School holidays is a funny time. I seem to always want to change systems, get stuck into projects & move furniture around. Actually that is a lie. I'm up for it any time. Ever since I got my own bedroom when I was a tween or thereabouts, I have loved organising, moving things, decorating & fitting out my spaces. I tend to get bored & frustrated if things get a bit tired or too comfortable. I get ancy. Anxious even. Restless leg syndrome takes over my whole body. Well not really, that's exaggerating, but you know, I get twitchy and need to get stuck into whole home reorganisation IMMEDIATELY before I spontaneously combust.
A lifetime ago, when it was just my old bedroom at my parents house it was usually a full scale production of sorts, moving not only furniture, but my vast stereo system & techy things [everything so LARGE back then], plus Michael J Fox, Wham & Rob Lowe posters into new spots. Hanging actual washing lines through my room to peg fancy op-shopped items like glittery gloves, scarfes, Blues Brothers hats etc. Oh the 80's! Thankfully my tastes have changed since then.
The upgrade to my very first small home at age 22 was like a dream. I painted all the walls different colours, fitted it out with all sorts of oddments, donated & found furniture. And added all my little bit quirky, fun, colourful, cluttered but organised style of decorating. I REALLY needed Tif Fussell back then but luckily still like that style today. In those days, being single, I was far more adventurous and had painted walls in every room, I ripped up carpets and floors returned to their original beautiful wood. I wouldn't have quite the colour scheme I chose way back then but I took on bigger projects than I ever have during my married life.
Marrying a non-handy country boy with not a care for decorating and very conservative in taste, having someone build a big white house for us with pale painted walls & plain foor coverings was the option we chose instead of renovating something old. Whilst I would love the challenge of doing that, possibly the time has passed. For the moment I'm living vicariously through my friend Janelle who is doing a complete home renovation to their little country house. Adorable & a big job. I can't wait to follow the next instalments of their journey. You can read it here.
For 8 years we poured money into trying to have children so I guess after buying land, building a home and all that goes along with that, paths, storm water, floor coverings etc.... we didn't have much money leftover for elaborate or even cool decoration. So we've taken our bits & pieces of furniture collected over the years and each year we've replaced a few things or done a few projects here & there to keep it to our taste and to accommodate the small 5 humans that eventually joined us here. Funny, what originally seemed to be an enormous house for just Jeff and I facing the prospect of never having children, now is a distant memory. We fill every corner of the house with people & things. Very lucky indeed.
So anyway, I started twitching last night. I had felt it coming on for the last few days. I often just sit and stare at aspects of my house and try to figure out how things would fit, could fit and how might it best work for the ages & stages of our children. Of course all of that is in my head and I don't share my workings out with Jeff until I want to run an idea past him or when he wakes up or walks in the door and he sees that everything has been shifted around. Luckily he usually likes my ideas.
I usually flip through some of fave decorating books & then look again at my things & my space and then I get to it. On a mission, working like a demon, I don't stop until its done. I got to bed at a very respectable 12.30am last night, considering the moving & organising that went on, that wasn't too bad.
So here's a few words & pictures from my latest shuffle about.
A few weeks backs I swapped our casual & formal dining tables over. I've moved our very first proper dining table into this space and moved our larger one out to the casual family meals area. Last night in my formal dining area, I pushed & turned around the table back closer to the bay window & moved the cabinet under the clock. It now leaves room for Lego playing in our central congregating area.
I love that the kids love playing here everyday. I don't love stray pieces & hurty feet! There's a fair chance once school goes back, we might shift the Lego up to the kids playroom upstairs. We'll see how good they are keeping it tidy.
Here's our larger table in our family meals area. We also put in an Ikea 5x5 Expedit unit to store all our family games & puzzles. Whilst I love this area, the messiness of the games drives me a bit nuts. It is functional & practical though and at least we now have great space to play and all the games are housed in the one place.
Here below is the other half of our large living area. Its my formal living room, with our old couches, book library, television. I look forward to one day affording some new couches, definitely when the kids are older. Maybe some rustic old leather. I've always been partial to Chesterfields. Maybe Natuzzi. We'll see.
Here below is the formal lounge full view. Media bench to the left. Our old couches with comfy cushions & throws. Coffee table filled with books & one of my beloved libraries to the right. There's proper space to walk around the outside the couches to work at the media bench or visit & browse the library. The photo makes it appear a little cramped.
Next time I have money to spend on our home it'll will be replacing these woeful tab top curtains that we have had since we moved in! I have just never quite known what I wanted to put in here. I cannot cope at all with either fancy schmancy swishy formal curtains OR the other extreme, those vertical blind things that were stylish back in grey offices in the 1990's. It will either be a straight rolling down blind in black or plantation shutters in white. Still unsure which way I want to go.
As for the media bench. Its been a long time coming and I put in so much thought about it. I want my children to play with their technology in open areas of the house so I'm there to help them and can loosely monitor gaming use. Technology is a part of life whether we like it or not and I want my children to have the advantage of being very capable and confident with using the various devices in our home. But as a parent I need to ensure they are being safe, particularly while they are still so young. I love the idea of working beside them and them learning on the job with me.
Although its yet another thing to squeeze into our living areas, I had to do it. This is where we live. Our home has to be practical and functional not just a sterile show piece to impress guests. I know its far from that. I guess thats why I set about changing it around to suit us and have consistently done so through all the ages and stages of our children.
A few weeks back I initially set it up here [below] under the clock but something wasn't quite right. It looked just a bit too messy walking through the front door into the entrance hall. I know the Lego doesn't look that much better but at least the more permanent furniture under the clock [first pic up top] is styled a little more nicely. So I'm pleased it has been moved again.
The media bench now sits tucked behind our big couches in our formal living area. Looking from the coffee table books, the colourful comfy couch on to the media bench looks a little messy but there's a better here below. Its highly functional & practical and thats what we need right now.
I can do my work or play while the kids are playing around me or watching a movie. Or they can be doing homework or playing a game while I'm watching a movie or putting my feet up. I'm not entirely happy with the actual media bench storage/ set up but I'll work on that. I quite like the drawer unit on the desk but I don't like the scanner on top. Its very much part of my graphics & mixed media work but where to put it?
I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my changes from last night & the last few weeks.
Do you get the shifting bug? Do you like moving things just for fun or out of necessity OR did you get it right the first time?
Here's some of my most favourite decorating books that I really LOVE and flip through again and again and again.
HomeSpun Style by Selina Lake, I love all her books Bazaar and Romantic too but Homestyle is my absolute fave. I just noticed she has a new one too called Pretty Pastel Style so I am going to pre-order that too.
This new arrival is a fabulous & very practical guide on renovating or making over on the cheap. Young House Love.