September 30, 2009


Mr. Geek took a day off of work, so we went out (alone!) for the afternoon while my mother-in-law kindly watched S. We went to a very charming cafe, called Cafe Chocolat, which had lots of chocolate items. The Chili con Chocolate was tasty, with vegan sausage and brown rice, and Mr. Geek enjoyed his Cubano sandwich.

Anyway, I wanted to just share some photos of the play area I made in our living room this past week. Do I ever take "before" photos? No. But just imagine a cavernous area that is not used for anything.

Here's kind of a before photo, from July. Yes, Soren uses the Learning Tower as a jungle gym (and man, my feet are embarrassingly dirty! I go barefoot all summer, and that's the proof--yuck).
If you look to the back left, you'll see just a bookshelf with some toys on it, and not much else.

Our living room is weird. The house is 106 years old and the living room used to be separated into two teeny rooms--a living area and a dining area. The previous owners had torn down the wall between the rooms, leaving a long space that is impossible to furnish. We tend to live more on one side of it, where the couches are, but the other side of the room is underutilized.

I had visions of my grandma's antique Singer sewing machine there, but that's still rusting in the basement. We'd also considered a desk, but haven't found one yet in the alley on garbage day. So it's become an area dedicated to play. (PS, I wish our living room was brighter, because it's hard to get good photos of it without the obnoxious flash)
I kept the bookcase there (which by the way, I found sitting at the curb on trash day) and "shopped" the house for some things to add to the play area. From the attic, I scrounged a blue IKEA rug to define the area and bring in some color. I also brought in the red toolbox that I found in the dumpster to hold books.

To the left of the bookcase is a tool bench that our neighbors gave Soren, since their boys have outgrown it. He loves playing with the obscene amount of tools that are in there. We've since had to hide the hammers, since he's been pounding them on the windows. I imagine one day soon the child-sized art easel I have in the attic will replace the workbench.

My mom found that cute kid-sized red wicker chair in her neighborhood on garbage day too. It was funny because it's the exact same red as the kid Adirondack chair we already had. What is it with people throwing away perfectly good furniture? At least send it to Goodwill or Freecycle it!
That purple basket (from our local shop Bamboula) was upstairs, holding yarn, but I decided to move the yarn into another container and use the basket for blocks. I just love looking at the color.
And then I added a few more fun decorations, like this string of animals from Taraluna
and amuseument park photos from Alicia Bock (left) and Irene Suchocki (right).
and of course wind-up German bicycle man and the Cheekeyes animals, facing off in a break-dancing duel. So that's it, the play space, ready for fun.And please don't think any less of me because of my filthy feet and dumpster diving.


  1. Looks like ours....but without all the cool decorations! I love those amusement park pics.

  2. Hey, I LOVE dumpster diving!!

    You've made that space in to such a cute area!!!

    And it's so nice that you were able to get out with the hubs!!

  3. I wish people threw out cool stuff here! You have a way of tying things together. I love your style, it's warm and inviting.

  4. I wanna come over and play or babysit or something!

  5. My feet look like that all summer too. I think it grosses my husband out, but it too nice not to wear shoes to change it for him. And I'm always getting slack from people for dumpster diving...until they realize I have really cool stuff and they don't.

  6. It looks great and I'll bet Soren loves his claimed space.
    No, no. I love ya all the more for dumpster diving and dirty feet. No good finds here on trash day this week :(

  7. I love dumpster diving as well! Thanks for making me feel not alone!

  8. The space looks fantastic. I love how you were able to utilize the space that was going un-used!

    I'm going to be MIA commenting wise for a few weeks. I actually have to work all day thru October, so if you don't hear from me, you'll know why. I will still be reading though! :)

  9. You make it look so nice. You decorate very well. I should hire you.

  10. Your house is lovely and your cat is huge! I want to come play at your house!

  11. LOL! my feet are the same way. :) that playroom is great--i really wish we had something like that in our house

  12. Are those Zah! pants Soren is wearing? I have Lili's in the wash now (I got them for her for her birthday)...I can't wait to try them on her.

  13. I'm always barefoot, no judging from me! I absolutely love his play area. Makes me want to fiddle with Charlie's...well, no it makes me want a HOUSE even more. So that I can create a great play space for her.


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