We recently did a little refresh of Amelie’s room, which I’m so pleased with! The main driver behind reorganising it was the constant toy mess – this is surely the reason most parents end up changing up their children’s rooms, right?! But as Amelie gets older, the toys she plays with, the way she plays, and the space she needs to play in are all changing, and the room refresh was also meant to respond to that. And it has – Amelie plays with all her toys now, her clothes are organised better, her books are accessible, and overall, the room is much easier to tidy than it used to be. Amelie also still has a lot of floor space to play, which was important (to her especially!)
We had pretty much everything we needed, but we did know we needed a better way of storing toys that was tidy, accessible for Amelie, and that could be organised in such a way that it was easy to tidy up the toys again! We ended up replacing the larger storage boxes and baskets we had with some slightly smaller rattan ones, and bought the Ikea Kallax to put them in. This seems to be the holy grail for toy storage, at least on Instagram! And I can see why – I love the good-sized cubbies, and its height when it’s on its side is just perfect for preschoolers and older.
We reserved a couple of cubbies in the Kallax for larger things that don’t fit so well in the storage boxes, like some of Amelie’s colouring books, and put the storage boxes in the remaining six. There’s one box for art supplies, one for Lego, one for Duplo, one for wooden toys, one for dress-ups, and one for ‘everything else’ (mostly puzzles). It makes tidying up a breeze, and means that Amelie is able to do it on her own easily (not that she often does, of course – that sounds like unlikely four year old behaviour! But she could, and that’s the point). We also put a larger basket next to it, which holds dolls and soft toys.
In one corner is Amelie’s art table (still one of the best furniture buys we’ve ever made – she uses this all the time!) and next to the wardrobe, her dollhouse gets its very own corner. I love that the dollhouse now sits on the concrete – it makes pulling out the ‘outdoor area’ really easy.
Amelie’s bed sits a bit off-centre, with her two bookshelves on one side, and her bedside table on the other. We find that now that Amelie is a bit older, she doesn’t often just lie down and go to sleep after we’re done with stories and goodnights – instead, she’ll often ‘read’ a book or two before she’s ready to settle into sleep for the night. Having her bookshelves here makes this really easy for her. Her bed used to be against the wall, but now that there’s space on all sides it’s much easier to make the bed, with the unexpected bonus that occasionally Amelie makes it herself!
I’m so pleased with how the room looks and functions now. We don’t plan for this to be Amelie’s room for a long time – at some stage, hopefully in the next couple of years, we’ll add on an extension and she’ll move to a new room! – but for now, it feels like it has the right balance of being very much hers, while still being easy to convert back into a guest room when we’re ready. I feel like it might just work in its current guise until then! Although there is one more very important change I need to make, and that is rigging up a system with twine and pegs to allow Amelie to hang up the artwork that she’s particularly proud of and wants to display. So far, we’ve been letting her use blu-tack to do it, but after losing a chunk of paint recently when some came down, we definitely want a better system. Watch this space…!