LANAI-PLAYROOM: The simplest dvd storage

The mess on top of our toy/tv cabinet has always been the pile of dvds. I’ve tried using sleeves, binders, etc. for organizing the kids’ videos – but yaya and the kids have never followed whatever system I tried to put into place. So, I just decided to keep it simple: get a BOX

Grey metal perforated box from H&M Home

I’m going to try to do something about the wires – I hate exposed wires and cables. The Walloh Design print is there temporarily – I’m going to use it for the shared boys’ room but wanted to see how this space would look with a print to balance off the Typo lightbox on the other side: 

Doesn’t the print look a tad small though? I’m also reconsidering painting that wall dark – maybe a gallery wall would work better both for the size of this room and for taking the focus off the tv? 

Here it is without the print this time.

I like how clean it looks actually (but please excuse the old hand-me-down fan). The good thing about the box is that they just basically toss in the pile of videos that used to sit beside the tv. It’s obviously not sorted, but at least it’s all contained in that box – easily accessible, in plain sight, but still hidden. Next, I’m going to sort the dvds and get rid of the ones the kids don’t watch. And notice, the Fisher Price chair is gone? Gave it to Luli this morning. In my list, I mentioned bins for the shelves in that unit, so it won’t look cluttered. I know there’s something about leaving pretty toys out on display, but I am going to set up Montessori shelves already. This unit is for toys – play toys not educational ones, so I’m keeping them out of sight (hence, the cabinets). 


LANAI-PLAYROOM: Skipping ahead for a bit of decorating

I know decorating should be the last item in my home renovation list, but I just couldn’t resist; I also needed a break from saving up and buying nothing but essentials! (Curtains! Chair! Mattresses!). And you know how slowly and tentatively I decorate – so when I find something I love, I just go for it. Like with these two: 

T-rex planter from Jurassic Pot; A4 lightbox from Typo

I’ve always wanted a lightbox. I want lightboxes all over our house, hahaha. I found sources in IG, but Typo had them in store sooooo… This isn’t LED I think, I have to check the box, so I haven’t plugged it in. (The boxes from Typo also do not come with an adaptor, I had to buy it separately from Ace Hardware). 

The dino-pots, on the other hand, are LOVE. Jurassic Pot is awesome, period. We got a triceratops and a bunch of little glass dino jars too. 

LANAI-PLAYROOM: Plans for this wall

Our playroom, being the lanai, is all folding glass and metal doors,  with just one wall where we could keep a toy cabinet and the television set. It’s actually not so great having all windows there because it gets HOT. And we don’t have screens by the doors, so we hardly open them for fear of lamok. Life in the tropics! 

So we have this 1 wall, and though not all my plans for this wall are part of my bare essentials list, I still want to share what I want to do with it: 

#1 – Replace the old floor fan the Lulipops lent us. 

#2 – Paint the cabinet doors white, and attach handles or knobs.

#3 – Paint the insides of the shelves white, and get containers for each kid’s shelf

#4 – Ask my dad if I can remove these cables for the speakers they installed before. Otherwise, extend the electrical casing or cover these corners with a tall plant or narrow trolley.

#5 – Give the Fisher Price chair to Luli. We got a Bumbo floor chair for Bo and haven’t gotten much use from the Fisher Price rocker.

#6 – Get a nice box to store the dvds. Something with an open top just so they can dump the piles of dvds there, for easy access but at least the pile will still be hidden. Transfer the CD player somewhere else. 

#7 – Organize the cables (with cable ties) and secure the tv. 

#8 – Paint the wall. I’m thinking dark, so the tv will blend in somewhat. There’s a lot of light in that room so I’m not too scared of putting a dark accent wall. If we don’t go dark, maybe wall decals or a gallery wall so the tv isn’t the focal point.

The curtains, etc. are all essentials, so they aren’t part of this list. Oh and notice our pretty dino-pot and lightbox? Will be sharing those in another post. 


I knew I wanted to get black and white floor covers for the lanai-playroom. As to whether I’d get a rug or foam playmat was simply a matter of timing – since Bo is going on 6 months, I had my heart set on the Skip Hop black and white foam playmats. I love the clean and graphic design – no numbers or animals! 

The problem was, I waited too long and the b&w went out of stock EVERYWHERE. Luckily, my suking Mothercare Magnolia texted to tell me that they had 2 packs of the b&w that someone else had reserved – but the mom who reserved them was taking forever to pick them up. I told them to reserve them for me in case the other mom doesn’t get them. I waited 5 more days to give the other mom a chance but on the 5th day, I called, she still didn’t go back for them, so I figured screw it, they’re mine.

Here are the kuyas putting the mat together: 

We have the grey and white version, too, actually but I plan to use that upstairs (with the wooden floor boards). For the terra cotta tiles downstairs, I like the b&w better. 


The first thing I have to do for the boys’ playroom is to CLEAN. Get rid of half of the toys, and organize what’s left. I had built in shelves made by Mang Ariel when we moved in – only to find out that the kids don’t use it much because they can’t reach it. (Gets ko na why Montessori encourages everything to be kid level). 

This is the view of our lanai-playroom from the dining table: 

It’s a tiny room (like the rest of the house) and it was a hot mess when I took these photos last February. 

We had our Muji lounger there, and my mother loaned the daybed. It’s good wood, but a bit dark for the space. There’s no back rest, so the kids don’t use it much for watching TV. 

Aside from the built ins, I also replaced the low shelves we brought to the lanai from our old house. I had Mang Ariel build this cabinet for toys right before I gave birth last year (October): 

As you can see, it’s been 5 months and I still haven’t gotten handles for the cabinet doors! It’s because I can’t make up my mind about what cabinet hardware to get. I thought I’d get handles from Vintage Hardware Manila but I wanted to see the hardware in person. Sigh. No handles meant the kids couldn’t/didn’t use the cabinets. So the playroom looked like this: 

That’s the box supposedly for toy donations. But Alo dug it up and so the mess! I came down to breakfast one morning last month and saw that disaster zone, aaaargh. 
I am on a mission to get rid of most of the toys. The kids have too many – mostly gifts from their Lulipops. Although you can’t tell from the photo, I honestly subscribe to that theory that kids do not need a lot of toys. 

The goal for this room is to declutter, organize, and make it a comfy and bright spot for the kids to play in. While I’ve really been inspired by Montessori homes, I know I won’t be able to go hard core Montessori here. We still do not have cable, so I can monitor what the kids watch. But they DO use the tv for videos, and I’d like seating, not a floor bed ala Montessori style.

Change out the curtains for blinds, get a playmat for when Bo starts walking, and get cabinet handles, remove the built ins, figure out if I want to paint the cabinets, get a new fan, organize the toys and DVD, paint the wall behind the TV – that’s basically the Bare Essentials List for this room!  Everything else is decor – I’m aiming for a monochromatic space – but hopefully still stimulating for the kiddos.