Playroom Alphabet Wall

dsc_0470When I set out to create a playroom fit for a king, I knew I wanted to create a colorful alphabet wall after seeing some ideas of it being used in nurseries on Pinterest.  And, I absolutely love how it turned out!

It is hard to shop around for all different style and sized letters so I bought the unfinished letters on Etsy.  Before painting them, I laid out the letters how I wanted them mounted on the wall.  This helped plan which color to paint which letters so that I wouldn’t end up with the same color too close to each other. This step actually sounds a lot easier than it was.  I painted them with acrylic paint that you can get from any craft store.  I also stained a couple of letters.  The painting/staining did take some time as you have to do multiple coats and get all of the edges covered.

To mount the letters, I didn’t want to mount them directly to the wall because I didn’t want a million little nail holes in our newly finished basement walls, so we decided to mount the letters to plywood and then mount the plywood to the wall.  I used 1/4 plywood and added moulding around the edge to create a framed look.  I painted the plywood and the moulding the same color as the wall, Benjamin Moore White Dove.  I then used liquid nails to attach the letters to the plywood.  Once that was dry, my husband mounted the entire board to the wall.

A Playroom Fit for a King

I recently shared my finished basement dreams and, as promised, here are the details on Part 1 of the project. We wanted Henry to have a playroom that he will love and where he will be free to do whatever he wants.  And, let’s be honest, the OCD in me wanted a room to contain all of his toys so that they don’t take over my family room.

As a reminder, here is what the finished area of our basement looked like before…

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Playroom (from listing photo)

I absolutely love how it turned out and I hope Henry will love it too as he gets older and plays down there every day.  Here is a list of the updates we made:

  • Expanded the room about 5 ft in length, adding about 65 sq. ft. We also added another entry that will lead to the laundry/mud room.  There will be a sliding barn door between the two rooms once Part 2 of the project is completed…can’t wait!

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    New Playroom Wall

  • Added a storage closet.  We still need to add some shelving in there, but we are waiting on a good sale because I didn’t realize how expensive it can get.
  • Replaced the windows.  The old ones were painted shut so they weren’t very useful.
  • Replaced the carpet.  We went with this Stainmaster carpet from Lowes.  We also went with the upgraded pad and I’m glad we did because you spend a lot of time on the floor with a baby.
  • Boxed in the support post with cedar wood planks.  These are stained with Miniwax walnut stain.
  • Painted.  The walls are painted Benjamin Moore White Dove.  I wanted to keep it light since it is a basement and it doesn’t get too much natural light despite having windows.  We also painted a chalkboard wall.  It has been a big hit with other kids that have visited so far, but Henry is still too little to enjoy it. Hopefully he remembers he can only write on one wall!
  • Created a craft nook.  I still want to add some wall storage to hold crayons, markers, pencils, etc and a way to display art.  I like these FINTORP containers from IKEA and these magnetic containers from the Container Store.  Since Henry isn’t quite doing crafts yet, I have a little time to finish up this area.

Although there are still some finishing touches that need to be done, I’m going to call Part 1 finished!  Here are some pictures during the project.

…and the finished product!

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Finished Basement Dreams

When we moved into our house over 2 ½ years ago, there weren’t too many major projects we needed/wanted to take on immediately.  We painted a lot (one more room to go!), did some small DIY projects around the house to make it our own, spent a lot of time doing some landscaping and gardening and replaced the furnace and had central A/C installed.  The bathrooms were already all updated.  The kitchen, although it is not my dream kitchen, was already somewhat updated and is perfect especially after getting a gas stove.  I do have plans for it if I win the lottery someday or if anyone wants to donate a new kitchen to me and I will promise to blog about it…a girl can dream :).  The only thing we (or I) really wanted to do eventually was finish more of the basement and create my dream laundry/mud room that I had to give up on when we bought the house.

Well if you have been reading my blog, you know that we recently had a baby boy.  Last summer when we found out we were pregnant we decided it was time to give the green light on this project.  The basement had a small finished area, but we wanted the space to be a little bigger so that it could be a playroom where we could hide all of the toys and crap that a baby comes with.  The way the room was designed we couldn’t get a couch down there and after trying every angle to move the couch I finally understood why the previous owners offered to sell us the custom bench they built down there.  I felt like I was in that episode of Friends when Ross is trying to move the couch up the stairs…PIVOT!

In addition to making the playroom bigger and actually useful, we also decided to build me that dream laundry/mud room.  Our laundry is currently in the unfinished basement and although I didn’t mind going up and down to do laundry (except when I was 8 months pregnant), I did mind the dirtiness of it no matter how many times I swept and cleaned.  We are still leaving a large area unfinished for storage and a workbench area for my husband.

Part 1 of the project, the playroom, is done and Part 2, the laundry/mud room, is sooooo close to being done.  But, to be honest, things slowed way down once Henry came along!

Here is the original floorplan and the new floorplan.

Original Floorplan

New Floorplan

And, here are some before pictures.

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Laundry Room Area

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Laundry Room Area

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Playroom (from listing photo)

Check back to see the finished playroom and a status update on that dream laundry/mud room of mine!