Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Family Command Center and Chalkboard Wall

I am so so excited about our new family command center and chalkboard wall!

What's a family command center? Each one is different, depending on the family's needs, space, and preferences, but for us, it is a place to sort mail, manage schedules, paperwork, charge phones, and store keys.

And all of this in a tiny 42" space behind a door!

One of the (only) disadvantages to a house with an open floor plan and lots of windows is that there is very little wall space. Add to this, we have no real entryway, so there's nowhere for me to set a small table or some cubbies that might help organize all those little things that so often end up piled on kitchen counters.

Then I saw this post on pinterest, and I knew I had found a solution to some of our organizing problems!

We have a small space between the back door in our kitchen (to the left) and the doorway to our basement stairs (on the right). I've always kept my calendar hanging on this wall, but never did anything more to take advantage of this small, but valuable area in our home.

I showed my husband the picture from pinterest, and he agreed we could come up with something similar. We made a list of all the things we would like this space to store. Then we shopped/built the key players.

First, is this mail organizer from Home Goods. Now we have somewhere to put mail that needs to be dealt with, as well as a small cork board for notes and lists. I think I will put my list of emergency contacts here too.

Next, we brainstormed ideas for storing our home phone, as well as a place to charge our cell phones. This one was hard to figure out. We needed whatever we used to be short enough to fit into about a 12" length of space on the wall, as well as be no more than 4" deep, so it would not extend beyond the doorstop on the baseboard, which would make it likely to get banged up every time we opened the door.

We finally decided two small shelves were the best option, but the only ones we could find in that size were very ornate, so building shelves got added to the hubby's to do list. He came up with the design himself, and did a great job. I love how they turned out.

Being the techy/handy one in this relationship, it was my husband's idea to add outlets and a phone jack above the shelves, so that we could plug in the phone and chargers without having a cord running from an outlet several feet away. I love how the black outlet covers (also painted with chalkboard paint) and black cords kind of visually disappear into the wall. And I really love that we now have a space off the kitchen counters for the home phone as well as the cell phone chargers! Plus, it's high up enough to be out of the reach of little hands who would love to find a stray cell phone. Hopefully we will spend less time trying to locate missing phones!

This USB charging outlet is my hubby's favorite part of the project. He has been looking for an excuse to get one for a while, and this is the perfect place for it. Now we have a handy spot for charging those cell phones!

My husband is using some of the extra space to store his wallet, something else that I often found in random places around my house, but most often on my kitchen counter. Along with his....

KEYS! Which now also have a home on our family command center wall. Can you tell I'm a little obsessive about keeping non-kitcheny things off my counters? It may or may not be a source of tense words all too often around here. But not any longer, because now everything has a home! That's usually the problem with clutter, isn't it? Some things are just hard to find a permanent spot for. I think we've solved that problem for a few of those items with this family command center idea. I wish we'd done this ages ago!

The key hook is metal and from Hobby Lobby. It was black-ish brown when I bought it, so we spray painted it white so that it would show up against the chalkboard wall.

The chalkboard wall portion of this idea is something I've been wanting to do for quite a while, but again, felt like I just didn't have the right spot for it in our little house. Shortly before I decided on the idea of using this space for a family command center, I started eyeing it up as a potential location for a chalkboard wall. V looooves drawing and doing anything artsy, so I knew she'd love a space like this where she could freely doodle at a moment's notice.

I worried about having so much black on the wall, fearing it would make that corner of our kitchen feel smaller. Once we decided on using this wall for our family command center, I knew I could keep the chalkboard wall from feeling too heavy by using a lot of white accents to brighten things up and give the eye a place to "rest" from all the darkness of the black chalkboard paint.

The fabric bunting is leftover from V's first birthday party. I cut a piece off the original, much longer banner, and attached it to the wall with thumb tacks. It gave this otherwise all black and white wall a much needed shot of color.

Here's the view from around the corner in the kitchen.

I feel like a much more organized person just looking at this wall. So I stare at it.

A lot. :)

And V has been having so much fun being the little artist.

And just because we all enjoy a good before and after...

Before. And....


Linking up to....


Also linking up to:

Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Creek Cottage


  1. That is gorgeous! Beautiful command centre! I never knew you could have a USB outlet directly in the wall. That is great.

    1. Thank you! I wouldn't have known about the USB outlet either if it weren't for having a computer guy in the house. :)

  2. Very nice. I have been raving about chalkboard walls and command centers. I don't have any nooks in our home to create one but if I find a way to do a chalkboard wall, my 2 yr old will have a blast. Love it. Where did you get the calander by the way?

    1. The calendar was either from Barnes and Noble or Books-a-Million. I forget which one. I like that it has extra big squares so there's plenty of room to write appointments/dates/whatever. :)

  3. super cute! i'd love to do a chalkboard wall sometime - can't wait to stop renting. :) Hopped over from YHL!

    Lauren @ muchadoaboutsomethin.blogspot.com

  4. I absolutely love command centers and I think this is one of the coolest ones I've ever seen. Love it!!

  5. Great job! Love the colors! Love the thought you put into the details!

  6. Looks great! I need to make a command center in our kitchen so the non-kitchen things are off the counters. Thanks for the inspiration! Stopping by from Inspire Me Please Blog Hop. Have a great weekend!
    Carrie This Home

  7. Oh my...I absolutely love this project! This would be perfect to link up to my "Create It Thursday" post here! http://www.lambertslately.com/2013/05/create-it-thursday-1.html

  8. Love love love this project!!! I'd love for you to stop by and link up to my "House Party" XO http://www.firsthomelovelife.com/2013/05/house-party-2-b-y-o-p-features.html

  9. What a great transformation. I'm sure this space will get plenty of use. Thanks for participating!

    Emily | Sparkle Meets Pop

  10. This is absolutely ADORABLE!! I love anything chalkboard!! Hope you can link up at my trendy tuesday party!!

  11. LOVE THIS! So organized! Would love to have you link up to my party and follow along! http://alivedinhome.blogspot.com/2013/05/get-social-sunday.html

  12. Love your command centre! The mail sorter box and pin board is perfect and I love the key holder. The USB charger is such a great idea, especially as I have a toddler who loves to pull out the white chargers in our house!

    Thanks for sharing

    Tess @ www.heartsoulfamily.blogspot.com

    1. We're really enjoying that USB charger, for sure. :)

  13. Very pretty! And a great use of the space you do have!
    I'm visiting today from Shabby Creek Cottage. I co-host a Linky Party Tuesday (open thru Sat) and I'd love for you to link up! I hope you get a chance to stop by, link up and leave a comment, too!
    ~ Megin of VMG206
    Join me each Tuesday for Brag About It Link Up Party