Monday, June 20, 2011

Getting into the home improvement spirit...

Home improvement is something I think about.  A lot.  I have big dreams for how to improve our home.  The trouble is, my skills in the home improvement department are pretty much lacking, and to date, I've never really enjoyed it.  As such, I've had a big home improvement to do list for about a year now, and have only accomplished the "declutter" items.  I know how to do that.

When Patrick and I bought our condo, we never intended for it to be a "forever" house.  We thought we'd be here two, maybe three years tops.  Three and a half years later, we're still here, and it seems we'll be here for a while yet.   So, I guess it's time we start making changes that make it more like our "forever, for now" house.  I decided we should start with our dining room.

Our dining room is tiny.  As in 64 square feet tiny.  Long ago (when we first got married and settled in), we put in a bar height table and our only family heirloom, a beautiful hutch.  It was probably WAY too tight for the space, but with just Patrick and I,  it worked.  After all, the times when 4 people actually had to fit around the table were relatively few and far between.  And for our cookie decorating party it was awe-some because the table was the right height for standing-up decorating, and therefore fit a couple more people around it.
See how there's 3.5 people around one half of the table, with another 2.5 (unseen) people working around the other half (the room is so small it's impossible to get everyone in the shot)?

But when baby made three, we realized fast that our current setup was not going to last.  First of all, bar height table + high chair = not a great combo.  Plus, with the hutch in there, there was no room for the high chair anyway.  So, the hutch found a new life as a TV console (it was the perfect Claire-can't-get-to-the-TV-height), and we sold our bar height table at a yard sale.  Then the room just sat for a month while we decided what to do with it.

The first challenge was that I've been feeling a definite lack of work space in our house.  Pre-baby, Claire's room was my craft room/guest room.  I loved having all my crafting supplies easily accessible so that whenever the mood struck, I could pull stuff out, get my crafty mojo on, and then put things back easily.  When we turned that room into the nursery, my crafts got relegated to the top of my closet and all craftiness stopped.  The few times I've pulled out a thing or two to work on, they never made it back into their neat and tidy storage because I am too short to reach it!  So, I knew I needed to find a way to work some craft storage into the dining room.

The second challenge is that I want the dining room to serve as a dining room,  too, because being able to eat around the dinner table together is important to me.  That means the room needs to be able to serve two functions.  In 64 square feet.  That's not asking too much, right?  I mean, Ikea manages to design entire apartments in less than 200 square feet, so I figure I should be able to design a space to craft and eat dinner in with the space I've got.

So, I'm working on that.  I'm not quite there yet, but I've got ideas ready to implement. For now I've got a blank slate, and I think that's the best way to start.

Don't you agree?

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