I had been on the hunt for a console that had a Danish mid-century feel to it for a while, constantly scouring the internet as shopping with the kids fills me with certain anxiety. Unless off-course it’s to IKEA where they can be let free in the playspace. Living in a small city apartment with two boys, there is certain criteria that a piece of furniture must fit when entering my front door.
1. SIZE – Small, small and small !!!
2. EASY TO CLEAN – Why do kids insist on touching everything ?
3. MULTI-FUNCTIONAL – How much crap can I store in it ?
4. PRICE – Limit tears if and when some harm may come to it.
5. STYLE – Must be pretty off course, there will be no compromise on style.
Not an easy task when looking for a specific piece of furniture, but I was up to the challenge. Inspired by other IKEA hackers and consoles I had seen online, I turned to my favorite Swedish store IKEA. Starting with a white EXPEDIT bookcase as my blank canvas and using the Dumont Buffet from West Elm as my inspiration. Some maple veneer plywood, liquid nail glue and walnut stain later …. The transformation was complete.
My blank canvas
I’m very happy with the transformation, personally I think it looks more expensive than it is, more importantly it meets all the required criteria and people who have seen it in person find it hard to believe that it started out as a little white IKEA bookcase. Who knew something so Swedish could look so pretty dressed up Danish !!
My oldest who is 6 is constantly asking to move out to the ‘country’. The ‘country’ is what he calls suburbia. We live in the city and are lucky to be surrounded by a number of parks and open green spaces. We are even luckier to have outdoor space, by outdoor space I mean a small balcony and roof deck that has me breaking out in hives whenever the boys are out on it. But that is not enough, he wants his own backyard !! Having grown up in a house with such a thing I repeatedly tell him that the ‘grass isn’t always greener’. I still fret going to visit my mum for fear that she will ask me to help with the gardening. But his constant requests are enough to flair up the guilt complex and in a feeble attempt to bring a little ‘country’ into our city life, I purchased the cutest little greenhouse from IKEA so that the boys could do a little gardening at home.
They loved it and best of all it kept them busy on a recent rainy Sunday morning. We planted some strawberry, tomato, cilantro and basil seeds. Unfortunately I must have read them ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ one to many times for they where sorely disappointed the next morning when nothing had grown. I think they where expecting to climb some sort of greenery !! I tried to reason with them ……. if I knew that I could pluck a hen that laid gold eggs from the sky, I would have started planting seeds long ago. They where not amused and my youngest suggested we open up a tin of Heinz baked beans and plant them. We are now on Day 3 and I’m constantly asked “when are they going to grow ?” and “it takes too long, why does it take so long ?”. I wonder how long it will be before I cave and go down to the garden centre and replace them with some established plants. For now our little greenhouse sits pretty on our balcony. This is as a much of a backyard as I can handle !!
Back before kids I used to have photos in albums with a short description under each one, way back before kids I had my own dark room and printed my own black and white photos. These days with kids I make endless lists of what I would like to do with my photos and how I would like to organize and categorize them. It’s when my youngest starts asking why there are not as many photos of him in frames that I realize I am failing. I also remember the days when I used to travel around with a purposely designed back pack for my SLR camera, all my lenses and film, always reading reviews on the latest cameras and lenses. These days I travel around with my iPhone and capture the most magical moments with my kids on my phone. This is why I was so excited when I found out about the Groove Book app. Using the free Groove Book app you can download photos off your phone, they are then printed in a 6×4 book of up to 100 pages, the photos are perforated so you can easily remove them and since the data is take of your phone, the photos have date and location printed on them and all for a fee of $2.99 per book !!!! I think I’ve ordered 9 already, the boys love looking at them, and with their colorful covers they look pretty on the coffee table and make for a great conversation starter ……….. Check them out on http://www.GrooveBook.com and get your first one free using the coupon code GONZALEZVEGA11
My friend Jennifer has many talents; she is incredibly funny, is a great writer, accomplished producer and has amazing flair in the art of persuasion. It is this flair that got us into a private Albanian graduation party in New York’s swanky Gavensport Hotel one summers night, the same flair talked me into buying $200 worth of pampered chef goods that I’ve never used and it was this same flair that convinced me into filming a video for her incredibly funny you tube channel. Check it out following link below …… enjoy !!!!