Child's Name and Age: Charlotte, 10 months (and the room is frequently shared on holidays and summers with cousin Kirsten, 6 years)
Location: Brookline, Massachusetts
Items used for the project and favorite part of the storage solution:
Four inexpensive and unfinished pine book shelves were purchased at a local hardware store that also sells cheap college furniture. Each book shelf had 3, 12"x12" cubes. Two shelves were placed on their side and connected one on top of the other with wood glue (and a few small nails to hold in place until the glue dries). This was repeated to form the two side cubicle units. These side units were placed on either side of the steam radiator, which needed to be covered up. The two units were connected with a piece of plywood drilled with a regular pattern of 1" holes to allow good air circulation but small enough to prevent children from sticking their hands on the radiator. Each hole was well sanded since plywood tends to splinter easily. The top between the two shelving units was connected by an open slat structure formed with several lengths of pine. The whole project was primed and painted to match the trim in the room to give a built-in look. This DIY project only took a few days and roughly 200 dollars..
The toy baskets are Tub Trug plastic feed buckets purchased online, orange ones are now available at the Apartment Therapy online store. Our favorite part of the solution is threefold. First, the space is accessible. Everything is within kid reach for easy play and cleanup. Even now the baby "gets" the idea of dumping a toy back in a bucket. Second, it's easily adaptable to the current interest. It's books and toys today, art work and craft stations tomorrow. We definitely plan to paint in a doll's "penthouse" one day. Third, it's easily shareable - separate cubbies and buckets for visiting cousins or future siblings.
Storage tip for families with children:
Everyday play storage should be simple and accessible. If the kids love it and use it, keep it in reach. Anything else, put it away for the proper occasion or better yet, donate it to someone who will love it and use it everyday.
Thanks for entering, JM!