Storage + Style for Brynlee’s Room

sauder dresser

Over the last year I have rearranged rooms many times. Last summer, we turned Bella’s room into a playroom and roomed Bryson and Bella together with the intentions of keeping the new baby in our room before moving her in with the other two. Then when she was born with medical complications, that all flew out the window. She came home with a truck-load of medical supplies, a noisy suction machine, and a feeding pump that runs through the night. She needed her own room. A couple days before she was released from the NICU, I found myself in a frenzy trying to rearrange rooms again, tear apart the playroom, assemble cribs, move furniture, and create room for Brynlee and all of her medical supplies.

sauder dresser

Her room became a hodgepodge of sorts with one wall still packed full of school supplies while the rest of the room was home to medical supplies.  It was a hot mess, but we had no choice.  We made it work until we could close in our carport and build another room which would be the playroom.  That finally happened this spring (woohoo!) so it was time to make Brynlee’s room feel more like a nursery.  The completion of the new playroom opened up Brynlee’s room, but it was still a mess because it had no clothing storage.  As a temporary solution, I added a small set of clear drawers that I already had on hand and while it worked, it was ug-ly.

sauder dresser soft white

When the folks at Sauder reached out and offered to send us a piece of furniture, I jumped for joy!  It was perfect timing and I know exactly the kind of piece I wanted.  I wanted something white with a sleek look and lots of drawers.  I also wanted something that could hold a changing pad so we could move her changing table out of her room.  I wanted 1 piece that was multifunctional and after browsing online, I found it with no issues.  As soon as I saw the soft white dresser, I knew it was “the one” for me.  Ordering was a breeze and imagine my surprise when the dresser was sitting on my porch 3 business days later!  Holy cow, they were super quick which was awesome since I was pushing deadlines.

sauder dresser clothes

So let’s be honest, I don’t mess with the assembly process.  In fact, I hopped in the tub for a nice, long soak while Justin hauled the dresser in off the porch and got to work.  We all have things we are good at and building is one of those things for Justin so who am I to step in?  Ha.  All of the pieces were packaged well and everything was undamaged.  The hardware pieces were separated and easy to find.  All of the pieces were clearly labeled and while the process was time consuming with so many pieces (which was expected- it’s a large dresser), it was easy and without any issues.

sauder dress baby room

Once it was fully assembled, I couldn’t wait to slide it in Brynlee’s room and start filling it up.  It worked even better in the space than I had imagined.  Not only does it hold Brynlee’s clothes, it also houses some of her medical supplies and cloth diapers.  We were able to clear out a TV tray that held her suction machine and humidifier because both of those now sit on top of the dresser.  It added style and lots of space to her room!

sauder blog

I am thrilled with the soft white dresser from Sauder.  The quality is excellent and if I didn’t know any better, I would think this piece was super expensive!  I love that Sauder offers solid, sturdy furniture that doesn’t break the bank.  We’ll be using this piece for years to come.  It definitely beats clear drawers and TV trays- that is for sure.   Brynlee’s room finally looks like a bedroom and not just a bunch of different things thrown in one room.

brynlee 08072014

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sauder. The opinions and text are all mine.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sauder. The opinions and text are all mine.

Our Play & School Room Reveal & Details

School and Play Room

Last summer, I decided to create a playroom… then I broke my leg and ankle.  So my plans were put on hold for one year until a spurt of second trimester energy hit and I found myself, screwdriver in hand, taking apart Bella’s crib.  It was time to get this party started!  Our house is what most would consider tiny, less than 1,110 square feet with three bedrooms.  In order to have a play space and school room, the kids would have to sleep in the same room.  That was my biggest concern, but constantly stepping over toys and storing school supplies all over the house just wasn’t working anymore.  We needed a dedicated space.  I needed a dedicated space with organization.  So, I took the crib apart, shuffled furniture around (a perk of having tile floors- it’s easy!), and at the end of the day- the play & school room was born.

School and Play Room

Next, I needed organization.  Since the nearest IKEA is over 3 hours away, I found the best Expedit alternative- Closetmaid Cubicals.  I seriously love these things and I know that they hold up well because I use them in Bryson’s room and our laundry room.  I’ve ordered from and also found them at Lowes.  Walmart carries Closetmaid too so you may find them there.  They work well in small spaces because they aren’t wide and that’s exactly what I needed for the school room.  They also come with the hardware to anchor the units to the wall so you don’t have to worry about them tipping over.  The only drawback is that they are not tall enough to store a 3 ring binder which is why I opted for the KidKraft Wall Storage Unit on the adjacent wall.

Play and School Room

We have different areas set up around the room.  Over in the far corner, you can see the KidKraft Grand Gourmet Corner Kitchen.  We bought this for Bella’s first Christmas and it has been a hit.  They love that it has everything including a washing machine.  Next to it, we have the KidKraft Nantucket Table Set which includes 2 chairs and a bench.  This was a gift from my parents and again, we just love anything KidKraft.  The quality is wonderful.  This area is their little dining area where they often play restaurant and the table also doubles as their school desk.  In this corner, we also have a child size broom, pretend vacuum, garbage can, and clock.

Kitchen Dining Area Play Room

Behind the door is another set of cubes from Target.  This holds most of Bella’s toys.  She is far too busy to actually play with anything and usually dumps everything in the floor and then moves on to the next thing.  Justin is planning to build some shelves into the wall here because it’s such a small awkward space.

Bella's Toys - School Room

To answer a few questions:

How big is the room?  This was originally Bella’s bedroom and it’s approximately 12×12.

Is this everything?  Yes, this is everything we use for play and learning.  Bella keeps a few stuffed animals and dolls near her bed and there is a bookcase in their bedroom, but other than that- everything is in this room.  They are allowed to bring toys out and play with wherever they like as long as they put those toys away when they are finished playing.  They aren’t confined to the playroom and will often choose to play in other parts of the house, usually right under me, ha.

10 Drawer Rolling Cart Multi Color School

How do you use the 10 drawer cart?   Before we had a school room, it held our most used supplies, books, worksheets, etc.  Now, I’m sorting Bryson’s work by day with 1 drawer for each day.  So, all of his work for Monday is in one drawer as well as any supplies that will fit.  I’ll also keep a list of extra things we’ll need that day to help myself stay on track.  Anything I plan to use during the week that will fit inside a drawer is stored there.  For instance, this week he has an “L” pattern block printable along with the Melissa & Doug Pattern Block Set in one drawer.

School Room Photos

I don’t have that much stuff!  How do you do it?  When I realized that God was leading us to homeschool, I started sneaking educational, learning, and play toys on Christmas and birthday lists.  When someone asked me for a suggestion, I always had a running list of items we’d love to have for learning and play.  The easel and the table/ chair set were both gifts from my parents.  I try to be very intentional with Bryson and Bella’s wish list.  (I have an Amazon wish list for everything, but more for personal use.  I don’t share them with anyone other than immediate family.)  I also found a lot of our stuff at thrift stores or places like Goodwill.

That said, you don’t need everything that we have!  We started with a set of dot markers, free printables, and wooden puzzles- that was it.  Bryson loved those things!

School Room Photos

Where can I find/ what brand is it?

Wall color: Aqua Rapids by Valspar at Lowes

Cube Storage Play School Room

White Cubes: Closetmaid Cubicals- or Lowes

Pink Cubes: Circo at Target

Chevron Fabric Cubes: Big Lots

KidKraft Grand Gourmet Corner Kitchen

Kids Kitchen: KidKraft Grand Gourmet Corner Kitchen

Kids Table Set: KidKraft Nantucket Table with Bench & Chairs

KidKraft Wall Storage Unit -Play School

Storage with Bins: KidKraft Wall Storage Unit

10 Drawer Multicolor Rolling Cart:

Calendar Wall School Room

Calendar:  Learning Resources Calendar & Weather Pocket Chair

USA Map Rug School Room

USA Rug: Big Lots  (I couldn’t pass it up for $16 and I looked online for a similar one, but can’t find one for less than $40.)

Laminator:  Scotch Thermal Laminator (under $25!)

Easel: Melissa & Doug

Owl Canvas Wall Decor:  Circo Love and Nature line at Target

Owl/ Bird Wall Decals:  Lot 26 Studio  (It doesn’t look like they carry these exact decals anymore, but they have some other cute owl styles.)

Play School Room Reveal with Details

Curtains:  Lightcatcher Thermal Blackout Panels  These are the BEST!  We have 3 different brands of blackout curtains in our home and these work better than any I’ve tried.

Chandelier:  Tadpoles 4 Bulb Chandlier

Did I miss something?  If you have questions about anything, feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer.

This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting It’s Gravy, Baby!  The KidKraft Wall Storage Unit was sent to us for review, but as you can see, we were huge KidKraft fans already.  All thoughts and opinions remain my own, as always.

Dream Big – Items that Inspire

Dream Big Print

We read “It’s a Big World, Little Pig!” over breakfast last week and it was such a fantastic book that it inspired this post.  I searched the web for some of my favorite products that inspire you to not only dream, but dream BIG.  I’ve rounded them up and hope you enjoy.  You can click on the photo or the link below each photo to be taken straight to the product.


 It's a Big World, Little Pig! by Kristi Yamaguchi


It’s a Big World, Little Pig! by Kristi Yamaguchi – $6.80

Poppy, the adorable, persistent, dreaming-big pig, has a new adventure in store for her: the World Games ice-skating championship in Paris! Poppy is nervous about meeting so many new people in a new place. But, ever courageous and supported by her family (Emma, too!), Poppy embarks upon this exciting adventure head-on. She meets a snowboarding Panda, a Maltese who skies, and two fellow skaters, a Crane and a Kangaroo. Poppy begins to realize that although these animals look different, act different, and are from different places, they are all the same at heart. They all smile in the same language!

Dream Big Necklace from The Vintage PearlDream Big Necklace from The Vintage Pearl – $48

A hand-sculpted sterling silver cloud charm is hammered a bit on one side with “dream BIG” handstamped on the back.
Hung on a sterling silver chain with a freshwater pearl.



Dream Big Print


8×10 Dream Big Print by STELLAandHODGE – $18


  Artwork is 8×10, perfect for matting and framing. Printed on a 8.5×11 sheet of high quality, heavy, acid-free, archival paper. And printed with fade resistant hi-definition inks.  Available in 6 colors- aqua, salmon, grape, avocado, lemon, and orange.

Dream Big Bookends - Pottery Barn


Dream Big Word Bookends from PB Teen – $49



Dream Big Mug



Dream BIG Mug by CafePress – $18



Dream Big Wall Decals - Lot 26 Studio


Dream Big Wall Decals by Lot 26 Studio – $19.99

  • Includes 11 mirror finish word and bird wall decals
  • Complete application instructions and decorating ideas video included
  • Quick and easy to remove when you re-decorate

Do you have a favorite item that inspires you to dream big?


This post contains affiliate links.  Thank  you for your support!