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New Year, New Stuff! Our Nursery Storage Makeover

By January 12, 2015 DIY, Nursery No Comments

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with loved ones and enjoyed a much needed breather before the craziness that a new year brings with it hit.

We had a great Christmas. A couple of weeks beforehand we went to spend the day with family in Sydney and had an early Christmas with them which was lovely. Then we had a lovely dinner with dear friends of ours a couple of days before Christmas prior to them travelling to be with their own family. Finally, Christmas day arrived and we played with the presents we had given our little girl for her very first Christmas! We spent the day with the rest of our family and it was easy and relaxed.
Our daughter loved all the beautiful presents she was given and has been giving all of them a work out, most people were very helpful and stuck to one or two gifts and we are pleased to report Christmas was a success… but then we got everything home.
Now don’t get me wrong. Not all of her things are from Christmas and we were already facing a little bit of “baby stuff overload”. We have been very blessed to have been given many beautiful things for our little girl since day one (or before) and we live in an old federation era house with no storage… none at all, so this day was always going to come. What we needed was a storage makeover (is it a makeover if you begin with nothing? Is it more of a blitz? you know what I mean).
Here is our starting point, please note our brilliant system of stacking books and pictures on the windowsill and toys on the floor (sorry about the bad lighting):
So our aim was obviously to find somewhere to keep everything, but I also wanted to have a space that would be functional, that our girl wouldn’t outgrow for a few years and that looked good.
I did a bit of Pinterest stalking (as you do) and found several ideas for a library wall and also some for cube storage turned into a bench… these both looked great to me and would work well as we have a large wall with nothing on it to fill. I decided to combine these ideas and have a bench with storage cubes at the bottom and bookshelves above it to display all her books. The lovely wingback chair would stay in the corner and the area would become a reading nook and play area… that was my plan!
Hubby wasn’t so excited when I told him about the plan and really wasn’t keen on building it all from scratch for me so a bit more googling and I found these great picture ledge shelves from Ikea, designed for holding frames, but perfect for kid’s books. I also found this basic storage cube and matching boxes at Ikea for toy storage:
Next we (hubby) put the ledges up on the wall and nutted out the spacing so that there would be enough room for all the taller books and the storage unit would fit underneath lying on it’s side. I also wanted it low enough that when she was a bit older, our little sweetheart could get to some of her books and her toys on her own as well.
Now, it could be finished here and it would look good, but as I mentioned we live in a federation era home and all the nursery furniture is old so we didn’t want our new storage area to look like it didn’t belong. We just went to Bunnings and got some cheap pre-primed architrave & moulding and used it as trim around the top and bottom of the storage unit to make it look a bit like an old cupboard (sort of) and ran it around the outside of the shelving.
We gave the storage unit a bit of a scuff, primed it and then painted everything (just the outsides, you won’t see the insides and the laminate gives a nice wipe-clean finish which is great for a kid’s room) with normal interior paint – it may even have been left over ceiling paint from the shed… shhhh 😉
*A quick note on painting laminate and melamine furniture – you need to give it a bit of a scuff with some sandpaper, not a proper sand, just scuff it up a little bit and then clean the dust off. I discovered through my googling you must also use a primer which is not water based, we used Zinsser B.I.N shellac based – it is awesome stuff. It does say you don’t need to sand, but do it anyway or the paint won’t stick to the plastic-ky coating on the shelves. This is the tutorial I found most helpful: Little Green Notebook Ikea Makeover
Here is our finished product, It fits all the toys, I can sort them and also rotate which toybox we get out when she’s getting bored. Plus the books! I love being able to see them all and it makes me want to sit and read with our little bookworm. I’m pretty darn happy with it in case you couldn’t tell!
PS… I promise to improve my photography skills before my next photo blog post!

Author Mel Watson

Mel is the mum of a gorgeous little toddler/monster (depending on exactly which personality is in play at any given time), a wife, sister, part time-employee and full time business owner with her sister Alison at Two Grey Elephants.

Mel loves helping other busy mums (and dads, grandparents, uncles, aunties and friends) to find beautiful, well-crafted and appropriate gifts for their little ones. Mel is also committed to supporting small handcrafters and people making an effort to make the world a better, fairer place through fair trade and respectful work conditions and sustainable practices.

More posts by Mel Watson

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