Our new house has two floors with a pretty standard setup, bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs, kitchen/dining and living room down. The staircase connecting the two levels is split, with a sizeable landing at the halfway point. There is a great built in bench or "niche" on this landing, that I was at a complete loss for how to decorate. It is at the perfect height for little fingers, so a "no-go" for anything breakable or "toddler tempting".
We had been here for a few weeks when the perfect purpose for this space came to me... a learning space for Andrew! We have the stairs gated at the top and the bottom which means Andrew can work away without being tormented by his eager little brother.
I picked up an outdoor cushion that fits nicely at one end of the bench and added a couple of Ikea throw pillows to create a nice place to cuddle up with a book. I also used two Curtain Wires from Ikea to hang these adorable alphabet cards that I found over at The DIY Frau. The colours in these cards are wonderful, bright but muted, and I used them as a pallet for the rest of the space.
I hung a few little pails for Andrew's art supplies and made a simple art display out of clipboards and scrap booking paper (you can find the tutorial for this project here).
When Andrew is working on some art or practising his writing, he kneels on the floor and uses the bench like a desk. He squirms around quite a bit when he is tying to focus on a learning activity, so this is a good alternative to a chair.
I'm not sure if Andrew really appreciates how cute this space is, but that's ok,
I can love it enough for both of us!!