Someday I'll Have My Dining Room Back

Ok...so we've been in our home for 10 years. Ten great, productive years(in many senses). We have an 1830's cape that is an ongoing...and ongoing labor of love, sweat and tears. We designed and built our dream kitchen 5 years ago. That's when the dining room next to the kitchen became a playroom. Our kitchen is a big combo kitchen/familyroom, so it has been great having the kids close by. On the other side of the dining room is a living room. It is also called "Maggie's room" (our 18 year old house cat). The furniture/decor is not my favorite, but until Mags goes to kitty heaven, it will do!

My problem: When you enter our home through a lovely sun porch, the first room you hit is the playroom from hell. Oh, I have attempted organization...shelves, bins, you name it. But I would love to also make it look homey and inviting instead of frightening. It's bad enough that our first floor bathroom is hideous gold and green(definitely another post)...so we are not allowed to frighten guests away in 2 different locations during the same visit.

So help...I CAN'T show you the playroom. You would unsubscribe immediately and go straighten your sock drawers. But...how do I strike a balance, without feeling like I have a kindergarten and fifth grade in my home. I would be grateful for all of your advice.

(Please ignore dust, smudges, food, and basic clutter from my pictures)


  1. Oh my word that is my dream kitchen! It's beautiful-- well done!! Don't you love old Capes with their lack, er, NO, storage!? Our family room is pretty uch our playroom. We built book cases on either side of a picture window and a long storage bench w/ a lift up lid for hiding all the kid's toys. I also use a lot of nice looking wicker baskets (Homegoods). Even with my best efforts there is still one half the room relegated for toys-- and the bog castles a farm sets never get put away! To be expected with life with little kids!

  2. Love the pics, thanks for sharing! The only tip I can offer is that when we re-organized the basement this fall, I stopped using small bins for things and started using much larger bins - with bigger categories, it's much easier to pick up. But honestly, it's just to be expected with kids.

  3. I also did what Heidi did. Big bins help with clean-up, but can be unsightly. We had a playroom in basement, but eventually moved all toys into the individual rooms. I have the same valance in our dinging room with the matching seat cushions! I love your kitchen, your reality is still my dream!

  4. You have a beautiful kitchen! It must be a dream to cook in. I was wondering if maybe some furniture such as the ottomans that double as storage areas would help in your playroom. Baskets for storage are also homey and pretty while hiding toys and clutter. I know some sites such as "ivillage" have advice for decorating.
    I love your blog because I adore Nantucket. I also spent a lot of time in Hingham and Cohasset when I was in college and I just love those areas. They're beautiful!

  5. i dream about a so old house as you have !!!
    unfortunately i do not have any idea for your play room but if i see something interessant here i will tell you !

  6. Can you add curtains somehow? If you can do bigger pins & curtains to put in front of some, it will feel a lot less cluttered. I did this w/storage in our laundry and it was a great feeling.


Thanks for chatting!

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