Our Playroom Makeover in 6 Steps

The girls and I spend a lot of time in our playroom, located in the FROG (finished room over garage) of our home. I wanted to make over this space into something cozier and less cluttered for us. I especially wanted to repaint the walls in order to freshen things up and finally conceal a spackled repair (see it there?) from months ago.

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Here’s what we did for our playroom makeover. We’re so happy with how it turned out. Little G in particular loves her “new” room.

1. I cleared out the clutter. The playroom is a play space, not a storage space. Home-improvement articles stress this principle. So keeping it in mind, I put away non-toys (like that bright green container, filled with toddler clothes). I also edited the toy collection to just those that Little G plays with the most (we’ll rotate you back out again soon, Big Bear and Mr. Giraffe!). And I threw out the junk, such as empty sticker sheets and dried-out markers.

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2. Next, Little G and I selected a new paint color. We had a mother/daughter date at Lowe’s while my hubby played with Baby G at home. My goal: a warm yet neutral color. Little G, meanwhile, had her heart set on hot pink with purple polka dots.

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Our compromise: Sunbaked by Valspar.

P.S. Who comes up with the names for paint colors? What a cool job! I was tempted to select Sugar & Cream based on the name alone … but Sunbaked was the right choice for us. 🙂

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3. We had the room painted. A lovely lady I know (a “Jane of all trades”) did the job for us, and did it wonderfully. Here’s a before picture:

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And an “after”:

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4. We “partitioned” the room as best we could. The playroom doubles as the guest bedroom for visiting family and friends. So the hubby tucked the bed over on the left side of the room—the newly designated “guest bedroom space.” And we set up a cozy reading corner for Little G under the window, where the bed previously was. We also moved the toys over to that part of the room, the newly designated “playroom space.”

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5. Something else I moved: the picnic table. It had been downstairs in the living room, but I’m trying to limit the amount of plastic furniture on the first floor. 🙂 Both Little G and I love the picnic table’s new home in the playroom. We have so much fun coloring together when Baby G is napping, and it will be refreshing to enjoy this activity together in this fresh “new” room.

6. My last task: hanging up some art. Two friends recently told me about these Command picture-hanging products. I’m excited to give them a try.

There you have it, friends: our playroom makeover in six steps. Good luck with your own room renovations!


Like what you just read? Then check out Melissa Leddy’s e-books, available on Amazon.com. Writing at its most heartfelt.

Nostalgia for Last Summer

The other day, my girls and I went on a lunch date. Our destination: Pam’s Patio Kitchen, my favorite local lunch spot in San Antonio.

Pam’s is located just a few stop signs away from the neighborhood swimming pool that Little G and I swam in virtually every day last summer. “Little G, do you remember what’s over there?” I asked, pointing farther along the street.


“Don’t you remember, honey? The pool from last summer?”



But I could tell my daughter’s 3-year-old memory wasn’t as good as my 32-year-old one. Meanwhile, 5-month-old Baby G squealed from her car seat, reminding us that she was there, too. She doesn’t like to be left out of things.

But Baby G wasn’t here last summer, and for a moment, I felt a flicker of nostalgia for that time in my life, when everything seemed so much easier. There was just one child to take care of. She slept through the night. I had more time to write; I had just finished “The Moms,” in fact.

And I could still wear a swimsuit. Yes, I gave birth five months ago, but my post-baby bump is still startlingly visible. It will be some time before I feel comfortable in a swimsuit again, friends.

Last summer, I felt comfortable in everything I was doing. Baby G, though, has forced me to push the reset button. For starters, I’m rereading (whenever I can) “What to Expect the First Year”—I barely remember any of it, thanks to the first round of sleep deprivation with Little G. And in some ways, I’m forging a new mother/daughter relationship with Little G. This summer, for example, I’ve said to her (more than once), “I’m so sorry I raised my voice to you. I am just so tired.”

Little G looks me in the eye. “It’s OK, Mom. You can do better next time.”

We didn’t have these kinds of conversations last summer. I’m hoping, though, that our conversations now are richer, with the added layers of compromise and forgiveness, give and take. And if they’re not … I’m sure Little G will let me know when she’s older. 🙂 (I’m a firstborn daughter, too. I know how it goes!)

I remember when Baby G was born. Everything was so much easier with her than with my older daughter. All because I had already done it all once before. And because of that first experience, I was conscious, this second time, to appreciate everything more. To hold Baby G longer. To sing “Goodnight Sweetheart” slower. To take our time.

Pam’s, the pool, last summer … The nostalgia I felt, I think, was really an awareness that time moves fast. Even when days feel long, time is skipping forward until this summer, this season, becomes last year’s.

Unless that is nostalgia—“That it will never come again / Is what makes life so sweet” (Emily Dickinson).


Like what you just read? Then check out Melissa Leddy’s e-books, available on Amazon.com. Writing at its most heartfelt.