There is this awkward space at the bottom of our stairs in the basement that has just been piling up with junk since we moved in. My husband and I had talked about how this would be an awesome wine cellar one day – glass walls, beautifully displayed collected bottles, temperature controlled (you get the idea). But with 3 small destructive kids, I knew this dream was a long way away.
In the meantime I decided this corner was the perfect space to create a craft and art area since the kiddos love creating and making messes. Not only was there plenty of lighting in this corner, but also the tile floor was perfect for easy cleanup of paint, glue and glitter. With visions of a wonderful unopened wine bottles still dancing in my head, I knew this space was “temporary” (ask me again in 5 years), so things were going to be done on the cheap!
My favourite way to keep a project down in cost is to reuse furniture pieces that you already have. Other tips can include; making décor yourself, shopping at the dollar store or Ikea for cheap ways to store and organize things, looking on Kijiji for furniture as well as minimizing construction of a space.
The perfectly sized solid wood table was a cheap local find on Kijiji as were the $5 stools. The cabinet was a recent donation from family and the rug and storage cart were pieces I already had. Many of the organization bins were also on hand, but additional pieces were added from Dollarama.
Functionality was a key factor in this space for storing things, keeping supplies organized and displaying finished masterpieces. The simply hung clothesline were a great solution to display rotating artwork or to hang wet projects. The cork boards can also hang art or inspirational images. A large workspace and roll of paper are great additions for endless projects. The nearby fully adjustable easel can also be used for painting or drawing and be brought down to kid level or tabletop if need be.
Cupboards, carts and tabletops are all areas used to store supplies and materials. I incorporated everything from open baskets, locked bins, canisters and jars to meet the varying needs of child-friendly to potentially harmful supplies.
Here are some of the important considerations I made in the space:
-To keep toxic or potentially harmful supplies or tools completely out of reach for small hands (think high and locked containers)
-Mounting the large cupboard unit to the wall to keep from potentially being pulled over and hurting little ones
-Nothing is precious. Everything in this space can be destroyed or smeared with paint and I wouldn’t care.
-Everything is movable (minus mounted cupboard). Stools can be swapped with a bench if more kids are around. The cart can be wheeled around for easy access to supplies. The table can even be moved out to set more people around or accommodate large projects.
As soon as I revealed the space to the boys, they dove right in making creations and getting glue everywhere! A job well done I’d say.