Slowly, VERY slowly, I have been trying to make our front living room look like we meant to put it together the way it is. Basically, it has been looking like a slapped-together bachelor pad with feminine touches. It is terrible! Part of it is just that the way the room was constructed it makes it hard to arrange furniture- for instance, if we actually had the tv plugged into the cable jack, it would be right in front of you when you walked in… like, bump your shins on it right in front. And it would completely cover the traffic area, forcing us to walk in front of the TV all time time, which is super annoying if someone is actually watching a show. Poor floor planning, that is for sure! So, in the meantime, I refuse to put a TV in the walkway and so our room is shortened by 4 feet and we have no sense of feng shui. Kills me.
In an attempt to create some balance, I put up a bookcase next to our TV right after Christmas. And we saved up some money and then bought another matching bookcase (Ikea) to put up on the other side for some good old reliable symmetry. I had wanted to put toys and kid books on the lower shelves for my girls, but I ran into a storage problem- plastic buckets would be totally tacky, so it had to be something nice. Hobby Lobby had a sale on their baskets, so I managed to find four that matched for $7 each (I’ll show you that when I get these bookshelves done). That was enough for just the bottom shelf of each bookcase… and it still looked silly with toys sitting in the open on the other shelves.
So, when Hobby Lobby runs out of baskets and you run out of decorating money, it is time to dig through the stash. I got some pretty blue damask home dec fabric at SAS (bulk fabric store) a while ago, hoping to make a cornice or roman shade with it. That project got the boot, and instead, I used Anna of Noodlehead’s Divided Basket Pattern to make 4 fabric baskets.
When I was cutting, I left out the divider part because I knew I’d need to have the entire bucket space for some of their bigger toys, like their dolls. Unfortunately, what I didn’t think through is that without the divider in the middle, these baskets are prone to getting floppy! I made them with fusible fleece so they aren’t too bad sitting on their own, but as the girls reach in they get squished and I have to revive them.
So, there are my new fabric buckets! In real life, the bottom shelf has the Hobby Lobby baskets, and the fabric ones above. I am so glad I did that though, this little mess-maker is always pulling them down and 'I’d feel bad if they were harder and more prone to squishing toes as they fell. So far the toy storage has been a life saver at the end of the day and we are quickly picking up the front room. The girls are better helpers too. It has been awesome! Plus, the baskets add some much needed color to that front room.
Do you have toy storage in your living areas?