Not too long ago, in a galaxy not so far, far away, DIYer Lindsey Joy set out on revamping her sons’ shared bedroom. The driving factor? Legos—lots of them. She didn’t want to hide their prized creations, but she also didn’t want to step on them. So Joy came up with an open shelving display that would serve as both storage and statement piece. “They love Star Wars, and a circle felt lunar to me,” she says.
The journey started with Clare’s Blue Ivy paint color. Joy covered (almost) the entire wall in the hue, leaving a blank space that she filled in with a slightly darker shade called Deep Dive. Instantly the two rich tones made the room feel more sophisticated and less toddler-like. “I like that the room is blue now,” says her 9-year-old, Blake. Seven-year-old Grayson agrees: “It’s really cool!” Read on for a deeper look at her DIY and two other fresh spins on the trending idea.
Color Inside the Lines
Achieving a pristine shape is actually super-simple, Joy swears. First, figure out where you want the middle of your shelving display to be—hammer a nail in that spot. Attach a string to the nail that’s as long as your desired radius. Tie a pencil to the end. Keeping the yarn taut, sketch the outline of your shape on the wall. “It’s basically like a giant protractor,” explains Joy. With a steady hand and a small brush, paint the circle’s border first. Then you can fill in the blank part with a large roller.
Joy built her five floating shelves from scratch (the boards are a mix of plywood and pine, and the three different lengths vary by 6-inch increments), but you could easily re-create this system with IKEA’s popular Lack shelves. The key is to make sure they fit exactly within the mural’s diameter. “Once I had the middle one’s placement figured out, I was able to space them out evenly,” says Joy. Then she painted them in Deep Dive, the same color as the wall.
Display Treasures, Large and Small
The boys’ most elaborate Lego structures live higher up, where they’re still in view but not in danger of toppling over. “The lighthouse was the most fun to make because I like building all the different moving parts,” says Blake. Another elaborate complex: the Fist Spaceship (Grayson’s pride and joy). “I liked filling the inside with tiny dinosaurs,” he says.
Joy lined the lowest shelf with baskets for additional toy storage (mostly American Girl Doll accessories), leaving plenty of room for future purchases. “I don’t like filling bins to capacity—it doesn’t leave any room to grow,” says Joy. To complete the planetary vibe, she installed two globe sconces from World Market on either side of the circle. The fixtures are plug-in, so there’s no hard wiring involved—just hanging.
Give the Boards a Boost
Depending on the shelves you buy, you’ll likely need reinforcement. Joy installed 6-inch-long metal brackets underneath her shelves to hold them in place (just in case Grayson decides to use them as a ladder again). After repainting her mustard-tone circle mural (pictured above), fellow DIYer Molly Madfis learned it’s best to paint the metal pieces the same color as the wall so they’re virtually unnoticeable.
Try It Out Elsewhere
Kids at heart can get behind this playful storage solution, too. Laura Lane and Nic Rad had a round shelf unit custom-built (that’s right, the circle and the shelves are one) for their Brooklyn living room and painted it an ombré pink scheme. The planks are dotted with artful knickknacks. This way they can have all their various objects on display without the house feeling cluttered.
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