DIY Playroom Workbench/ Storage Unit

DIY Playroom Workbench + Storage Unit  1 | Classy Glam Living

The new season brought to our house a series of organizational projects.  While the Mr. is busy finishing up our entryway drop zone storage unit, I should document another much-needed piece that he had completed.  That is, the sanity-saving storage unit for little man's playroom.

As mentioned here, we've dedicated the small bedroom beside little man's room as the playroom, which is a great idea so we can keep his toys contained in just one space.

The playroom is relatively small, and with an existing desk, there is not enough space for storage and small play table.  We needed a 2-in-1 piece here!  The toy storage unit was designed to provide a workbench (for Lego'ing) and storage pull-out bins underneath.  It's a similar idea to IKEA's pull out storage...

IKEA STUVA toy storage bench

IKEA STUVA toy storage bench

... and in combination with Restoration Hardware's rustic/ industrial toy storage activity table:

Restoration Hardware

Restoration Hardware

Restoration Hardware

Restoration Hardware

It's a simple industrial-inspired utilitarian piece that serves its purpose.  Nothing fancy.

The Mr. had previously completed the work bench portion of this unit, as posted here:

The storage bins were finished a while ago, and I'm so glad to finally be able to clean up the playroom (somewhat) to show you!

DIY Playroom Workbench + Storage Unit  3 | Classy Glam Living

The pull-out bins are just wooden boxes on castors.  Again, totally utilitarian, and something "easy" for the Mr. to put together.  The bins fit board games in #1, more Lego boxes in #2 and even Nerf guns in bin #3.

The entire unit was stained in Minwax Classic Grey, which is my favourite stain that gives a somewhat Restoration Hardware look.

DIY Playroom Workbench + Storage Unit  4 | Classy Glam Living

After the Mr. stained the bins, I stencilled the numbers (downloaded this font) on them using chalk paint.

DIY Playroom Workbench + Storage Unit  5 | Classy Glam Living
DIY Playroom Workbench + Storage Unit  6 | Classy Glam Living

I didn't want to spend too much on the bin pulls, and these are just right for my budget.  I like the thickness of this pull for little man's small hands, and this antique nickel finish is the perfect pewter for the piece.

DIY Playroom Workbench + Storage Unit  7 | Classy Glam Living
DIY Playroom Workbench + Storage Unit  8 | Classy Glam Living

Here's little man assembling another Lego set, making full use of the work bench.

DIY Playroom Workbench + Storage Unit  9 | Classy Glam Living

It's more practical to use bins on castors than drawers, so he can wheel them all the way out to maximize his workspace and leg room.

Well, I thought the playroom is done with the completion of this unit.  As little man grows up, his toys collection grows with him; specifically, his Lego collection.  It's just a waste to disassemble the kits and mix the pieces with everything else...  you know how pricey Lego kits are!  Just see how crammed all his Legos are on his bench in the photo above...  and those are not even all of them!

Instead of cramming his entire Lego collection on the work bench, we decided to install a display shelf on the opposite wall.  

I love the industrial vibe of this shelf and it goes well with the overall look of the playroom.

It's a good size for the wall that used to house a canvas art and art display frame:

Playroom Art display gallery wall | Classy Glam Living

For now, this wall shelf would be used to display his Lego collections and whatever he wants to showcase.  When he eventually grows out of his toys, the shelf can perhaps be used for books...  or other collections of "cool stuff".

Playroom CB2 Stretch Modular Wall Shelf | Classy Glam Living
Playroom CB2 Stretch Modular Wall Shelf | Classy Glam Living

And with this display shelf in place, we can finally call this playroom COMPLETE.  Many thanks again to the Mr. for building the storage unit, which is just the perfect size for this tiny room!

To see more of little man's space, here's the post of his big boy bedroom.  It was also featured on Shutterfly as one of 75 Cheerful Boys' Bedroom Ideas.  

Shop the post here:

We Need a Drop Zone!!! + Design Inspirations

This past weekend's gorgeous Spring-like weather has put me into cleaning mode.  But just like how this Spring tease won't stick around for long, neither would this "cleanliness" at our home.  The one main culprit is CLUTTER.  

Mail, papers, homeless decor items...

Mail, papers, homeless decor items...

One thing I'm not diligent with is dealing with all the papers that come through our door.  No matter how much I try to cut down on our paper trail, some are still inevitable.  At times (actually, most of the time), our dining table is a dumping ground for piles of papers and homeless decor items.  On the rare occasion that it's cleared off, I snap a photo for Instagram:

Dining Room | Classy Glam Living

It all comes down to the fact that I'm just not a good cleaner-upper.  Our main floor has no closed storage at all, except for our kitchen and cloak closet.  As much as I want to hide my keys and mail in a kitchen cupboard, it just doesn't make sense (and I better not start with that habit!).  I desperately need a place to temporarily put away these things!

What I need is a drop zone/ storage/ command centre by the entrance.  A designated spot where I can drop off my keys/ sunglasses as I walk through the door and hide the mail that I'll eventually attend to.  A place where I can store papers temporarily until I file/ shred them, and where I can have a simple filing system for our family.

At the home office of our old house, the lower right cabinet of this DIY built-in unit was my drop zone.  It wasn't ideal, since the office was on the second floor, and I just didn't drop off the stuff in there often enough...  ie. the stuff would linger on our kitchen counter back then.

Home office | Classy Glam Living

At our current house, there's a perfect spot for a multi-purpose drop zone right by our garage entrance.  It's an empty corner beside our seating area; a space that's only 32" wide, where we put out our Christmas tree.

Our designated drop zone

Our designated drop zone

When it's not Christmas time, it's literally a drop zone...

It's a drop zone in reality, and I hate it.

It's a drop zone in reality, and I hate it.

So, as usual, I flipped through Pinterest for design inspirations to make this little space of our main floor more functional and presentable.  What I get are very out-in-the-open, in-your-face kind of drop zones/ command centres.  I see designs of...

1. mudrooms...  It's beautiful, but we don't need a closet that's out in the open.  

2. gorgeous built-in command centres/ work stations in the kitchen.  Unfortunately, our kitchen isn't designed with this purpose.

Drop zone inspirations | kitchen work station | Classy Glam Living

3. gallery walls of command centre.  These products are beautifully designed, but it looks too busy for my liking.

Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn

Pottern Barn

Pottern Barn

My preference is to have our drop zone blend in with our seating area, such that it appears to be more of a decorative element than an actual "drop zone".  Most recently, Jen at Rambling Reno also added a drop zone of a similar idea at her new house.  I wish we had addressed our need of a drop zone early on like she did when we first moved in.  

These beautiful inspirations show how drop zones can be functional and beautiful:

Simple, right?  It's basically just a dresser, or so I thought.  I wanted to limit the depth of the unit to a max of 15", so that it's not in the way of the window by too much.  That proved to be a problem in finding a piece at the right size.  

Anything that's at around 15" in depth is the height of a side table, which is around 28"-30".  That would look too short for our 9' ceiling.  I need a piece that's at counter height of 36", but it automatically becomes the depth of a dresser at 18-20".  That's too far out for the little nook.  

Could it be that a piece that fits our dimensions and budget does not exist?  The simplest things are always the hardest to find!

Seems like I've no choice but to add this drop zone unit to the Mr.'s to-build list.  Check back soon, as I'll talk about the design of this DIY unit next!