Playroom Makeover

In late January of 2014 we moved into our newly purchased house which was built in 1927 and a good amount of it had been updated but the basement was pretty dark, dingy and screaming for an update.  See the before pics:

Before we moved in, carpet and paint were updated and we added both balusters (i.e. upright posts along the staircase) for safety and a carpet runner to the stairs.  We also added a closet where you see the coral tile to store games, puzzles and art supplies.  The laundry area is located on the top floor of the house near our bedrooms so the hook ups you see are still there but not in use.  I had the plywood desk top and shelf removed from the nook so that I could create the play grocery store I envisioned as soon as we saw the house.

Fast forward a little over 2 years and we managed to create a much nicer space for a play room but were stalled on the project for probably a year or more.  Because of time and money constraints we fixed things up in fits and spurts but I’ve finally reached a point of not being able to take the almost finished status any longer.  I hope to have EVERYTHING finished by the end of May and hopefully sooner than that.

Check out the progress we’ve made to date in the photos below but do keep in mind that we’re only part way there…

Dress up areaplay grocery storeArt tableReading nook

The color scheme of orange, fuchsia and turquoise that’s used in most of the playroom began with the repurposing of fabric banners from Isabelle’s 12th birthday party.  The deep red accent wall is next to the grocery store and my husband’s office both of which have the same red carried through them but in art & accents instead of a whole wall.

The antique cheval mirror and Louis XV Chair were things I’d found antiquing in France during the 4 years I lived in Germany.  I had hoped to keep them in my bedroom but alas, the space isn’t right for them so instead of storing them, we’ve put them here.  Much of the other furniture was found second hand on the local Seattle mom’s Yahoo group but the Land of Nod table and stools were left over from Isabelle.  And other than the duplo Legos and a handful of gifts, all of the toys are used and found at garage sales or the mom’s group for sale postings.

More in a couple of days about the Toy Rotation that I put into place this weekend and our Activity Planning Chart that I’m making. When I’m completely finished with the project in a few weeks I’ll give a full source accounting on where things were purchased, paint & carpet colors and other details but if you have any questions in the meantime just email.

Easter Decor How To Info

Carrots in apothocary jar w antique chocolate moldsEasy daisy arrangmentMeri Meri rabbit balloon centerpiece how to

 

From the Toddler Egg Hunt post here are some close ups and how to photos.  Everything was super easy!

Carrot & daisy floral arrangement: wash carrots and remove any unattractive greenery and broken stems.  Line a large vase or apothecary jar with the carrots placing the more attractive carrots on the outer edge.  You could insert an inner tall/thin vase inside the carrots but I didn’t need to.  They stayed nicely and created a natural inner area to place the daisies.  This was an awesome impact for $10 (carrots were 3 bunches for $5 and daisies were $5).  Fill with water.  I bought the carrots & made this the day before the event and it still looked fresh 24 hours later.

Table including $ 10 carrot & daisy arrangement, antique chocolate molds and apothecary jar fill

 

Bunny Balloon & other centerpiece items:  find bottle or bud vase the right height for your cache pot, place it in center, insert plastic stick included in Meri Meri kit and fill with Easter grass.  I had to stuff a bit of paper in the neck of my bottle to get the stick to stay straight and centered.  You can also use floral foam if you have some but I wanted to save the cost. I’m sure if you were so inclined you could create your own bunny balloon.  The kit just gave pre-done adhesive ears, whiskers and bow tie.  The eyes and nose/mouth were stickers but could be drawn on a white balloon and the balloon tied to a thin dowel.  I displayed my antique chocolate molds with this and the Balloon Centerpiece below.  One mold was placed on a small glass candy dish that had fine Easter grass on  it and I covered it with a large jar and added a wired ribbon.  I like to use books as risers in centerpiece groupings to things show well above the food on the table.  The colored eggs in the smaller apothecary jar are sentimental as my older daughter has made them over the years. See above photo.

Golden eggs on skewers

Mimosa Bar floral arrangement:  this is so easy, it’s hardly worth mentioning.  The glitter eggs above came in a pack of 6 and I used bamboo skewers to add a fun dimension to the arrangement.

Other décor items shown below were things I’ve collected over the years, many of which during the time I lived in Germany and I sourced things at the French and German flea markets and specialty stores in Rothenburg ob der Tauber (a charming walled city near Munich).  The Christopher Radko Easter Tree and larger blown glass ornaments were issued around 14 years ago and I purchased them from a catalog.  I do add to my collection now that I’m  in the US by hitting after Easter sales to save money, but most things are items my older daughter made or are thing that have meaning from my time in Europe.  I much prefer using the same items year after year that have meaning to changing my look every year.  I guess I’m sentimental!

Radko & other egg tree ornaments

 

 

 

Toddler Egg Hunt (without candy)

Easy Brunch Potluck Party

egg hunting (2)

bar

The Bloody Mary Bar was a guest favorite!

 

Last Sunday I hosted our play group for a brunch and egg hunt.  It was easy to organize and so much fun!  And the fun motivated me to get back to my long quiet blog!!

Before hand moms dropped off plastic eggs 25 eggs each and some trinkets and healthy snacks to fill the eggs with.  3 of us spent around an hour filling the eggs with stickers, coins for rattling effect, Annie’s graham & cheddar bunnies, dollar store items like egg shaped side walk chalk, light up dinosaur stress balls, bracelets, cars and bows.  Target dollar bins and any dollar store are great places to get food non-candy filler.

I provided an easy (yet so tasty!) Cheese, Sausage & Croissant Egg Casserole, Bloody Mary Bar featuring a mix recipe from Emeril Lagasse (which was AMAZING!), oven baked bacon, cupcakes decorated with a Wilton décor kit and coffee bar. More recipe and set up specifics to follow. Our Evite outlined the pot luck needs and I highly recommend doing it this way so that you don’t have major items missing or get a table full of desserts.  Here’s a great brunch menu list for a well rounded offering:

  • egg casserole or dish with meat
  • non-meat egg dish
  • bacon
  • berries or fruit salad
  • orange & cranberry juices
  • champagne
  • sparkling water
  • small bottled water or other kids drinks
  • Bloody Mary Bar (can divide out vodka, mix & fixings or have 1 person provide all)
  • green salad
  • sweet pastry
  • savory pastry
  • cookies
  • ‘kid’ dessert
  • ‘adult’ dessert
table close (2)

Table including $ 10 arrangement featuring carrots & daisies, antique chocolate molds and apothecary jar filled with eggs

roses golden eggs

Mimosa bar and floral arrangement that featured gold glitter eggs on wooden skewers

bar close

Bloody Mary bar fixings & framed instructions

salts

Salts including savory, spicy and lemon pepper options

 

We set an early, 9:30 AM start time to try to help those families with both a toddler and a baby (who nap late morning).  The timing seemed to catch all the kids at their best and most folks stayed long after the hunt. In stereotypical Seattle form, it was forecasted to drizzle during the egg hunt so we didn’t hide the eggs until after all the kids had arrived and were snacking inside. My older daughter had a blast hiding eggs and laying out ‘Bunny Footprints’ to guide the toddlers to eggs.  And we got lucky and the drizzle didn’t start until the very end of the hunt.  The kids wouldn’t have cared but the adults were definitely happier!

K picegg gathering (2).JPGeggs in tulips (2)J pic

R 2 post (2)

Non-candy filled eggs were a bit hit!

 

When we scheduled the party we chose the Sunday before Easter so that we didn’t conflict with family parties or church services.  The kids are so young that they don’t realize that it’s not actually the official day the Easter Bunny comes and nearly all of our members could make it.

Décor details include a Meri Meri Bunny Balloon Kit and antique chocolate molds as part of the table centerpiece grouping, flowers with glitter eggs found at Metropolitan Market, my collection of vintage Steiff rabbits, an Easter Tree & ornaments issued years ago by Christopher Radko along with eggs and ornaments I’ve collected over the years, a vintage wine bottle drying rack from France and other items from my collections.

The Bloody Mary bar featured:

  • Emeril Lagasse’s tomato juice mix
  • 3 salt dips (savory = Old Bay Seasoning, lemon = Old Bay Lemon & Herb Seasoning, spicy = 3 T chili powder, 3 T kosher salt, 1 T cayenne pepper)
  • protein options:  bacon, salami bites, shrimp
  • pickled items: mini dills, pepperoncini, Delallo Mild Giardiniera (mixed veggies) & Mezzetta cocktail onions
  • green & black pitted olives
  • fresh items: blanched asparagus spears, celery, cherry tomatoes, lemon & lime wedges
  • spicy sauces:  tabasco, sriracha & Frank’s Red Hot
  • seasoning: salt, pepper, garlic salt, onion salt, celery salt
  • vodka in a decanter
  • framed instructions: (Choose your glass, salt the rim, fill with ice, add the vodka, choose your fixings, fill with juice mix, spice it up, enjoy!)
  • random collection of jars, various sizes displayed on antique bottle drying rack
  • set of 4 mini copper pots holding water & salts for rimming glasses
  • an antique brass & glass shelf
  • various vintage silver serving forks and tongs and wooden skewers
  • stainless ice bucket & scoop

The Mimosa bar was a pretty simple version and featured just Champagne, St. Germain (elderflower liquor), strawberries, San Pellegrino, orange and cranberry juices.  In the past I’ve also featured blackberries, blueberries and additional juice options.  This party the cranberry version was most popular – probably because it was a break from the norm.

Next post will have a few DIY décor ideas so I’ll sign off with a few more photos.

 

coffee bartree full (2)antique rabbitsM T R and me

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