Friday, May 18, 2012

The Great Room Switcheroo

Our home is just shy of 1400 square feet - not tiny, but certainly not huge either.  There are so many reasons we're willing to sacrifice space - our urban location, our neighbors, and the old style and character of our home.  One of the great pleasures I have in living in our smaller home is the challenge of cramming every last bit of function into each and every square foot.  (You know I love a good organizational challenge!)  Despite having less space, we have a lot of stuff!  But it all has a place, and it never looks cluttered. 

It's no longer a secret that we're expecting Baby #2!  So as has been the plan all along, our home continues to evolve into a space that meets our changing needs.  Every room we've changed in recent months started as something else, but we knew it was never permanant, so we made decorating and furniture choices accordingly.

This story actually goes way way back...

Our office, which started in a full bedroom upstairs, needed to be condensed to make room for Baby #1.

So it went from this:

To this:

The office shrunk from a full room to a walk-in closet just off the nursery.

And the nursery looked like this:


And then a couple of things happened.  First, we got a laptop, so we found ourselves going up to the office less and less, and we didn't need the desktop computer anymore.  We also couldn't sneak into the office after bedtime anymore without causing the little guy to stir.

Really, all we needed was a landing spot for the laptop and our files close at hand.  A spot to drop the mail, pay the bills, and hold the printer.

So we converted the eating nook in our kitchen to command central.  You'll notice that our dining room is open to the kitchen and just steps from the kitchen table - it was really redundant, but the view was nice, the clean-up over the tile floor with a food-flinging kid was easier.  The kitchen table only sat three, which wouldn't cut it with a growing family anyway.

The bookshelves got rotated ninety degrees (they still hold cookbooks and recipe boxes), and a new tabletop was purchased.  Can you believe that the butcher block countertop from Ikea fit the space perfectly?!

We raised the light, brought the printer and file cabinet downstairs from the old office, and set aside the old desktop computer for recycling.

Which meant that the closet off of August's room morphed from office to playroom!  Yeah for more toy storage space and a place to play!  We brought in a little table and chairs, and there is room to grow in all of those totes!  The left wall is a magnetic chalkboard, which August loves!

And then it came time to make room for Baby #2!  Which meant that the guest room had to go.  We don't have guests often - maybe once or twice a year - so it was hard to justify keeping a space that got so little use.  We decided we could come up with another solution for guests - I'll get to that in a moment.

So the guest room went from this:

To this:










Many things stayed, but many things changed too.  It is not as apparent in the before photos, but the old guest room needed a lot of work.  The closet got re-drywalled and the whole room got new baseboards - the old ones weren't the same as the original baseboards throughout the rest of the house, so we had new baseboard milled to match the original.  There was a lot of unfinished woodwork, and a terrible star stencil on two walls that needed to be sanded off before it could be repainted.

The headboard and lighting stayed the same, the antique baking table stayed in the same place, and we added a dresser.

The closet got new shelving, a new light, a magnetic chalkboard, and cow print Flor tiles, which just might be my favorite feature of the room!

We brought in a real cow hide in the main room, and moved the crib and and chair from August's room.   All I need to do is order the crib bedding - I already have something picked out from Land Of Nod.

August kindly handed down his crib and chair to "Baby Brother Harris William" and graduated to a "BIG BOY BED!"

We found a great daybed at Ikea with cozy and safe walls on three sides and three generous storage drawers underneath.  The greatest feature is that this twin size bed easily pulls out to convert to a king size bed!  The new bed linens from West Elm look like waves for the fish to swim in!





I mentioned the guest room solution.  Here's what the room looks like set up for guests.  We've already had some good friends test out the new layout and bed and it earned their full approval!


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