We are going to leave the "animal sanctuary" open for now. That little cut-out under the shelves is a nice little nook to crawl into. On Saturday night, I laid out Scotty's sleeping bag and the three of us snuggled in there with a stack of books. We each took turns reading, and having a three-year read a book to you is quite possibly the most wonderful experience of parenthood I have had so far. Obviously, he doesn't know the words, but listening to him make up the words was so stinkin' cute. ("Dis is a strawberry! And strawberries are red! And dis green thing on da strawberry is also part of the strawberry." [page turn] "Oh! Boats! I love boats!")
I wanted this space to fun AND functional, and I think we succeeded.
Some notes: We used four 12" and 16" platinum ventilated elfa shelving for all of the pantry shelves. We attempted to put baskets under the lower shelves, but unfortunately, they only come in 24" widths and the space was not the right size. For Scotty's desk, we used three white 12"x 25" a white desk top, and four baskets to create his area. All of the shelves are movable, including the desk top, and we plan to move it up as our little Bear grows.
The installation went very smoothly though aspects of our order were incorrectly package, causing several trips back to the store. I will say, The Container Store was very accommodating and even offered me a $15 gift card to make up for the extra trips. They have a wide variety of colored boxes (including those awesome Lego storage bins), desk supplies, pantry containers, baskets, and desk chairs. I love Scotty's blue Bungee chair almost as much as he does. Big thanks to the nice people at The Container Store for making our vision become a reality!