When we first moved to our house two years ago, I was so excited to finally have an art station for Lilly since our previous area consisted of a basket on our old apartment floor overflowing with items.
My new office is a large space and I wanted her to be able create while I was, so I included a little table and two chairs right below a wall where her masterpieces hung. The room was previously a dining room from the early 1900’s so there’s little hutches built into the corners of the room. I had the glass doors removed, the shelves painted white and displayed her crayons, markers, pom poms, beads, washi tape, scissors and stamps in different clear containers. Her other items were housed in the cabinet below. And for awhile, it worked really well.
Over the last couple of years, she started getting more and more into art, which I love, and soon we needed a cart to handle the excess. But, eventually, even that was overflowing as were two of my desk drawers and an entire window seat. Her passion wasn’t the only thing that was growing, she was as well. At 6 years old, it wasn’t as comfortable for her to sit at the small table anymore and the surface area was limited.
It was clear she was out growing her old art station. Oliver will often color, do sticker books or Play Doh there, but Lilly needed a new, larger, proper space to create. Plus, while some of her items were on display, much of it was hidden and since she wasn’t seeing it on a daily basis, her imagination was inhibited.
This was the preexisting playroom wall that was adorable, but it wasn’t the best use of space. The dress-up rack (that has since been filled) and mirror are now downstairs in the basement with all of the accessories, the puppet theater, etc. and the kitchen and high chair are still in the playroom, just in different spots.
So now we had the space, I just needed to fill it. I knew I wanted Lilly to have a whole wall and workspace to be inspired by. I envisioned an art version of a tool shed, complete with peg boards and all of her “tools” hanging from it. I checked out Home Depot and, while they had the white boards I was looking for, they didn’t have much in terms of attachments so I started sourcing online but wasn’t that impressed there either.
Then I went to a play date at my friend Brooke’s house and, lo and behold, she had just installed a mini version of what I was envisioning in her basement for her kids. It wouldn’t be the first time she and I thought alike. I loved the look of hers and she had all the tricked out attachments I’d been dreaming of. When she told me it was all from IKEA, I was sold.
I got 6 of the large peg boards and all of the attachments (containers with lids, containers without lids, hooks, clips, shelves, roll holder, letter holder, wrapping or craft paper holder for under $150.
While there, we found these IKEA tables that come with mix and match legs. We chose blue, obviously. 😉 They’re only $25 ($18.99 if you’re a member!) so if they get banged up, which they already have, it’s no big deal! Also paint and marker wipe right off the surface of these desks. And these (outdoor) chairs are affordable and easy to clean as well.
I love that IKEA now has some art supplies as well. And, as with everything else, for such a good value. This clipboard set the tone for the rest of the colorful landscape. I also picked up their colored pencils stamp pens, mini notebooks, pad of paper, beads and bead shapes.
But maybe my favorite part of all is this is this magnetic board and ombre letters from The Typeset Co. I love that I can change up the quotes so easily, she can play around creating sentences and stories and it also doubles as a writing board so she can practice her penmanship or math, do her own drawings… Plus, the letters are so much easier to use than the letter board ones where you have to twist each one off and perfectly place it into the felt board. These come loose and easily slide around on the board.
The only thing missing was some of my artist’s own original works to bring a personal feel to the space and inspire her to create more. Well, that and the actual mini Matisse.
We completed this project in half a day so we could surprise Lilly with it on her actual birthday. My dad and Zach dismantled the A.A. Milne quote that was hung when we moved in and moved the previously placed furniture. They followed by putting the tables together and hanging the peg boards. Then it was my turn to swoop in and place all of the attachments, unpack the new supplies, transport the old and arrange it all. It was so much fun. It kind of felt like we were in our own version of some HGTV show with our deadline, dramatic before and after’s and, of course, our (un)blindfolded client!
Needless to say, she was pretty satisfied.
Believe it or not, this post is NOT sponsored by IKEA. Check out more of our home here!