Skip to main content

Our Living Room

Chris took our girls to town the other day, and I managed to snap some photos of our living room when the toys were not strewn all about.

The view from the loft.

We call it the living room, but it's really more of a multi-purpose room. It's the living room, the play room, and a bedroom at times. We hope to buy a folding table soon that will allow us to eat real meals there as well. (Yes, we have a dining area, but it's more of a nook type space that only fits one or two people at a time, and our beloved IKEA table is too heavy to move into the living room multiple times a day. We eat most of our meals on the couch right now.)

As you can see in the picture, we have most of our toy storage in the EXPEDIT unit to the left. (You can't buy these anymore; they were replaced by the KALLAX line a few years ago.) Sweetheart's baby toys are in a small bin, and the girls' wooden train set is in a matching bin. We have a few larger things, like an abacus and a pretend toaster oven. There is also a toy kitchen, which is not pictured, that faces the couch and holds all of the cooking toys, and we keep small figurines and cars in a bin underneath that. The stuffed animals and dolls live in a crate-style storage stool to the left that is actually meant for the bathroom, but it does an excellent job of keeping the stuffies up off the floor and letting them breathe so mildew doesn't become a problem. Books live in a tub on the floor, and we store extra blankets, dress up clothes, Duplo, and doll clothes in a compartment in the couch. The rest of the toys are tossed together in the bright blue bin in the EXPEDIT unit.

We use the top levels of the EXPEDIT to house books we don't want our kids to touch. It also holds a few days worth of diapers and wipes and underwear for the girls. (We keep the rest of the diaper supplies elsewhere.) Backpacks are hung from hooks on the sides of the shelf. We keep our vacuum tucked between the EXPEDIT and the stuffed animals crate. Some of our DVD collection is stored on shelves above the windows.

The table on the left hides our Rock Band and Guitar Hero equipment, and its smaller, matching counterpart on the right is for the girls to sit at and color or eat. The stool they sit on is not pictured.

We use the filing cabinet to the right for files and art/homeschool supplies and video gaming equipment. It locks, so that keeps grabby hands away.

To the right is our sliding glass door, but we usually enter through our regular entry door near the back of the house so we don't track mud and tree "gunk" all over the living room.

At the bottom right of the the picture is our built-in entertainment center and TV.

We purchased the FRIHETEN sofa bed from IKEA in January, and we absolutely love it. I'm planning to do a more detailed review soon, so stay tuned. It serves as both a couch and a bed as needed in addition to storing various items.

Viewed from the loft in bed mode.

I dream of someday ripping out the carpet and putting in laminate flooring, but I think it's going to have to wait until we replace our couch again unless I can figure out how to do it in stages. The carpet is very worn down in places; years of kids and cats have taken their toll.

Our living room has morphed a lot over the years as we switched out furniture here or there. For a while, our table was where the stuffed animals are now. We've had a chair there, too. A long time ago, we had a regular couch and a small love seat. We used to have a shorter filing cabinet, but Sweetheart kept climbing up on it, so we replaced it with something taller that she can't reach. We're pretty happy with the set up now, so I imagine it will look fairly similar for a while.

It's not certainly not what I would consider lovely to look at like so many tiny houses are. This is a real home, lived in by real people, including two kids who come with a lot of stuff. In a small home, there's just nowhere to hide it all. We've embraced function over design, though someday I would love to update the paint and the blinds and the carpet and the curtains. For now, though, I'm pretty proud of our little home and how well we make it work.


Popular posts from this blog

Living in a Small Home with Kids: 10 Reasons It Might Not Be Right for You

I recently read a great article over at The Tiny House asking "How Big Can a Tiny House Be?" In his post, Ethan ponders the definition of "tiny" when it come to little houses and concludes that the perfect "tiny" house is whatever size meets your needs, whether that is less than 100 square feet or much, much bigger. I think his conclusion is sound. He points out that even if a small house is too small for you, you can still benefit from some of the tenets of tiny house living. I would include living within your means and being mindful of the environmental impact of your chosen lifestyle as practices that anyone can enact, regardless of their home size.

If living large (or larger than we do!) is your thing, you'll hear no judgment from me. Living in a small home might sound romantic or adventurous, but the obvious truth is that there are downsides to the tiny house lifestyle. It's not all sunshine and roses, and you have to be committed to making i…

The Floorplan that We Call Home

I have been hoping to give you all a little more detail of what our home actually looks like, and when I was looking through some of my old photos and videos the other day, I stumbled upon this video footage of a home similar to ours that I took when we were still picking out our floorplan.
There are some minor differences since this is not our actual home, so some of the finish work is not the same. We have white appliances and a few more windows, particularly in the entry door at the foot of the stairs and in the dining area, where we have a bay window. We also have taped and textured walls, so it looks more like a real home. Our electric panel is accessed from the outdoors rather than the bedroom (which Chris says would be much more convenient, but I call it an eyesore), and we have extra storage cabinets next to the the door at the base of the stairs. We decided to forgo the porch options, so the front of our living room is covered in wall to wall windows with a sliding glass door…

Tiny House KonMari

A couple of years ago, some friends of mine read the bestselling book about decluttering, Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying UpAt the time, I was intrigued by the whole "KonMari" thing as I watched my friends completely overhaul their homes in one fell swoop. It was a way of decluttering that I had never really heard of before, and apparently, it had become all the rage.

For those of you who are not familiar with the KonMari method of tidying, the basic idea is that you sort belongings one category (rather than one room or area) at a time, choosing to keep only those items which "spark joy." (Spark Joy is in fact the name of Kondo's follow up book.) Following the method outlined in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is supposed to result in not only a less cluttered house but also a changed way of thinking about one's belongings and living space. This major purge is supposedly a once-and-done, life-altering event, and my friends who …