Today I'm posting a few (!) "before" shots of the house. These pictures were specifically taken because I plan to have "after" pictures depicting changes we've made. Now, I'm not expecting a spot on HGTV with the changes we're making, but I think what I have in mind will make a dramatic difference, so I think it will be fun for you to see just how different.
I'm not going to give away what exactly we're planning to do in any of the spaces, as I'd like it to be a surprise AND I'd hate for something to turn out completely different than stated here (that silly designer in me). One thing I will say for the entire house, however, is that we're planning to make each and every space kid-friendly (save, of course, our bedroom). We want our kids, at every age, to feel comfortable being kids here. That doesn't mean, however, that aesthetics should be compromised, so it will be my job henceforth to make the two (kid-friendly and aesthetically pleasing) work together.
First, the entry:
This wonderful little space under the stairs will be perfect for coats and shoes. To finally have an entry (albeit, small) will be a welcome change. And it WILL be organized and efficient!! I'm so tired of seeing coats, shoes, hats and bags strewn about, I can't even tell you.
The main living space:
The back wall of the living room will be home to bookshelves, up to the tile on the floor (of course; we wouldn't be putting shelves/books behind the wood stove). Hubby has a cool plan for this, and I really, REALLY hope it works out the way he's planning it. It's gonna kick ass. The bottom portion of the book shelf system will be for the kids' toys and books.
The dining area:
This is going to be a hardworking space. We will, of course, eat our meals here at the family table, but there will also be a kids table/chairs, the old family hutch and a play kitchen. My recent discovery of my love for Montessori has given rise to a need to organize spaces, especially this one, to be kid-friendly. Montessori methods stress independence in young children, so I need to not only make our spaces fun, but also easily accessible for the kids. Right now, that means Charlotte for the most part. Will explain and describe in more detail in the "after" photos.
Oh, and that nice big wall that has the stairs behind it? That's going to be pretty rad. Just wait!
Ah, the kitchen:
It's cute, yet a little sad. We don't have the money to replace anything right now, but eventually we'd like to rip out everything (except, maybe, the pantry shelves) and start over. The layout is good, though. And, for now, just a few updates, and I think they'll make a big difference visually.
The door from kitchen to back porch:
The back porch:
We're calling it The Studio. It's where arts and crafts will happen. It's also where the laundry will happen. And the pooping (of the feline variety) will happen (unfortunately). There's a surprising amount of space here, though, and it's insulated/heated/carpeted, so it will be a year-round creative space. Looking forward to having a space to do these things and leave the mess if needed until another time. Just close the door!
This is truly the saddest room in the house. I really hope a coat of paint and a few finishing touches will help until we can afford more. It's the only bathroom in the house, ugh. So, it needs to be efficient and easy to keep clean. Wish me luck here!
It's the smallest of the three bedrooms, but we're okay with that. Anything that needs doing in here happens on the bed, so what more space do you need than space enough for a bed? But, checkout that closet! Yep, that's a closet, with a window!!
A stairwell is NOT just a stairwell! I'm hoping to find wood under that carpet, and that the carpet isn't too difficult to tear out. Can you believe this place was a rental and didn't have a handrail on the wall??!!
I'm..I mean, Charlotte and I are going to have so much fun with her room!! She finally settled on a paint color (after going back and forth, several times, between black (yep), turquoise and pink; bet you can't guess what color...), and she went with mama to pick up all the paint today (ca-ching - ouch!).
Not going to do much in here until Harper is older and can be involved in the process. For now, white walls and a Montessori approach to placement and decoration. Pretty simple.
So nice for each kid to have their own room! And plenty of space in each, with ample closets. Some day, quite a ways down the road, we may remodel a little bit upstairs to make space for (at a minimum) a second toilette and sink. Harper's room is bigger, so we'll probably break into his room mostly.
Oh, and the backyard:
The patio kicks ass already, in my opinion, with the flagstones already in place. We have visions of spending a lot of time here, whether hanging out with friends having a good meal, or just the two of us after the kids are in bed. Right next to the house we plan an outdoor kitchen for canning in the Summer (have you ever canned in the Summer, in the kitchen, in a non-air-conditioned house? try it sometime...). The garden and raspberry patch need work, and a lot of it!. But, hey, we have a garden plot and raspberries! And two apple trees! And a cherry tree! Who is complaining?! And, that little space next to the house? Kids' garden. I'm really excited for that one (for the kids' sake, of course).
Well, that's it, I think. We may do some things to the front of the house, too, at some point. And it's my plan to make the front yard edible as well, preferably with herbs (at least, mostly).
I feel like this will be so much hard work, yet so much fun! I also feel like a lot of what we're doing now is intermediary. As in, we're doing what we can with what we've got, and eventually even these things may be changed, and in a few years things will be just the way we want them. I'm so, so, so happy to finally have a home in which to do this! I'm over the moon:)