Friday, November 30, 2012

{Small Spaces} So much to do, so little room!

Kids spaces are often the busiest in the home. There's sleeptime to accomodate. Then you need to store toys (which tend to multiply like rabbits!), learning materials and books. And you need room for play, exploration, and art work. How do you squeeze all that into one room? Today, we have Adora to share how she manages to squeeze all that into the room shared by her two little girls!

Adora is mum to Poppy, 4, and Calla, 7 months, and blogs at "The Gingerbread Mum". She is a freelance writer for parenting magazines and runs Buggy Bee Kids, a crafts-for-kids business, when she's not changing dirty diapers or doing rubber band round-ups. Adora enjoys cheap chocolate, smelling her baby’s neck, and would really like a good night’s sleep.


I often look at pictures of homeschooling rooms and drool. Unfortunately, we don't have the room for a dedicated homelearning room, so we make do. We're very lucky to be living in a place with considerably big bedrooms. The challenge is that we have to fit many functions into that one room - The girls' bedroom houses a cot for Calla, a bed for Poppy, a set of chest of drawers, toy storage, a bookcase, changing table, small wardrobe, and table plus chairs. That's alot of stuff.

The Door
We have little wall space and have realised that the paint comes off easily if we stick anything to the walls. So we utilise the space on our doors instead. Poppy is in charge of keeping the calendar up to date. Poppy and I finally made it officially also Calla's room by putting her name up. It's washi tape (thank you for sending some over to us, MamaJ!) covering letter cut outs from cereal boxes.

Welcome to our hideout!

First Look
Poppy's bed is from IKEA (actually it's easier to play the "Guess-What's-NOT-from-IKEA" game), and is reversible. For a long time it was the other way round, and she slept on the upper bunk. It's down now, just for the fun of it. It is sandwiched between a small wardrobe and the changing table.

Calla hangs out sometimes, especially when Poppy and I are doing a craft. The carpet on the ground is a new addition. We don't really believe in gender specific toys and Poppy loves to roll her (very few) cars around on the mat. Sometimes they have to make detours because 'a certain little giant' is blocking the roads.

One of my favourite things is the POPPY bunting that I made a long time ago (seen in subsequent pictures). It was one of the ways to teach her to recognise her name, and I really enjoyed making it too.

The Wall
We were really thrilled when we got this wall sticker installed before Poppy was born. It's so cheerful, which is perfect for a child's room. The only problem was that we couldn't really put any furniture against this wall. Well technically we could, but that would be kind of a waste, wouldn't it? So we figured the cot would be the best :)

Hi there!

Toy Storage
Most of Poppy's toys go in these colourful Trofast boxes (no guesses as to where they are from).  They're all easily accessible. I strive (but often fail) for neatness but I firmly believe that kids must be able to reach their own toys. Then 1) they will play with them often and on their own accord, and 2) there's no excuse for not being able to keep them

The big red box on top is mine - scrap craft materials and the like. Then moving down, drawer by drawer, there's bits and pieces of miscellaneous toys that don't really fit into any category, Duplo blocks, plastic animals, Lego blocks/vehicles (cos for now, all of them get played on the carpet), and train tracks and trains. Right at the bottom are board games.

Learning Area
Our old learning area was not very pro-learning. It was always in a mess. Toys and learning materials were constantly jostling for space on our 2 old-and very flimsy-set of shelves. Nothing was accessible. Plus, half the table was always covered with a pile of stuff. Not conducive at all.

A trip to IKEA solved all that. A sturdy bookcase and an afternoon of packing resulted in this:

Right on top of the bookcase is "Mama's stuff". She's not allowed to touch those things. That's my newly bought (I'm so proud of it, I am, I am!) laminator, and it's not shown in the picture, but there's also my box of dangerous stuff like one hole puncher, and sticky tape with sharp edges, magnetic tape. Stuff that I don't want her playing with.

The top shelf houses crayons, markers, coloured pencils and scissors housed in recycled yoghurt containers, the second shelf is for her school stuff (readers from school and reading cards from her teachers), and the yellow document holders hold the things we're doing for the current week. Below, there are boxes holding paints, stamps, and other materials. Right at the bottom are where all sorts of paper is kept - recycled paper for her to draw on, coloured paper that we use for crafts, and our collection of lapbooks in a magazine holder. On the side, we've stuck on hooks for her bags.

The wall holds some of her craft/art work. The 2 drawings are of Calla and Poppy, done by Poppy :) I so wanted to have the whole area dedicated to learning and move the chest of drawers out of the way but there just isn't any room. But looking at it, I suppose it does work rather well.

Artwork Display

This is where artwork is left to dry, and sometimes, left there for a l-o-n-g time. Ultimately I'm going to paste a big blackboard sticker (as opposed to painting the wall with blackboard paint) on that strip of wall and we can then write on it with chalkboard markers. I can't wait.

In case you were wondering, it's "Germany", not "Germ Ant" :P

So there you have it. Alot of stuff, done in not alot of room!


Such a cozy room, and a great use of space, don't you think? Thanks Adora, for sharing your daughters' room! If you have a small space to share with us, do drop us an email, and here's to a blessed weekend!


  1. Cool room adora! Love the way u personalize it for the girls.. I think it's about time I personalize my girls tiny space with her name..

  2. That's a huge room! Loved how you organised everything and stay so prepared and systematic! :)

  3. Yes, that's a huge room! We have the same ikea bunk bed, and it's already occupied most of the room. While u can still put in a cot bed, a table and some chairs and some storage shelves! Nice!!

  4. where can you get the big blackboard sticker?
    I've bought blackboard paint. I just haven't found a wall yet. hahah! (wall space is so precious esp since I have too much junk)

  5. Really nice room. Very inspiring. I should do up the kids room too!!

  6. I love this space a lot! Every detail with mama's love:).

  7. I love what you guys are up too. This kind of clever
    work and exposure! Keep up the very good works guys I've added you guys to our blogroll.

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