Monday, October 3, 2011

Priorities, Sacrifice, and Art

On August 12th, 2011, my little Samson was born. That makes, two boys and two adults in a 750 square foot house with two miniscule bedrooms and awkwardly set up main space in our 100 year old house. Both my husband and I are artists. I paint. He writes and plays music and we've run out of space in our house to do either.

To us, art is a necessity. Without it, we both get depressed and bored. Art is our TV. So we re-evaluated each space in our house to maximize the functionality of all 750 square feet. Lets start with the upstairs - our bedrooms. Since Samson was born, his bassinet was in our room and my first son, Levi has his own bedroom which he has always hated. Samson wakes up every three to four hours day and night which means my husband has bloodshot eyes at work so he began to sleep downstairs on the carpet. Levi began to sneak into our bed in the middle of the night confessing his fear of his room.

Next, the main floor, which consists of the covered porch, the living room, the dining room, and the kitchen. The kitchen is just way too much to take on as a reno at this point so I won't even discuss it. The dining table became a place for mail, electronics, empty fruit bowls, and Levi's random findings. And we despised the falling apart, cheaply made, uncomfortable dining chairs. The dining room also sufficed as my painting studio and our "office". This room was too cramped.

The living room is our favorite room. It is the most updated with the TV and lounge furniture. We keep it the cleanest so we can relax at the end of our day. But our couch was broken.

The entrance was our temporary storage facility, always holding the next renovation supplies or leftovers. It isn't heated so it doesn't serve well for much in the winter.

What we wanted was a proper place to paint or write, a play area for the boys, a bedroom big enough to fit both boys in so mom and dad could have their own room. So here's what we did:

We first got rid of the table and chairs and made the dining room into the boys play area. Then we bought a trendy futon and got rid of the old broken couch as well as our bed. We now sleep on the futon in the living room. Our bedroom became the boy's room and Levi's "scary" room is now my studio. The "office", which is really only a table and a laptop, is still in the same room as the play area, which may or may not move into the new studio. Where do we eat? Where we've always eaten. Around the living room table on pillows like tatami mats in Japan.

Our priorities shifted the way we use North American traditional spaces and quite frankly, we like it better.

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