Thursday, October 3, 2013

Day Three of Rent: Making What You Have Work, Part 1

Hello!  We are having some lovely warm days before the cooler weather hits this weekend.  I'm very ready for Autumn, but want to embrace the warmth while we have it.  It won't be around for much longer!

Welcome to Day Three of the 31 Days of Rent series on Part of the Miracles!  Here I talk about our discoveries as renters and how to make your rental house your Home.


Part 1:  Work Spaces

Eventually, I want to talk about what you can do in a rental but before I do that, we all know that one of the obvious downsides to a rental is that it is by nature unchangeable.  You can look on that as a downside, meaning that you can't do any major improvements.  OR, you can look on that as an upside, meaning you don't have to do any major improvements!  That contracted verb change can change your whole outlook!

Like I mentioned earlier, our home is a bit small.  It's about 1,000 sq.ft. on the top level (3 bedrooms) with about 800 sq.ft. in the basement (1 bedroom and one large multipurpose room).  Early on, we realized our basement has the classic older Midwest characteristics of dampness with a bit of mildew.  While our boys originally started out in our one basement bedroom (per their request), we ended up moving them upstairs to the "office" room after a few weeks of them waking up with a cough and congestion every morning.  So, our home of approximately 1,800 sq.ft. shrunk quite drastically to 1,000 sq.ft. in one day.  And we felt it!

We're glad the boys are upstairs now but that still leaves a great big ol' basement pretty much useless except as a free storage unit (which we do need), plus no office.

While we have some good plans for that basement (soon to come!), we needed to make our upstairs spaces work.  Adam needed an office space.  A place he could shut the door and work uninterrupted by our normal household noise and commotion.  The kitchen table just didn't cut it.

Enter his new "office space" in our bedroom.  We chose the Sloane leaning desk from Crate and Barrel because of it's slim size and move-ability


It's not ideal, of course, but we're all about making things work!  In a house with this many people and this much space, a room has to multitask like a boss.

In that same vein, here's our girl's work space.


I'm not a huge fan of a work space in the bedroom, but Making It Work has a big voice.  With three kids and their homework, the kitchen table just doesn't always cut it.


Above shows our If All Else Fails homework spot.   Ever have those afternoons where Complete Removal of Distractions becomes necessary?  Yep.  Me too.  I actually like this spot because I am right there on hand to help with homework problems.  That drop-leaf table was my grandparents when my mom was a little girl.  It's the perfect size to squeeze in this space and a leaf easily opens up for a nice work space.

Our living room is also finding it's Multitasking bone and has invited our musicians to practice in this room.   The obvious is the piano, the cello is currently at school being played.

Granted, the living room/music room isn't a huge stretch because my guess is that a lot of you do the same thing, but I think it helps me think positively about our usable space when I list out all the things we're doing to multitask.  Maybe that's just me, but there you go.

Part of making things work is dealing with wall treatments/paint color and as you can see, we've got some color issues going on.  Our room really is that yellow, the living room really is that dark, and I haven't even shown you the dining room's green yet! Again, I'll post more about that soon...

For now, what are some ways in which you Make Your Rental Work for you?

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