During our pre-move mini renovations so far, our basic plan has been to get most of the messy stuff out of the way before we move in any furniture. This included ripping down a drop ceiling in, what we’ve been calling, the window room, pulling down some paneling and ripping out the carpeting throughout the house.
One HUGE benefit of spending time working in the house before we’re physically living there is, in fact, getting that idea for how the space will work for us. How one family uses the space in a home may not translate to the lifestyle of another family. We plan on living in this house for quite a while so it was important for us to create spaces that we would use and function in on a daily basis. While the house isn’t tiny, it’s certainly not big enough to justify having rooms without purpose or reason e.g. those stuffy, formal front living rooms we’re all far too familiar with from our childhoods. While these were common in so many houses in the past, I don’t think modern lifestyles of today, that thrive on speed, efficiency and convenience, are really suited toward that unused or extra living space.
That’s exactly what we had with the original floorplan. A small dining room (that would hardly fit our current dining room furniture) and two huge living spaces, one of which I knew we would never use. The thought of cramping ourselves into the existing dining room while also spending the money to furnish a 2nd living room that would never (never, she says!) be used just irked me.
Not only would the situation be undesirable on the 1st floor, we’d also be dealing with some cramped spaces upstairs. Joe, who primarily works from home, would be stuffed into a tiny extra bedroom upstairs with barely enough space for his office needs and hardly any natural light…two things that don’t exactly scream “productivity!” or “motivated work day!” to me. All of these issues together bothered us both so much that we decided making a big change and taking control of our home’s layout was the only way to go. After realizing how we would be using the space and what would make the most sense for our lifestyle we decided to take control of our own floorplan and ditch the extra living room, turn that into the new (and much larger) dining room and convert the old dining room into a study/home office for Joe.
The only issue that arose with this floorplan switcharoo was there would no longer be kitchen access directly from the dining room. I love to cook and try to make dinner every night and the thought of walking around the stairs and through the study with plates of food wasn’t working for me. Luckily, an awkwardly inconvenient coat closet was located under the stairs in the space that separated the new dining room from the kitchen. So, naturally, we grabbed the sawzall and went at it.
Here’s a reminder of how this wall in the old living room/new dining room used to look… And a glimpse at where we’re headed…
I can literally see the light at the end of the
hallway tunnel. By nixing the coat closet and opening up the wall between the kitchen and the new dining room, we’re not only creating a much brighter, more open and efficient layout but we’re literally making our house even bigger by deciding to use every space as it’s suited to our lifestyle. Just because realtors, previous owners or even a wall or two tells you that a room is used for one purpose doesn’t mean you have to listen. Who says you can’t switch things up to make them your own? I, for one, say go for it. Taking control of your floorplan can be a total game changer so tell your house who’s boss.
We’re working hard over the next few days to get most of the dirty work done before we start moving furniture in on Saturday. Hopefully some prettier pictures will be heading your way soon.
Are there any spaces in your house that you’ve used differently than someone else?