Mini Nursery Tour: Otis in the House

Mini Nursery Tour: Otis in the House

Janie Lee
May 22, 2007

AT:SF readers are familiar with the fabulous Shiso Mama (aka Mimi) and the hipster room she created for son Otis. We wanted to bring the rest of Otis' domain over to AT: The Nursery and show you this inspiring example of incorporating children into a clutter-free modern abode.

Mimi tells us: My husband and I recently dedicated a weekend to putting up Ikea cabinets and a gigantic homasote bulletin board to display Otis's art and we're pleased with the results.

more pics after the jump...

His toys can be put away in the cabinets, or in the rolling bins below, but he can reach most everything by himself. There is now TONS of storage space (we haven't even BEGUN to fill it) and we keep a couple of things out on display.

He also has a chalkboard table, and we bought him one of these kids' sofas on the last day of one of the DWR warehouse sales (when it was really really marked down). I felt pretty silly when I bought it, but it's actually been one of our best purchases. It stacks neatly and unobtrusively, but you can spread out and get comfy (even adults!) or even deconstruct it and build forts with it. Otis loves this thing, and can often be found there playing, hanging out with friends, or sitting quietly and reading.

[W]e've tried to provide Otis with play areas that would work well for him, but would allow us to put everything away once he was finished playing. In the kitchen, we have reserved a cabinet for him, with all his kitchen and food toys. He also has a little portable Haba stove, which we set on his stepstool when he wants to play, and then set aside when he's finished. The stepstool is also in the kitchen so he can pull up to the sink to wash his hands, watch me cook dinner, or steal a snack.

In progress (studio space Mimi and Otis share): [W]e are in the process of buying a prefab studio (from Modern Cabana) for the backyard, so the room will change in the upcoming months. This room (and really, the house) is constantly changing as Otis grows and as our needs change.

Design philosophy and resources: Some days, I feel a little guilty, because Otis isn't free to run around with ready access to paint, or to leave his toys everywhere. But we've really tried to build a kid-friendly space that WE can live with.

We love all the cool new modern stuff out there - it's so well-built, suits our aesthetic, and often is designed so that it is multi-functional (which is important to us). But we can rarely get ourselves to pay those prices. We've had lots of luck with the DWR sales,craigslist has been good to us, and we have had great luck with carefully chosen items from Ikea.

Upcoming projects/dreams: Painting one of the walls in the play area with chalkboard paint. (Some day) buying a projection monitor and screen so we can watch movies together (we don't have a TV). Turning Otis's closet into a secret hidaway with a dutch door.

(Thanks, Mimi!)

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