Ever since my boys started moving, the baby proofing journey hasn’t stopped. They keep developing, and with the development they find new ways to get into things.
Their safety is first priority and with them running around and climbing onto things, we have to keep up with baby proofing regularly. But it gets expensive purchasing many different types of gates, hearth protection, etc… and for rooms with unusual layouts, some things are hard to baby proof without modifying the commercial product.
Our problem area since the boys started climbing was: the railing behind the couch.
As you can see in the pictures above, the railing dividing our living room and a huge drop to the stairs.
We don’t have a big living room and we have to have our main couch against this railing, but now that the boys figured out how to climb, it’s not long before they will figure out how to climb onto the back of the couch and that’s a huge drop if they fall from there…
We can try teaching them not to do it but we didn’t want to take any chances. Especially because they move so fast, if I can’t get there quickly enough to catch them etc… As far as I know, I don’t believe there is a product out there that solves this problem with a quick-fix. So, we talked to a friend who also has similar layout of the house and she recommended a board to extend the railing height. We thought that was a brilliant idea.
My husband got two pieces of plywood, painted them white (before we decided to use the wall paper), then attached them right onto our railing with ‘L’ brackets and screws.
After the board was installed, it was complete. The boys can no longer climb onto the railing. My husband did this within a few hours while I took the boys out.
Even though this serves the purpose really well, we did buy the really cheap plywood and all we did was paint it white. However, because of the poor quality of the board, the white paint didn’t look very nice on there and it started to bug me since it is a big part of our living room now. Perhaps if one of you tries this, it may be a better idea to spend a little more money on nicer boards.
So, I went looking for something to cover the surface up. Fortunately, I found some really affordable wall paper at a hardware store.
This pre-pasted vinyl wall paper was only about $20 per roll and I only had to use maybe a quarter of the roll.
I cut 4 and a half strips of the wallpaper and sprayed the back of the paper with water to activate the glue, then started hanging the wallpaper on the wall.
It was much easier and more straightforward than I expected. I completed this task within 20 minutes. (while my boys napped!) and it turned out nicely. The only tricky thing was to match the brick design for the next strip I attached. I just had to slide the paper and find what looked most natural side by side.
I am very excited that we have an accent wall with white brick pattern! Our kitchen’s back splash is a brick design as well so it goes with our house’s theme.
I know a lot of modern houses that have an open concept design have railings/stair well exposed in the living area, and it is very attractive as a design, but not necessarily baby friendly. So if you are thinking about making it safe for your “little-climber” toddlers, give this affordable D.I.Y. idea a try!
My next goal for this living room is… the ugly wicker dresser you see in every photo in this post! I had to put something there to block the path to go behind the couch. Our boys try so hard to go behind it but because this couch has two reclining chairs with gears inside, we don’t want them to get hurt playing with the gears behind there, so this dresser stops them from going in there. Also, it is another storage space for their toys. (Yes, all of these drawers are full of their toys!)
But our living room furniture is either dark brown / black or white and I always thought this light brown wicker dresser stood out. So one day I would like to paint it. I hate painting but I will give it a try. If any of you have any tricks or ideas on how to paint wooden furniture, (easy method is welcome!) please let me know!
Thank you so much for reading.
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