A couple of days ago, Fluffy picked out some green and blue plaid panties instead of pink, and said, “I know we are making some changes around the house for the boys, so I thought I could wear these panties. Blue and green are boy colors, but girl colors, too.” Now that’s love.
Yes, gone are the pink floral decals from the rec room built-ins, and with them the pink crystal knobs in the shape of butterflies and flowers. Not that I banished pink or Pottery Barn Kids entirely. Fluffy actually had an enormous amount of say in the redecorating process. Her favorite colors are “pink and green and the rainbow colors,” so I had rainbows in the back of my mind. Then I saw these plastic cocktail forks in the party section of Target and knew we had a winner. It’s a perfect rainbow for a boy/girl playroom. Pink instead of orange, teal instead of violet. Balance.
The next trick was to work in chevrons and rainbows without actually painting a chevron wall or putting up rainbow decals which would be too obvious–or putting up a sign that said “rainbow chevrons” which would be too abstract. One of my exboyfriends would have loved that idea.
I wanted it to have some kind of twist. So why not use the actual forks for the chevron pattern? We experimented with various permutations of color and pattern.
In the end, this one below was Fluffy’s favorite, so this is what we went with for the back of the large space in the built-ins. I used white wrapping paper and glue dots to make the wall paper which I hung with no-damage wall tabs. Measuring and marking out the pattern took some thinking, some math and some effort, but no matter what Barbie says, girls can do math.
We also have a dry erase calendar in there, but I erased all our appointments for the picture because I don’t want you guys following us around all week. Seriously, stop it.
Now for the major component of the shelving system, the wicker bins. I’m not a huge fan of labeling. I just can’t see much of point in labeling a see-through bin “Gold Napkins” with little tags on each of the folded items within that say “Gold Napkin”. Moreover, with little kids, the crates change so frequently from rattles to teething toys to blocks to cars, etc, that I just don’t want to relabel that often. Besides, if I were being honest, half the crates would say “Toys” or “Miscellaneous”. I do love the numbering system though. My personal crates are 6 and 7. Fluffy’s art supplies are in 10. Musical instruments are in 4 and 5. You get it.
I found all the supplies for the bin labels at Michael’s. I painted the wooden tags white, then applied the stickers. These particular stickers had swirly white thingies on them that didn’t work for me, so I Sharpied those out. Then I applied these perfect rainbow rick-rack stickers from Martha Stewart. They remind me of dresses my mom sewed me as a child, and they work well with the plastic fork chevrons.
I also bought some enamel paints at Michaels and some white ceramic cabinet knobs at Home Depot to make the rainbow door pulls. Painting and curing the paint in the oven took several coats and a couple of days, but I love the way it turned out.
Fluffy and I ostensibly made the food-colored water bottles for St. Patrick’s day, but they work great in the play room as well.
My favorite little detail is the “play nice.” sign. Now whenever the boys are tormenting each other I can just point to the sign and…nothing happens. Not that I expected much. I have twin 21 month old boys, so “play nice” is more of a Platonic ideal than a practical reality. Surrounding the injuction with spiny plastic weapons is a little tongue-in-cheek. “Play nice” is what we strive for, but the forks are a wink that says, “Good luck with that.” Wait. Is my playroom snarky? I think my playroom has a bit of a ‘tude.
One of the partners at Kent’s firm sent us these benches for the boys with their names in removable rainbow letters, so they work great now. I even got a funky rag rug which the boys think is also a toy.
You may have noticed that I changed the photos in the gallery that hides all the DVDs and CDs from pictures from last Christmas to pictures from this Christmas. Progress.
Now, my pre-children self from 6 years ago would have cringed or cried to see anything so plastic, preschool-y and primary colored in my house, but the me of today kind of digs it. It’s, you know…fun. And there’s nothing wrong with fun. Good clean, fun that doesn’t wrinkle your shirt.
Most importantly, Fluffy is crazy about it. She wants to take it out behind the middle school and get it pregnant. (30 Rock, anyone?) Actually, what she wants is this rainbow chevron dress so she can become one with the playroom.
What do you think? Are you convinced? Are you running out to Target right now for cocktail forks? I fell so in love with those forks that I’ve lost all objectivity. If I had the money and intended to stay in this house for a while, I’d paper an entire room in plastic forks. I think I missed my calling as a Trading Spaces designer.