And....we're back!! I've had a busy past couple of months and the blog posts have surely piled up. Lots of projects are in the works, and I can't wait to share bits and pieces of them in the next few months. 

Here's something fun and light to start with - Natalie's corner of the house! My little princess' play space is coming along (finally!) with a couple of DIY projects here and there. After two years of neglect, we are slowly transitioning her "nursery" into a playroom. The room was never finished since she arrived a bit too early and then we found that having her sleep with us was more practical. Eventually the nursery became a storage room/walk-in closet and the family's favorite dumping ground. I completely lost it one day when I came home and just couldn't stand all the toys cluttered around our house. Natalie needed her own little nook, where she could learn how to put all her things away. 

A few things about the space:
1. The Grass is always greener....
Our house was built in 1980, and along with it came deep green wall-to-wall carpeting. The entire first floor has been replaced with light hard wood - however due to time and budgetary constraints, we decided to take on the second floor slowly. Hence, the green carpets.  I'm sure it was amazing back in the day - but I wasn't feeling it. After a long and hard decision, we decided to just give the carpet in this room a  good deep cleaning and basically live with it till we could move along with renovation plans. Well here's a perfect example of making lemonade when life gives you lemons - or should I say making "grass" when life gives you green carpets! The room came together over time and slowly turned into a little vintage + contemporary "garden"- inspired play space. Before Natalie was born, I had painted the walls this lovely soft gray hue and had already sewed and installed the yellow drapes. About a year and a half ago, I stumbled upon a wonderful wall decal kit in the clearance bin at Target - SOLD. It took me five minutes to compose a "scene" and stick 'em all up. It's amazing what $5 can do to a room- and to green carpet! It's not just green anymore, now it's "grass". The color has really grown on me (pun intended). I actually love how it gives the perfect pop of color and pairs really well with the room's muted scheme. Lesson learned: work the challenge instead of eliminating it - almost anything can work given the right treatment.

2. Get what you want....
I got these chairs at a super discount store a year ago. They were cute - but not exactly what I wanted. The plastic leather was definitely a breeze to clean up - but it just looked too "office-y" and dull for a little girl's room. I had them reupholstered with some leftover fabric from a previous project, painted the legs, and got exactly what I wanted - a comfy cozy chair that was chic enough for  mom, yet pretty enough for the princess.

3. Another person's trash......
A couple of things in her room are reused and re purposed:

The two gray bookcases were featured in a previous post.  I painted them and lined them with a moire-type of paper - see more of the before and after here. They're the perfect solution for toy storage and display - everything is within Natalie's reach and she can sort all her toys into the fabric bins.
bookcases before and after

I wanted to create a little seating area for Natalie. We had two Ikea footstools sitting around the house, so I positioned them side-by-side and created a little banquette sandwiched between the two bookends. Bonus: these footstools can store more toys inside! Large fluffy throw pillows finish off the banquette and are great to lay on the floor for lounging or story time. The play table was a huge bargain from Pottery Barn - on clearance, with additional savings from my Design Trade discount. The banquette area gives the room a custom "built-in" look. 
Ikea Ektorp Bromma footstool/ottoman

To accessorize the space and add more storage, I picked up baskets and old trunks/makeup cases at thrift stores, flea markets and vintage fairs. I also scored a lovely play tea set, kitchen and food sets, and books.   For the artwork - I framed and displayed some of Natalie's own creations.

Natalie loves her room and enjoys hosting garden tea parties. It's going to grow with her needs, which is why I had to be thrifty and crafty. I think it can transition from kiddie play space to a tween's bedroom wonderfully without much work! 

Natalie's Garden Play Space

More DIY decor fun on Natalie's corner in the next few months!