Since we moved to our current house nearly two years ago, I haven't really messed around with the bedroom layouts. Beatrix had her bedroom with her toys in it. Byron and I used the third bedroom as an office/craft/guest room. But for awhile now, I'd been feeling an itch to rearrange, move stuff around, and make it work for what we truly needed. I am in love with idea of stretching the usefulness of a home. This is the biggest house I've ever lived in and it isn't big by modern (American) standards -- 1400 square feet! We have the space we need to live contently, but there aren't a lot of extra rooms to play around with. At its current function, our house is pulling its fair share of weight as a school/home.
Yet the two back bedrooms rooms, we felt weren't really used to their greatest potential. And those two rooms totaled a decent amount of square footage. Bea's original bedroom was quite large about 200 square feet while the third bedroom (office/craft room) was a bit smaller. However, Bea's big bedroom was the most underused space in the house. She rarely played in it (except during quiet time). Seriously, what 4 year old wants to be in their bedroom playing alone while their family is elsewhere? She plays where ever we are busy working - and for us that's in the kitchen, living room, or the yard. I enjoyed having an office/craft room, but it was smallish in size, and difficult to use during daytime hours because if I tried to work in it, Bea naturally wanted to do the same, but the room was not layed out in a way that included her. (How unMontessori of me!)and I couldn't visualize adding some of her things to the space and having the room flow nicely.
So we moved her bedroom to the the office/craft room. It's a smaller and brighter space which makes it very cozy and happy. She loves it! Her only request was that she wanted her new bedroom to inherit the lambskin rug that was already in there. Deal! And we made her former bedroom into our project room. Her new bedroom layout is simple (and a little Goodnight Moon-ish in my opinion). In her bedroom, she has her bed, her chest of drawers, and just a few toys and books that she can enjoy looking at and playing with during quiet time.
The room isn't quiet done. There are curtain rods without curtains because I'm still undecided if I want to cover her window with panels. Curtain panels seem so much because there are so many windows and I do love the uncluttered, bright look, but I also don't want the room to feel too feel plain. Right now, the windows have solar shades for privacy.
Also, we are using one of her little chairs as a night stand to hold her books. One day, a proper nightstand will enter our world. And maybe a shelving unit of some sort. Something like this. And as much as I adore her petite trundle bed, I know a day will come that she will outgrow it. At that point, we'd like to invest in bunk beds (the kind that has a full bed on bottom). That would be useful for when my mom or other visitors stay with us. Bunk beds would help to maximize the amount of sleeping space we have to offer and to make our home more welcoming. Let's face it, no one gets excited over the air mattress option.
Making this Beatrix's bedroom has also inspired me to spruce up her view! Currently, all of those gorgeous windows overlook to a very sad corner of our yard. By the way, do you know how much I disdain wooden privacy fences? Bleh...Oh, that's a whole other conversation. However, I do hope to build some flower beds along the said disdainful fence over the summer. I'm sure a perrenial garden overflowing with turk's hat, echinacea, black eye susans, lantana, etc. might help to fix my attitude about our perfectly functional (ugly) fence line. On the bright side, she said that she loves having her bed tucked under the windows, because now she can watch the chickens so much easier than before. And chicken watching is obviously very important.
Our project room now homes the majority of her playthings, my work desk, my sewing maching and chest of fabrics, and her reading nook. Now we can work and play together and still be in the same place. There's plenty of room for both of us in here. As she gets older, I want to continue to tweak this space to make sure it holds creative appeal to her. I envision this space to evolve into our homeschooling room at some point. I'm thinking that I'd like to make a creative writing/art space as well as shelves that hold learning materials that she is currently using. I'm not trying too hard to make those spaces now, because those materials are also available in our living room and on the screen porch classroom and it feels redundant to duplicate what we already have there.
Rearranging the rooms was so much fun! Both spaces feel fresh and cheerful and are serving our needs more appropriately than before. I'm also finding myself reinspired to photograph these rooms. I love capturing little corners and objects that I'd long overlooked before.
I'm determined to not grow out of this house and to make it work for us for the long haul! When I think back to my childhood or when I consider the size of homes my mom and Byron's parents grew up in with many more people, I'm sure we have just enough space for our family.