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better storage in Fionn’s room

16 Jul

Hey Elle Decor, where's YOUR hamper photo?

Now that I’m a mother, nursery tours often make me laugh.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally in love with the perfectly-apportioned room; if I weren’t, I wouldn’t be doing this.  But there’s something about a perfectly-staged, pre-arrival nursery that just cries for a three-year-old, stomping in with his toys and spit and tantrums and crayons, to make things feel a little more, um, realistic.

I don’t have a three-year-old, although I’m already having nightmares seemingly incurred by the Toy Story 3 “toddler room.”  Yes, I know that in the course of everyday life, and by no fault of their own, kids equal messes.  However, it’s becoming increasingly clear to me that my little baby bundle has been accumulating quite a lot of stuff over the past ten or so months.

Whereas messes are easy to clean, and relatively low-stress, the disorganization that comes with having too many things and nowhere to put them drives me mental.  My motto?  When life gets crazy, put up a shelf. Or hang a hamper.  Or screw in a hook.

Since the last go-around of Fionn’s nursery photos (from August), a few things have changed:

my friends Jarpen & Bjarnum

1. An out-of-reach storage shelf. I am crazy about these Ikea Ekby (J&B) shelves… they’ve got a slightly glossy finish, great brackets, and look much more expensive than their price ($30).  The one we have measures roughly 47″ long (wide?), but the shelves are available in a larger size as well.   As in any collector-family household, there are going to be toys/stuffed plush that you love, and want to display, but don’t want easy access to.   This high shelf is perfect for the sentimental stuff, the handmade items, and especially Mommy’s AfroKen collection (maybe one day, when Fionn becomes more gentle with his toys, they’ll come down).

You put your laundry bag in there

2. An over-the-door hanging hamper. Small rooms are short on wall space, and closet space is often at a premium.  It feels silly to extol the virtues of a laundry hamper, but I’m sure any parents afflicted with slight OCD would understand.  I remember someone saying that they loved watching garbage trucks taking their trash away.  I feel the same about hauling dirty laundry to the washing machine.  Unfortunately, Umbra doesn’t make or sell our hamper (at top) any more, but the Container Store offers a lovely alternative for $15.  Hang this ring over your door, then attach your nylon/denim/canvas drawstring bag to the metal ring.  As clean and classy as stinky shorts get.

Gym flooring put to good use

3. Wall hooks. Sexy, I know.  But I love the decorating potential that comes with super-cute hookware (hookage?). The ones behind Fionn’s door are the plain old industrial schoolhouse rounded kind.  But I wish we had ours mounted to slats from a reclaimed gym floor, previously used by athletes at a Wisconsin college.   It’s available at Uncommon Goods for $125.  Not cheap, but it’s pretty awesome.  And as with any reclaimed wood project, each piece is unique with varying court lines.  And if you want to make a theme of it, you can also buy coordinating tables, shelves, mirrors, and frames, made of the same flooring.

More than any other space in the house, it’s amazing how changeable and work-in-progress kids rooms can be.  It’s a great opportunity to have fun with your decorating, and a chance to give up on sweating the details.

Oh and by the way, I’ve updated photos in the Nurseries section to show you how Fionn’s room continues to change. Check it out, and have a great weekend.

better storage in Fionn's room

16 Jul

Hey Elle Decor, where's YOUR hamper photo?

Now that I’m a mother, nursery tours often make me laugh.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally in love with the perfectly-apportioned room; if I weren’t, I wouldn’t be doing this.  But there’s something about a perfectly-staged, pre-arrival nursery that just cries for a three-year-old, stomping in with his toys and spit and tantrums and crayons, to make things feel a little more, um, realistic.

I don’t have a three-year-old, although I’m already having nightmares seemingly incurred by the Toy Story 3 “toddler room.”  Yes, I know that in the course of everyday life, and by no fault of their own, kids equal messes.  However, it’s becoming increasingly clear to me that my little baby bundle has been accumulating quite a lot of stuff over the past ten or so months.

Whereas messes are easy to clean, and relatively low-stress, the disorganization that comes with having too many things and nowhere to put them drives me mental.  My motto?  When life gets crazy, put up a shelf. Or hang a hamper.  Or screw in a hook.

Since the last go-around of Fionn’s nursery photos (from August), a few things have changed:

my friends Jarpen & Bjarnum

1. An out-of-reach storage shelf. I am crazy about these Ikea Ekby (J&B) shelves… they’ve got a slightly glossy finish, great brackets, and look much more expensive than their price ($30).  The one we have measures roughly 47″ long (wide?), but the shelves are available in a larger size as well.   As in any collector-family household, there are going to be toys/stuffed plush that you love, and want to display, but don’t want easy access to.   This high shelf is perfect for the sentimental stuff, the handmade items, and especially Mommy’s AfroKen collection (maybe one day, when Fionn becomes more gentle with his toys, they’ll come down).

You put your laundry bag in there

2. An over-the-door hanging hamper. Small rooms are short on wall space, and closet space is often at a premium.  It feels silly to extol the virtues of a laundry hamper, but I’m sure any parents afflicted with slight OCD would understand.  I remember someone saying that they loved watching garbage trucks taking their trash away.  I feel the same about hauling dirty laundry to the washing machine.  Unfortunately, Umbra doesn’t make or sell our hamper (at top) any more, but the Container Store offers a lovely alternative for $15.  Hang this ring over your door, then attach your nylon/denim/canvas drawstring bag to the metal ring.  As clean and classy as stinky shorts get.

Gym flooring put to good use

3. Wall hooks. Sexy, I know.  But I love the decorating potential that comes with super-cute hookware (hookage?). The ones behind Fionn’s door are the plain old industrial schoolhouse rounded kind.  But I wish we had ours mounted to slats from a reclaimed gym floor, previously used by athletes at a Wisconsin college.   It’s available at Uncommon Goods for $125.  Not cheap, but it’s pretty awesome.  And as with any reclaimed wood project, each piece is unique with varying court lines.  And if you want to make a theme of it, you can also buy coordinating tables, shelves, mirrors, and frames, made of the same flooring.

More than any other space in the house, it’s amazing how changeable and work-in-progress kids rooms can be.  It’s a great opportunity to have fun with your decorating, and a chance to give up on sweating the details.

Oh and by the way, I’ve updated photos in the Nurseries section to show you how Fionn’s room continues to change. Check it out, and have a great weekend.

discovered: foosball coat hanger

25 Jan



Offside coat hanger, Funktion Alley, approx $105

Coat hooks are our friends. But they’re usually not that much fun to use. But this one, designed by Norwegian Runa Klock, has incorporated the functionality of ‘table football’ into an awesome accessory for storage. You get to choose red, green or blue players (great for Manchester or Chelsea fans) on a steel or powder-white bar. But the best part is that the players actually tilt and move around to accomodate your clothes. Found this on a UK site, so prices are dependent on the exhange rate…


Dart Coat Hooks, Uncommon Goods, $35 for 3

Reminds me of the coat hooks (above) I recently purchased from Uncommon Goods here in the US. I always fall for kitschy-clever things like this. The hooks mount at an angle, so they really look like you’ve just missed the dartboard. And they’re not too heavy, but you need to make sure you’ve got a good anchor in the wall – plaster will crumble, as I learned.