Before & After: Child Activity Table & Chair Set

This child-size table and chairs are perfectly functional, but not particularly inviting, especially for an almost-3-year-old just getting his artistic legs. For Christmas this year Taylor and Aaron collaborated on a colorful makeover sure to inspire their son's creativity.

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Taylor tells us what spurred the set's purchase for their son, Kaspar:

It was inspired by a photo his teacher sent to us from school one afternoon. In it, Kaspar sat at a small table, wielding child-proof scissors and carefully cutting a piece of paper into a million little bits. Beneath the pic, his teacher typed: "He focused on this work for a full twenty minutes!" I regularly set up activities for Kaspar at our kitchen table, at home, and he's always excited when I do. But if he had a little space to call his own, with creative materials to choose from, I know he'd dive in and get his paper-cutting (etc.) groove on independently.

A quick Craigslist purchase and a trip to an environmentally-focused hardware store for materials and Taylor and Aaron had what they needed to begin their project. Taylor did the utilitarian painting while Aaron, an artist and illustrator, handled the decorative painting. We're sure it was a big hit with their son on Christmas morning! As Taylor notes, "I can't wait to see his face when he first sees his very own workspace. And I look forward to admiring all of the and masterpieces (and shredded-paper messes) he creates there."

• Read more and get a better view of the chairs at: Alt-Mama

(Images: Taylor Hengen Newman of Alt-Mama)

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Family, Before & After, Customizing

As Apartment Therapy's Family Editor, Carrie covers design and modern homelife with children. A lapsed librarian, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids and is in contention to break the record for most hours spent at the playground.