Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Rainbows and Redecorating

I had quite a rainbow thing going this Spring while I was on blog hiatus.

First, we took professional family pictures when we visited my parents for Easter. My sister and her little family were on a big Texas road trip to introduce everyone to baby Rio, my brother lives on the same lake as my parents so we could make him boat over whenever needed, and we'd long wanted to do a full professional group shot after the one we scheduled over Christmas was snowed out. The whole thing was arranged on about 48 hours notice and through a series of fast and furious text messages we realized my girls and Sky had matching dresses, so we just decided everyone else would wear something that went with them. We actually selected my mom and my brother's girlfriend's dress both from my mom's closet a mere 90 minutes before the photo session, but I think we all look great!

So cheerful and fun and happy to be hanging out together, sweating and getting bit by bugs in a field near my parents' new house.

I love that we got some pics of the cousins (aka, Landon and the Ladies!) and Papa and Gigi with their grandkids.

I also love these two shots and have them stacked together in a single frame in my office. My original family of five:

And my new one:

The combo makes me smile every time I catch it glimpse of it across my desk.

~ ~ ~

And then, when we got back from Houston, I launched into my big new project to redo/update/clean out our play room! [Insert much fanfare; I've wanted to do this project for YEARS, but figured it was only fair to allow the third baby a few years to actually play in the playroom.] The playroom is actually a sunroom/casual living area off the main living area that used to be a screened in porch sometime soon after the home was built in the 40's. You can still see the exterior brick and the floor has a pretty steep slope downward to drain the rain that no longer falls inside it. One whole wall is giant glass windows and I don't love them when tornado sirens are going off, I do love them all the rest of the time.

(throwback to 2012)

The space has been many things: James's office and a casual eating area; play room and James's office; play room and my desk space; and now- an art and homework room! (and still my desk space).

First we spent a weekend doing a deep clean of the whole space. The kids had grown out of many of the toys and books and were generally amenable to consolidating the stuff they still used. I sold all the furniture that had been there before and bought a fabulous old dresser off our neighborhood buy/sell page for $75 that was the inspiration behind the whole project.

After MUCH measuring and searching and drawing of possible floor/wallplans (literally, I can't visualize anything), I settled on a carefully-selected set of solid-wood Ikea furniture that could be delivered for $39 and fit perfectly in the space (and budget).

James was slammed with clients and summer registrations, so even though I like to stress test our marriage every few years with a round of Ikea assembly, I called a friend over at 10 p.m. on a Monday night with promises of Mean Girls on TV on a bottle of wine on the counter and we GOT IT DONE.

I was so proud of us.

Then came the arranging. And selecting of accessories, purchasing of LOTS of new fun art supplies, and using up all the tape I had in my label-maker. In other words, the BEST part about decorating.

I linked to all the items I could think of below (not affiliated links because I don't know how to do those and this is purely for fun, though I will always plug Ebates - now apparently called Rakuten - because free money is the best and I hate that I ever missed out on getting mine), but if I missed anything let me know and I'll try to let you know where I found it.

I wanted to have toy storage available for Cora- she'll still spend hours playing with her fairies and play kitchen, but she also spends hours on arts and crafts, so I felt she was ready for a balance of the two. And the big kids were definitely ready for an open art and homework space (and I was very ready for that space to NOT be my only dining table)

I added a cheap laptop (currently on lockdown through the end of summer) and a color printer (our only other printer is a black and white laser exclusively for the swim school) on a "desk" against the old brick wall, with a white board above and paper storage (small black bins) and toy storage (larger clear bins) underneath.

The bright orange dresser now held larger arts and crafts items that had previously been hidden and stored all over the house, now separated into plastic bins, and the bookshelves hold a combo of books (except any of Landon's because he refuses to let go of the 100+ lining of the walls of his room), crafts, toys, and other miscellaneous items.

I found some magazine holders to keep up the beginner reader books that are otherwise impossible to store, and updated my file to store the kids' memory-box-worthy school and art projects.

I used a utensil holder from the Target dollar spot to hold all the pencils and markers (the kids tested each marker and sharpened each pencil; they were big helpers, as was Maggie, of course).

The rainbow drawers are my favorite and hold everything that ever needed a home in our old art drawer.

An friend who teaches middle school art was concerned about the "sequins" labeled drawer, but I have at least one other layer of security.

The kids absolutely LOVE the space. They've kept it pretty neat (it helps that everything clearly has a home and the table has to be "generally clean" each night) and I've loved listening to them spend hours in there creating treasures, playing hangman on the white board, or just reading and writing stories.

Right now I think it's everyone's favorite place in the house.

~ ~ ~


Slahult Table ($89)
Backaryd Underframe ($45)
Hemnes Bookcase ($149)
Hemnes Console Table ($249)
Furmax Modern-Style Chairs ($75 set of four)
Rainbow Craft Drawers ($30)


8 x 10 Prismatic Color Rug ($150)
Small black storage bins ($23 set of four)
Pink and Blue Bins (Michaels Clearance; $3 each)
Clear Square Bins ($10 each)
Toy Box ($54)
Rainbow Magazine Files ($19 set of 6)
3 Tier Letter Tray ($17)
Cable Management Cord Organizers ($8)
23" x 35" White Board ($18)
Color Printer ($50, Target Sale)
Rainbow paper mobile, made by Landon in art class


  1. That is a beautiful redecoration! What a loving gesture for your family. (Something to aspire to!! But I only have a toddler so our house is a little more chaotic these days :)

    As a fellow lawyer, I must ask - how do you get your work done? I have reasonable hours, but staring down any brief deadline still throws all such projects to the wayside. Tell me your secrets!

  2. Yes! This looks so great! Love the cheerful colors!

  3. Gorgeous and affordable!