New Storage for Mason's Books & Toys
Updated: Mar 13, 2021
BTW - Have I mentioned that I don't enjoy assembling furniture?
With Mason discovering basically EVERYTHING in our home, we decided that it was time to update some of our furniture (in addition to the couch). Among many of his new discoveries, Mason has learned that drawers open and close. Well, it just so happens that the dresser that served as extra storage for our clothes and random stuff under our TV is made up of eight drawers. Unfortunately, inner-drawer latches did not work with this dresser (I tried 3 different kinds - none were compatible with the drawer construction). I added external safety latches, but somehow Mason was able to tear some of these off, and the latches didn't keep the drawers completely shut, so there was still an opportunity for injury here. We were using Mason's playpen to block him off from the dresser as much as possible. The annoying task was having to move it back and forth every time we needed to grab something from the drawer, and having his playpen out took up a lot of space in our living room.
While searching for a new cabinet to go under our living room TV (and you know I'm thorough as described in the couch update Part II), I wanted something on the taller side with ample storage and, most importantly, doors. Our dresser was about 36 inches tall, which is excellent because Mason can't reach anything (for now), and Harvey can't knock anything over with his tail. A lot of media consoles were either too low or didn't have enough storage. I then started looking at sideboards and buffet tables with height and storage, which ultimately led me to this beauty. After cleaning out all the random stuff in the old dresser (home office supplies, Mason's toys, board games, my sunglasses collection, etc.), I ended up reorganizing some of our closet space and putting everything in its rightful place. Something else dawned on me - Mason didn't have a place to store his toys, and he plays in the living room for the majority of the day. I decided that the new buffet piece would be Mason's toy storage while hidden in the style that goes with our living room area.
The build. When I took out all of the pieces and separated all the hardware packs, I was a bit overwhelmed and intimidated. I cannot be more transparent: I do not like building furniture. I do not find it therapeutic. I stress and get easily frustrated during the process. For those who do enjoy this - seriously, kudos to you. I envy your joy during these projects. This buffet table took me about 2 hours to put together (built it while Mason napped). My hands were sore, and my palms had a couple small blisters because this piece only required a couple of different sized screwdrivers - the use of power tools was not recommended in the instructions. I do not have durable gloves for grips and building, so I put a couple of disposable gloves over my hands. I just wanted some kind of barrier between my bare hands and the tools.
After putting Mason's toys in the new buffet table and baby-proofing the doors, I've got to say, I'm happy with 99% of it. Mason seems 100% happy that he can grab his toys at his leisure (I don't lock his side of the buffet table). I organized the toys with the heavier ones on the bottom as a precaution and the lighter/soft toys on the middle and top shelves. B and I moved the tech boxes that were originally on the floor behind the dresser to the bottom right side along with some extra toys. This side remains locked. However, as you can see in the picture, the inner door on the left side is ever so lower than the rest. I was able to straighten out the other doors after I took the photos, but the one on the left side didn't want to cooperate. It bothered me for about 5 straight minutes, and I tried to fix it again, but honestly, the door isn't loose and still works just fine. B can fix it when he has time. I built it; it's done. Mason can't tell the difference.
On to the next one: the end table turned bookcase for Mason's nursery. His books were all over the floor in a messy pile. Originally, I had them nicely organized on his windowsill, but Mason figured out that he can climb his chair to then climb up onto the windowsill. In doing so, he'd push the books off until there were none left up there. Eventually, I grew tired of always picking up and reorganizing the books, so the these have stayed on the floor. We also moved his chair to the living room (clear of anything he can further climb). Fingers crossed he doesn't discover a new way to climb the windowsill (at least for the next few weeks, please). I wanted a book bin or short bookshelf for his nursery. Preferably, something without sharp edges and something within his reach. That way, he can have fun grabbing the books, and we can put them back without me killing my actual back during the process of the almighty "Clean Up" song.
I was having trouble finding something without sharp edges that also went with his room. I also wanted it to not feel so bulky. I saw an acrylic end table, which gave me the idea for something clear with shelving...Did such a thing exist? YES!! Found this cute little end table that I love for the lower height (28.7 inches) and round edges on the top. Additionally, the brass legs match the ones on his crib.
Having an expert assemble these pieces would've been an additional cost, and I didn't find that expert assembly was necessary (+$80 for end table, +$100 for buffet table). For the end table turned bookcase, all I had to do was install the legs, simple and easy (but still not my preference of "fun"). I tucked it right next to his crib, which also blocked off the outlet we use to power his monitor and sound machine. Since it's clear, it still promotes the open feeling for his nursery. I'm happy with his new book storage, and Mason seems to be enjoying them closer to his level, too!
Notes: I had store credit to Wayfair after returning an item. The original dresser was given to my brother. ALSO, Fall + Halloween decor post is coming soon!!!