Earlier this year, my husband and I made a schoolroom/library/craft room out of what we already owned. This room is everyone’s favorite room in the house. It is always occupied by some learning or creative soul.
We moved into this house a year and a half ago. One of the rooms was listed by the realtor as a dining room, but we are far too relaxed to need a formal dining area. For a few months after we bought the house, we used the room as a second living room, but it wasn’t being used all that often (our children are young, so they are still at the stuck-like-Velcro-to-mama-and-daddy stage).
One day, I was once again daydreaming about having a schoolroom, when I stopped myself. Do you ever get tired of dreaming about something over and over? I do! At some point, I say to myself, “Well, stop wishing for it and do something about it!” So, the dining-room-that-was-an-unneeded-second-living-room, suddenly became the new schoolroom. Knowing our budget could not pay for a fully equipped, brand new schoolroom, we went shopping in our house…
First, we painted the room with navy blue paint and white trim with paint we had bought several months ago. We put up a chalkboard given to us. Our used furniture (a couch, loveseat, and rocking chair from our old house) was put in the room. We placed a dry-erase board, child’s easel, and bulletin board in the room. And we painted a wooden table that we found in the garage, under a pile of tools. Tim made benches for the table out of scrap wood that he had and painted them with paint we had leftover from old projects. He also made a bench out of a broken bookcase and some scrap wood. I use this bench to hold the CD player and the abacus. Finally, we put a couple of posters up on the wall that we had collected over the years.
The Writer’s Nook
More recently, I was trying to figure out where to write and almost went out to buy a new desk when I remembered the schoolroom success and decided to “shop” in our garage.
I was able to make a cozy writing space by clearing an old desk, placing it in a corner of our master bedroom, and placing an old bookcase nearby. I decorated the desk with useful baskets and pottery to hold papers and pencils. Tim attached a wire basket to the wall above my desk for picture frames and plants. I moved a rocking chair from the living room, where it wasn’t used, to the corner of my new “office.” For inspiration, I threw Grandma’s 65-year-old handstitched quilt over the rocking chair. In a second corner, near the window, I put a comfortable-yet-kind-of-ugly recliner. With a pile of books stacked on the bookshelves, plenty of paper, pens, (all of which I also found while “shopping” in my home), and my laptop, I am now a happy writer in my little “writer’s nook.” But I am most happy that the bank account did not notice our home improvements (Tim is also happy about that!).
Let us know in the comments if you have any new ideas about this topic of shopping at home.