New Tablescaping Goodies, Attractive Storage Idea & the Room I’m Renovating Next

I’m headed over to Home Depot today. I have a project I’m working on in both the unfinished, the semi-finished, and the storage area of my basement. I will share a lot more about that on Monday for Metamorphosis Monday. In the meantime, I wanted to share a couple of table purchases I just made recently, as well as a few photos of the semi-finished part of the basement at the end of this post.

The fall napkins I ordered arrived and I really love them! Looking forward to using them in a table sometime soon. If you need fall napkins, you’ll find them here: Autumn Colored Napkins.

Fall Napkins, Plaid


A few weeks ago I shared a photo of how I’m storing this dinnerware that I purchased back in 2008 when I had just added on my screened porch.

Aqua Beachy Dinnerware, Storage Ideas


When I purchased this beachy china from Kohl’s, these were the “chargers” they had displayed with the dinnerware.


I like them, but I’ve always wished they were a bit larger–like regular chargers. Most chargers are around 13 inches in size.

Beachy Table with Shell and Starfish Plates


They work okay with these square-shaped, shell-covered dinner plates, but they’ve always felt a bit too small to be charger plates. The dinner plate almost completely fills up the charger plate!

Beach-Themed Table in Aqua


I’ve been keeping my eye out for some affordable, square charger plates that had that rattan/beachy feel I wanted, and I finally found them! These were only $63 for a set of 8! Awesome price!

Square Rattan Charger Plates


Here’s a closeup showing how they look with the shell plates. Love!

Rattan Charger Plates, Beachy China


If you are in need of square charger plates, you’ll find these on sale here: Square Rattan Charger Plates.

Square Rattan Charger Plates


Vintage Tonka Trucks and Possible Storage

Would love your thoughts on this–these are my son’s old Tonka trucks. He played with them a good bit when he was small but we never left them outside since they are metal and I was always afraid they would rust. They are huge and were a bit pricy back in the day–and they still are based on the prices I’m seeing on eBay! I am planning on taking them to my grandsons on my next trip up to visit them. I know they would enjoy playing with them outdoors. Soooo, I was trying to think of a good storage solution for them so they wouldn’t be taking dirty trucks back inside the house and would hopefully not leave them out in the rain to rust.

Tonka Trucks, Vintage


What do you think about one of these large outdoor storage benches? Storage pieces like this are often used for storing chair cushions and such, but I thought it could possibly work for the Tonka trucks. What do you think? (Storage Bench is available here: Storage Bench.)

Storage for Outdoor Cushions


My Next Renovation/Update Project

If you’ve been following BNOTP over the last few months, you know I just finished a pretty big garage renovation. That makeover really inspired me to get going on other home updates I’ve put off for a while. Actually, I had never really planned to go any further with this next project, but after seeing the dramatic changes in my garage, I’m fired up now! Ha!

The next room in my sights is the basement–the WHOLE basement! As you can see in this photo from a post where I shared the step-by-step process of how to build a potting bench, the basement is partially finished in. I had this done in 2008. (Potting Bench post is available here: Build a Potting Table, Great for Parties, Too!)


I had never planned to finish it all the way since I’ve only been using it as additional storage. But after seeing the garage go from an ugly duckling to a swan, I’m now itching to finish this room completely. Really, it just needs paint and flooring, but I have a few more plans for this area, as well as the unfinished part of the basement. Can’t wait to share my plans for this space on Monday for Metamorphosis Monday!


Happy Weekend, dear Friends!

*If a post is sponsored or a product was provided at no charge, it will be stated in post. Some links may be affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. *

 Never miss a Between Naps on the Porch post! 

*Subscribe to have updates delivered to your Inbox. 


  1. I love the deck box idea for the Tonka trucks! We used one for soccer balls and other outdoor games until we built our deck. Great idea!

    • Sheri, do things stay pretty clean and dry inside? I love the look of these I’m seeing online!

      • We even had our off the deck away from the covered areas and they stayed dry. Finally gave it to our son for him to house the cushions for his patio table and chairs. Enjoy!

  2. I am excited to see what you do with the basement. I watched your garage renovations with keen interest. You did a great job there. Both projects will add to the price of your home, when you sell.

  3. Gibbons Judy says

    Wow! Those Tonka trucks are BIG! I remember my brothers had those in the 60s. Personally, I would wait on the storage bench until your son and daughter-in-law see your idea. I’d let them choose the storage unit, and then gift to them. Love your column.

    • Thanks, Judy! They are huge! Yup, I thought I would take the trucks up and show my son/dil the picture of the storage bench and see what they think. Then I can just order it while there.

      • Jennifer L. Rice says

        The Tonka trucks will be subjected to humidity, if stored outside. Since you have begun work on your basement, what do you think of making a climate- controlled storage room? I’m not suggesting you use the entire basement! I am suggesting a walk-in closet with shelving on one side and enough space to include your Christmas tree! Have vents put in so that everything will be warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Air-conditioning removes a lot of moisture from the air. Having a space with climate -controlled air would be very helpful for a lot more than Tonka trucks and a Christmas tree!
        Thank you!

  4. Tina W Reynolds says

    I had a deck storage box in the past. It was heavy, but it had a gasket around the lid, and it did keep things dry. It was designed for cushions. The other great feature was one of those little hydraulic (?) jacks on the underside of the lid which held the lid safely open. My storage situations changed, and I found I wasn’t using it, so I gave it to a young couple who have a pool! They store pool toys and fun outdoor things inside! I have a Tonka bulldozer which my grandson loved to use in the snow more than the dirt or sand. He plowed the snow and had a bunch of fun, but we do have rust on the front now!

  5. I think the storage chest will work great! And it looks very nice, too.

  6. Mary Anne Carlin says

    I think the storage box idea is just perfect! I have three! Mine are made by Suncast and they are so easy to just snap together. And everything inside stays completely dry all year round. I’ll email a photo. With a cushion and some pillows I turned mine into a place to sit. And those chargers are just perfection!!

  7. Lynne A Johnson says

    I have stored my cushions in an outdoor storage box. A bit of water has seeped in, so I always put the cushions in trash bags inside the box. For the outdoor toys, I would have other large plastic bins with a lid inside to prevent winter water from rusting the toys. One reader had found an outdoor box with a rubber lip around the opening. I haven’t seen that type , but that certainly sounds great. Good luck!

  8. Yes I love the storage bench keeps things clean and dry and out of site and handy to get out to will be good for the grand kids toys. Thank you for all the useful tips.

  9. Ok, I’m going to be the devil’s advocate…….I have some used and much-loved Tonka trucks and machines my boys loved and played with in the mud, dirt, and snow. Yes, they are rusted and worn, but when my grandsons discovered them many years ago they were thrilled and the well-worn look made them seem even more authentic. They played with them in the same spot my sons did and left them out in the weather……some things do not need to stay spotless. Susan, you are the master of storage and order, but I say let them get muddy and rusty and loved!

  10. I like the new chargers SO MUCH MORE! Great find! The basement will be wonderful. As for storing the trucks….the bench seems a bit large and maybe hard for them to reach in and out of…maybe not. Maybe a smaller similar type? You’ll find something perfect knowing you!

  11. Jean Sprimont says

    Hi Susan,

    Just a word of caution…
    Every plastic (and even wood) storage bench I’ve ever owned over the years has leaked if left outside. Perhaps this is one of the downsides of living in Fla.
    Good luck,

    Good luck

  12. Maureen Khalil says

    Hi! Regarding the storage of the metal toy trucks….I think a better option for their storage would be some type of shelving….maybe in your son & daughter-in-law’s garage. This would eliminate the boys just heaving those nice toys on top of each other into the storage bench, and if they wanted to play with particular trucks they would then be more accessible. Ideally the shelving would be of a height that the boys could easily reach, and then when done, return the toys to where they belong. I think the storage bench is better designed for outdoor cushions & pool toys.

    • I wish there was room in the garage for shelving but their home is a wonderful 100-year-old cottage-style house, so the garage is very small. It barely holds two cars, so no room for additional shelves. That would be perfect, though.

  13. Linda Practical Parsimony says

    My son had those, too. We never left them outside, either! Smart move! They will last generations.

    • I would love to see the boys pass them on down to their children one day. I tried to save my son’s favorite, well-made toys for his children. They love his old dinosaurs and it really is amazing to see them playing with the toys I remember their dad loving so much. Thanks, Linda@

  14. You are might be over thinking the Tonka trucks. Let your grandsons decide how they would like to play with them. What we value does not always hold true for the next generation.

    • I agree with Cathy. It may cause stress for your son and daughter in law if the grandsons don’t take as much care as your son did. Allow the next generation to use the toys in their own way. You could show them some rusty, uncared for Tonka toys from eBay to make a point. How wonderful that you have so many of your son’s special toys! I wish my MIL had saved my husband’s special toys.

  15. Thought of you today while looking around at Hobby Lobby they have all their fall stuff on sale and I saw some neat chargers that were leather and thought they would look really good for a western theme or a real modern theme. You probably have several HL in your area to check out. rls

  16. Sandra D, Jol_Il says

    I think the container is a great idea. If they don’t use it for storing the trucks, there’s usually garden tools, etc that can be stored inside it. I bought new patio chairs this year with cushions. I bought a huge chest similar to what you pictured and I love it. I lined the bottom with two 55 gallon construction plastic bags (3 mil thick). I waited until the first good downpour and I didn’t see any leakage but the rain collects around the perimeter and on the lid so some water sprinkles on the interior when I opened the lid. It fits my cushions perfectly and I have extra room in the center for one of those Damp Rid containers. The container falls over easily so I put a small in first, then put the Damp Rid inside it. I’ve seen no insects inside all summer so I’m pretty happy with it. I love the construction trucks and they should be worth a lot because everything today is plastic.

  17. I have three of the Keter storage boxes and they keep the water out very well -ideal for patio cushions. For storing trucks? Indoor shelving would be better bearing in mind the depth of the boxes as you wouldn’t want to store the trucks on top of one another would you? Sorry to pour cold water on your idea.

  18. Paula Ryan says

    I had one of those storage boxes outside but found anything metal stored in it rusted as condensation builds up inside as the weather fluctuates. i wouldn’t store the metal trucks in it, they need dry conditions.
    I live in New Zealand and love following you. Sadly we can’t buy some of the stuff you recommend, a lot of American sites won’t ship to NZ.

    • Thanks for that info, Paula. I was afraid that might happen so appreciate you letting me know. I need to find a better place for them. Maybe my daughter-in-law can find a good spot in their basement. So sorry that a lot of the shops don’t ship to your area. That’s annoying and frustrating. I hope at least Amazon ships to your area.

  19. Susan on your stairs to your basement I had the same electrical problems. I had my electrician install a switch that automatically would allow the light to go on and off with motion Since you will bring items up and down this might be a safety step for you.

  20. Hi Susan. I love the new rattan chargers. Very pretty and the perfect size.

    I have a similar outdoor storage box for our pool items. It is not water tight, so if that’s a concern, I’d double check that. I was thinking of a little tent. Might keep them dry and be fun to play in.

    I haven’t been up on the porch for a while and I sure have missed it. I’m excited to see what you do with your basement!

I'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment!


Send this to a friend