Friday, November 16, 2012

Game Center for Kids & Pop Art Review

We had what I'll refer to as a "game situation" in the basement.  Since I don't have a good before picture, I'll try to describe the hideousness.  We had a pile of board games thrown on the floor of the coat closet (you know the one that I'm hoping to turn into a mudroom - someday), many of the boxes were broken and some of the game pieces were missing.  It sounds a lot less crazy than it actually was.  Every time I opened those closet doors there it was - the game chaos - just screaming in my face.

Enter the blank basement wall.......

and a trip to Ikea......

never mind my son's ds charging over there
that actually happened way back on Memorial Day weekend.  Yeah, um, I've had this red expedit sitting in a box in my basement since Memorial Day.  I have no idea why I'm so lazy - I just am.  Then the other night, bam, energy hit me like a lightning bolt, and I decided I'm gonna put this dang thing together already!  So I did.

And then I pulled the game chaos out of the closet, put my big girl pants on and powered through.  This my friends is why the after dinner coffee can be a good thing.  I didn't get to bed until 1 am, but the game chaos has now officially been calmed down.  As my 6 yr. old says, "Ta-da!"

kids game center

Am I predictable or what?  My first Expedit - and it's red.  ;)  It's an obsession people.  I was honestly surprised at how ridiculously easy it was to put together.  I'm kind of kicking myself now for not putting it together sooner.

As for how I got all of our games organized, I typically organize in phases.

Phase 1 is where it gets pretty ugly.  (Yes - we have an air hockey table  - i will school you - so you better bring it).  The broken boxes were tossed.  I went through each and every game to discover that we actually had all of the pieces they just weren't in the right boxes.  Not surprised.

In phase 2 you start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I used ziploc bags and my label maker to group games/ cards that no longer had boxes.  And yes, we have the Star Wars version of Monopoly - so booyah!

And phase 3 is my favorite.  Pack it up, pack it in, let me begin - yep, you can start happy dancing to House of Pain's Jump Around because you're done-zo!

red ikea expedit storage

The wire baskets are holding all of my hubs old comic books (they're not actually worth anything, and the kids love looking through them).  I used some felt furniture pads on the bottom to keep them from scratching.

The 2 larger board games that no longer have boxes and didn't fit inside the baskets I placed on top and labeled with chalkboard vinyl.

All of the accessories are things I already had.  These lamps are the ones that used to be in the hubs office.  The one new piece is the pop art I received from All Pop Art.

pop art

They graciously offered to send me a piece of pop art to review (it's a nice blogger perk).  If you've never heard of All Pop Art, they offer cool pop art portraits made from your photos.  I had a hard time deciding what picture to send them for this.  Then as I was looking back through photos of our spring break trip I found this photo of a rose that I took at Parrot Mountain.

This is a special photo for me not only because it reminds me of a great vacation with my family but also because it was my "aha" moment in learning about aperture (low f = fuzzy background).  This photo turned into pop art is so fun and perfect for this space.

pop art

All Pop Art is an easy site to navigate; and there are so many options so it's easy to really customize your art to what you want.  These would make really unique gifts with pictures of your kids and pets too!  Or you can create your own special vacation souvenir like I did.  Thanks All Pop Art for the perfect finishing touch to our new game center.

To give you a better idea of what's going on in the basement, the game center is right next to the art center.  The basement is basically one giant rectangle so I've broken it into zones - play area/ tv watching area/ eating area.  I still need to do a few things in the play zone, but it's moving along - slowly but surely.

Do you have a game center?  Where do you store your games?  Have you ever played Trivial Pursuit Totally 80's?!  Because it's awesome!  Like put your roller skates on and tease your hair awesome!

P.S.  The mirror and peace sign hand were HomeGoods finds from back in the summer.  And yes, the peace sign hand looks a lot like the one on The Voice - that's why I bought it.  ;)

P.P.S. I only do reviews for products that I think you will appreciate.  I'm 100% honest and wasn't paid to give my opinion.  


  1. Dude, so impressed with how quickly you pulled all of that together. It looks awesome! Digging the red :) I put one down in our basement (around Memorial Day) but still haven't organized all the junk I wanted to toss in it. It's just sitting there. I want to get on it after seeing yours. Gonna bust out my label maker too, I just love that thing.

  2. AMAZING!!! You have the best transformations!!!

  3. that really looks awesome! i bet your kids really love hanging out in the game center now!!

    question - where did you get those pretty brown baskets?


  4. I love it Carmel! I too can't get enough of Ikea. There stuff is usually a pain to put together, but I do love the way it looks in the end :)

  5. Pack it up pack it in. . you came to win. LOVE. As you know I am slightly addicted to the Expedit. And the mirror above is perfect {super cute pop art as well}. And I spy an air hockey table. Had I known that, I would have knocked on your door a long time ago. I have mad skills.

  6. I need some organization like this for my basement too. I've been mulling over my options, measuring, imagining…..and that's as far as I've gotten in the 11 months since our basement was finished! The red expedit looks great down there - a fun pop of color and fabulous organization.

  7. I've never seen a red expedit! How cool! I'm crazy for your organization and those lamps!

  8. i think i need you to come organize my house! and i love the artwork- so fun!!!

  9. That looks like a million bucks! What a fun and organized little area. The mirror is amazing!

  10. Can you tell us where the wire baskets came from?? I've been on the hunt for some for my living room!!!

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