Every so often I get dissatisfied with how things are arranged at home & it becomes more painful & uncomfortable to put up with it than to completely turn things upside down & change it. It usually coincides with decreased functionality & things not suiting the ages & stages of the kids ALONG WITH looming deadlines!
Yesterday was that day.
I had just finished an assignment the day before & have another coming up very soon. It was the first day back for the kids after school holidays & I had the whole house to myself! And well of course Buddy too. I decided to get the kitchen back in order & then after a little procrastination decided it was today or never. Or maybe next week but I was itching to make some necessary changes so I decided I would pull the whole lounge & dining area onto its head & start again, rearranging just about everything! So great!
The last time I blogged about moving was here. Although I have definitely moved at least twice in between that post and this one as that arrnagement was a long time ago!
So anyway, here's our new configuration. A smallish area for the couches facing the TV. So its purely for relaxing. No toys allowed! Behind that, I've taken a compact New York apartment approach by squeezing my formal dining room table into the space behind. The table we always use for family meals is in the kitchen area so this is only used when we have guests & in that instance I'll just move the couch forward a bit & put the extra chairs in place. I am going to try to keep this surface free at all times so its ready to use for homework or doing a puzzle or playing board games with the kids.
Our lounge/dining area is where we all most congregate & thats what we like to do as a family, just hang out together. We all end up together in this area all the time. Its absolutely in the centre of our house and the core of our home. We get cosy & nap on the couch by the north facing window which is just delightful. We read here. We play with technology here. We love to watch movies here while being together, hanging out while doing individual activities, when using the computers & while art/crafting/drawing. Our big couches are so old but there's no money to replace them right now & I think I'll wait until Buddy is a bit older before investing in something a bit nicer anyway. We desperately need new curtains too but we've settled on just using what we have until we can afford to put in plantation shutters. We have roller shutters anyway so we can adjust the light as we need.
This is Buddy eating his "lunch pack" that I make along with the girls before school in the morning. He dives in around 9.30 while watching some ABC Kids first thing in the morning while I potter & get a few things done. Do boys eat way more than girls? He seems to be hungry ALL. THE. TIME!!
Oh and I should mention the table cover is made from vintage bed sheets that I bought at the op shop & I turned the table into a cubby house for the kids. They hold secret meetings under there, read books & play 'spying games!'
Ok, so my art/graphics working area..... I had moved this where the dining room table is currently but its now moved again. I do actually have a whole room in the house as an office/sewing room but whenever I tried to escape out there to get some work done, the kids would come and find me. In years to come, I'll move my business desk back out into the office. But right now they like to congregate wherever I am so it was necessary for me in order to get anything done during the day, to move things right into the centre of our home! And its worked well for most of the year.
Over winter its mostly too cold to work in the painting studio in our double garage so we like to get our arty/craft on inside. The girls have art desks in their bedrooms upstairs for drawing & general 'dry' crafting but they don't really like being so far away from us. I also put a drawing desk into the kitchen/family area in the hope they would maybe draw as I was coooking meals. But increasingly, they wanted to be with me when I was doing my thing & they wanted to do their thing alongside me. So it occurred to me that we needed to swap the big space of the formal dining area, with the smaller space of my inside desk. So swinging around here is where we now have an inside office/ art/ drawing/ crafting area for us all!
A much bigger area! It takes up the whole bay window area [technically the formal dining room on the house plans] & I've made work stations for all the things we need to do in this area. It also looks out onto the garden so when I'm working on something, I can see the kids in the back yard. There is beautiful light here too, its south facing.
I'm coming to terms with allowing my home to be as functional as it needs to be to suit our family at the various stages we are going through, rather than sticking to stereotypical norms & using the rooms for their 'house plan intended purpose'. Afterall its our house & we live here. I want there to be a place for everything & everyone be as comfortable & happy here as we can. So if stuffy people think my fun & functional crazy house of organised chaos is weird then that isn't my problem. We are all SO happy with the changes.
So in this pic above you can see the various workstations. The one on the left is my psuedo business/office. Its where I do graphics work, scan, do artistic editing, upload to my shop, study, draw etc. I keep my artistic diary here so I can keep track of assignments, due dates for submissions, course dates etc.
The next one along is our family control centre where bills are paid, banking is done, school paperwork & tax things are stored. Our family digital photos are held here, the printer is attached. Its where I keep my family diary & schedule. The kids can use this computer with supervision & sometimes Jeff hops on here too.
Swinging around to the window is a little crafting table. Plus big bins for recycling & regular [not food!] rubbish. Practical. I have just started making my art print greeting cards in addition to my original paintings & art prints, so this space for making cards is ideal. The kids can sit here & make little cards for their friends too. I have my penpal writing stuff here also. Its not really for painting but I may dabble in the odd watercolour at night if I need. I haven't yet sorted out this desk & made it look all pretty but I will get to that after my assignment is done. And yes that is a bent coathanger hanging up there with some of my washi collection! Colourful & functional!
To the right of the crafting table, I have some work in progress canvases which I really just need to put away in the studio. As the weather gets warmer over the summer I want to be painting back in the studio again where I can spread out a bit more.
And a little further around to the right there is a long trestle table with the kids computer [its a really old clunky Mac we bought second hand] plus some drawing supplies. So there is a spot for every activity that we do here. And we are all together!
So there you go. I worked so hard yesterday doing everything myself & I am so pleased I decided to go for it. It already feels like home! And the best part of all is the enthusiasm from Jeff & all the kids. They all really love this layout. Lets hope we can keep it organised for at least a few weeks, or even days. Or at the very least until my mum comes over to see it! Ha!
Do you get agitated & have to move things around every so often?