Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

House Improvements February 12, 2013

Filed under: Family Life,In My Neighborhood — leighj @ 11:18 am

Since Patrick decided not to return to his job next year and to take another year to really be with the boys while they’re young, we’ve started belt-tightening, but we’ve also started looking at ways to make our space work for us a little better. We are not moving anytime soon, because without Patrick working and with us still owning a fabulous house in a state we don’t live in, it’s just not feasible to take on a mortgage in this area where $600,000 buys you a small, fixer-upper. We also don’t know where Patrick will be working when he goes back, and we love Falls Church City and our location close to the Farmer’s Market and Community Center, and all the other places we like to eat and play.

Inspired by my friends Dan and Kathy who have recently fixed up and made useful their kitchen, Patrick and I made a trip to IKEA. We didn’t buy anything, but we were looking for ideas. I have flat refused to buy anything until we make space for it in the house, and live with that space for a couple of weeks. No more ad hoc. We did agree that in this little space, we need to be using all the way up to the ceiling to get the most out of it. Then we went to dinner at our friends’ house and saw some beautiful antiques they had gotten from the Auction House and then we were rethinking our IKEA ideas because these pieces were gorgeous and less than the IKEA pieces. So we’re still thinking about what to do.

Meanwhile, I thought I might show you what we did do:

Before:

Disaster Corner

Disaster Corner

It wasn’t that bad, but it was messy and cluttered looking, and hey! there was some wall space that wasn’t being used next to the speaker. I also needed a dresser for my sweaters. It turns out, the green dresser, which I thought was very functional in that space, was not at all. We’ve repuropsed it as nightstand/sweater holder. I still keep cards for mailing in one of the drawers. I moved all the boys art supplies out of the dresser and found them a nicer, more convenient home.

After:

Voila!

Voila!

The bookshelf and chair are a holding pattern for a large bookcase with doors and half-glass panels we imagine into this space. I don’t know if it will be exactly that, but something that has a couple of possibilities for display, but also storage of sundries would be great. The stereo has moved to this side and the cluttered shelf is covered by a Colombian tapestry. It’s off center, but I do not care.

We did a lot more stuff, but the after pictures still look disastrous, so we’re working on it, and I might share more as we get to new stages.

 

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