Appreciating Tight Spaces

My house is bursting at the seams. Currently we are sharing our living space with my daughter’s family, and that can make even a large farmhouse seem a bit small. Under normal circumstances it’s challenging to find a quiet space to craft, write or read and things just got even more difficult.

I have a small room on the main floor that is my dedicated craft room/office/library, but it’s one of those spaces that is pretty worn and dated, it’s not laid out well and needless to say, it’s a tad bit crowded. It definitely isn’t a space that I would say nurtures my creativity. It needs a little love and a little life breathed back into it, so it’s time to freshen it up a bit. Which means I need to empty the entire room. I cannot even explain how much stuff I have managed to cram into that little room and the thought of getting EVERYTHING out of there is a bit overwhelming (insert all the pouting/crying emojis here).

I began the process of clearing out the space this past week. Since it’s starting to warm up (well supposedly…it’s currently snowing), I’m boxing up all my craft supplies and tools and taking them out to my workshop in the barn. I think it will be nice to have everything in one place; it’s too bad I can’t leave it all out there year round. The barn gets too darn cold. Also, I am not very inclined to be in the workshop in the winter because it can be downright miserable even with the heat on, but I digress. I have also relocated my office and a microscopic portion of my library to my bedroom. At first, I was very annoyed and unhappy about trying to squeeze more stuff into my room, but now I’m starting to think I may just keep it this way.

I have downsized my desk. I usually use an old kitchen table because I like to spread out, but there was no way I was going to get that into my room. Now I’m using an old mission style library table that’s been kicking around the house for the past 26 years. I had to reduce the stuff I have on the desk, but I have the essentials, so I guess I really don’t need the big table after all. My printer is tucked under the desk, it’s still easy to reach and I actually like having it hidden away down there. I also brought up my armchair and footstool, along with about a dozen or so of my favorite books. Now, in the morning,  I grab a cup of coffee and head up to my little hideaway to read instead of sitting in the living room among all the commotion of family life.

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My cozy little corner.

I used to love being in my room when I was young. I would spend hours in there reading, writing, listening to music and anything else I felt like doing. It seems kind of silly to me that I forgot how nice it could be.

My bedroom is about as far away from the hubbub as I can get. So, while at first I was feeling pretty grumpy about squeezing one more use out of my bedroom, I am now appreciating the opportunity to have a little peace and quiet during the day.

I’m sure I will be spending a lot more time planning, dreaming and writing in this space. I imagine that being up here is also going provide some fresh perspective and inspiration, at least I hope it does. I don’t even care how long it takes to finish the project downstairs. From where I sit, everything is working out just fine in my tight space. Plus, I have a fabulous view of my barn and trees so how can I complain?

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Oh yeah, I moved my banjo upstairs too. Now maybe I can practice without assaulting my family’s ears!

Did I mention that I’m also painting my living room and stairway next weekend? I know, I know, I sound like I’ve finally lost my mind, but the kids are visiting with my son-in-laws family for a few days. It’s an extremely rare opportunity to have a child-free zone to work in. I love that little granddaughter of mine, but I just know that I couldn’t handle all of the “help” she would want to give me.

After writing down all of the commotion that’s going on around here, I think I’m really going to appreciate retreating to this tight space!

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Entryway Up-Cycle

My entryway has been a room I have struggled with for quite some time. It just never seemed to function the way I wanted it to; there was never enough storage, the layout always seemed awkward and it was dark and gloomy (The gloom could have been caused by the burgundy paint, lol…I went through a jewel tone phase a few years back.).

I got inspired by the farmhouse design that has been so popular lately and decided that was the way I would go in the entryway. (I live in an old  farmhouse after all.) The closet is a large cupboard that my husband built years ago when we had young children and a plethora of toys, so while it was sturdy and functional, it didn’t really work for our current needs. I didn’t want to completely demolish it and build new, so I reconfigured it to work and fit in the space better. In going with the farmhouse theme I decided that I wanted a bench with hooks and a shelf above it. My sister in law was getting rid of an old, very large coffee table that I thought would work perfectly; and I was right! The redesigned cupboard and table fit beautifully in the space.

So…they fit, but they were still kind of ugly (Okay, REALLY ugly.). As you can see in the picture I painted the walls a light gray so I decided to paint the closet, bench and trim a bright white. I changed out the handles on the closet with some I had salvaged from another piece of furniture and I spray painted the hinges to match. I also decided to take the doors off the coffee table turned bench.

Fortunately, I ended up having a lot of things on hand that I could use for this project; so it did not cost much to make these changes. I had the three coat hooks left over from another room refresh, I had the shelf in my pile of miscellaneous lumber, and the cushions I used on the bench were from an old camper that we had years ago. I may be a pack rat, but it sure has come in handy! Did I mention that the paint on the walls is “oops” paint from Menard’s? I painted that room for ten dollars, and I still have enough paint left over for my guest bathroom!

I still have a little tweaking to do with the accessories, but after years of just tolerating the space, I finally like the feel of the room. An entryway can seem like an unimportant place, I mean it’s essentially just a room to pass-through on our way in and out. But I think it’s really important to love that part of my house; it’s the first impression. I believe the space I greet and welcome our guests into, sets the tone for the rest of our home.

Before, the room was cluttered, disorganized and dark; I always wanted to hurry people through and just get them out of there. Now, the layout makes sense, there is plenty of storage and it seems light and airy. I’m more than happy to have visitors sit down to take off their shoes (or admire my handy-work). I’m really glad that, after years of frustration, I finally have a room that I enjoy walking in to. Whatever your taste or style, I hope that this helps inspire you to make your home a place you love. Keep creating my friends!