Bookcases, book shelves, bins filled with books are such an important part of our home. Some of the books constantly are changing as my kids grow...board books give way to picture books, picture books give way to simple chapter books, and then the true chapter books start to slowly work their way onto the shelves. Molly used to have this bookcase in her room on the wall opposite her bed. I forgot to take a picture of it before we took it out, but it looked just like this one. When she was little, it was perfect. I had a few baskets filled with her favorite board books that we would read over and over again on the floor at bedtime. Slowly the board books gave way to favorite picture books, like Knuffle Bunny, Pinkalicious, and Fancy Nancy. Then early readers arrived, Little Bear and Frog and Toad took their place upon the shelf. Now at eight, Molly has many chapter books, favorites such as Mr. Popper's Penguins, Ramona and Beezus, and all the Bad Kitty books.
As much as I love the book shelf, in Molly's small room, it no longer utilizes the limited space there. Molly loves to write. She loves to do homework. After we went to Gettysburg over spring break, she asked me if we had any books about the Civil War. I gave her a number of books on Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, and a beautifully illustrated book called Henry's Freedom Box about a slave that mailed himself to Pennsylvania to be free. But Molly really didn't have an adequate working space to do her writing. The doll house book shelf didn't give her any room for a desk so I knew we needed a change.
I saw this desk on Pinterest. It looks like a small girl's room, just like Molly's, but the desk definitely has storage space for books and a workspace big enough to do homework and write.
But then, I found what I was looking for here. I came across this blog about six months ago and I love it. She has such great ideas on how to keep your house organized and the ideas are usually such simple things you can do that can make such a positive impact on your daily life.
At http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/ Jen planned out a work space for herself. She bought two book towers from Ikea. These are the same bookshelves that I used in my scrapbook room except these had a single row of cubbies. I knew this would be perfect for Molly's room. It would still give her lots of shelf space for her books but it would also give her a work space to do her writing and homework.
Jen's plan for her desk.
The middle shelf was added and crown molding on top to make it look like one piece.
Then she added doors to the bookshelf. These you can buy at Ikea and are made to fit perfectly for this bookshelf. If you go to Jen's blog, she has a number of posts on the process of building her desk.
So I ran out to Ikea and bought the bookshelves and Chris put them together. I purchased the middle shelf at Ikea as well and it can be cut to any length needed. Now Molly did have this little desk or vanity table in her room but it really wasn't big enough to work at and her chair did not slide under it. That really drove me crazy because in such a tight space, even pushing the chair under the desk makes all the difference in the world.
So this was the beginning. I had the bookcases. I bought the middle shelf, and I also bought the hot pink bins at Target so that Molly would still have some pink in her room, but I still had to finish the top with crown molding and get a desk that would be big enough for a growing girl.
Well, I had Ricardo, the painter, coming to my house to finally fix the ceiling in the dining room again! Remember those alligators in the bathtub? After he was finished, I showed him Molly's bookcases. I pulled out the laptop and showed him Jen's iheartorganizing blog. I showed him what I wanted for Molly's room and together we were able to come up with a plan. He came back two days later and this is Molly's desk now.
It's perfect for her small room. She now has space for all her books, all those hot pink bins are filled with books, a few shelves for just her girly stuff and a desk that she can grow into. Notice also that the chair can now be pushed under the desk.
Ricardo also added the light on the top shelf. He drilled a small hole in the shelf to feed the electric cord through and then it is tucked behind the bookcase.
I think I'm going to hang those pink organizers on the wall that Molly got from American Girl. I also bought an extra valance and if I pull the stitching out for the pocket, it will be big enough to cover the top of the desk. The plan is to get a piece of glass to lay over it, that was Jen's idea as well.
Molly printed out a Harriet Tubman quiz from Brain Pop Jr.
A friend of mine called me up from Target one day while she was shopping because she saw this canvas print and thought Molly would like it since she loves taking her horseback riding lessons. Thanks Lori, the colors are perfect.
The real bunny foo-foo. I think he's liking the new room too.
Ahhh, my next project is to arrange all our pictures we made and hang them above Molly's bed.
Thanks to iheartorganizing, Molly's small room is a lot more functional.