Making it work: How to have 4 (or 5)rooms in 1

This is not a post about styling your space.

Like most homes (or is it just mine?) there never seems to be quite enough room. In my perfect world, the kids would have their own dedicated hangout area, I’d have my very own craft room/home office/command central. There would be an epic guest room rivaling the best bed and breakfast money can buy. I’d have a palatial laundry room/mud room (ok, ok, maybe not that excessive…)

Alas, fantasy, meet reality.

fantasyreality

My family room is a work in progress, just like most homes.  It could be just a little more styled and decorated. There are a multitude of design flaws, but I’m thankful to have the skills to make it all work. I’m happy, my family is happy, and that’s the most important design element.

Well, back to reality. This particular room has to function as at least 4 rooms, because all the other rooms are taken up. Here’s how I’ve combined everything into this room to make it work for us.

middle_left_map

My family room is fairly large, measuring about 20ft wide by 12 feet deep. As such is functions as:

1. Children’s play and toy storage area.

Anyone who has kids knows how their stuff just reproduces overnight! Since there’s no TV allowed in their  bedrooms, they (along with their things)  tend to congregate in the family room.

photo 3 (4)

(complete with ikea lawn furniture that the kids fell in love with and each had to have one, yeeah baby!) The middle-ish area is the designated hangout spot, while my stuff and everything else is just kind of pushed to the outskirts of the room.

photo 3

2. Guest Room for the occasional overnight guest.

daybed

With just an old box spring and mattress set, wooden base, and some pillows, I have fashioned a daybed that functions as additional seating, and a guest bed when needed. This current daybed is not the final design. Once I’ve completed the project I will post instructions.

3. Crafting space

Of course

middle_left2

My art/craft/design supplies live in (for the most part) concealed storage all around the room. The bookshelf behind the french doors hold gadgets for sewing and knitting. The slim bookcases that flank my work desk hold other bits and bobs. The lower part of our built-in bookshelf holds more suppplies. My ultimate goal is to have everything contained in bins and drawers to reduce visual clutter.

photo 4 (2)

4. Home Office

work area

I work from home at night, and my job comes with a lot of wires as you can see above.

BONUS!

5. Mudroom

Oh yes. This room leads directly to our back yard where we enter and depart the home. A corner of it is also dedicated to being a ‘mudroom.’  Here live school backpacks, winter gear and other things related to entering and departing the home.

mudroom

With some clever storage and arranging, you can turn 1 room into 4 (or 5).

I’d love to see how you all are making it work with the imperfections in your homes.

long overdue

Yes, it’s been a while since I gave up some décor/crafting goods.  Sorry ‘bout that.  The sweatshop has consumed me of late.

Anywhoo, here are a couple of projects I did a while ago as part of my ‘bringing in the charm’ project for my family/craft room.  The room tends to be dark since it is situated in the back of the house under shade trees. It also had a lot of warm wood tones. In my attempt to work with the warm wood tones that came with the house, I had previously chosen this unfortunate shade of orangey-yellow (when will I learn that me and orange just don’t get along when it comes to décor??)

PICT0544

A few months after the orangey-yellow mess, I went with a greyish-white wall, and ultra pure white trim.  I LOVE it.  Now the room feels light and airy, and almost scandinavian, thanks to all the Ikea in there. The white background is also the perfect backdrop for all my colorful crafty stuff.  I love color, but apparently not in large blocks.

 PICT0540

Since the family room doubles as my creative space (yes, it IS that big!), I decided to I add interest by hanging my large DIY word/wall art.  I  fashioned this art out of a $5 Ikea cabinet door  (gotta love the as-is room!) and some Amy Butler cardstock paper left over from another project. Lucky for me there were enough panes on this door to spell out the word “C.R.E.A.T.E.”  For this project, I simply used my handy-dandy silhouette cutter to cut out the word in various fonts.  I then attached the letters to the glass using glue-dots. Easy peasy!

PICT0541

I also made some embroidery hoop wall-art to cover up some ugliness… Now you know my secret shame. My house is not perfect. Sometimes things have to be jerry-rigged to make things work, like this shameful randomly punched hole that connects our modem to Mr. AfroMartha’s home office.

So, behind this:

PICT0543

Is this.

Just shameful.

PICT0542

To make this project, I simply stretched some cute fabric that I had on hand over some embroidery hoops and hung them on the wall. Now when Mr. AfroMartha is not working, the cords are neatly tucked into the wall and the art covers the hole. Yeah, that’s what’s supposed to happen…

Let’s Catch Up

Yes, it’s been a while since I gave up some décor/crafting goods.  Sorry ‘bout that.  The sweatshop has consumed me of late.

Anywhoo, here are a couple of projects I did a while ago as part of my ‘bringing in the charm’ project for my family/craft room.  The room tends to be dark since it is situated in the back of the house under shade trees. It also had a lot of warm wood tones. In my attempt to work with the warm wood tones that came with the house, I had previously chosen this unfortunate shade of orangey-yellow (when will I learn that me and orange just don’t get along when it comes to décor??)

PICT0544

A few months after the orangey-yellow mess, I went with a greyish-white wall, and ultra pure white trim.  I LOVE it.  Now the room feels light and airy, and almost scandinavian, thanks to all the Ikea in there. The white background is also the perfect backdrop for all my colorful crafty stuff.  I love color, but apparently not in large blocks.

 PICT0540

Since the family room doubles as my creative space (yes, it IS that big!), I decided to I add interest by hanging my large DIY word/wall art.  I  fashioned this art out of a $5 Ikea cabinet door  (gotta love the as-is room!) and some Amy Butler cardstock paper left over from another project. Lucky for me there were enough panes on this door to spell out the word “C.R.E.A.T.E.”  For this project, I simply used my handy-dandy silhouette cutter to cut out the word in various fonts.  I then attached the letters to the glass using glue-dots. Easy peasy!

PICT0541

I also made some embroidery hoop wall-art to cover up some ugliness… Now you know my secret shame. My house is not perfect. Sometimes things have to be jerry-rigged to make things work, like this shameful randomly punched hole that connects our modem to Mr. AfroMartha’s home office.

So, behind this:

PICT0543

Is this.

Just shameful.

PICT0542

To make this project, I simply stretched some cute fabric that I had on hand over some embroidery hoops and hung them on the wall. Now when Mr. AfroMartha is not working, the cords are neatly tucked into the wall and the art covers the hole. Yeah, that’s what’s supposed to happen…

in progress…

I spent my weekend simultaneously painting my behemoth of a built-in bookcase and caring for my ill 4 year old.  My poor baby’s had the crud since last tuesday when his teacher told me not to even bother bringing him to school the next day. He was better by the weekend… so much better in fact that we let him go on an outing with some friends. By sunday he was relapsing with the fever and headache, along with the nasty cough. He is much better today, but I don’t want another relapse, so this afternoon, it’s off to the doctor’s we go, since he might need antibiotics to really kick it. It also didn’t help that on saturday he discovered inside his backpack, a box of chocolate milk he’d forgotten about from school (since tuesday!!!). Imagine my horror when I found out that he’d made a tasty snack of it. Yikes, and double yikes! Luckily he didn’t have any tummy problems from it, but I wonder if that caused the relapse? Gotta love 4yr old boys…

Anyway, here’s the bookcase, phase 1 of my family room re-do.  This is a room I’ve avoided being in because I didn’t quite know how to lighten it up to my taste.  The room faces south, so it doesn’t get a lot of light. Adding to the cave-like feel is all the knotted pine in dark yellowish/orangish stain. In my attempt to work work with the existing color of wood trim, I painted the walls this unfortunate color yellow. It didn’t look so yellow in the can…It was hard to get a good pic, but I hope you see the beginnings of the transformation. Yes, I know the wood is beautiful and some would consider it a sacrilege to paint over it, but it’s not for me…too cabin-like.

 

Before:

 

builtinbookshelfbefore

 

After:

builtinbookshelf2
the ill 4yr old who’s doing much better insisted on getting in the pic

 

Here’s a close-up of the paint job:

builtinbookshelf4

I love the way it turned out, don’t you?

Here’s what I did:

1. Wiped down the whole thing with a mixture of TSP and water to get rid of dirt and dust.

2. I did NOT sand at all. Why? Because I primed with Zinsser B-I-N primer, which seals in any knots and stains and adheres to slick surfaces. I did   one coat, but I will do 2 in the future because:

3. I painted 2 coats of paint. After the first coat, I wasn’t happy with the coverage. If I’d used 2 coats of primer, I’m certain that one coat of paint would’ve sufficed.  I used Behr Premium paint in Ultra Pure White. I’m letting the paint cure for a couple of days before putting anything on the shelves to prevent scratches. I did my pantry shelves the same way and had no problems with peeling or scratching.

Gawd, I have so much painting to do! Just imagine, not only my family room, but also my kitchen walls and cabinets are paneled like this. Fun, fun.

builtinbookshelf3