A while back I shared my plans to convert my desk area in our living room into a play area for Oliver. He is walking now (!!!) so he really needs some space to roam around freely and play. Our house is really small so I have to get really creative while not creating too much clutter. I am all for letting kids be kids – I mean, I grew up in a home with a TIRE SWING hanging from the ceiling of our “formal living room.” (No joke. It was awesome.) And I adore the look of lots of kids’ play rooms floating around on the interwebs, however, the spaceΒ is smack dab in our living room and in plain view of the door to enter our house. So I want the play space to be integrated into our long and narrow living room while still providing useful yet chic storage for Oliver’s many toys.
After much deliberation I decided that a long and narrow console table is the right solution for us, which will serve both as a side table next to the sofa to place drinks, a lamp, all of my beloved collected tchotchkes, and art, as well as an open storage area for baskets on the ground so that Oliver can reach in and grab whatever he wants at his own height without having to open any drawers. This is basically the concept that you find in a lot of entryways and sofa table spaces. I think this concept will provide a natural flow through the room and give Oliver more of a “runway” to run around and play, while still providing my husband and I much needed tabletop surface area for items we use and display, and honestly, to serve as another place for my husband to rest his beer and remote control. :)
I also need a rug to ground the space that complements the living area rug right beside it as well asΒ my future dream pillows. I want a vintage faded Turkish oushak rug that’s about 90″x 55″ with gray, lavender, and pink undertones.Β I orderedΒ an AMAZING one on eBay for a such a good price and it was the perfect size. I got so excited and my heart started to go pitter patter that my dream play space was about to take shape, and then the seller messaged me saying he already sold it. LAME. Who puts items on their eBay shops that aren’t available? Grr…
Then, I found this amazing Asian altar console table at an estate sale and drove all the way downtown with Oliver in tow to get it, and then the list price was $1,000 firm. Gahh, I thought estate sales were supposed to be cheap!! Then, I put in a bid for a beautiful abstract still life painting at a local auction marketed as having no reserves only to find later that there was indeed a reserve on it for $1,900. Face plant again. As I’m learning, even auctions and estate sales are not cheap anymore. The owners of items and the estate sale companies have reserves on their precious items and are not willing to sell for less than what it would fetch online. So everything vintage that I love is still a gajillion dollars. Sad face.
I was starting to get really down and feeling like my efforts were useless, but then I found this charming vintage Asian wood painting table console at a consignment shop in the north suburbs (just the console, not the bench) and this amazing woven seagrass basket from the UK via Craigslist for really cheap!
The basket is so enormous you can fit a human inside of it – perfect for Oliver’s obnoxiously large toys! Unfortunately, it’s too tall to to fit underneath the console but I still bought it because it was such a steal and it does fit to the right side of the console in the corner of the room. Plus Oliver needs so much storage that 1 basket isn’t enough. I was originally going to place a small accent/dining chair in the corner but the basket totally works for now too. As for the baskets underneath the console, for now I’m using the ones from Oliver’s nursery, which aren’t quite the right shape or size but are working just fine for now. So I still need to update the baskets under the console, find a rug, maybe a lamp, and style some art above it, but the space is slowwwly starting to take shape!
Here is some inspiration for this tiny, integrated living room and play space: