One Room Challenge: DIY Baseball Scoreboard

I’ve been working on creating a new bedroom for my boy and his primary request for the room is “sports”.  And not just sports, but  “sports EVERYTHING!”   So far I’ve painted, assembled bunk beds, hung nightstands and book ledges, added lighting, and created the wall-o-books.  But I haven’t added much in the way of sports so it was time to get on that.  Enter the DIY baseball scoreboard.

DIY baseball scoreboard personalized

DIY baseball scoreboard chalkboard

Can you tell this kid has been into the World Series (or World Serious as my daughter calls it)?  I’ve seen a few versions of this type of scoreboard but decided to create my own for pretty cheap.  And that way I could customize it to say “Pierce Field”. I used a $3.99 board from Home Depot, some paint I had on hand, my favorite chalkboard contact paper (which I also used in the kids’ playroom and for our fridge), and then some vinyl lettering.  Here’s how it went down.

painting a baseball scoreboard

In other words, take a board, paint it, tape off some lines to paint, then add lettering.  I added individual chalkboard squares for the inning scores but in retrospect it may have been easier to just add one large area of chalkboard contact paper and then to draw lines if I wanted.  That aside, it was a pretty straightforward project and so fun to make.

DIY baseball scoreboard and hooks

I hung the scoreboard behind his bedroom door, low enough for the kids to write on it easily.  I also grabbed an extra board I had on hand and a few hooks from Home Depot, and created a row of hooks to add more function.

DIY baseball scoreboard blue white hooks

What I love about this corner is that it takes a previously ignored spot in the room and gives it some life.  Here is the before – boring:

blank wall behind door

And now, even with the door fully opened, you can still see that something fun is happening back there.

how to decorate behind the door

And when closed, it is no longer a dead, bare spot but it totally fits into the room.

boy's room sports book ledges DIY

The kids have been playing on this daily (I credit the World Serious timing) and have been having so much fun making up scores and then acting out all the plays to get to those scores.  Not that I’m a fan of kids playing baseball in the bedroom, but it is pretty cute…

blue and white boys room

Okay, next week I’ll share the completed room.  Guess that means I need to actually finish it.  I’ve done all the stuff I think is “fun” – using power tools, doing a little DIY, and creating a new layout, but it is the finishing stuff that I have a hard time putting together.  So wish me luck on the final touches.

P.S.  Be sure to check out all the other fun spaces in the challenge here.

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Mini Organization Station in the Kitchen

It has been so long since we gave any attention to the kitchen – will it ever be done?!  Prior to the kitchen hiatus, I did a little project to keep our kitchen organized.  And us organized.  I mean, what is with all the stuff piling up on the kitchen counters?  Mail, lunchboxes, school papers, ads that were hanging on your front door handle, receipts, and more.  Some people are cool with this.  I, however, am not.  So one of my goals in planning our kitchen was to avoid the tons-o-daily-junk-piled-on-the-counter situation.  Enter my mini organization station in the kitchen.  Aka command center.  Maybe it’s called that because the inherent structure commands all members of my house to avoid the impulse of just throwing their stuff on the counter.  Whatever – here’s what we’ve got:

kitchen command center

mini command center fiddle fig

You’ll note it is complete with classy tape handles, because I still haven’t decided between black or brass hardware (ugh!).  Moving on.  Two of our three end-cabinet edges are waterfall edges.  And I love them.

marble counter waterfall edge

But I kept one little area on the far side of our island waterfall-free for organization.

side cabinet for command center

I planned to add something like a bookshelf with cubbies, mail slots, or something fancy I’d build to keep us organized.   Once school started, things started piling up on the counters.  Not. Cool.  To solve the counter-crap problem quickly,  I figured I could create something that will work well now and leave my options open to create a permanent, built-in solution in the future.  Seriously, how do other people deal with the kid lunchbox thing?  I need to keep the lunchboxes out and about so I don’t forget to make lunch but I don’t want these garish rectangles to be the primary things I see in the kitchen.  So I need a spot where they are readily accessible but not front and center.  Time to hook it up.  I looked at a few options and ended up with a couple of basic black robe hooks from Home Depot.  They hold the lunchbags but don’t stick out too far.  And they are subtle enough that even without the lunchboxes they still look a-okay.  And to organize all the mail and paper that comes into our house on a daily basis, I went for an organizer from Ikea.

hooks and mail organizer

Discreet and functional.  Less discreet, but definitely functional, are the folders and labels to make the area a little neater.  I picked some Martha Stewart supplies from Staples because they were the least expensive and the least ugly of the options I saw that day (although turquoise scrolls and flowers aren’t my usual deal).

martha stewart turquoise folders

These folders are getting the job done for now and sure look a lot better than stacks on the countertops.

mini organization station close-up

Even without the lunchboxes things look neat and organized.  Nothing sticks out beyond the neighboring post, so everything is tucked in yet easily accessible and super organized.

hidden command center in kitchen

Best of all, the typical kitchen clutter is contained – finally.

lunchboxes mail station

We are only a month or so into this organization station and so far it is working great.  The kids know where to put their stuff and instead of mail, the primary thing on our counters are crumbs.  I’d say that’s progress.  (Ignore the lack of baseboards – that is the opposite of progress.)  Maybe someday I’ll create a more permanent solution, but for now we’ve got a mini organization station that cost less than $30 total and makes me pretty happy.  Fingers crossed that I can come up with a solution for the crumbs…

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One Room Challenge: Book Ledges, Wall-Mounted Nightstands, and More

I thought there was nothing I’d love more about my boy’s new room than the bunk beds I just assembled, but I was wrong.  Adding this wall to the room is everything:

kid room desk books clock

book ledges and bunk beds

I love the wall-mounted nightstands and book ledges, all the color, and all the function.  Really, cheerful and functional?  Probably my favorite combo.

Ikea desk ledges cubes

Let’s talk about the desk first.  Initially, I was planning on either having book ledges span the height of the wall or putting a small locker or baskets under the ledges.  But when I was in Ikea to pick up said book ledges, I walked through the office section and saw a narrow desk that I thought could be perfect (the Besta Burs). I called home, asked the kiddo if he wanted a desk, and got a resounding “yes!”  Kind of brilliant to trick a kid into thinking a desk is his idea and really using it as an incentive for him to do homework.

kid study desk with book ledges

As for the book ledges, I thought about building and painting my own but it is hard to pass up already finished ledges from Ikea for less than $15 a pop.  So I didn’t.  The best part of the ledges is that all the books on them just add so much color to the room.  Kind of takes away from the gray-on-gray (walls and bunks) prison look we had going in here last week.

Ikea ribba book ledges

The nightstand situation required a little creativity.  An ordinary nightstand wouldn’t work because it would block the under-bunk drawers and would be useless for the top bunk.  Wall-mounted nightstands were the perfect solution.  Again, I found these wall cubes at Ikea that were super easy to put together and hang on the wall.  Basically, this post should have been titled “The Wall Ikea Built”.

striped duvet gray walls

white wall mounted nightstand

I feel like the cubes might be a little “blah” so I’m still playing with painting the back of them - dark gray? bright orange? or be lazy and do nothing?

In addition to the Ikea wall, we also added some new lighting.  Not from Ikea.  The kids got clip on bed lights (Land of Nod) which has helped facilitate late night sneak-reading.

wall mounted nightstands clip lamps

And we installed a new industrial-style ceiling light (Lamps Plus).

industrial three light cage ceiling mount fixture

Best part of this light is the cage all around it – necessary considering the number of balls flying in this boy’s room.  #twss

Okay, so that’s the wall of awesome.

book ledges and bunk beds

kid study desk with book ledges

Next up is actually bringing the sports into this supposedly sports-themed room.  Next week.

In the meantime, don’t forget to check out all the other great room transformations happening in just six weeks here!

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One Room Challenge: The Gray Bunk Beds Are In

We finished up the largest project for our One Room Challenge makeover of my six year old boy’s room: the gray bunk beds.  And I must say, they rock.

gray bunk beds with drawers and stairs Bunk Bed King

We built these for my son but both kids have been sleeping in the bunks ever since we finished them.  Seriously, hearing those two kiddos giggling and chatting as they go to sleep and when they wake up in the morning is pretty adorable.  It might even be worth spending several weeknights and part of the weekend dealing with ALL THE PIECES.

bunk bed pieces

And those are just some of them.  The good news is that these bunk beds are super sturdy.  They are made of solid wood, have about a million long screws and have been subjected to lots of kiddo antics all without falling apart.  One of the best things about building them was the instructions.  Maybe I’m just used to Ikea picture directions or even no instructions like for our kitchen cabinets, but these bunk bed instructions were really detailed.  Every single piece was labeled, making assembly easy (if time consuming).  First we put together the bed frames and threw them into the corner for a night.

gray bunk bed frame

Then we added the stairs.  And mattresses.

bunk bed frame with stairs

Um, that’s a lot of gray on gray on dull happening there.  Next, over the weekend I finished building the drawers.  It is unbelievable how much storage is in this thing!  It has three huge drawers in the stairs and two under the bed.

storage drawers under bed bed stairs

It even has a couple of sneaky cubbies on the side – which I discovered the kids were already using to play cars.

cubby storage in bunk beds

The stairs are great not just for storage but also for making the bed.  Instead of balancing on a ladder while I made the top bunk, it is pretty easy to use the stairs.  Also, having no ladder blocking the bottom bunk makes it much easier to make that one, too.  To keep things easy, I also went for fluffy bed covers that don’t have to be tucked in.  Lazy or brilliant – you decide.

solid wood gray bunk bed with stairs

So now that the bunk beds are in, it’s time to turn to the wall next to it and work on adding the book ledges.  And a new light fixture.  And color – this room needs color.

unfinished boys room

You can catch the mood board (and sources) for the room here to see where this is headed.  In the meantime, I’m just glad the kids are loving “their” bunk beds.

gray bunk beds with drawers and stairs Bunk Bed King

Anyone else go for bunk beds?  Or take the lazy approach to bedding?  These cozy bed sure are tempting for me to crawl into…maybe I need to sneak a nap!

P.S.  Don’t forget to check out the One Room Challenge updates here and here!

P.P.S.  I think our kitchen backsplash tile should arrive on Friday – I may have to start working on the kitchen again soon…

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One Room Challenge: Prepping and Painting

Right now I’m all over re-doing my boy’s room – sports town here we come.  I’m totally letting him plan his own room (with limited choices – duh) and along with sports, he wants all gray all the time.  On top of the gray bunk beds, he really wanted gray walls.  But before I could start painting, we had to do the prep work.  The first step was getting rid of all the unused toys.  After going through everything in the room, it wasn’t too surprising that the primary toys he wanted to keep were all sports-related.  By the way, I am totally going to crack up when he is anti-sports at age 16.  The first clean-up spot we tackled was his closet.  His closet is pretty awesome – big, interesting, sloped ceiling-ed, and a great play space for a kid.  But oh, so messy.

messiest closet ever

Those pics are proof that I am so about the reality, not the perfect “afters”.  Some people might be embarrassed to show messy life, but this is real and I am cool with that.

Mess aside, that closet used to be so much fun for the kids – when it was clean.  But around the holidays (10 months ago – eek!) we dumped a bunch of Christmas stuff in the closet and things never quite recovered.  The floor was covered with toys, play money, too-big and too-small clothes, and even leftover Halloween costumes.  So I cleared everything and then noticed the floors were seriously dinged up. I really wanted to paint the floors white (no surprise, I love our painted white bathroom and master closet floors) but again my kiddo picked a dark color.  We had painted the floors chocolate brown a few years ago but both time and toddlers took their toll.  So I just did a refresh with a couple of coats of fresh porch and floor paint.

repainted floors

 Then we moved the dresser in here.  It is such a great use of space – why did I never think about this before?  We don’t use the closet rod to hang clothes except for a couple of off-season coats, so using that space for a dresser opens up the bedroom and allows for more storage in the closet.  The shelves in the closet need to be organized, but things are looking up in here, indeed.

dresser in closet

Next up I went to work on the actual bedroom.  I piled everything in the middle of the room, patched up a bunch of holes, and then started painting the edges.

patching and painting green walls

clearing the room and edging

I love to vacuum the heck out of the usually hidden areas of the room so the vacuum in that last pic was in constant use.

The gray paint isn’t a a huge change in the room, but I like it so much better already.  After giving my kiddo a bunch of gray paint choices (the benefit of having lots of test pots of gray paint around) he picked Benjamin Moore London Fog.  I was happily surprised considering this is the same color we have all throughout the rest of our house (guest room, hallway, breakfast nook, entry).  Great minds…

And here you can see the fresh gray paint and fresh white baseboards, and a very sad mattress sitting on the floor after we Craigslisted the old Pottery Barn bed.  But what you can’t see are the freshly painted white doors.  Let me tell you, it is ridiculous how in just a few years kids can dirty up doors (and walls) sooo much.

london fog walls

Next up we are so onto building the bunk beds.  I mean, this kid can’t sleep on a mattress on the floor forever.  And we should probably also decorate.  A little.

I hope you stick around to see how the Fall 2014 One Room Challenge is going.  Follow along with a bunch of other folks linking up their one room challenges – I love seeing everyone’s ideas and am particularly loving watching those tackling a boy’s room, too:


Okay, wish me luck knocking out a new bunk bed this weekend…

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