Saturday, September 14, 2019

We Built an In-Home Ballet Studio for our Young Ballerina

The genesis of this project/home remodel was the PVC pipe ballet barre that Matt and Will made for Syd for Christmas last year. I suggested it as a present because I thought that Syd would love it, and she did, but...

...apparently, if you give a ballerina a ballet barre, she'll ask for a full-length, wall-mounted mirror to go with it.

It took me a few months to casually suss out the logistics, but finally, in consultation with Syd and Matt, we decided that--well, remember these wall-mounted shelves that Matt made?

See that cluttered space to the left of them? I'd insisted that the shelves shouldn't go all the way to that adjacent wall because we have yet another door to the outside there (we have FIVE doors to the outside in our strange, not-really-that-large house) and I thought it would be weird if the door knocked into the shelves when it opened.

Well, it turns out that if you actually don't care about that at all, you've given yourself another full six feet of wall to work with!

BUT you're going to have to empty those shelves--

--unscrew them from the floor and wall, and move them.

They're maybe a teensy bit wobbly now, but don't tell Matt.

I was excited about emptying the shelves, because that's where we keep board games, puzzles, and floor toys, and now that I've got these great, big girls, I expected that I'd be able to get rid of just absolute loads of games and toys. After all, these big girls don't still play Secret Garden and Professor Noggin, do they?

They do.

They don't still want Lincoln Logs and Kapla blocks and marble runs readily accessible, do they?

They do.

They're not still interested in building race car tracks and zipping their Darda cars through them, are they?

Actually, they're not, they say, and so I have it on my to-do list to ebay that giant Rubbermaid bin full of Darda tracks, but even those got one last huzzah:

We bought two of these 60"x36" mirrors, and with much terror and uncertainty about the quality of our walls, Matt mounted them in our brand-new swath of wall space:

He's got my stash cushion foam there to pad the mirrors while we were fiddling with them. I really should use up the rest of that cushion foam and free up some closet space, but then what would we do if we wanted to mount more giant mirrors?
 When they were mounted, all we had to do was move Syd's ballet barre in front of it, and she's all set!

It's a great place to pester Jones, the world's crankiest kitten:

And it's also a good spot for some impromptu ballet practice, because of course technique class and jazz class aren't nearly enough dancing for one Saturday!

If you need a break, pester the kitten some more:

I'd like to add some framed prints and signed programs to Syd's studio area, but I'm hesitant to put anything above the mirror that could even remotely be nudged off of the wall by pounding ballerina feet, and there's not enough room on either side of the mirror, darn it.

Perhaps a couple of posters could go above the mirror, or a stenciled quote...

Let me know if you think of something suitable!

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