Incorporating toys into a small apartment design.

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When Mark and I visited his parents last week, and they kindly tried to send us home with all of his childhood toys, how could I resist! Mark has a large collection of 80’s memorabilia… Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters, Beetlejuice, Pokemon, Power Rangers, and so much more nostalgic goodness. My challenge was to incorporate them into the design of our home, using the walls, and so it wouldn’t look too cluttered. In a 600 square foot apartment, using wall space in the design is key.

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I had Mark install a long shelf along the ceiling so I could display all the toys. It’s hard to get these little guys to stand up, let me tell you. The mini-bar is one of my favorite parts of this room, of course. The IKEA Poang chair with red cushion and shiny pink pillow add the perfect pop of modern and color to the more classic design of the shelves and wall art.

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Mark also put up another shelf for more toys, over my desk. So many toys! I got the disc wall clock from Fab.com and the awesome Carpe Weird print from HelpInk.org.

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Here’s a peek at the other half of our living room, which is where we have a bit of a renaissance theme going on. My father painted this epic shield containing our family crests, and of course, animals in human clothes are always awesome. The important things I tried to do to incorporate the shield into the room was adding splashes of color found in the shield, like the red fireplace, the blue ox figurine, and the green cup for bottle caps on the table.

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I made sure to hang everything in the apartment at that 57″ sweet spot, while getting a little bit chaotic, in an organized way. I included works by MC Escher in our collage, as it’s Mark’s favorite artist.

Overall, I think it’s a good start to our home design, but I kind of wish I had a better quality camera for these pictures. Someday!


Post a comment to let me know your must-know tips for home design, or show me pictures of your homes!

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  • I LOVE this. It’s making me quite sad about my own house. I want our house to look more modern and family-orientated rather than 2 college kids’ dorm rooms. I started to make it look nice but kind of fell off of that.

    You did an amazing job. 😀

    • Stewie

      It makes me feel so sad that it makes you feel sad about your house! Truly I hate to think that this blog would be a source of sadness for anyone, I really do want to inspire people and make them happy. I am happy to offer you any advice or tips or whatever!!!!

      I got a lot of inspiration from apartmenttherapy.com as well if that helps!

  • Omg I love your home! This is so cute! This is an area where my husband and I have struggled, finding that fine line between a nice, geekly decorated home that doesn’t look like a pair of teenagers live there. I think we’ve almost nailed the living room, but our bedroom and game room are another story. But I LOVE your idea with the turtles and the shelf! I might steal that idea and retract my “no plastic toys” rule for the livingroom, as we have boxes and boxes of Star Wars action figures taking up valuable storage space, haha.

  • I LOVE your apartment. Especially the shield and the clock. I’ve been remodeling part of my house and have been looking for a clock like that (except white). Your dad did a rad job on that family crest. Looks great 🙂

  • Neat post! Love ‘geek chic’ decor. That’s one thing I’m slowly working on myself…having a modern, adult feeling home while still proudly incorporating all my nerd loves.

  • Eeee this is amazing! I love the visual collage you have going on… well everywhere! It looks really good and I love how the art pops against the plain white walls. I’m moving into my own place with my boyfriend soonish and you’ve given me tons of ideas to do with all our toys.. ahem collectibles!

  • I really love how this looks. I’ve got so many toys that I can’t really bear to part with, but haven’t figured out how to display in an appealing way so they’re just boxed up in the closet! Any tips on stuffed animals or do you think they’re just too childish to be stylish?

  • Your apartment is beautiful! I love all the pops of color and the toys fit in so nicely. My husband recently brought home a bunch of old toys from his parents’, including a huge tub full of different Batman action figures) that I’m super excited to incorporate into our decor.