Toy storage in our living room Part 2

{I blogged about my search for a suitable-for-us toy storage in the living room that would be discreet to share space with a room that adults use but versatile enough for little hands to reach, pull out and toss back into. Read Part 1}

Well, finally in the end…

… after a week of juggling ideas, online window shopping and budgets the answer hit at 3AM four months ago. I remembered that I had a wide dark brown basket languishing in the laundry that I could use. It was perfect for my needs: wide opening so that toddlers could instantly see a large amount of what was in there; not too deep and tall so toddlers needn’t push over to get at inside toys; and easy for toddlers to throw toys back in before they left.

The existing toy storage basket

I knew I didn’t like the colour (never did). I think I bought it for $8 at the local dollar store almost three years ago as a laundry basket for the tiny studio we were crammed into 2 houses ago. Still, I allowed it to sit in the spot we’d designated for toys for almost 3 weeks.

But it was ready to be painted. The dark brown was depressing me. (I already get depressed with the rental landlord who has not updated his paint work in more than 10 years.) Green or yellow? Maybe red?

My wicker basket ready to be spray painted

I decided on green. I hit the basket with two cans of Meadow Green Rust-Oleum spray paint, AUD$10.95ea from Bunnings. (I’d seen Rust-Oleum used in many DIY jobs in the US, but knew I was going to have to stick with the standard spray paints from Bunnings. Imagine my delight when I discovered just late last year, they started carrying Rust-Oleum line of spray paint in so many beautiful colours!)

My wicker basket being spray painted Rust-O-leum® green

I wanted to add some rubber casters to the basket and upon a cursory Google search on rubber casters, I stumbled onto Lucy Designs Online. What grabbed me were the happy yellow industrial casters for her project of turning a bench into a shipping crate toybox on casters. I was sold! (As is there was any doubt?)

The adorable yellow castors on Lucy Designs Online

The adorable yellow castors on Lucy Designs Online

Of course, I began looking for yellow casters in Australia. No luck. But for all your DIYers, I did discover this awesome resource for casters. Cool Casters sell all kinds of coloured, funky castors and at VERY reasonable prices! I really liked the these for US$11.99ea. But shipping to me would have been TWICE the cost of the 4 casters!

The cool yellow castors I wanted from Cool Casters

The cool yellow castors I wanted from Cool Casters

For me, I’d have very little choice. Yellow casters in Australia is an industrial standard for very very very heavy tonnage. So I’d have to settle for castors from Rill from IKEA for $14.99/set of 2. And then because they come in plain grey, I’d have spray painted Rust-Oleum’s Sun Yellow (which was used in another project).

In the end, while I know I’d have been really happy with the movable toddler-toybox, for now, casters can stay off. That toybox basket was painted and installed about four months ago. Great thing about it is that I didn’t have to spend anywhere as much as I would have for the other options, great though they might be.

Total cost for this small DIY project: $10.95 + 10.95 + 12.99

But they grow up. The kids. And toys.

Hannah is now a Big Girl 8. So having toys in her room is “so uncool, mum”. So two weeks ago, I dragged out her Trofast toy storage out and made space in our living room for her. Then we bought her an AWESOME desk for $50 on eBay. Large, white… will be suitable for her till she’s 19 and studying medicine in university :)

In the spirit of showing how we grow as a family, into homes and houses, here’s my busy toy space now:

My toy corner atm

That basket has been moved to the same corner that Trofast unit is: a corner of the living room behind the lounges. I know it’s inelegant, but it works and it draws the little ones like nothing before. When they enter the home, they barely give my husband and I a glance before bee-lining it for the toy area. For the next year or so, I’m happy to have happy little people and a kinda-neat-designated toy area.



The Woman behind the Blog

Welcome to my blog! It’s such a pleasure having you here.

What are you inspired by? I am inspired by beautiful and bright interiors, fabric, furniture, pinks, yellows, greens, chairs, china, trees, chocolate, peonies, hydrangeas, cherry blossoms, roses and rhubarb with cream.

Friends and family call me drey (pronounced 'dree'... short for Audrey) and I can often be found zipping through op-shops and vintage stores in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia.

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Write me at paperbean(AT)gmail(DOT)com