Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Dream" Playroom Makeover-Part I

"Before" photo of the playroom.
Some time ago, I was asked by a client to organize and makeover a seven year old girl's playroom. While I gave you a sneak peek a while back, it took a bit longer since two of the items were on backorder. Over the next few days, I'll be sharing this project with you ending with the "big reveal" complete with the amazing before and after photos. But first things first, let's talk about the project plan!

Another "before" photo of the playroom.

The playroom was a 10 x 10 foot room filled with toys. My only instructions were to organize the space. In addition to meeting her needs, I also wanted the room to meet other goals, maybe things that the client nor the little girl asked for, but once it was done, they wouldn't be able to imagine the room without it. In addition, I paid a lot of attention to what activities the little girl liked to do now. For example, she was always coloring or drawing, playing with her Barbie dolls and she liked to do her hair. So I knew the playroom would have to meet those needs.

"Before" photo of the playroom.

The first step for me, was to create a project plan for the space. Here I identified the assets and liabilities of the space, as well as all of the things I wanted the room to do. This included identifying not only the needs of the client but the goals of the actual space.

Some of the things I identified that the room should have are the following:
  • Things at her level.
  • Place to create art (draw, color or kits).
  • A room to grow with her.
  • Desk for homework.
  • Calm, minimalist decor.
  • Vanity to do her hair.
  • Place to read.
  • Make things easy for her to put away.
  • Room that can change over time.

This list is not all inclusive but will give you an idea of where I want to go. From there, I identified four main areas of the room:

  • Closet-To store all of the toys.
  • Vanity-To do her hair and to hold her jewelry.
  • Desk Area-To color, paint or do any kind of artwork. Also, for homework.
  • Reading area-I wanted a comfortable place to read to encourage reading but also to help her learn that it's o.k. to be still and quiet once in a while.
Once that was done, I decided on a color scheme with green walls and black and white decor. I wasn't sure at first what the accent color would be however when I saw the print for the drapes, I knew I would go with black and white. I really wanted to get away from pink for a little girl's playroom, since I think it's getting a bit overdone. The black and white while sophisticated is kept childlike with white accents and the bold color.
~The Closet Makeover~
Now that you have the overall plan, I'll talk about one of the first projects I did, which was the closet. After sorting the toys and working with the homeowner and little girl with regards to what they wanted to keep and give away, I decided on the function of the closet. I wanted to closet to do two things: first, store all of the toys. The girl is seven and I didn't want the toys to be all over the room since it would have other functions, like creating art, doing homework or reading. I feel it 's hard to be creative when things are everywhere and I wanted to help instill a sense of order to the room.
Picture of the closet before.

In addition to storing all of the toys, I wanted to think about the future needs of this room. I wanted adjustable shelving in the playroom so that as her needs change, so can the room. I thought that perhaps one day this room might be an office and if it were, the shelves could hold bulk office supplies or be moved to accomodate whatever hobby room this might be.

If you look closely at the top of the closet, you can see a horizontal bar along the top back of the closet, which is the "hanging bar" for the three uprights.

In addition to toy storage, I also thought she could open the doors and just play right there. She had some doll houses and stages that needed to sit flat so I thought the shelves would work just fine. She can play right there. And that's exactly what she does. The beauty of this is that it makes it easy to put things away since they are already in the place where they should go.

For the closet shelving, I went to Menards and used the Rubbermaid kiosk to purchase the supplies for this closet. Prior to going there, I measured the closet height and width and drew out the shelves for the closet. I knew I wanted adjustable shelving and I measured the depth so I could get a deep shelf for the closet. To save costs, I ordered the regular wire shelving and not the "linen" shelving which is more expensive. The regular wire shelving would hold her toys just fine. Once I knew what I wanted, I went to the kiosk and put in my information. You can use the pre-designed closets or create your own. I created my own. Once that was selected, you enter in the height and width of your closet, then select your shelving sizes. In this case, I selected 16 inch deep shelves so it could hold the games but also the larger plastic bins. For the width of the closet shelving, I took the actual width of the closet and had the shelves cut 1/2 inch smaller than the width so I could get the shelf in the closet easier. If you cut the shelf the exact same size as the width, you won't be able to install the shelf in there.

The beauty of this kiosk is that it will print a shopping list for you with the supplies you need for the shelves, but also the tools that you will need, complete with Sku numbers. You may already have many of the tools, but it doesn't hurt to check. One of the biggest advantages to the kiosk, is that it will tell you the minimum number of shelves to buy so you don't overbuy. In the past, I would figure all of this myself but since the kiosk was there, I decided to use it. A lot of the times, the wire shelving can come in 6 and 12 foot widths, with different prices and since you want to buy all of your shelving for the lowest price, it will figure this out for you. You could also use the kiosk to get an estimate for your project so let's say you wanted to get an idea of what a closet remodel would cost, you could enter in your measurements, push the button and you'll have the cost and the shopping list for a later day. In this case, I printed the list and the client purchased all of the materials and brought them home and I installed them on my next work day. (O.K. maybe I did call Dream Dad to help me hold the hanging track and drill into the walls.) The cost of the closet shelving was $212.

For this closet, I wanted the closet to have five 16 inch shelves that were 50 3/4 inches wide (The actual closet width was 51.5 inches wide.). The kiosk printed a shopping list that included the shelving (one 6 foot shelf and two 12 foot shelves), the uprights for the back (it figures out how many uprights you will need based on the width of your closet), the hanging track/bar (see photo above), the wire shelf brackets to support the shelf, the end caps and the screws. Installation was fairly easy. You simply attach the hanging track, then the uprights and then your shelves. I love having adjustable shelves in a closet so it's a nice improvement over shelving in the past, when you installed each shelf in the closet separately. Picture of the finished closet.

In addition to the closet, the little girl already had a chalkboard in the room that she wanted to keep. I simply added a metallic strip with some bins for the chalk. Also, the mother purchased this letter for the playroom.

"Before" photo of the letter "e".

I decided to use the letter but made a slight modification. Instead of using the ribbon that came with the letter, I purchased a three inch wide black and white polka dot ribbon to match the color scheme of the room. The black and white ribbon really pop against the green walls. A decorating tip is that when you see accessories that you like, but they aren't in the color you need, don't be afraid to alter them or paint them so they'll go with your decor.

"After" photo with the new ribbon to match the room's decor.

"After" photo of the finished closet and the chalkboard.

Coming up: Dream Playroom Makeover Part II: The Vanity

To see the entire playroom makeover, click here.

Note: I am a Professional Organizer and Home Stager and have my own business called, "Dream Organizers." My motto is, "Keep it simple. Get organized. Make it beautiful."


Anne in NY said...

It's fabulous! I'm especially loving the creative painting of the initial letter and the polka-dot ribbon. I do a lot of quilting and my rule of thumb in fabric selection is to ALWAYS include some polka-dots - they can be either contemporary or traditional, but they always liven things up! Can't wait to see the rest of this adorable room!

Wanda said...

Truly you are one talented, gifted, creative woman! Thanks for sharing these wonderful pics! WOW! The transformation you made to this room is AMAZING! How inspirational!

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