Once upon I time (ahem, before having kids) I thought of all the pretty things I could put in this one open corner of our living/dining/everything room. A gilded vintage bar cart! A cool hanging chair! As the years went by and the kids slowly took the space over, our priorities obviously changed. (And to think my original toy plan was all monochromatic and wooden items, ha!) The naivety of new parents. Now, the reality is it’s still a bonafide toy zone but it doesn’t, at least most of the time, look like it. We’ve tried fancying it up over the years, with a modern teepee, a reclaimed blanket box, but now they’ve outgrown those we came up with a new setup. And like most things you come to realize as an adult with kids, compromise is key.
Now we embrace the toys. Here’s how:
Find nice storage baskets
A few years ago we rented a brownstone in Brooklyn and I fell in love with these baskets that were all over the kids play area and used for toy storage. Naturally, I
sourced hunted them down here in Canada via a distributor’s old Facebook thread. They are called Iringa baskets and come from Tanzania. They are handmade out of milulu grass and the colour naturally changes over time. I ordered five! They’re also great for blankets or in bathrooms if your toy situation is nothing like ours, or even non-existent.
Invest in a leafy plant
Okay, okay, I know people say that plant ladies are the new cat ladies but I still love the hit of green a houseplant gives. Plus, I grew up with a sunroom full of green houseplants so they’re kind of nostalgic to me. We’ve (and by we, I mean my husband) managed to keep our Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant alive since last March. The trick is lots of natural sunlight and a self watering bulb!
Keep things organized
I’m constantly evaluating the items that are corner-worthy. Any junkie toys like the stuff from McDonald’s, etc. gets tossed/donated after the novelty wears off. I’m even teaching the girls to minimize their own stuff after a few failed attempts at creating a donation bag only to find them pulling things back out. Again, compromise is key.
Have any great storage tips you’d like to share?