apple Our Fifth House: Creating An Art Center

Monday, May 7, 2012

Creating An Art Center

There was a weird wall in our basement that had been somewhat of a design dilemma.  So for the past two years that we've lived here I've just left it blank.


One night I snapped the above photo and decided I could no longer handle the ugliness of this unused space.  I'm a big believer in using every inch of your home.  Well, it only took me two years, but I finally figured out how to use this weird wall space.  The overall goal for our basement is to create a family space where we can all hang out together - watch movies and play games - basically we want it to be a family cave.  What the kids could really use down there right now is an art center.  They both love to draw and color, so I gave them their own creative space.


 I picked up two inexpensive coffee tables (Target) to use as desks since this wall has an odd shape because of the staircase.  Standard desks would have made the wonky wall look, well, even more wonky.  Instead there's lots of wall space above the coffee tables and it feels a lot more fun too!  Who wouldn't want to sit on one of those poufs (also Target) while they're coloring?! 



I framed a bunch of their artwork.  Most of these frames I already had.  



The hand print canvases they made for me last Mother's Day.  

I had some stencil fun with this lamp shade that I already had (the base of the lamp is another Target find.). 


I'm not going to lie, crayons make me ridiculously happy.  When I was kid, the best thing in the world to me was getting a new box of crayons.  I'm not kidding.  Seriously, ask my mom!  Anyhow, I'm a big fan of the new style - the twistables which I put in an old Ikea planter (pictured above); but nothing beats the original.  

Those are just glass votives I already had.  They're the perfect size for old school crayolas. 

I wanted the kids to have a place to hang their newest creations, so I used some scrap pieces of wood to make a couple of art hangers.  It was an easy 3 step diy project - 1. sand scrap wood pieces, 2. paint them white, 3. gorilla glue clothespins on them, and voila - art hangers.  I attached them to the wall with command strips. 


Yep, it's all Star Wars and ponies up in here.  Man, I love my kids!

And they love this new space!


Never mind the step ladder in the background, I'm working on the windows next.  ;) 



Yoda was right - truly wonderful the mind of a child is.  These little hands create such beautiful things.  I want to encourage their creativity, and this art center is so much nicer to look at than that blank, boring wall. 



Have you put any unused spaces to work in your home lately?  Was anyone else obsessed with crayons when they were a kid?  




*Linking up at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, At The Picket Fence, Savvy Southern Style, Home Stories A to Z, Tip Junkie, Thrifty Decor Chick

41 comments:

  1. Loving this. What a great use of space. Great job.

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  2. Love this space and I'm sure your kids do to. The poufs are great and the coffee tables work perfectly as desks. Another brilliant idea!!

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  3. It's perfect, Carmel! I think it does wonders for a kid's self-esteem to see their work appreciated by adults. I'm sure many more masterpieces will be produced in your kiddos' workspace!

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  4. it looks awesome!!! what a fun and creative space! our basement is the playroom and we have an art area set up but i really need to organize better.

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  5. New crayons and a fabulous pouf for my chair, I'd be there for hours! It would be fabulous for kiddos, too! :) What a great use of your space!

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  6. I love this area, especially the pours!

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  7. That would be poufs not pours.....

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  8. What a great use of space! Those poufs look so fun to sit on and the crayons in the votive make me happy. I LOVE crayons even now....I try and bribe the bubs to color but he's not really into it and then he leaves to play something else and I'm still coloring. ;) Every year in my Christmas stocking I would get a big box of crayons and a coloring book. Hubby has continued this tradition for me, it makes me happy!

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  9. Elizabeth BehfneldtMay 7, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    New follower here and love your ideas. How perfect is this art center!!!!! I have to ask though - did you get the Target poufs and tables recently? I looked online for them and no luck.

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    1. Yes - the poufs are on clearance right - in store only - $34.99 originally $49. The tables are similar to the Ikea lack tables. I think they're only sold in stores too. My store always has them - and they have night stands in this same style but lots of different colors.

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  10. Carmel! This is so adorable!! My kids would love this- now just to find the spot to do so. And I LOVe the poufs!!

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  11. This is the perfect spot. It looks great.

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  12. LOVE IT! I would have killed for a setup like this as a kid :)
    Can I come over and color with your kiddos? haha

    I love how the artwork looks, too. This space just screams "home" <3

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  13. SUCH a great art center! Love the pouffs - how fun for your kiddos?? This makes me miss having a need for such a space in our house anymore…..my kids outgrew this age and their mother did not!
    Target is really stepping it up lately isn't it? Looks great Carmel.

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  14. Carmel!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE. You created such an inspiring and fun place for the kids to create. I am a sucker for old school crayons as well. I simply love them. Great idea with the coffee tables and poufs. Me likey.

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  15. I think this is fantastic Carmel!! My daughter is constantly handing me her art work and I've run out of room on my refridgerator. This will give me a great place for her to display her work and have her get involved in editing which pieces she wants to be displayed. Otherwise I think our house would be covered in pictures of my little pony and hello kitty.

    I'm totally going to Pin this!
    Casey

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  16. LOVE this new space!! Such a great idea!! I would think about doing this in my own home if my kids were a little bit older! I'm confident that Griffin would grab those crayons & start coloring all over my walls if they were just out in the open like that!! Haha!! I love those poufs from Target & the gallery wall of the kids' art above the desk!! Brilliant my friend!!

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  17. Probably the best investment of space *EVER*! You know that is going to be used to death...and anything that keeps the little ones occupied is FANTASTIC in my book! (c:

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  18. This space looks great! What a perfect art center and I love how you made use of a previously unused space. And the best part is the kids' smiles - can't beat that! :-)

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  19. That's awesome! What a great fun space for the kids and for the house!

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  20. Great use of an awkward space! The kids look so cute coloring there. One of the great things about your house is that it looks imperfectly lived-in, with a glamorous touch. I mean that as a huge compliment! Thanks for sharing. :-)

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  21. Such an awesome idea! Love the little tables and poufs! Anytime you display a child's artwork, you see them swell with pride! Great job! The kids look like they LOVE it!
    xo-Lisa

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  22. What an awesome space for your kiddos, Carmel! I love what you did, and you can tell by their smiles, they do too. Love the poufs too! I'm up in Canada, originally from California, and can not wait until next Spring when we finally get Target! Yippeee! =)

    ~ Catie

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  23. Thanks everyone! New masterpieces are being made every day now. ;)

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  24. What a cute idea! It looks so cozy I think I would even blog at the art center!

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  25. Great ideas with the Target coffee tables and poufs! Pinned it to my kids room board!

    Chris

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  26. This is beyond perfect! Those little loves are having so much fun in their "studio"!

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  27. I love this!!! What an awesome way to use a formerly useless wall!! I bet your kids are loving it as well!

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  28. This is a wonderful space, it's amazing how much kids will create if we make a space for them. Great use of the area! I'm creating over at http://www.twelveoeight.blogspot.com/ and a new reader- Tanya :)

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  29. Carmel, this is so cute. I know you kids will enjoy this space.

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  30. That looks just awesome Carmel! It is such a creative way to utilize that space and it is pretty fantastic. :-) Thanks so much for sharing it at Inspiration Friday this week!
    Vanessa

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  31. I am totally with you on the crayon love:-) Love this cute space. You did a fantastic job!

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  32. This is SO cute! My daughter would be over the moon with a space like this! Wonderful idea - functional AND stylish! A hard thing to come by with kid's spaces!

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  33. Carmel- I love it! And how did I miss your new blog design? Must have been inspired by your color my world projects:)

    The low desks with poufs are just too cute! I am also a huge fan of the twistable crayons, my kis (almost 3 and 4.5) are so young that the regular crayons always get broken and then smushed underfoot!

    Jessica
    stayathomeista.com

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  34. Great lookin little center! Wish our crayons looked like that!!

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  35. We have a similar set up in our home office for our five year old twins. They love it! Just curious, what do you and your kiddos do with the piles of art work that accumulate over time. Mine make pictures for hours, and we just can't keep them all (but I can't throw them either.) Do you have a sorting or filing system? THanKs!

    Laura

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  36. This is the coolest idea ever!!!

    7eventh Letter
    www.whatsmoreimportantthanfashion.com

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  37. What a great idea !! My little girl would love those stencils your kids are using. Do you happen to know what kind they are? I haven't had much luck finding anything a 4 year old could use...

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    1. I think I bought them at Rite Aid a couple years ago - not sure of the brand?

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  38. Congrats on your Apartment Therapy feature!

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  39. You bet I did! A couple of weeks ago, I transformed the boring wall I stare at daily, as a work-at-home writer. Check it out! http://eaturbanana.blogspot.com/2013/06/useful-beautiful-at-home.html

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Be nice or I'll tell your mom! xoxo -C

 
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