Designing Your (Wo)Man Cave for the Big Game

Meet Kendra. We met because of my love for IKEA and became friends because of our love of football. Kendra was one of the rookies in the Girls In the 'Hood league this season. She didn't do too bad. Here are her thoughts on a very important topic that we don't often discuss. Dammit, I want a cave! Don't you? By: Kendra Ferguson, Local Marketing Specialist at IKEA Orlando

Everyone's talking about getting the Man Cave ready for the Big Game. What about the Woman Caves? According to Forbes, nearly half of the NFL fans are women (45%). As the ladies prepare for kick-off, IKEA can help prepare a space that's comfortable - an essential component of a Man Cave, and also well-designed.

The Bench. You're the Coach of this event, so you need to maintain control of the remote. The FLÖRT caddy can help with that. Everyone can't be in the game. There will be a lot of Armchair Quarterbacks tuning in on Sunday. Do you have a seat for everyone? Add more floor seats with folding chairs and cushions, and small tables to keep drinks off your floor away from accidental Kickers.

Product Suggestions: FLÖRT remote control pocket, $4.99; FEJAN folding chair, $10.00; SKÄRBLAD cushion cover, $5 (20x20 INNER $2.99)*; LACK side table, $9.99


*IKEA has so many cushion covers to select from that fit the 20x20 INNER that you can easily swap them out as the season or your mood changes.

Concession Stand. Watching football is hard work, and fans will be famished long before halftime rolls around. Set-up plates and glasses buffet-style, so guests can chow down at their leisure. That way you won't have to miss a second of play action, or the highly-anticipated commercials.

Production Suggestions: PLACERA serving bowl, $6.99; OMVÄXLANDE tray, $12.99; OANVÄND beer glass, $1.99; TICKAR plate, $4.99; BYGEL utility cart, $24.99

Good Sportsmanship. Keep it clean, on and off the field. An unavoidable truth: dramatic plays, and the celebratory fist pumps that follow, lead to spills. Have plenty of paper napkins handy in case things get messy. Get them in your team's color to add some game day flair! Both teams this year are sporting blue, so you don't have to pick sides if you don't want to. To minimize spillage, lay out coasters and place mats so guests don't have to hold their dishes.

Think ahead. Make postgame cleanup as painless as possible. Your trash bins can play offense and defense – first line them with plastic and fill with ice to cool drinks, then collect garbage after the game. Think you'll have more leftovers than your fridge can handle? Invite guests to take a taste of the Super Bowl home in microwave-safe containers.

Product Suggestions: LJUDA place mat, $1.49; PANNÃ… coasters, $6.99; FANTASTISK paper napkins, $1.99; KNODD bin with lid, $24.99; PRUTA food containers, $4.79

Whether you're pulling for the Broncos or the Seahawks, from first down to final touchdown, you're in for a good game. The field of play is set, so sit back and relax. For more design tips, follow @IKEAOrlando on Twitter.

Disclosure: this is a guest post. I was not compensated for this post though I totally plan on stealing these ideas and passing them off as my own. I leave you with my deep, deep thought for the day:



Disclosure: this is a sponsored post (although I may have done without receiving anything in return) You guys know about my love of IKEA. If you don't, you better get to reading this and this and this and this. Go ahead, I'll wait...

Okay so now do you get my love of IKEA? I hope so. This past week I had the pleasure of attending the CataLOVE event at IKEA Orlando in honor of the 2014 IKEA catalog. Have you received it in the mail yet?


I didn't get my catalog in the mail until Thursday evening. Which was about 6 hours AFTER I picked up.  It was horrible! Some of my friends got it before me and taunted me on the Twitter about it. Can you imagine my DivaStation?! However, I managed to perhaps walk away with more than my share of them to makeup for it. Think they'll notice?



I learned so much at the IKEA event. Most of it I'd already been exposed to (like the fact that IKEA is focusing on living with children and helping us create a space for all of the different activities that happen in the home). IKEA_LWC

I love the line "Living With Children. All Moments Count." Because we know they do. That's what the 2014 catalog celebrates. Also, this picture gave me a great idea to how to keep the couch fort stable (why hadn't I thought of sticks?). The new catalog celebrates what matters most for children and families – spending time together. Catalog 2014, themed "All Moments Count," shows different solutions on how to create space for doing things together

  • Sharing everyday tasks
  • Sharing creative activities
  • Sharing time and space
  • Sharing a cause


New to this year's catalog is information about how the IKEA Foundation and UNICEF, through product donations, are helping children caught in disasters or conflict so they can continue to play, learn and grow. I love their soft toy campaign and you will too.

For every soft toy sold from November 1st through December 29, the IKEA Foundation will donate $1 to support UNICEF and Save the Children educational programs. The goal this year is to donate $1,200,000. The theme this year is Fairy Tale.


Yeah, um, so...I love food. And I love IKEA food. So imagine my surprise when I thought I knew all about their yumminess and I found out I did not! They are now offering organic foods for the kids (yay). And I got to taste some ridiculously tasty cheese I hadn't had before along with their fantabulous selections of salmon.  Seriously, I have plans on making some of this. And by "making" I mean I have plans to go to IKEA and eat it there. Don't judge me!


I never realized there was a parking lot designated for families at IKEA. Did you? Here are some other fun facts I never knew about but that are in place because IKEA is committed to me (and by me I mean families but, same thing right?)

  • SmÃ¥land - Ballpit, coloring, toys, movie platform, Swedish clog, face painting
  • Play Facilities throughout the store
  • Restaurant is kid-friendly - Bottle warming, free baby food (coming soon), family seating area, kids’ combos, Children 12 and under EAT FOR FREE every Tuesday)
  • Family restrooms - Changing tables, comfortable chair, and free diapers

Am I the only one that had no clue about the whole free diapers thing? Where have I been? They also have IKEA Kamp to be held at specific times of the year. I will be VERY honest with you here: during this portion of the presentation, I was stuffing my face with meatballs and salmon so I can't speak too much on it.

After I stuffed my face though I heard that IKEA is redesigning the kids furniture area AND that they will have products for those 8-12 year olds. I saw pics people: it's adorable (but don't tell the 8-12 year old I said that otherwise, they'll hate it on sight).

I could go on and on and on but I'll shut up now and give you a chance to get super duper excited! Here's a giveaway. You can win $100 gift card from IKEA to perhaps buy me that cool (insert whatever you see in the catalog that you think I might like here). You'd spend some of your moola on me, right?
Have you gotten your IKEA catalog? Are you in love? What new thing are you in love with?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was given a swag bag at the IKEA event. In it there were cookies, crackers, a gift card, a cool USB light and...I'm still on the cookies but I think I also saw a cool beach ball and some other fun perks from my friends at IKEA. All opinions, however, are my own. 

Her Room Made Perfect With IKEA

The room is complete! And I wish I had like a super professional camera that I could do a photoshoot with and really show you the splendor that is the room. I am so incredibly happy with it.

Barragan Quote

I love that Barragan quote because it is simple and true. If I had to tell you about all of these as they related to the girl's room, here's what I'd say: her workspace is the serenity part. She can find everything she needs, when she is playing or drawing or painting. The magic part? Definitely the "castle" as she calls it. That canopy rocks. On the sorcery side are the lights that come on at night when she goes to sleep and shimmer the possibility of magic as she lays in her castle and looks around while she falls asleep. The mystery? Well I think the mystery is simply "how did mami do it?!".

Here are some of the things I learned during this redesign journey. I learned...

  1. that up until I sat down with their designers, I had no idea what I was doing
  2. don't try to fill a space with furniture, figure out functionality first
  3. there is such a thing as too much pink
  4. that shelves are a ridiculously awesome way to gain space in a room
  5. that I love IKEA a lot more than I realized

I'm reminded once again about how having the right space with the right furniture will make you feel, as the frog princess says...just right!

I used to have two storage bins in her room. Now, I only have the one because so much goes on her shelves and in the pocket storage and bins.

For the future

I am planning on creating artwork on the French doors. The (ex)man suggested glass painting so I think that's what I will do. On the wall above her easel, I plan on using this cool curtain wire to display her artwork. Because my child is a natural artist and I want to display her beautiful work.


I feel incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to meet and work with the great team at the IKEA Orlando store. Josie, Chris and Kendra have made this experience fantastic. I have been so impressed by the level of detail that they put into their work. Simple things that I think is what makes IKEA such a great brand. I distinctly remember the first meeting I had with them. Chris asked me if I wanted to incorporate flowers into the design of the room because of the special meaning of my tattoo. And I thought what?! Well, Chris had taken the time to get to know me via the blog and my Pinterest boards and I did not expect that.

I think what they bring to families and home living is that commitment to make their living space the best that they possibly can. Something as simple as the designers getting around the kids area on their knees to see what's accessible to them and what's not. What works and what doesn't. I was glad that they did all of that. I will miss working with them on this project but I know that I will maintain the relationship because, y'all know how I am!

So, what do you think of the room?

Necessary disclaimer: This is not a service that is generally provided to the public. Rather, this was done in order to enhance my story (and blood, sweat and tears) as I embark in this redesign. So, don't be callin' your local IKEA and telling them I sent you! ;-)

How it all began...

Designing a Girl's Room: Phase I


First of all, can I say I can't believe it's March already. How did this happen? I was going to open this post telling you about how a few weeks ago I told showed you the uber cool design that IKEA came up with. Then when I looked at the link I realized it was in December. How did that happen?

Suffice it to say I'm behind schedule. Welcome to my mamihood.

Because I am not rolling in the dough (don't ask me why. Apparently no trophy wife job has opened up yet), I am doing the kid's room in parts. The first part was the hardest to begin: painting.

I bought the paint like 6 weeks ago (or maybe 8). And it has sat there looking at me with accusing eyes as I go about my daily business. A few weeks ago, after hearing "mami, I want to paint my room." for the millionth time I decided to get it done. Of course, I'd do it while she was out of the house because to her, painting is this cool thing that she can do with tons of colors and absolutely no direction. I had a visual of what these walls would look like if she got a hold of them.

After breathing into a paper bag, I got to work. And work I did. The frog princess did come in the room and sat there literally watching paint dry. The only thing that kept me going was her shower of praise (mami, thank you so much for painting my room! Mami it looks so good! Mami, I love you so so much!). I mean really, I could've painted more just to hear her cute voice. Okay, maybe not but, you get the drift.

The color looks great in there though I can't seem to get a good picture of the color in that room since there's little natural light that flows through it.

I waited a second day due to having to do a second coat. The lesson learned: even if I'm using the paint with primer, if you are changing from certain colors just use primer from the beginning.

[portfolio_slideshow include="4380, 4377, 4378, 4379, 4372, 4382, 4381, 4373, 4374, 4383, 4375, 4384"]

The fun part was about to begin. Oh Em Gee! So I've put IKEA furniture together before but never this fast and never this happily. Maybe because I've always had big Billy Bookcases or awesome Expedit desks to work on but seriously, it took me 30 MINUTES to put together. As soon as the linens went on, she jumped right in fully clothed. She's been sleeping in her bed ever since. So, my advice to fellow co-sleeper is: when you're ready to kick the kid out of your bed, go to IKEA!

Better than that were the praises from my child who calls it her princess bed and is astounded at the magic I performed by single-handedly creating her dream with my two hands and a hex wrench.

[portfolio_slideshow include="4400, 4401, 4402, 4403, 4404, 4405, 4367, 4368, 4369, 4370, 4406"]

The "castle" (canopy) took the amount of time that it took to screw in one of the hooks to hold it. The flower light was super duper easy though I will say the bug light had small screws that didn't fit well. Thankfully, I had a little wall hanging kit that had perfect screws to hold this.

Once everything was up, I decided to put her kitchen to the left of her bed. That was one of the options I'd originally been given. I still don't have the reading chair that goes to the right of the bed but, I think I need to go back to IKEA with a book and just make a day of sitting and reading to see what chair I like best.

More than putting this room together, I loved that I was teaching my daughter that I can do it and by extension, she can too. It's why I'm falling deeper and deeper in love with IKEA.

Not only are they providing me with great products for my home but without realizing it, they're giving me some awesome teaching tools.

Now that half of the room is finished, here's my left brain giving you the numbers. First of all, remember that this is a toddler bed that converts to a twin bed. AND, the mattress does as well which is pretty cool. I opted for a thicker mattress for her but there is a wide range in pricing on the mattresses if you're looking to spend less.

While at first I thought this was a little more than I wanted to spend, the frog princess will be using this bed for at least 5 years. Also, I purchased the leaf but haven't put it up anywhere because I'm not loving how it looks. Rest assured, it will find a good home (I'm thinking in my office). Oh and if you are shopping at IKEA don't forget to check out their as-is section because they have a lot of good furniture there at a very reduced price. Again, a good place to cut down on cost without cutting down on quality.

So, what do you think?

Next up...Phase II

[portfolio_slideshow include="4407,4371"]

How to Design a Girl's Room...


(advice from someone other than me.)

In October I told you about how one little Tweet to IKEA got me in touch with their awesome social media gurus and into a conference room with their designers as they all put their heads together to create a room perfect for the frog princess.

A few weeks ago I got the call from my friends at IKEA telling me that the design was ready and I was then upset I had to wait an entire week to see it. But it was worth the wait! Oh. Em. Gee. These folks don't play! This is me the entire time I was looking at the room design.


I think at first they were afraid that I didn't like the room because I wasn't saying much. Alas, they had rendered me speechless!

Chris and Josie did it UP! I was blown away by the fact that they took my crazy non-artistic designs and turned them into a room that I may be sleeping in myself. More than anything though, I was amazed at how much attention to details this design had.


This is not just something they did for me (though you totally can't get this type of treatment), they do this for all of the designs you see in their showrooms and in their catalogs. Not just comfort for the frog princess but usability and accessibility. Rumor has it that Chris was seen in the kid's section on his knees trying to see what shelves the frog princess could access and looking lovingly into the perfect mirror for her dress up area (really, folks, why didn't someone take pictures!).


I was amazed at how they selected the right furniture and just the right touches. These folks took the time to know me and to know my girl. I'm not surprised that they go to great lengths to plan and construct those room at their stores. They take so much into account. Seriously, I don't know if I could do the job. Well, I might be able to but I'm sure most of my time would be spent sneaking into the store and perusing the thousands of items while taking advantage of the employee discount (wouldn't you?).

Here are some of the sketches:







IKEA is very good at making functional furniture. But they also make the furniture to fit your particular needs. Because I'd told the team that I'd like to repurpose the furniture when she got older, they selected more durable pieces that she wouldn't think were too baby-ish when the time came to shift to a more mature design. They even did a great sketch of what the room would look like when she got older. Of course, this threw me into fetal position at the thought of my child being like 6 or 7. EEEKK! I'm having a hard time with her being THREE! Can we not rush things?


One of the things I did not realize was that IKEA has an As-Is department and let me tell you, I wanted to kick myself for not having a truck that day! Because the beautiful convertible bed that they'd chosen for the frog princess was there. At 40% off!!!! By the time I checked back it was already gone but, I am inspired. The total room cost will be around $850 BUT I love that they gave me other choices so that I can change some things around and bring that down. Keep in mind, I'm getting all new furniture, linens, the works. Which reminds me, I need to put some of her furniture on Craigslist. Anyone interested in a fairy toy box?

So the plan now is for me to paint the room (after Christmas) and, because of the fact they everything is beautifully broken down (and yes, I have a spreadsheet with cost analysis included) I can work on the room bit by bit. I am going to start with this side of her room since the other day she told me she didn't want to sleep in her room because it wasn't beautiful. Granted, this was her tactic to let me to get her sleep in my room but still. And PS if she doesn't like her room after I'm done with it, I'm totally moving in.

More than just telling me what furniture would work in the room, the team at IKEA educated about how to create the perfect room. And although I wanted to start with a clean slate in the girl's room, I can tell you that I'm putting these tactics to good use in other rooms in the house where I'm working with the pieces that are already there. Next year is the year of new beginnings and the creation of a peaceful and functional house. And I'm totally trusting IKEA to help me make that happen.

I wanted to show you the design process as outlined by this deck in hopes that if you are tackling a redesign, you keep some important points in mind. You're welcome!

Have you ever taken on a room project? How did you tackle it?

Disclosure: This is not a service that is generally provided to the public. Rather, this was done in order to enhance my story (and blood, sweat and tears) as I embark in this redesign. So, don't be callin' your local IKEA and telling them I sent you!

Check out the beginning and the end:

Falling for IKEA

If you follow me on Pinterest you know I have a board for home and garden where I have been tucking away ideas of things I want in my home. With the move to mami's house a year ago, I gave up my own space and comfort to create some new melting pot of style in this big community house, as I like to call it. With the fall already here (though it's still 90 degrees here in Florida), I started getting serious about organizing and re-purposing rooms in order to give a more comfortable and organized feeling. On Pinterest I also have a board called Frog Princess's Abode. See, her room was enclosed to create a suite of sorts similar to what we had in the last house where she is right off of the master bedroom. Only thing is that it's an interior room and while her furniture worked well in her last space, here I'm having trouble finding a place for everything and as she grows, we need her space to be comfortable and usable as well. I started having an idea of using this small space as best I could. As I was pinning and dreaming one name kept coming up in my head: IKEA.

Every time I peruse their catalog I get a sense of the feeling I want to have in my house: organized, good use of space and comfortable. If you know me, you know I'm not afraid to ask for help. My favorite way to ask for help is via Twitter and so, this little message went out.

Long story short, I met with some fabulous IKEA designers a few weeks back. Man, was I impressed! First of all, I was shocked at the fact that I had to fill out a questionnaire that made my anal retentiveness look like child's play (so jealous!). I was asked everything from measurements of the light switch to what kind of lighting is needed (um, I believe my answer to that was a light bulb). Thorough does not being to describe it.

I did my part and took all kinds of pictures from the different angles and even did a little diagram of the room (cuz I didn't want to be outdone in the OCD category).


I met with three fantastic and talented people: Josie, Christopher and Kevin. Here was my first impression: these guys know their stuff. My second impression was: these guys are passionate about what they do. The biggest thing that happened during this meeting? I learned. Lots!

I learned about why those questions were asked. I learned about the fact that we must first figure out what a room's functionality will be prior to selecting furniture or decoration (I needed this tidbit for the rest of the house thankyouverymuch). When was the last time you bought a piece of furniture with the room's functionality in mind? I guess this is why they are so great at their jobs.

The shocker for me? These guys had learned me. Not just the presentation I sent over with pictures and words. They had taken the time to read my blog and find out who I was. To peruse Pinterest and check out my style (you know, the one I'd have if I had a job that actually paid me and could afford 95% of the stuff on I pin).

They asked me why I call the frog princess the frog princess and were interested in the stories. Christopher made a very deep statement that their designs tell stories and in order to create a room, they want to know the story that goes with it. I also found out that they are really invested and passionate in and about families. They wanted to make the space comfortable for us and make this house feel like our home. I was so grateful for their time and energy.

After taking a blood sample and DNA swab, the IKEA design team took their leave. But not before clearly communicating that they were going to take all of what I gave them and bring back a design that would give me the first step to having this house functional and fabulous!

And now, I wait. Thankfully I have a catalog and will be passing the time thumbing through the pages and picking out textiles for the fall so that I can give each room a little makeover for the season.  I'll let you guys know when the design ideas come back and hope you'll join me for my journey (feel free to come over and bring your sewing machines, paint guns and screwdrivers to help. You know they say it takes a village to create a living space).

So tell me, have you fallen for IKEA?

Disclosure: This is not a service that is generally provided to the public. Rather, this was done in order to enhance my story (and blood, sweat and tears) as I embark in this redesign. So, don't be callin' your local IKEA and telling them I sent you! ;-)

See what happened next!