5 articles Tag furniture

Making Our Current Home Work for Us

Making Our Home Work for UsPhoto by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Next week, Sausage starts senior school. She turned eleven a few weeks ago and suddenly seems so grown up. She currently shares a bedroom with her sister, which was their choice when we moved in, but a lot can change in the space of four years and I think Sausage is craving her own space. It will be even more important when she has homework to do and needs a quiet place to do it, so we’re having a re-jig of the whole home, to make it work for us.

We have three bedrooms in our home – one for Husband and I, one for the girls and another which is used as an office/dressing room/junk room. Sausage is going to have the room that Husband and I are in so that she and BB have rooms which are the same size, while Husband and I will move into his office and the dining room will become the office.

Both girls would like their bedrooms decorated too, and their colour choices could not be a better illustration of their differing personalities. Sausage wants her bedroom to be purple with black accents, and BB wants hers to be even more pink than it already is! Everyone says they look alike, but I always counter that with “…but their personalities are VERY different!” We’re buying a new bed for Sausage as she’s currently in bunk beds with her sister, and she’s looking forward to choosing one.

At the moment, what we call “the dining room” isn’t actually used for anything close to dining. It’s where Sausage’s budgie, Bagel, lives, as well as the family’s bikes. Our shed isn’t massively secure, so we keep the bikes inside, but this will definitely need to change. As well as a bed, we need to invest in some sort of bike storage for the home, like a shed or lockable bike box to keep everything safe and secure.

We need to do a few other things around the house, too. Our kitchen floor needs replacing and we have the tiles, we just need to get around to actually laying them! Our upstairs bathroom is in a state of disrepair, just because it’s quite old, so we’re hoping our landlady will take care of some of that this year too.

I think the only room we’re not doing anything to is the living room! However, once we get all of the moving around and rearranging done, our home will work a whole lot better for us.

How Office Layouts Can Affect Your Productivity

When it comes to being productive, I definitely need some help; working for myself whilst caring for a toddler (and an 8 year old…and a 37 year old Husband…!) means that my actual work space is pretty ad-hoc. I use a laptop and tend to use it wherever I can so that Burrito Baby can watch TV or play with her toys, which means that my “office” has been everything from our lounge, the car or even outside on the garden bench whilst the kids are on the trampoline!

What I didn’t know (or maybe just didn’t occur to me, as it makes total sense) is that office layout can affect your productivity and how you arrange a meeting room can also affect how meetings go (see this infographic from jason.l with recommended layouts for meeting rooms). I don’t currently have meetings at home but I do have the occasional Skype or Hangout meeting and having a proper space to conduct these in would be really useful.

The irony is, we DO actually have an office space in our house, I just never use it! Husband has his PC set up in there and our wardrobes and clothes storage are also in there, so it’s a kind of office/dressing room, but everything in there is pretty neutral so it would be ideal for vlogging/Skype. Burrito Baby is starting nursery in September and this will give me the chance to start working at a proper desk and keeping everything I need on one place, rather than searching for my laptop charger every time I get a low battery notification!

I’m looking forward to seeing how this will affect my own productivity. It’s literally been years since I worked at a proper desk with a pen pot and a coaster for my coffee and I’m almost worried that the change from working on a sofa will be TOO different and will actually distract me! I’m so used to all of my work being done with Paw Patrol or Bob’s Burgers playing the the background that working in silence might be too weird – it might be time to invest in a radio!

Do you have a dedicated working space set up at home? Do you actually use it or do you find yourself working on a laptop wherever you can? Have you put a lot of time and effeort into nsuring you have the perfect working space? I’d love to hear from you and see links to posts about your own office so please do leave me a comment below.

Making Design Choices that Last

studleyOne of the things that Husband and I loved about the house we’re living in now is that our landlady is happy for us to decorate. As with most rental properties, obviously we have a “within reason” guideline, so painting the walls black is a no-no and we’re not permitted to make any major structural changes, but other than that we have fairly free reign. When you rent rather than own, it’s wise to make choices that will last, which means avoiding ‘trends‘ or things which will seem passe by the end of the year.

Obviously, as with clothes, if there’s a particular trend which is big at that time, there will be a LOT of that in the shops – remember a few years ago when metallic furniture was all the rage and it was nigh-on impossible to find a Welsh dresser which hadn’t been gilded?! For us, it’s all about finding balance – items of furniture which are high quality and classic in their design, so that they stand the test of time.

Another thing to consider is lighting – lighting can change the whole look of a room and is so easy to add to. Here’s that the interior design specialists from Baytree Interiors had to say about lighting:

“Strategically placed lighting is a simple yet effective way to change the ambience in a room with minimal effort. Pendant lights and chandeliers are a great choice when it comes to lighting, as are filament bulbs which provide a warm glow with a vintage look. With a range of different styles available from industrial to vintage and modern variants, pendant lights can suit any theme.”

As much as we’d love to re-decorate our houses every time the trends change, what’s far more practical is choosing a style which can be amended if your tastes change. Opting for furniture in neutral colours and classic shapes and then accenting them with cushions, place mats or storage inserts in different colours is a far more practical (and let’s face it, CHEAPER) way to freshen up the look of our homes.

It’s also a lot better for the environment to opt for furniture which has been well-made. Yes, going to a massive warehouse-style shop and picking up a bargain may seem great but that furniture rarely lasts longer than a year, will add to landfill once it’s thrown away and has probably used lots of carbon-heavy processes to be made. Choosing real wood furniture which has been made by craftspeople is by far the better choice.

A Bedroom for Grown Ups (and a Newborn…)

Living in a tiny house means that fitting a whole new person in hasn’t been all that easy. We’ve had to do an rather elaborate game of ‘furniture Jenga’ just to accommodate everything we need, as well as everything we already had, and it’s been a bit of a losing battle (poor Husband’s office looks like a cross between a second hand furniture shop and a nursery showroom!). So when the lovely people at Argos offered us the chance to grab some new bedroom furniture, we thought we’d take the opportunity to be a bit clever. 

We chose this bed frame:

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As well as being a great looking bed, the frame has storage underneath, which gives us an additional storage option – we don’t have an airing cupboard in our house and have always struggled for space to store our towels and bedding. The drawers pull out super smoothly and there’s plenty of space for all of our linen, which has made a huge difference to the room. We’d previously kept it all in a chest of drawers which we’ve now been able to move out of the room, giving us more space, overall, too. Win/Win!

We also chose a pair of bedside tables to go with the new bed:

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I love the fact that the bedside tables have a drawer in them, which means that I can hide away clutter (like the 3 million hair bands and slides that end up littering my side of the bedroom when I take them out before bed!) and the slot at the top has been the perfect place to store my book or Kindle so I have them to hand if I want to read in bed.

Obviously, we’ve got a cot in our bedroom now that the baby is here, but the new bedroom furniture has made the room feel really grown up. I’m looking forward to shopping for some new bedding and a new light shade to pull the whole room together, and I might even invest in a nice piece of art to put on the wall, too. Husband has struggled with sleep for most of his life, so turning the room into a proper, peaceful sanctuary for rest will hopefully mean that we’ll both be able to sleep a little better (although, with a newborn that might be wishful thinking!)

The bed we chose is made by Hygiena, a well-known brand which offers real quality, giving us peace of mind that it’ll last a while. I’m not the daintiest of creatures and I tend to turn over rather violently once I’m asleep (scaring the you-know-what out of my poor Husband on more than one occasion!) and knowing that the bed is sturdy enough to cope with my nocturnal thrashings is a relief!

Thanks so much to Argos for helping us to improve both our sleeping space and our storage issues. Once I’ve dressed the room a little better with a nice bedspread and light shade, I’ll post a picture for you all to admire!

Maximising Our Space

As regular readers will know, our current situation is this: expecting a baby – live in a small house – can’t afford to move. What this means is that we’re trying to be clever about how we adjust our living environment, by maximising space and increasing our storage options. The main space we’ve been focussing on is the bedrooms, with new wardrobes for all of us, but we’ve decided to go a step further in Sausage’s room.

At the moment, she’s got a mid-sleeper bed, with a tent around the bottom, which is basically just used for shoving toys under when she’s not playing with them, and it kind of seems like wasted space. We’re thinking about replacing her bed with this mid sleeper bed:

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It’s another mid-sleeper, so she’d still have the height that she likes, but the space underneath has been so cleverly utilised that Sausage would gain so much more than just a bed. She owns a massive amount of books, which she’d be able to store on the shelves, and the drawers underneath would no doubt help with the huge amount of paints, pencils and other craft supplies that she has.

The bed also has a built-in desk, which would be really handy for homework, as well as the huge amount of time that she spends drawing, and the nest part about it is that it slides away, under the desk, when it’s not in use, which would help us to save even more space.

Modular furniture like this is so practical when you have small or difficult spaces to live in and furnish, so it’s a real breath of fresh air to see furniture designed with this in mind, affording both practicality and great looking pieces which any five year old girl is sure to love. Take a look at the rest of their furniture online at Clever Clicker.