Making do (family of 6 in 1,200 sq ft home)

Living in a 1,200 square foot home as a family of six has it's challenges. Almost a year ago I shared my frustrations with living in tight quarters with a large and active family. We aren't your typical drop all the kids at school on the way to the office kind of family. Every aspect of our lives centers around these 1,200 square feet and we are doing our best to make the most of it.

Instead of continuing to bemoan my current confinement, because let's face it: I'm human and I like to whine. I've decided to create living areas in the space I have. One space we had overlooked in the previous six years we have lived here was our screened in patio. It seemed too small to really do anything with, so it stored random chairs and kids toys as we passed through it from the house into our yard.

With my renewed attitude to make do, it was time for a facelift! While Craig was at work I attacked the project with vigor and was determined it would be finished by the time he came home. I took what we had, grabbed some spray paint, a few ideas from Pinterest and got to work with a $150 budget.

I spray painted the existing table we had black and the two plastic chairs we had blue. These pops of color tie nicely with the shower curtains I purchased at Target to hang as outdoor curtains. Because they are made for the a high moisture environment, I thought they would be great with their hems, pre-made hole and mildew resistant material. I don't sew and the less work I had to do the better. I threw them up with some tension rods and called it a day.

The table is surrounded by the freshly painted plastic chairs, 2 metal Ikea chairs that were gifted to us with new grey stripped cushions and a custom made pallet bench made by my husband. Our new seating area is placed on top of an $18 solid grey outdoor rug from Home Depot. Talk about a bargain of a price and it helps to ground the space, making it feel more intentional. 

A burlap table runner from a friend's wedding centerpiece is topped by a white tray, green lantern, wine bottle wrapped in twine and a couple of candles from Ikea. I encourage the kids to add their summer discoveries like shells, drift wood and a baseball from their first Flying Tigers baseball game to the tray. It's a fun way to allow their personality into the space and adds a touch of whimsy to the centerpiece. Even though we are outside, a plant in a yellow pot adds another element of interest to an unused corner.

This is a kid space, so storage is a must. A green washtub from Ikea holds miscellaneous outdoor toys and a vintage metal magazine holder stores boots and muddy shoes right next to the door. The magazine rack has been sitting in the garage for a year after I abandoned it from another project. I love that it has been a given a new life. A shabby chic rocking chair was lovingly made by a friend and was my birthday gift last year. It's a sweet touch to the space and provides extra seating.

To finish the space off, we surrounded our tiny patio with a garden managed by the kids. We let the kids decide which plants we purchased at Home Depot and is absolutely lovely to look out at while enjoy dinner in our new space. My six year old son is very proud of his little garden and keeps it watered with our rain barrel.

I really do love how the new space turned out and it feels like we have added a new room to our home. This $150 and woman-power were well invested. It's brought a new energy to our family and a little more breathing room on those stir-crazy days. 

We have started house hunting, because while we love our addition, this space doesn't meet our family's long term goals. After 6 months of searching the housing market, we haven't found the perfect home that meets our needs and our budget. So we will continue to improve the space we have while we wait for our dream home to fall into our laps!

p.s. Do you remember when we set up the nursery for our 2 sons from Uganda?

1 comment:

Laura Lynn said...

We're a family of 7 in 1122 Sq feet. I feel your pain. It's not ideal but it's where we are and that's ok. It forces us to purge the stuff often!