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As I mentioned on Monday, this week’s blog posts are devoted to baby preparation: everything from the food I’m freezing, to the books I’m reading my big boys, and finally…our updated playroom and home office! I can’t tell you what a relief it is to have this project DONE.


In the past six years that we have lived in this house, we have gradually renovated and redecorated every single room…except for the home office/playroom. Since my part-time job is based out of my house, the kids and I spend a lot of time in this particular room. The clutter, the lack of organization, and the HUGE lack of storage were driving me crazy. I knew that I better get it squared away before baby #3 arrives, or it wouldn’t happen for at least a few more years. And since I didn’t have to set up a nursery or redecorate any bedrooms, this Playroom and Home Office Make-Over was my one pre-baby home project.

Are you ready for some amusing before photos? I’m not sure that the pictures can truly reflect the big change that was made in this space, but trust me when I say it’s immense. I wanted to open up the room so that there would be plenty of space for the boys (and future baby) to play on the floor. I also wanted to add some pops of color to make it a fun place for the kids to spend time, while keeping it relatively professional to reflect my shared work space.

Here we go, with some “before” and “after” shots!

Before, we had a hand-me-down bookshelf that was literally falling apart. And too small to properly hold the boys’ books. It just wasn’t getting the job done.


After we removed the old bookcase, I put up a magnetic white board for the boys to play with (each of my kids have loved magnets as toddlers), color on (remember my favorite washable dry erase markers?), as well as a place to display their art work. I bought the white board at Target during the “back to school” sales.


Behind the door, I used a shoe rack to store some of the boys small toys like their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and their Transformers. I love the fact that they are out of sight, unless someone wants to use them!


Next to the white board, I moved a small table and chairs into this room so that the kids would have a work space.


The new rug was one of my first purchases. I bought it from Rugs USA when they were having a 60% off sale. Can’t beat that!

Before, we had a hand-me-down chair in the corner, which took up a lot of space and I didn’t care for the fabric.


I received a price estimate to reupholster the chair, which would have cost $500-$600. Instead, I decided to repurpose one of our existing chairs that wasn’t being used. Specifically, an old porch chair! With some new cushions (made out of kid-friendly, fade-proof fabric) and a fresh coat of teak oil, the chair fits perfectly in its “new” home!


The navy and white decorative pillow cover is from an Etsy shop called ElemenOPillows. Karen does great work for a very reasonable price! I just ordered the pillow form from Amazon.

I added a magazine rack from HomeGoods on the wall next to the chair. The rack now stores drawing paper, coloring books, and stickers – all easily accessible for the kids.


Before, my desk was a cluttered mess…which drives me CRAZY. I just didn’t have enough storage space for all of my files and paperwork.


Now, my desk is clutter-free – thanks to a new, larger file cabinet nearby and additional shelf storage space on the other side of the room.


I made my own pencil holders using some extra mason jars from my kitchen. I spray painted them orange and wrapped them with some blue ribbon from Walmart!


I also love these orange and white magazine holders (which store my most-frequently-used files and calendars). I picked them up from the $1 bins on a recent trip to Target.


And finally, on the far wall, we used to have a hand-me-down bookshelf full of files and cookbooks. It was not taking advantage of the large space at all, and it left me with nowhere to put the kids’ toys. Also, please notice the large train table in the middle of the room. The boys love their train table, but it was taking up way too much space – especially since I will be having a crawling baby around here in the coming months!


Instead, we moved the train table up to the boys’ room (which still has plenty of space for play), and added a big wall unit where the old bookcase used to sit. This is by far the most significant change to the room.


The entire center of the room is large and open for play. The kids’ toys and books are all stored in the cubbies and on the bookshelves. My favorite cookbooks, as well as my additional work files, are on the top shelves.

We wanted some solid wood furniture that would last, but we didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars at a shop like Pottery Barn. Instead, we bought this unfinished wood furniture from a nearby store called Lam Brothers. The quality is good, and the price is right. Keith just had to spend some of his weekend hours putting multiple coats of finish on the shelving units.

The canvas bins are from Pottery Barn Kids. They’re sturdy and built to last (we have had some other similar bins in our house for years).

I bought these vintage-looking buckets on a flash sale from One Kings Lane. They store the boys’ art supplies – crayons, colored pencils, scissors, and markers. Plus, they add a decorative pop of color to the top of the shelf.


I have one of these little rope baskets on each side of the cubbies. They house small items like magnets, glue sticks, and hole punchers. I picked them up at Target.


And finally, these magazine holders on the top shelves are bright, fun, and affordable. I got mine from Amazon and they work great for my extra work files.

magazine holders

So there you have it. Our house is one step closer to being ready for our baby, and my big boys are LOVING their new play space!


Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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  1. Dawn @ I Think We Could Be Friends says:

    Oh I am having serious envy! That rug is incredible and all of the fun storage ideas! This is awesome!!!

    Stopping by from Rags to Stitches, Dawn from https://www.IThinkWeCouldBeFriends.com

    1. Blair says:

      Hi Dawn! Thanks for stopping by! The storage is definitely my favorite part. With kids in the house, it seems like there are never enough places to put everything!

  2. Anny says:

    Good for you, this office looks great! Its obvious a lot of thought went into it.

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks, Anny! We are definitely enjoying the new space. 🙂

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  4. Dale says:

    Looks great. You have a lot of really creative ideas for the kids.

    1. Blair says:

      Thank you, Dale! I’m so glad that you stopped by! We continue to enjoy the room…it has served our needs exactly as I hoped it would!

  5. Amelia says:

    Any idea on the brand of the magazine racks you got from Home Goods? It is exactly what I’m looking for to organize all our mail (it is so deep!).

    1. Blair says:

      Hi, Amelia! Oh my gosh, I am so sorry — I have no idea! I’m actually sitting here looking at the racks right now and there’s not even any label or marking that would identify a brand. I’m so bummed that I’m no help. 🙁