Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Year, New Room

Moving all the time is hard.  Constantly rearranging furniture into new houses and reimagining where things might go or how they might be used in a different way or in a different room can be draining--at least for me.  But then, I tend to overthink things.

When we were househunting one of the main things I wanted was a dedicated and usable space for all the toys,books and school stuff we have managed to accumulate over the last few years so that at the end of the day everything could be put away and not continuously spread out over our dining room table.   In our Florida house we had a little room that did hold most of that sort of thing but it wasn't a space anyone wanted to spend any time in--mostly it was a storage room/hallway into the rest of the house from the backyard/sandpit which meant that when we did schoolwork I had to carry it from that room to the table and then back again.  Not awful, but not ideal.

From the moment I set eyes on our new little yellow house I knew that the sunroom would be the perfect playroom/homeschool room/library.  That may seem like unreasonably high expectations for what one room can accomplish, but I think we pulled it off without the room seeming too ridiculously overcrowded. There's room to play, room to do schoolwork and room for all  most of our books.  It's my favorite room of the house, which is good since it's where I spend a good portion of my day.

It's also a really long and narrow room which means it's really difficult to photograph especially for someone with mediocre photography skills such as myself.  So....consider yourself warned.....I am not a professional room photographer/decorator/blogger/etc/etc/etc......

My original vision for this corner involved using our IKEA Expedit shelf to wrap that back corner in an amazing, if not very original, toy and children's book storage solution.  Unfortunately and unbeknownst to me, IKEA discontinued the Expedit and replaced it with something just slightly smaller which meant it would look silly next to what I already had so I had to buy all new ones and bump our current shelf up to the boys room.  Lame.

Now, Chris detests IKEA and would pretty much prefer to go anywhere else but he also doesn't want me lifting boxes of bookshelves and attempting to shove them into the car alone so I carefully made a list of exactly what I needed and tried to give it to him so he could make a quick trip without me wanting to browse through all the fake rooms while dragging the screaming children along but he said he didn't need a list.  He had everything he needed right inside his brain.  He went to the store, came home and assembled the shelves.

I inspected his work and asked him where the rest of the boxes were.

He stared at me in dawning horror as I explained to him that I wanted three shelves and he had only bought two and the realization hit him that he would have to return once again to that most hated of all Swedish meatball selling home furnishing stores.

Poor husband.  It was all worth it though.    

Yes, yes I do let my toddler climb on top of the shelves and also play with glass jars....judge me if you must......

Luckily for Chris, our other IKEA bookshelves fit perfectly into room along the opposite wall.   And our chalkboard fit right over the fireplace on the nails that were already there.  It would probably look nicer hung a little higher but it doesn't bother me enough to put more nails into the brick.

The curtains were the next big project I tackled.  The room came with floor length, tie top panels that had seen better days.

Much better days.

I took them all down and almost threw them out, but then, in a burst of make-do attitude, I decided to attempt to revitalize them.  After a couple of days soaking in oxi-clean and a trip or two through the wash they were as good as new.  The length didn't work with all the bookcases and benches that I have lining the walls though, so I hemmed them all up (so many panels!), cut off the ties and added ring clips.  I'm really pleased with how they turned out--hopefully our landlord is too :)

The other side of the room houses our little school corner.  Chris painted the benches he built for me in Pennsylvania a nice bright white to match the rest of the shelves and I made some cushions--which also turned out pretty well if I do say so myself :)

The benches are super comfy now and also hold all our games and puzzles so all in all they're pretty amazing.  The cushions get a little wrinkly--probably because I used cotton I already had instead of upholstery fabric--but they wash up really nicely which is important.  Things tend to happen in our house.  Messy, often inexplicable things......

The shelf in this corner holds all our homeschool books and things which is much more convenient than having them all in another room.  Now in the mornings David and I can work on schoolwork here while the rest of the kids play at the other end of the room.  It's kind of wonderful.

My curtains aren't all exactly what you'd call even, my cushions are a little wrinkly, and let's face it--my bookshelves are already dusty but I had a vision and I made it come to life using mostly things I had on hand and now we have a really cute and functional room.  My favorite room.  And I'm just a little bit proud of myself for that.

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