Toy Storage / Play Area

The nursery has very strange little alcoves at each end. One side is setup as a closet, but the other side is just open. It looked like this when we moved in:

guest room

guest room

I had painted the woodwork white and sewn white curtains to close the space off when we had the room setup as a guest room. It looked much better, but there was still no purpose.

The Guest Room

When we talked to the girl that grew up in this house, she mentioned that she had kept her bed down there. We thought that was a good idea for a kid’s room (what kid doesn’t like sleeping in a fort?), but we still wouldn’t be able to use it for several years. Then I started thinking about how well the TROFAST system from IKEA would fit, and I realized that the area would be great for toy storage.

IKEA Trofast Storage

I was lucky enough to have a toy closet as a kid for a few years, and I remember spending hours in there playing. It would get hot and stuffy, but I didn’t care because it was my secret little world.

Toy Storage / Play Area

Toy Storage / Play Area

I carpeted with FLOR tiles, but I could see adding a fluffy little rug and a bean bag chair down there for comfort. I had planned to close off the left half of the opening and build shallow shelves for books, similar to the Catalina Magazine Rack.

Catalina Magazine Rack

Now that we’ve built the crib though, it blocks that whole side. Maybe we should still do it and just leave the shelves empty for now?

Toy Storage / Play Area

I know we won’t be able to use it much at first and we’ll have to put up a child safety gate, but I hope our daughter will eventually love her little play area.

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  • Reply
    Monica A
    January 16, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    She will love that little space! I think the shallow shelves in the space where the owl is at would be a great use of space too. And a little bean bag chair an fluffly rug would be fantastic too!

  • Reply
    January 16, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    I am jealous of your baby girl now!
    What a great way to utilize that weird space. As always, very inspirational!

  • Reply
    Laura at Emmy Lu
    January 16, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    When I was young, I once had a teacher who told me that her dad was really great at building things, and that there had been a little cubby hole in their basement that he decided to expand into a sort of maze behind the walls. She said that her dad made a secret door to get in there, and that she and her brothers would play hide and seek back there and that it was a magical place. Kids love to have their own little tucked away spaces – a place to call their own that is just the right size!

    Very cool

  • Reply
    January 16, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Safety gate, shmafety gate. You won’t need one! What better place to learn to shimmy down a small step than onto a soft landing like a fuzzy rug? That little area is awesome and she’ll love it before you know it.

  • Reply
    Katie Squires
    January 17, 2009 at 7:13 am

    I’m so happy to have just found this site.

  • Reply
    January 17, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    love this! As a kid a few friends had third story or just upstairs rooms with slanted/low ceilings & I always envied them their attic-like getaways. been planning on making beanbag chairs for my kids & was looking at this website’s beanbag tutorial – I’m prob too novice a sewer, but would love to be able to choose the fabric! if that link doesn’t work it’s at ‘making it fun’ a michael miller fabrics blog

  • Reply
    Umm Hibaat
    January 18, 2009 at 2:53 am

    I love your blog! And that fort/play are is an excellent idea! My kids would love something like that!

  • Reply
    ROOM design studio
    January 18, 2009 at 10:35 am

    aw very cute!!!! I especially love the painted chest!!! wow

  • Reply
    January 18, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    love your decorating, but i would put a wall in that little space, cut a window and a door and make it into a little play house in her room! sweet!

  • Reply
    January 18, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    I just discovered your lovely blog. You’re doing great at redecorating your home! tres belle maison ;)

  • Reply
    January 19, 2009 at 2:41 am

    Such a darling idea for a small space. Thanks for all your great tips and decorating ideas!

  • Reply
    Making it Lovely
    January 19, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    M, I’ve thought about painting the IKEA unit, but it just makes me tired. ;) Maybe someday.

    We didn’t sand the slatted ceiling before painting. We washed it with a scrubby sponge (to rough it up just a little), and then used a really good primer that could adhere to glossy surfaces. I used a brush to paint the whole area.

    Erin, I only carpeted in the little play area (not the whole room).

    Brittany, I studied architecture (the perfect mix of art and math) but only for two years.

    Thanks for all of the alternate ideas, everyone! We’re still trying to figure out what we’ll do…

  • Reply
    January 19, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    SO cute! Just a thought: perhaps a little low foot stool near the continued floor/book shelf could make it into a little “desk” for art, etc.someday. You are going to have such fun with your daughter-to-be!

  • Reply
    January 19, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    LOVE this! You have the BEST ideas. I’ll have relegated the space to storage, never giving it another thought. Way to think outside the box- everything you do is fantastic. :)

  • Reply
    January 20, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    As everyone else has already stated…this is beyond fabulous. Your little one will absolutely love this area someday. I love the charm of old homes that have little nooks and crannies like this…I would have loved having that when I was little. Heck! I’d love to have that now! Great job!

  • Reply
    January 20, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    What a great way to use an interesting space! You will love the Ikea Trofast! It is a handy way to quickly put away toys. We also have the Expedit and use it for book shelves and have fabric lined baskets for small stuff like hair bows, etc. I was wondering where you found the pink storage boxes….I am looking for some for my twin daughters’ room.

  • Reply
    January 21, 2009 at 10:30 am

    What a smart use of the space–and your little angel will *love* having a hideaway! It’s perfect!

  • Reply
    January 21, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Simply lovely!! Would love to know where you found the pink owl!!

  • Reply
    Making it Lovely
    January 21, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    The owl was by Faythe Levine. I bought it years ago at The Renegade Craft Fair.

  • Reply
    January 21, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Hello Nicole, you amaze me again! This is absolutely picture perfect. Congratulations on your pregnancy. :)
    I read your blog every time you update, and you have inspired almost everything that i have done to my home.
    Please send my thanks to your parents for having you.

    I love the pink owl you have put in the toy area. If you are ever looking for cute hand made dolls. My boyfriend and i have started a business in our one bedroom apartment where we sew these cute dolls together. Please check out our site sometime . :)

    Love, Robyn


  • Reply
    February 19, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    where did you get that owl?

  • Reply
    February 21, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    oh, isn’t this darling. I wish I could have a little play nook like this in my home :)

  • Reply
    Amanda @ Andydarling
    June 9, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    You are definitely on track with making this a toy room. I had a toy room when I was little (well, it was a toy room & a library) & I spent so much time in there. My parents loved it because there weren’t toys EVERY WHERE too. So kudos to that brilliant idea. (:

  • Reply
    June 21, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    That is AWESOME! She will absolutely love it!!!!! Heck, I would love it! Soooo fun!

  • Reply
    Posts of Note: Getting Organized « TodaysMama
    February 21, 2010 at 9:56 pm

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