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LAB Work: Zo's Room

Budget:  $36. (Rest are all existing items)
Time:  One swift afternoon.

 Let's kick off the New Year with a Transformation!
So you've seen our Home Classroom... 

enter here.

But how about Zozie's room?

Nothing Fancy. 
All white furniture on chocolate brown walls.

Just wanted to maximize his space in our apartment so he would have more than one area to call his own.
So we HapaLAB'ed the rest of Zo's daily environment.

It's been done for a while.
But we realized that we have never shown it.

So....Here it is.

Zo's Retreat.

His Bed. 
Everytime I see him in it, I feel like I'm in a fairy tale with dwarfs.  This is a simple white wooden bed with a single bed rail for safety.  A blue canopy covers the sleeping cove for a nice sense of coziness and privacy.  A simple set of Star bedding sets the mood for sweet dreams (most nights).  A bargain off Craigslist, this bed and canopy cost us a mere $10.  (Say what?  Yes, we were shocked too!)

His Book Nook.
We combined a Froggy King Ottoman, Lily Pad, and a Zabutan for his reading corner.  It's in easy reach of his books on the shelf.  We had these items laying around before, but now we paired them up with a bright halogen reading lamp, the switch faces him in bed.  We see him turning his lamp ON for reading, then OFF for snoozing... really empowering to control his own light levels!
(Be ready for 1 or 2 days of "non-stop switching" on the lamp.  It's fresh.  We would do it too.  But no worries, it wears off.)
His Storage.
An 8 cubby bookcase give organization and storage options. 
Books on top:  Sorted by height, this allows for easy clean up when he pulls a book out.  Also, a great lesson on filing books away with the bindings OUT.  He self corrected a few times due to height and binding positioning.   
Toy Baskets below:  No clutter & no worries about pinched fingers!
A CD player with a basket of his CD's sit on top of the bookcase for those private dance parties...
He knows the icons: "triangle" button (PLAY), the "square" button (STOP) , and the "arrow" button (EJECT).
Sort of a shape lesson with music as a bonus.

green piggy eats coins, Zo loves feeding him.

His Toys.
Two 3 tier shelves hold all his "non-work" tools, or aka...TOYS.
Individual games on the top 2 shelves, more baskets for loose legos or puzzle boxes on the lower shelf.
A large clock hangs on the wall to help Zo with time.

We wanted to separate play TOYS from the his Homschool Work tools.  This way, he has a clear distinction between these two areas, and again, knows where to put thing back after playing.  (Do I hear a running theme here?  Mama does NOT want to clean up by HERSELF anymore.)  Try not to over clutter the shelves so it's easy to see the play options.  They don't need everything out at all times.  Rotate toys often to keep their "fresh" appeal...like a new toy placed in the monkey pens at the zoo.  (Yes.  We have a cute pet monkey at home.)

loves his jigsaws & trains.
His Train Table.
This train table functions as a multipurpose surface off the carpet.  Puzzles, train tracks, play-doh...whatevers.  His pal Ben has a similar set up in his home transformation.  6 Ample container buckets provide storage below, another awesome Craigslist find at $25.  (I know, I'm lucky.)

His Art.
Kids this age are major art factories.  They love to make ART.  And we love to see it. (Our Z Gallery)  A rotating gallery is what we have opted for wall decoration.  We found this over-sized 36x48 aluminum framed cork board at a garage sale for a whopping  $1.
(Stop it already.)
Using simple jute strings and classic wooden clothes hangers, we created 3 "laundry-art-lines" to display Zo's latest work.  A small tin bucket holding extra clothes pins allow Zo to clip it all himself on the lower line.  It hangs on the lower right-hand corner of the board.

Cheap, flexible, and home-made.  
Best of 3 worlds.

His Growth.
This room ends with a wall mounted Growth Chart behind the door.  A fun addition to any toddler room.  It's a great visual reminder for the child to see the effects of good food & good sleep!  Zo loves to get measured.  He had a spurt @ 27months, growing 1.5 " in 6 weeks!  (see below.)

The Montessori philosophy has oozed into this wonderful activity area for Zozie.  It's also a cozy den at bedtime.
Everything is at his height, just right, for his little life.

We'll show you his "Magical Closet" transformation!
Stay tuned.


  1. Loved the tour of Enzo's room. I felt peaceful and happy viewing the photos and reading your descriptions. As has happened before, looking at your blog, you've inspired me with ideas for my own home space, particularly my bedroom. I would love to see these postings in book form so that I could give it away as a gift. Peace, simplicity, and lovingness comes through your thoughtfulness in design and creating a space for Enzo. Thank you!


  2. His room is perfectly adorable and zen:) You're daughter-in-law will love you one day for the domestic tricks Enzo is learning now. Trust me...