Real Life in the Living Room

We truly live in our living room.  This is where we hang, where we entertain, where we play.  So the challenge of incorporating the things that come with having a baby and now toddler into this space was a bit of a challenge.  Before I had her, I did not realize that toys were more for the parents than the child. I suppose that is an obvious point but it had just never occurred to me.

for the renovation obsessed, here is the scary before

After a bit of struggle, I think I've finally struck a good balance between function and form.  While it's not magazine perfect by any means, it still feels open and organized while having lots of entertaining options to keep Aggie busy. Sure it feels like a Toys R Us threw up in here sometimes but at least it only takes a few moments to put things away.

The sideboard behind the couch is stuffed with baby accessories and pajamas since dragging her up and down the stairs to change is less than ideal.  Maybe this will change as she gets older and can dress herself but for now it works for us and no one is the wiser.

Repurposed Play Table | www.brooklynlimestone.comPlay Kitchen Renovation |

You already know about the play table and play kitchen.  She uses that every single day so having it where she can get the most use of it just makes sense.

Finally the toy chest - the biggest concession by far - was definitely a good decision that took me far too long to make.  This book and toy storage piece holds so much stuff, is the perfect height for "self serve" and clean up, is not terrible on the eyes and is a steal at less than $100.  Before I broke down and got this piece we were using these 3 Sprouts storage bins which are also great for just toys but I wanted her to be able to grab books as well.

What do you think?  For those of you with one living space and kids, what are your solutions for a happier life?


  1. You've found the perfect solution to having a child's play area in an adult room. Especially like you toy box solution. My great granddaughter is only 4 months but this will be her birthday gift next winter. They live in base housing with bedrooms on the 2nd floor. They also have to keep relocation in mind when planning. I'm already working on a littl kitchen for her from a repurposed piece of furniture. Could you share your source for the little cookware?

    1. Thanks! The pots were given to us so I don't know the brand but I think this is the same set:
      Metal Pots and Pans Kitchen Cookware Playset for Kids with Cooking Utensils Set

      As an alternate, we've always really liked the Melissa & Doug products and these are pretty similar as well Melissa & Doug Let's Play House! Pots Pans Set

  2. I think that a home should be lived in and be for everyone.. so I love when I see toys in a living room. I currently have a hockey net set up in my playroom. I don't have a basement and there has been snow all over the ground so my sports boy set up in the playroom. And you know what? I love it. It means this is his home too, because it is. I don't have a magazine perfect home by any means, And that is okay too.,.because it is full of love and fun. I think your living room does look magazine perfect BTW.

  3. I just buy fabulous large baskets from Home Goods and stuff them to the brim with toys in the living room. We just had a second baby so now she has her own basket of infant toys. Like you said, in a few years you'll have forgotten you even had all these extra things around because it goes by so quickly!

    Out of curiosity, I noticed you don't have a lot of pictures/art in your living room. Is this a concious choice/style preference? I tend to go too heavy on pictures and art so I'd love to hear your "philosophy"!

  4. We created a stove similar to your little kitchen, which I don't mind hanging out in the living room. We have a midcentury dresser as a television console, so the bottom two drawers are toys. Books are stored in an old record cabinet. I also limit the amount of toys she has access to at one time and rotate her toys out. If toys can't fit in their designated spots, they are put into bags in the closet and I'll switch them out in a couple weeks--then she gets all excited to see them again and it's like they're brand new toys to her. Thankfully, with the warming weather, she'd rather be outside playing anyway :)

  5. I just blogged about this same topic this morning!! It was Living room time on my house tour and I was wrestling for days with posting the pics on account of the primary colored toys screaming from the living room! I, too, am working on a storage solution. I think yours is great!!

  6. I love how you store the PJ's in the living room! Genius!!

  7. I'm a big fan of storing items where you need them to be/where you use them. I don't have kids, but I store running socks, headphones, headbands, hairbands, etc., in a little side table next to my front door, so everything is handy when I'm ready to leave for a run. If I didn't do that, I'd have to go upstairs to the bedroom for socks, master bath for hair holders, office for my headphones, mudroom for my shoes and THEN I might be able to get out the door. So you store those pajamas wherever they're most handy! LOL.

  8. I sometimes wish we had a playroom, but it works okay for us to integrate everything into our living space. Love how you've done that - it looks great, but is also fun and functional for everyone.


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