Time is a strange thing; it can seem often that time is passing by so slowly as you get stuck in the day to day of life, and at other times it feels like it’s flying by.I was thinking last week that it was around this time five years ago that Damian and I started to look for our home. We were really unhappy we were living when we first got married, for a number of reasons, and wanted to find a home that we could grow into.
Last week as I reflected on Miss E’s third birthday, I was thinking about how much our life has changed in just five years. We have been on our home for just over five years now. It was initially a home we hoped to grow in to, but it now a house that is almost bursting at the seams!
At the weekend Damian picked up some paint charts as our dining room is beginning to look tired and in need of a freshen up. The children, of course, wanted to have their say as to the colour scheme we should have and they have been drawn to some interesting colours… Miss E wants black and Mr D wants bright red….. I suspect we will choose some slightly more muted colours instead.
The colours are the easy things to choose though, I really want us to make much better use of the space we have. In an ideal world where time and money were not a problem then I really would like to take down an internal wall that has at some stage been put up and in turn creates a small hallway. I think with this removed we would have a space we can use in a more creative way and it would make a big difference. Damian is reluctant to do this, and I suspect that, in reality, it’s a cost we can’t afford at the moment as it would require some plastering work, flooring going down and various other bits.
In the meantime, we will make do with the space as it is currently set up and instead look for some clever storage solutions. I have looked at a website called Lions Home over the weekend whilst Damian was away and it’s given me some ideas. I really like the use of baskets and the such for storing the children’s various toys and other items such as pen, pencils and paper. I find that this makes them quite accessible for the children as well as helping to keep things look tidy. They’re also easy to tidy up into at the end of the day!
I struggle with the need to keep the room functional versus the desire to make it a ‘grown up’ space. I’d love to have a bookcase in the corner and a chair near the large windows where the light is just perfect for whiling away the hours with a good book. But, in reality, I will have to be content with shelving dedicated to baskets of children’s toys and colouring books.
I’ve toyed with the idea of a new dining table, but I think we will make do with the one that we have at the moment, and possibly just replace the chairs instead. The children, particularly Miss E, like to get the colouring things out, or the play doh and I really don’t want to be on edge about them marking a new table. I suspect we will buy a couple of oil cloth/PVC covers to cover the table with on the basis that for the sake of a few pounds the children can get creative without me asking them to take care with their colouring and drawing.
I’d also like to get a space for the children to put up their various works of art, or topic type stuff. I think it would act as a good aide memoir for them as we work through various things. Although, I am not sure how this might work best, possibly a noticeboard or something similar might work.
The final thing that we will need to think about is the lighting. We currently have two small lamps but I think we would benefit from having a bigger light too. In the darker winter months even with the two lamps on it can feel a bit on the dark side. As the children begin to use the laptop more and the such I am keen for the lighting to be right for them and their developing eyes.
It feels like a really over whelming task – our dining room is the most used room in the house, so getting things right is so important! What tips do you have for clever storage and making the most of the space you have?
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