mine.
Parenting mistake # 5:
Last one (for now). Give up your dreams of your kids hanging their cute costumes on hooks unless you have a childhood like the military and they only have 2 perfectly curated costumes each. We had six hooks in one place on this wall because designed hanging costumes would look really cute for a photo. But they could never get them to stay on hook, and then it always looked so messy because they have a lot of masks, shields and trash, because they like “baby unicorn princess” and “ninja veterinarian” etc. attract. You really I just wanted to be able to push them into their cubes when they’re done, which works a lot better. The lower three cubbies are therefore only intended for costumes / fantasy.
The area that I really want to exit – the secret headquarters / hiding place.
We have big intentions (and actually met with a local carpenter before everything came down) to move the ladder forward and either paint the ladder or build a new one made of lighter wood (more like the railing, that goes up the stairs). Then we seriously considered knocking out the 1/2 wall at the top (it is not load-bearing) and installing these railings as far as possible so that you can see more. Yes, almost like a prison, but a really cute Scandi prison! I also think a small area above is the perfect place to paint or paper something magical and special (probably dark, since they really treat it as if it were a secret room). The wall behind these cubes could also contain something special, such as color, mural, wallpaper or decals …
Oh, when you watch this light wooden vault, DON’T. I got it from a manufacturer in Poland on Etsy and although it is theoretically fantastic it delivered in 200 parts and it took me about 4 hours to get to the point where it is now and I can do it Don’t make the door stay (but the cranks move – it should actually be functional, which is so much fun). I could try to fix the problem while we’re up here because it’s so stupid in theory.
We are now there with the play attic, which is used more than I could have ever dreamed. If you want to see a walk and talk, check out the video that Brian and I quickly made above (just wait for the ad to play). Like everyone else, we learn to do a lot less and value perfection even less. This room will eventually be designed with a more ideal look and rotated like a magazine, but it’s a magical little room where we can escape during this time and make paper plate jellyfish, recycled robots, and write letters to grandparents.
Now I would like to know that your parenting fails. I know that many of me have to do with being a stylist and more concerned with aesthetics than most people, who frankly are more practical than in the past. But surely someone can refer to the fact that ideas for children’s rooms have failed, especially in our early parents … washing dishes.
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