Home DecorCreating a Family Room November 6, 2018Hey, hey friends! I am so thankful that sharing a space in progress vs. a “perfect-feeling” reveal resonates with y’all so much. It definitely does with me because even though our home feels beautiful, it never feels reveal-ready except when it’s styled to be photographed. And things are in flux, in process, most of the time. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t still lovely! I was curious how not using a couch in a living room would go over with others, but then I had to remind myself that no one lives in our home but us. And what works for us is always the right answer. I don’t share for others approval, but instead to use our journey of figuring out how to make a home to inspire others to make their own! For a long time, I couldn’t get passed the idea that our living room had to have a couch. But then I started to realize I wasn’t thinking clearly about how we use this space and how we want it to function. You may remember that Dax’s sun porch turned nursery was changing once the addition was done. The plan was to move him to the bedroom we moved out of and to convert this little 7 x 11′ area into an office. It came time to move him two weeks ago so that we could finally get the house settled after the reno-chaos and the day we’d planned to move him, we changed our minds on a whim. We didn’t know if it would work…we’re still figuring that out. But we said, “What if we just tried something different?” His room has been one of the sweetest spots in our house and so far, it’s still working fine. There was no reason for us to move him other than the idea that his room is “small” and shouldn’t he have more space since we had an extra bedroom now? But he’s 18 months old, not 15 and for now, this still works really well. I’m continually reminding myself, I’m designing for a season…not forever. It can be changed as soon as it needs to be. (you can see his room reveal here.) While he actually does sit and play in this space some, the kids mainly play out in the house together. So space to play and roam wasn’t a must for his bedroom. So we decided not to move him. And we decided to use the freed up back bedroom (the largest room in our house) for a multi-use space that would serve our family well. I began tossing around the idea of a family room/office. While many work-from-home moms will tell you that you don’t have to have an office, I’ve realized for me personally that I do for sure. Or at least a designated desk area. And ideally in this season with small children, I wanted that “office” area to be in a space where the kids could play alongside me. While I’m working on a good work rhythm and not a ton happens while they’re up, some does. So having a space we can all be together while I work some could be huge. And here she is, friends, our Family Room & Office. Just like yesterday, this is in no way a reveal…AT ALL. We’ve moved furniture in, we’re living with it, we’re deciding what to tweak. But I want to share this process with y’all! Remember the two armoires that were “the closets” when this was our bedroom? We really do not want to get rid of these – they’re so useful and I can imagine many ways we’ll use them in the future. But we have no place to store them here. So we knew they needed to stay in the house if we could make them work. And gosh, they provide so much storage! One is serving as out of season clothes storage (the one by my desk that isn’t as accessible, though you can still get inside it). The other is going to house toys, craft supplies, and other kids’ stuff. We’re treating them sort of like built-ins that a space might have. This room does feel really full and I usually like more breathing space in a room. But this room is about more than just how it looks currently and so far, this is working well! And once we solidify the arrangement, I’ll keep simplifying the design and visual impact of the space. Obviously, I didn’t pick the dark blue couch to go with this paint color, so once we get the layout right, I’m going to make tweaks design-wise. I’ll likely add some light throws and pillows to lighten the couch up. I’ also may take down the curtains so it’s more streamlined (even though I love them), just haven’t gotten there yet. My desk was my grandmother’s and was serving as my vanity in our last bedroom. I plan to paint it and lighten it up, but again, right now we’re living with and figuring out the arrangement first. Already, having this designated space for me to work has made such a huge change! It’s somewhere I want to sit down and spend time and it gives me a spot where I can leave things out and in process without worrying about it as much. This other side of the space is the kids’ area right now. We’ll put in their table and chairs, hang the chalkboard at their height and the armoire right there will be filled with their stuff. Okay, in process, remember? That bookshelf will not be staying (mainly because the kids “re-organize” it ten times a day). But this room gets our TV! I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the TV with what I’ve mentioned. Do we watch it? Does it stay out all the time? And the answer is yes, we do watch it. Though we’re continually trying to cut back more and more on that. I’m trying to move more toward it being a treat vs. a daily thing and I loved the idea of not having it in our main living space. How we started to view these two spaces is that the living room is a place for gathering, conversation, reading, and hanging out. Especially since it’s open to our dining and kitchen space, we wanted it to be a comfortable gathering space. But we do not need a TV for any of those things. Now, we have a designated TV space that is more out of the way, so it bothers me less. We can go in here when we want to watch it, but it isn’t out go-to in our main sitting area. I love having this coffee table in here for games, snack-time, etc. and I love that it doesn’t take up visual space in this full room. I struggled with this move for a second because I kept thinking “This is a bedroom.” But then I reminded myself to break out of that! We thought really creatively about how we want to use our spaces and I made a list for what life I wanted to happen in each. This very well may be a bedroom again, maybe even soon, who knows. But for now, this is working really, really well for us and I am so glad we made this move! So, I want to encourage you guys to look at your spaces and think differently. It doesn’t matter what label a room has, what matters is how it needs to function for your family. And give yourself space to give it a function for a season. This is not a permanent solution for us (though I’m sure it could be if we really wanted it to be and kept tweaking). But it is a perfect solution for right now! Just like moving houses has shown us more and more of what we like and what’s important to us, trying different things space-wise is helping us to figure that out as well.