LANAI-PLAYROOM: An Update at Long Last

*Get Real Renovations

Oh my oh my. Almost 8 months since I last updated this blog. And while we have constantly been working on the house since my last post (in July 2018!), blogging about it completely fell to the wayside. It’s actually so ironic, because we pursued some major renovations last year and you’d think I’d blog about each and every step of the way. But nooooo. Maybe because we outsourced the work, and there was too much to keep track of with our contractor? Maybe because we had so many problems and issues with our contractor?! Or maybe because I just enjoyed keeping an online journal when we were DIYing most of the work at home? Or that, aside from renovations, life happened? I’m not sure, but I only just got the itch recently, and only just this past month realized I missed writing and keeping my digital log, so here I am again.

Anyway. Last year we undertook two major projects at home – renovating our master bedroom, and building a utility area out back. The master bedroom renovation sounds simple, but it oddly took MONTHS. I know I’ll have to write about it at one point, but going back is exhausting because it reminds me of the stress we went through with our contractor. Can I just say for now, we opened up our ante room, tore down and rebuilt walls, closets, redid our wooden floors, moved and repositioned doorways, installed new doors, added moldings and baseboards, and basically redid our entire master bedroom? Looking back at my posts, I did report on the journey somewhat – at this late stage, unfortunately I’d never be able to recapture the little triumphs – sad, because I have a lousy memory and would probably want to remember (and no, not sad for my readers, because hahahaha let’s be realistic, I don’t even have readers, and isn’t writing this digital log so quietly in this teeny unknown corner of the web precisely why it appeals to me?).

The other major project was that we built a utility area out back. This includes a utility kitchen (or a “dirty kitchen” as we Pinoys go), a bathroom, 2 bedrooms, a kennel, eating area, etc. for our househelp. The stress there was double the master bedroom renovations – costs, subpar materials, build issues with our contractor, more money spent on paying other people to redo the work. Hay. Plus, what is left of our once green garden is now a pile of dirt and rocks. That wasn’t the contractor’s fault, and it was inevitable during the renovations, but it still makes me sad every time I look out the window.

Nevertheless, renovation woes aside, I have to say I’m still so glad and grateful we got to do those big projects for 2018. Those are 2 vital areas in our lives – we and the kids spend a LOT of time in our bedroom, and we obviously needed to do something about our helpers’ living quarters. Both areas are important cogs in our day-to-day lives, making everything smoother, more pleasant, and happier, and I am super grateful to God for the provisions that allowed us to tackle those bits last year.

This year I’m kind of on a limbo. I’m not sure if we will end up renovating more of this house, or if we will end up moving. The point is we need to to fit 4 kids – yes, we are with bun in oven, and the clock is ticking. This is a little house to begin with, so if we do not move, we have to brace ourselves for more major renovations down the line. Plus, I’m nesting big time. You know how that goes. While we pray and wait on God to direct us on what to do, I’ve been working on learning to love the home we have now – to make it a peaceful, organized, and safe haven for my family, but at the same time without spending too much, or biting off more than I should be chewing, in case we do move or we do renovate entirely.

So for 2019, the project I tackled first was our lanai-playroom. I started working on this space March 2017, I think, and the last time I updated it and wrote about it was in OCTOBER 2017, by golly. I still have a crib in that post! How things have changed (and now there’s a new baby coming).

Here’s how our lanai-playroom is looking right now:

Belly basket from The Nifty Decorator; our old puzzle mat from Skip Hop, available in Mothercare

Between October 2017 and this month (before I tackled it again), the only updates to this space were the following: I stained the cabinets and added cabinet pulls last November 2018; we bought a (lousy!) floor fan cooler thingy from Dowell because I still feel iffy about putting air conditioning in a lanai (FYI, that fan is sooo bad); and we moved the kids’ art table inside. I don’t know if I mentioned it here, but it’s an old antique teak table I really love – we chopped off the legs to turn it into a kid table. It’s so heavy 2 grown men have to lift it, so it’s perfect for the kids because it doesn’t budge, they climb on it, jump from it, whatever. I also didn’t mind the table getting beaten up because it adds to the character.

In the photo above, the only additions since 2019 started were the tree in the corner and the planter, and the metal baskets. Everything else I used to have or  repurposed (like the wooden bin – now for the boys’ Nerf guns).

Tin can from Lazada; vase from Crescent Moon; black verses planter from Plant Parenthood; little white crate from Vintage Accent PH over in IG

On these shelves are some goodies I purchased online and from Crescent Moon. All storage, except for the black plant pot. I also didn’t buy them originally for the lanai, but am now happy to use them here. I’ve had those 3 baskets since forever, and just added labels (tags from Common Room). I’m not going to go into the whole “how we organize our playroom” thing here, and will maybe do that in another post.

Also, from this room, I guess it’s apparent to me that my style has shifted. I’m sick of scandi. I mean, I love seeing it online and still use or copy some of the elements, but I can’t find myself getting excited about that icy cool and “pure” scandi interiors – I’ve liked farmhouse/rustic style in the past months. Except I can’t do the whole layered look. It’s not even modern farmhouse, our style, and I do love boho homes and mid century furniture still. So maybe my style has evolved into a little bit of everything? One thing is for sure, I still like things to look minimal and clean overall.


The other end of the lanai-playroom. Pillow sham from another of my favorite IG home decor sellers – The Nifty Decorator

Aaaand since we’re back, I can’t possibly do an update post without a list, because what would be the point of blogging again if not for the joy of checking items off my digital list, right? Teehee. Our toy rotation and packing away system have been in place for months now, so mostly focused on making things nicer and more efficient for the kids. (And less of an eye sore for me, because I see this room every time I sit down for a meal!). As usual, I started off with a bunch of to-buy and to-do items and, as I went along, discovered I didn’t need or want some of the things I listed down.


  • raise the existing curtain rods02.19.19 my driver did this for me. Did wonders for the room, and it was so simple.
  • install:
    • hooks for Nerf gunsI thought JLP would want some of his favorite guns hanging from the wall beyond his little brothers’ reach, but he was satisfied with the bin. He keeps some guns in a box in his own cabinet, and another one in his metal tray. So no need for this.
    • locks for JLP and JAP’s cabinets02.23.19 I installed antique brass bolt locks from Handyman. It doesn’t lock completely but is still a deterrent for BLP, the youngest brother – as requested by the kuyas.
    • hook for JAP’s Nerf bullets (get a bucket)too many bullets. Only a huge bucket would fit those, and I was supposed to hang them from the side of the bookcase. Right now they’re in a basket on the top shelf – as requested by JAP. I asked if he still wanted a bucket. He said he was happy with the basket. I said, but didn’t he have a hard time reaching it? And he demonstrated how he’d use one of our Gonges as a step stool. He prefers them on the top shelf – again, away from BLP the youngest. Problem solved.
  • attach:
    • names on the toy cabinets02.21.19 Dang, I bought those Papemelroti letters last year and only finally got around to gluing them to the cabinet doors this year.
    • “Nerf” for the Nerf bin02.26.19 Had to buy the letters for these (Papemelroti), but now done and done, too.
  • bring down:
    • JLP’s log cabin02.20.19 Haha, I just had to include this because it’s been on my mental checklist (“what to bring downstairs”) but keep forgetting.
    • BLP’s mechanical bird (fix the damn thing)02.23.19 done! Another mundane task that has been on my to-do list since forever.
  • throw away JLP’s diorama, with his permission02.20.19 he said he wasn’t attached to it.
  • fix the formica laminates on the console02.23-26.19 finally done. Ugh this took forever because I only had 1 large binder clip that I needed to clamp the contact cement down. And I’ve run to the store to get stuff for this little project ha – you’d think I’d remember to buy binder clips! (They do not have clamps in Wilcon. Grrr).
  • upcycle that book crate
    • stain and seal, and attach casters and the “Books” plate I made last year02.23.-26.19 took time, too, because of all that drying time in between staining and sealing it. Plus the casters were the dickens to attach for noob DIYers like myself. Ack. Oh, and attaching those names and “Books” plate etc. was also unreasonably delayed because I couldn’t find my wood glue at home! Sus!
  • cover holes left from curtain brackets after we raised themI have a guy coming in this Saturday to do all the masilya and paint touch ups.
  • stain additional brackets for curtainspostponing this. I have a glass and metal guy coming tomorrow to check those patio doors. I need to know if we’re replacing them, or cutting them down, or what not. And that of course will affect my window treatments.
  • make list of Ikea skinny bookcase that could fit the interior doorway, and measure doorway02.20.19 did this, but as to what we’ll do with the interior doors to the lanai will likewise be affected when my glass and metal guy comes in tomorrow. I also wasn’t sold on the bookcases. This was an option I decided not to pursue.
  • measure coffee table height and clearance for stools for the kids02.20.19
  • laminate the “Wooden Thomas Trucks” tag, and reattach to the designated basket02.21.19 and 02.26.19 again – those little things I finally got to do!


  • hooks for the Nerf guns and Nerf bullets bucketno need; see above
  • bucket for Nerf bulletsno need; see above
  • 3 bins to fit that space above the cabinets in the console02.21.19 from my suki Anna Banana Rustics. These are old stocks, and I was scrolling and realized from her measurements that they were the perfect fit. So happy. I almost went with white Ikea plastic boxes there!
  • casters for book crate02.27.19 from Handyman
  • “NERF” letters from Papemelroti02.23.19
  • white stand fan02.20.19 from Panasonic; another affordable purchase I for some dumb reason kept postponing! I still have to figure out if I want to put air conditioning in the lanai. But it does get hot out there, so cooling systems and window treatments were made priorities (this time!).
  • white floor fanI read Vornados work best if the air is cool (and I really still love ours, and how they look). If it’s not, like in here where there’s no A/C, I figure a regular floor fan to replace our lousy Dowell fan.
  • 2 white stools for the coffee table (those temporary ones I got from Mimiso are really flimsy – the legs keep falling off!) – 02.22.19 placed my order with Metro Furne. Initially thought I’d get Ikea Mammut stools – too tall. I want something solid but modern-looking to offset the old fashioned heavy table. So going custom again for these.
  • 2 more curtain panelsstill need these, regardless of what we do with the exterior patio doors. You can tell from previous photos I am seriously lacking panels!
  • 2 support brackets for the curtain rodspostponed; see above

That’s it. All mostly aesthetic actually, but it sure helped to make the room look more finished. And all that accomplished in the past week or two. Clearly, I’m easing my way back into the whole home improvement process again, so I started with a pretty easy project.

I still have a few things left to tackle – particularly managing the heat and more ventilation.   Wish me luck!