No matter how hard I try to declutter and limit the number of toys we have, they still seem to take over our house on a daily basis. I thought I had gotten things under control and pretty organized and then enter: the boy’s toys. Around his 2nd birthday Tommy started really loving to play with trucks, trains, etc. So add those to Alex’s dolls and doll houses and Maggie’s animals and legos and it was toy overload. Miles joins in and grabs any toy he can find. We needed better toy storage.
We have a play room, but it’s not quite close enough to the kitchen/main living area to let the boys play in there without me. Even the girls at 5 and 7 migrate towards me all day. So by default our living room is filled with toys. With 4 little kids, there’s no way around having toys in the living room, but it’s the place we sit and relax at night and not a place I want to look like a playroom. We have a formal living room so I always just figured “I only get one room”. But since this little living space is where I spend a lot of time, I wanted it to look nicer and a little more like grown ups reside there not only kids. I decided it was time to “take back the room”. The 2 photos above are the “before” and here’s the after:
This is what I did to hide all the toys:
- Took out all the toys and brought back a few they play with most often. Then about every few days, I bring back a basket of toys to the playroom that have migrated to the family room. If the toys don’t fit in the new closed bins, they’re out!
- New pillows and a rug. This spruced up the room and made it feel less like a room my kids trash daily (which they still do….daily). I also added some poufs for extra seating
- Talked to the design team at Land of Nod for what they recommended as the best design pieces that are also for storage. We went with their Campaign Toy Box. I love the clean white look and it stores SO many toys while still looking nice. Then we got a basket with a lid. I couldn’t stand that our toy baskets were always over flowing and never looked neat. The toy box and the basket with the lid help in two ways: you can’t see the toy and it helps keep the toys in the room at a minimum. If the lids won’t close, there are too many toys and some have “got to go”. Then I found another small basket that fit under our end table to store books. Now when I look at the living room, I don’t see toys. There are plenty of toys in there and most of the day they are all over the floor. Then at night, they “hide” and the room looks less like a play area and more like a living room.
Links to the items we chose:
I have used the Land of Nod design service a number of times. It’s a free service and they are so helpful. Instead of giving my tips on how to “hide toys” in your living space. I interviewed Stephanie from the Land of Nod design team. Hopefully this helps all you mamas being over run by toys!
Interview with Land of Nod’s Design Team:
- What are some of your favorite design pieces to store or more “hide” toys in a room that’s not a playroom?
Upholstered storage benches are amazing. They can serve as a coffee table or extra seating in a space, all the while secretly hiding your kiddos favorite toys and books. Just as helpful are bookcases with drawers or doors that you can close to conceal loose toys and books.
- What are some patterns/ designs that you recommend when designing a room that will be used for both children and adults? Kid friendly and fun, but still looks like a living room vs a child’s room?
Well, I suppose it all depends on what the overall aesthetic of the home is to begin with. In general, I would say clean lines and neutral tones with a few bright pops of color is about where it’s at for a happy medium between kids and grown-ups. We have this indoor/outdoor rug – it’s actually called the Indoor/Outdoor Striped Rug – I think something like that is a great example of design that works in both worlds.
- What are some of the best ways to maximize storage in a room that you want to still look organized and neat?
Hands down, take advantage of any vertical space you can. Bring in a row of bookshelves and use stylish baskets to conceal any loose clutter. The Index Cube Bins have been a favorite go-to of mine for spaces that need a more grown-up friendly approach to storage solutions.
- Land of Nod is geared towards children, but what are some of your favorite furniture pieces that also work great for rooms that are also for adults?
The Campaign furniture series stands out as being incredibly versatile for any room in your home. It’s a classic furniture style that has been around for eons and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. We carry a neutral white finish in all of our hard goods, which is perfect for a whole home setting.
- Best tips for hiding clutter:
Sometimes those smaller toys that seem like clutter are actually perfect décor items for styling shelves! Maybe it’s a toy robot or a musical instrument or a model plane – it could be just the right piece to balance out an assortment of books or games.
For all the other less than display-worthy toys, bins and baskets go a long way. For example, the baskets in our Sepia series are awesome for corralling any and all loose toys and books. On the outside, they’re sophisticated and neutral and suitable for any living room space – the perfect shell for camouflaging a random assortment of brightly colored kiddo paraphernalia.
Stephanie Geurkink is a Home Stylist & Event Planner for The Land of Nod. The Land of Nod’s Design Services team offers free one-on-one design advice, mood boards and space planning. You have a room to decorate? They’d love to hear from you. Visit The Land of Nod’s Design Services page to get started today.