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LAB Work: The Vaiseys

Today I give you....Rebekah

I have a plethora of sisters-in-law.  
Each extremely beautiful and brilliantly vibrant.
But none more spectacularly colorful as the ever-refreshing Rebekah. 
A fine girl with a fine mind...she's a wife, mother, girlfriend, and blogger in her own right....never ceasing to bring the Sunshine, even on the gloomiest of days... my own or hers.

When I started the LAB, I wasn't sure where I was headed with this whole thing.  I knew my old career well, but was charting into new territory as a SAHM.  People would ask me questions about Zo's space, our home classroom set up, our daily routines, and on my thoughts regarding walking away from a "glamorous" (not really) design career just to do house chores all day.  I needed an outlet.  

"HapaLab:  Changing the world, one cabinet at a time..." ~ Bekah. 

And with that quote, she kept me going.
It's not a matter of actually changing the world, but the feeling of being valuable, to oneself.  Exactly who you are, where you are, and nothing more. 
Ah life.  It's all really silly anyways, why not just laugh along the way?

Bek always has a way of squeezing that laugh out of you.
Belly busting gut laughs.  Gut.  Laughs.
Today is Bekah's birthday.
So on her special day, here's a HapaLAB Transformation from the vault!
A labor of love, on last Labor Day.

Work Budget:  As little as possible
Total Cost:  Some muscle & hustle
Location:  Berkeley, CA

This is a most beautiful and busy family of SIX.
It's tough getting them all to look at the camera at the same time let alone much else some days.

Needless to say, anything that would lessen Bek's daily TO DO list is MOST welcomed.  Some serious structure to her toddler room was in order, as much as can be expected in a busy young household.  The "Littles" are 3 and 5 years old.  This is always a challenge...a shared mix gender toddler bedroom.  These two active kids...live hard and play hard.  Bring it on.
HapaLab is willing to take on the challenge.

This bedroom has 3 hats to wear:
1)  Dressing Nook
2)  Play Zone
3)  Bed & Rest Area

The Dressing Nook
Let's face it, these open face bins don't work too well for sorting toys.  They just get junked up, more of an eye sore than an organizer.  Since the kids needed "dressers", these existing bins were a nice option.

We went one step further and label-maker'd (is that a word?) each bin to note what type of clothing went inside.  If you are new to label makers, they are one of the top "Must Haves" in organizing a home.  No pen or paper needed, just type it, print it, stick it.

The open top nature of these dressers allowed the kids to sort their own clean laundry and help themselves get dressed each day. Yes.  It DOES say "SOFT Skorts" and "CRUNCHY Skorts."  Again, kids and dad can help sort the clean laundry.

The Play Zone
Baskets and cubbies, the perfect pairing.  A good initial pass on the books helped to remove any extras that they've outgrown.  This loosened up the bookcases and allowed the remaining toys to be separated and displayed for more frequent use.

The Bed & Rest Area
Having bunk beds really open up this shared room for playing during the day.  A couple of cushions on the floor under the window provides a good reading area for the kids.  A cute train track rug to anchor the play area, dress ups stored below the bed in bins, a laundry basket in the corner, and the room is finished.

After the "Bigs" visited the NEW "Littles" space...we overhear this:
"Awww...their room feels SO nice, why can't our room be nice like that too?"
Now why do you have to go and do that
Ok fine. 
We'll do the "Bigs" room too. 
Just a quick face lift.

This was a trickier space.
Small room, two older kids, boy & girl shared, and a reptile named Felix.
Bek did fabulously on her color pallet for the room!  Brick red, apple green, dusty blue, and accents of white.  Perfectly fun and gender neutral.  She had turned bedding into curtains by simply clipping them up onto drapery rings.  She then took the shams from the matched set and placed them on each bed to tie in the red to the beds.  The dresser did it's thing in the same apple green and Bek refreshed some cork boards in the dust blue to match.  Bunk beds, again, saved the day in this room.

Most of this room was done already, so what did HapaLab do?
Space planning...or simply, pushed furniture around.

The beds started out on the door wall, leaving the room feeling cluttered and cramped.  The Lab broke the usual rules by pushing the beds up AGAINST the open window.  A typical "No-no" in design.  Then another fault....butting the tall dresser against the window.  Two strikes....in the right direction.

There was SO little space in this bedroom that the heavy casegood sat nicer in the far corner, despite it being infront of the window.  The partial drapery overhang served as a nice "headboard" visual.  Then the apple green dresser was a nice focal point to the room, serving surprisingly well as a near bedside table for the upper bunk.  The sheer scale in height of the bunk beds made the dresser fit in that spot.  This also cleared the walls for two other bookcases which were desperately needed to house all the different books and nick-knacks.  Kids have nick-knacks.  Big time.

So here's to Rebekah...a birthday wish.
May you always find that strength in life to push awkward pieces of furniture against windows...even when it looks utterly wrong, with everyone telling you so, that you know it  feels just perfectly right.


  1. This was the BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER!!!! I loved reliving how hard we worked together and how loved and supported you made me feel. Also it inspires me to get into those roooms with the kids and straighten them up to the original order again. I love your birthday wish for me because, well, I need it!

  2. Love you Bek. Happy Birthday!

  3. I love the rooms both littles and bigs! What a wonderful birthday treat. Well done ladies.

  4. Wonderful telling, wonderful topic, wonderful people. I love getting little peeks into your daily lives, around the edges.

    Happy Birthday Rebekah, Bekah!



  5. Aahh... lovely. Well done, Hapalab! When will you be bringing your services to Happy Valley? My birthday's in December. :) Very inspirational. Happy Birthday, Miss Rebekah, and I'm only, what... 3 weeks late? Sigh... miss you.

  6. Thanks Elizabeth!! December birthdays are the best since that's my month too! Everything feels like a gift since it's the holidays:)