Saturday, November 21, 2009

Our arts and crafts area

I promised to blog about our favorite past house project and this is it. But read my $25 Lowe's gift card giveaway post first if you haven't already entered to win that next week.

When Big D started talking about building an upstairs on our house we each had our must-haves. At the top of my list was an arts and crafts area. (And yes, tiny beads and markers and scraps of paper STILL end up around the bar and in the girls' room, but not to the extent they used to.)

(Sorry about the blurry picture- this was taken last summer- back in our Barbie days. I would have just run upstairs and snapped another, but alas it's not quite so clean today:)

Anyway, I flipped through scores of magazines trying to get ideas for our arts and crafts area and we finally decided to buy a pre-cut laminate countertop at Lowe's that we would mount across a 9 ft wall. (When I say "we", you know I mean Big D.) He secured the counter top to the wall by screwing and glueing it all around and using a large bracket under the counter screwed into the stud so that it wouldn't sag. (Actually I don't really know how he did it, but that's what it looks like to me and he's not around for me to ask.)

I didn't want the counter top to be totally cluttered with art supplies, so I bought 3 magazine racks and 2 mini-bucket shelves from Pottery Barn that were meant to be used with their peg board system, but Big D fastened them to the wall. He used wood glue on the magazine racks. Next I filled the magazine racks with coloring books and drawing books. My oldest son loves to trace, so I bought sketch pads and tracing paper and put them in the magazine racks, too. I found a couple of perfect little stools at an unfurnished furniture store and always intended to paint them (again, I mean for Big D to paint them), but never did. We also have a little table and chairs that we normally keep in the arts and crafts area as well.

About the flooring, Big D and I had to compromise. I was detemined that we would have a laminate perfect for cleaning up spills and Big D was set on carpet. The only problem with our both getting what we wanted is that the upstairs playroom is one big open area. How would it look to just go from carpet to laminate? Ever the artist, Big D decided we would go with a curved edge (he's just not a straight lines kind of guy) running from the entrance of the play house to the end of the play room shelves. It almost looks like a sidewalk leading away from the play house. This way we have laminate floor inside the play house, in the arts and crafts area, in the area around the shelves, and in the bathroom, but carpet everywhere else.

About the laminate floor- we went with the kind that looks like wood and is laid down in "planks". This way when we get a gash in our floor we don't have to replace a huge area, but just that plank. Actually, we've had the floor in for 3 years now and haven't had to replace any of the planks. I'm wondering what we could use all that extra flooring for!

And the little playhouse you see, was actually a terrible corner of two sloping walls meeting. Big D couldn't stand to see that in his upstairs addition so he was going to just create some extra storage there. I suggested we make it into a little playhouse. The girls really enjoyed it for a couple of years, but lately it's been American Boy who loves playing chef in his play house. Baby Lu will be next, I'm sure.

An extremely talented friend of ours from church painted the playhouse to look like a little European cottage. I love it! And notice the O'Keeffe flowers above the grocery and snack carts. Another example of my kids' art. (They were only 7 and 5 when they did them, so you might have to squint to see the resemblence to O'Keeffe's work.)

Hey, what's this doing in here? I actually took most of these pictures last summer. Every family needs their own militia, right? American Boy didn't get the look-seriously-menacing memo.


  1. Let me just say how very jealous I am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Looks Great!

  2. Great room! It's giving me ideas! lol



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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.