Today we’re sharing one of the last few rooms in our last house, and how we made the square footage that we had work for our family! Our last home was a traditional home, with a first floor living room, family room, office, dining room and kitchen. After living in our first home with a formal living room, we knew there was 0.0 percent chance we’d actually use it, nor did we want to buy furniture for a room we’d literally never use. So, with hopes of starting a family soon, we decided to ignore what the rooms were “supposed” to be used for, and made them work for us instead!
The office ended up going into the formal living room (I’m not a big doors closed office type of person, I prefer to have an open space with sight-lines to other rooms so I don’t feel enclosed or claustrophobic) and that left the office to become the playroom. The problem? It was SO dark and dreary, and completely closed off from everywhere but the living room, now office. Have I confused you yet? 😛
Insert solution – paint to brighten it up, and knock out a wall so we’d have sight-lines into the room from everywhere! One of the walls in the new playroom backed up to the family room. We asked the carpenters who were already working on our kitchen what it would cost to put in a cased opening, and $400 later we had what felt like a completely new house! The wall was load bearing so they had to add a small beam, but it was SO worth it, and I’m glad we hired it out instead of trying to tackle something structural ourselves for the first time.
To determine where and what we wanted, we took painters tape and played around with it until we were happy. I’m a huge visual person, and this helped communicate to the carpenters exactly what we wanted. They were able to accommodate within a few inches (they made it as wide and equal as possible per the electrical/studs that were preexisting) and we were all on the same page.
These pictures are taken from our family room, and that door opening is to the office! By adding this opening, we’d be able to see into the playroom easily from both the office and family room.
After a few hours, this view…
Turned into this!
SO much better for our space! We also got the floors done post opening up the wall, so they would flow through from room to room 🙂 It may not be the prettiest photo ever, but just having the natural light stream through and the ability to see into each and every room was magical to us!
In the end, I think you should always make a house work for you! I never judge houses by square footage, but more by the layout. Having a space that functions for you is the most important thing, and just because something says “formal living room” or “office” does not mean that that’s the only thing it’s good for! In the end, they are just four walls and can be used for any and everything you could need.
We made this mistake in our first house, and although that house was smaller, we only used about half of the rooms. This house ended up being significantly bigger, but because of the layout and how we used the rooms, we used each and every room every day!
Okay that’s it for today – Next week we’ll share the “final” view of the space before we moved, with new paint, lights and organization! See you then!