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. 

HAULS: Kids’ Loot – Part 1

For the most part, I’ve been doing all right with prioritizing the bare essential items on my list – at least, for major purchases for the home. My 1 big downfall however is that I can’t resist kid decor! Even more so when it’s handcrafted children’s room decor! 

Like this pom pom basket from The Nifty Decorator. I got pillow shams too and these neat banners: 

I had the “Wild Thing” banner custom made by Angelica. It’s for Alo, hehe. 

I love this digital print from Walloh Designs so much I asked her to make a custom one for me too. It looks so great on my white walls. 

Playmats from Littlest Setter. Took a looong time to get them but they are so well made.

And Design Letters Kids tableware that I ordered from Dre and Art. They’re not decor, obviously, but I LOVE Design Letters. 

DINING ROOM: The Bare Essentials List

*I shared in this post how I realized I needed to quit changing and revising my to-do lists for the house if I ever hope to finish renovating and decorating it. 

It feels funny posting an almost identical photo of our dining room, but heck! Progress recently has been slow in this corner which, as compared to the living room, felt livable already.  I prioritized it since we use it all the time, quite obviously, and it was easy to feel like I’ve made headway here because we brought in the heavies – major pieces like the dining table and dining chairs.  Now it’s time to focus on all the other things – little details and the not-so-urgent but nevertheless important bits (like the missing pendant light, and the broken sliding doors).

I don’t know if I should get a rug there.  It seems like suicide, what with 3 boys and all (who are all such messy eaters – and by 3 I mean the 2 older boys and the H!).  I’d also like to declutter the Family Command Center even more.  And currently, the white shelves are no longer in that corner but back under the stairs at the other side of the window (because I couldn’t stand how it made the area look even busier).  Anyhoo!  Here’s the Bare Essentials List for the dining area:


Start of Living Room Project: 15 July 2016 (“Pegs for the Dining Room“)
End of Living Room Project (or “essentially finished”): 

  • Buy a 6-seater dining table (and return the one my mother loaned me)
  • Buy 4 white modern chairs
  • Complete my initial set of dinnerware
  • Repaint the base boards, beams, and window frames white
  • Replace electric switch plates and outlets, and cover unused electric sockets
  • Get a high chair (or booster seat) for Alo – and a splat mat
  • Replace the wooden curtain rods with slimmer black ones
  • Get 2 sets of sheer white curtains (1 for every day use, 1 for laundry days)
  • Get a sideboard or shelves or bar cart for the little O.C. essentials – and figure out where to put it
  • Get a high chair for Bo – and a splat mat
  • Buy a white standing fan
  • Find a stool or a step stool
  • Get new pendant lights or a chandelier, have an electrician install them, return the old lights to my folks, and have Mang Ariel patch up the ceiling after installation
  • Replace the broken sliding doors
  • Remove the overhead china cabinet
  • Mark the floor for table placement (for kasambahay’s reference)
  • Decorate: add a plant in a pot for the corner, add hanging plant or mobile, get a print, add plants to the sideboard/shelves/bar cart, get a clock
  • Storage Needs for O.C. Essentials: coasters in a dish, paper napkins in a container, container for center pieces (when I change them aorund), tray for existing centerpieces, storage for extra curtains, storage for anti-mosquito gear
  • Anti-Lamok Measures: plug-ins, have screen windows installed, get a mosquito zapping machine, anti-mosquito plants, and anti-mosquito room spray

Previous Versions of the Living Room Checklist:  List 1 – 08 July 2016 “Shifting Priorities (for Projects at Home)“; List 2 – 01 October 2016 “Re-Evaluating my Project Priorities (and Mini-Projects!“; List 3 – 15 October 2016 “Dining Area Windows and To-Do List“; List 4 -12 November 2016 “Brighter and Lighter“; List 5 – 10 January 2017 “Awkward Bits“; List 6 – 12 January 2017 “Midway Report“.

View all our Little House dining room posts and updates here.