kicez

Playroom in place of the living room

kicez
2 years ago
last modified: 2 years ago

Hello!

I need your advice on the idea I got last night. We are a family of five, with young children (oldest being almost 8). I seldom entertain guests and when I do, we always sit at the table. I bought a very big table from Ikea, so I don't really have a need for a sofa and armchairs.

For the last two years I have been trying to figure out what should my living room look like and... I couldn't think of anything sensible. Children play on the floor, so I have toys EVERYWHERE. If I buy a sofa, two armchairs and a coffee table, I will use up the whole space and children will have to play in the corridor part of our living-room/dining-room combo...

My idea last night was to transform the living room section of the space to a playroom. Here's the floor plan:



And a photo:



This is an old photo. I put a big dining table on the purple rug, and would like to set up the play area at the back of the room. Currently I store toys under the stairs (see the doorway on the right of the baby gate?). I thought of freeing up that space and transferring all the toys to the play area. That way cleaning up the toys would be quicker and I could use the under-the-stairs room as a pantry.

I would like to have low book shelves (Billy? Kallax? - I measured my current shelves and it turns out we have 4 m = 13 ft of kids' books), a table with chairs or better yet a low table that doesn't require chairs. I have an Ikea Muren recliner http://www.ikea.com/pl/pl/catalog/products/30263844/ and would like to keep it (I need it sometimes for a short nap), though it looks pretty heavy to me. Maybe a floor lamp and a small table would go well with the armchair.

I think it would be a good idea to make a reading nook for children but I don't have any idea what it should look like.

Should I make any kind of a room divider?

Could you please advise me on designing the play area? Any thoughts, ideas and inspirations will be welcomed :)



My inspirations:

train table

Kallax low room divider

Kallax bench

Kallax bookshelfKids' art gallery


Comments (132)

  • benjesbride_misses_sophie
    2 years ago

    The children like to knot the scarves and tie them together to make forts, etc. Silk makes it possible to get the knots out. I think another kind of fabric would be knotted beyond return at my house. I'm always able to easily get the tiniest, tight knot out of the playsilks. They've knotted baby blankets before and it just takes too much time to unknot larger cottonish things.

    Ours are approx 3' square and are a nice size for wrapping around their bodies, or baby dolls or for use as a landscape spread out on the floor for ponies and mini-figs.



    kicez thanked benjesbride_misses_sophie
  • laughablemoments
    2 years ago

    An area rug such as the one you have (I love it!) is a great, easy way to distinguish the toy zone. My mother in law has an area rug in her living room, and her young visitors understand and respect her rule that the toys must stay on the carpet at all times. Giving the kids only a few things to play with at a time really does help to reduce the overwhelm when it’s time to clean up. It also increases children’s contentment and creativity, in my (and others’) experience. So, what you are considering doing is a win-win situation. https://www.becomingminimalist.com/why-fewer-toys-will-actually-benefit-your-kids/

    Maybe you could install inexpensive shelves in your hall closet, put bins of toys in there, and have a toy library. Perhaps a lock could go high up on the door for the time being to help reinforce that permission needs to be given in order to get something different out. Then it’s even easier to say, “Sure, I’d love to get that out for you once the toys you have right now are all picked up. : )” Simplifying this area will help you and your children. It’s wearying to be a stuff manager, I get that.

    As long as your walkways aren’t made too narrow, your mom’s idea of putting bookshelves in the hall sounds great. As our kids have gotten older our bookshelf needs have grown and grown. So, even if you don’t need the shelves today, at least you can have an expansion plan in place.

    I agree with benjesbride; play silks are amazing! Our kids, sometimes even the older ones, will play with them for hours. When guests come over, every child enjoys them so much. Ours are probably polyester (some are from Amazon, others we sewed ourselves), but they are sturdy and very nice, not only for dress up, but also for making scenes with their blocks and dollhouse toys. Highly recommended! Maybe they’d make a good gift suggestion for the relatives who love blessing your children? Honestly, we’ve had good success with many of the Waldorf inspired toys, and have let most of the plastic, mass marketed type toys go. (The exception is our dolls. For some reason, our kids still play with their vinyl dolls more than their beautiful fabric ones.)

    I found your description of the changes that your family and country have gone through to be very insightful. I didn’t realize that young families in countries other than the US had difficulties with the overabundance of toys that we do. I do know that Joshua Becker, who writes the blog Becoming Minimalist, wrote a powerful article about a speaking trip that he took to Poland, where consumerism is getting a foothold, here: What I Learned In Poland

    My dad was the major gift giver in our family. (Interestingly, he grew up quite poor, but worked very hard to overcome that.) It was tough to know how to handle all of the gifts sometimes. He also loved to bring donut holes every week when he’d come to visit; it made this health conscious mom quite aggravated, but it was his way of expressing love to his grandkids. He died a year and a half ago. My in laws came for a visit last week (it happened to be on my dad’s birthday), and surprised us with a box of donut holes in honor of my dad’s memory. Now, I still don’t like the donut holes coming in my house, but the fact that they honored my dad in that way on his birthday, and loved on us in the process, brought tears to my eyes, and does so even now as I write. I wish you the best as you strive to maintain harmony with your family, balanced with your day to day needs for a peaceful, uncluttered home.


    kicez thanked laughablemoments
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  • Sister Sunnie
    2 years ago
    Like this. Maybe not magazine worthy but it works for them
    kicez thanked Sister Sunnie
  • kicez
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Yesterday night I moved the toys to the hall.

    There are almost only books and board games under the stairs now. I would like to move those too, but that requires more work, as I would need to free up space on shelves in the storage room.

    I spent time with my eldest daughter sorting stuff and we decided to give away a big bag and throw broken ones away. It was a long evening but I'm proud that I made that step! And don't forget it was thanks to you!!! Girls are playing with Legos and puzzles today. My middle one asked in the morning where all the toys had gone. When I showed her, she started laughing and understood the idea of tidying up one box of toys before getting another one.

    I would like to move the sofa downstairs, but am afraid I need to wait a few days till my DH gets well again and is strong enough to carry it with me. I can't wait to see how it's going to work for us!

  • benjesbride_misses_sophie
    2 years ago

    Excellent work, Kicez!!!

    kicez thanked benjesbride_misses_sophie
  • laughablemoments
    2 years ago

    Hooray for you and your daughter! That’s wonderful that the two of you were able to do the work together. You are giving her some incredible skills training, right there. I love that your little one giggled with understanding at your plan, how delightful.

    Here is something that has worked well for us for taming the smaller games and puzzles. I got zippered pouches that were designed for pencils. They are sturdy, and have a clear window on one side, making it easy to view the contents. Each game or activity got its own pouch, and we tossed out the original packaging. All of these fit into a drawer.

    Wishing you a peaceful day at home with your girls and a speedy return to health for your DH. : )

  • mrykbee
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Gosh I'd make that space under the stairs into a play nook or reading nook or something (as a second play space to the room you're working on). It looks like it could be a fun place to lounge with a cozy, fluffy carpet and a giant bean bag couch or love sac or something. Paint one of the short walls with chalkboard paint. It gives the kids more room to spread out, especially nice when they have friends over.

  • kicez
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Thank you for all your ideas.

    I'm going to buy a few play silks. How many would you recommend? I only left two "cat" waistcoats my mom made for girls and butterfly wings that my middle daughter uses often.

    I like the idea of the rule that toys don't leave the carpet. I would like to let them play on the dining table and the carpet!

    I'm going to buy some pouches or bags for board games, thank you for this awesome idea!!!!!! Did you do the same with jigsaw puzzles?

    As for now, putting the toys in the hall was a very good thing to do. Children played with Legos and puzzles for the whole day. Yesterday they played with flat cardboard boxes, that apples are sold from in shops. They are still playing with them today!

    I moved all the books under the stairs. I like the idea of a fluffy carpet. As to chalk paint, my eldest one has been asking me for it for the last couple of months! Maybe I should say yes after all... Books are on shelves you can see in the picture in my previous post. I wonder how to organize the reading nook - the part of the room with a low ceiling is kind of tricky.

    I thought I might take everything away from under the stairs and place my eldest daughter's desk there. Just the desk, the chair, pens and pencils - no distractions, so she can concentrate on her studying better and have some place to go when she wants to read or play alone. I want children to share the bedroom and they only sleep there (no desks), so I can't tell her to go to her room. Now, when we work on the dining table, she constantly looks around and there is no way I can ask her to work on her own - when I leave her, she stands up, walks around, starts playing with siblings. Yesterday, I took the middle daughter shopping and asked the eldest one to do some worksheets while we're gone. A wonder happened - she worked hard! But no one was distracting her, maybe that's the key... Or maybe I'm expecting too much of her in terms of working alone? She's turning 8 in two weeks.

  • laughablemoments
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Trying again:

    It sounds like things are coming together for you; that’s great!

    As far as play silks go, six is a good starting point. I’ll link the ones we started with on Christmas 2014, a set of six, that are still going strong 3+ years later. (I lost my first draft, so I’ll do this one in stages...) Here they are on Amazon. We liked these so much, we sewed more of them from similar fabric we found at Wal Mart.

    I’m glad to hear you like the pouch idea. They work well for smaller puzzles and activities, but not larger ones. Our pouches are 7.5” x 10.5”. I’m sure I saw this idea online somewhere. (I’m not that original. ; ))

    Will your daughter enjoy working under the stairs? (Or will it feel a little like a Harry Potter scene?) Are there outlets in there so you can plug in a lamp, string up some Christmas lights, etc to make it cozy and inviting? I found some images for ideas.

    Here are two other thoughts for her work space.

    1. Desks under the living room window, like so:

    (The rest of the room, for reference. Cozy seating and lots of wiggle room in the middle of the floor, storage along the wall. This space makes me think of yours, layout wise.)

    2. Maybe a little desk for her could go in DH’s office? She could “go to work” with Dad, where it might be quieter and less distracting, and come out as soon as she’s done. It could be a big girl privilege, being in dad’s office as an incentive/ reward for focused work(?)

    As far as how long your daughter can work without distractions, hmmm, each kiddo is so unique, and they each mature on their own time table. My 2 youngest DD’s are 8 and 6. One turned 8 in November, and the other 6 in December. For the 8 y.o., her work on her math and language arts takes about an hour total to 1.5 hours total, as long as she doesn’t get too sidetracked. (And it’s about the same for the 6 y.o., too.)

    The beginning of the year was tough (my 8 y.o. got distracted so easily!), but she’s gotten into a good rhythm more recently. It took her a while to be motivated and stick with the tasks. Math is a workbook (she’s doing it right now while eating her breakfast oatmeal.) Language Arts is a combination of a workbook and practicing reading aloud. The rest of their subjects come from us reading books together, as well as day to day life at this point.

    My kids have enjoyed setting timers for some of their work, and then challenging themselves to beat their best times. The timer also works great for “speed drills” in math facts, or even to set a timer to work for 5-15 minutes at a time to help build endurance. I know the Charlotte Mason approach to education advocates brief, focused lessons over long, distracted ones. (You’ll find lots of info if you google it.)

  • benjesbride_misses_sophie
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I think starting out with one ~30" playsilk per kiddo in their favorite color is a good place to start unless you get a deal on a set.

    I'm so glad your children have taken to playing with a few simple toys at a time. It sounds delightful!

    Off topic:

    I think you might homeschool? I do as well. When my daughter was seven and struggling to get through lessons I tried a new approach. Instead of giving her specific math sheets to complete I set a timer for 15 or 20 minutes (can't recall where we started. Her math lesson is presently 20 minutes.) Oh man, it helped her focus. She's 8 now and we do timed, short lessons for everything and it suits her very well. (I got this idea from a Charlotte Mason podcast-it's not mine.)

  • laughablemoments
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I put up a post on this thread a few hours ago, but I’m not sure it’s showing up. It appears on one of my tablets, but not the other one? Can anyone see it?

  • miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    What a beautiful thread, I've read it with pleasure and some tears (laughablemoments, thanks for the donut hole story).

    I just wanted to congratulate you on the amazing progress you've made. Keep fighting the good fight :)

    Ok I also want to tell you about a strategy a friend of my brother-in-law's mom used when they were kids. For his birthday, she invited all his friends to come over and bring at least one toy they no longer played with. "No presents" was requested. The kids all played with the toys that were brought, then at the end of the party the toys were boxed up and the next day donated to a charity. I love that idea so much.

    ETA Not my brother-in-law's mom; that would be my mother-in-law! His *friend's* mom lol

  • benjesbride_misses_sophie
    2 years ago

    Laughable - Your post had a delayed appearance. I just saw it for the first time. Excellent info. Yay homeschool!

  • laughablemoments
    2 years ago

    Thank you, AuntThelma for letting me know what you were seeing; my post was missing. I edited again, and it finally appeared. (So relieved it’s showing up, thank you for letting me know it can now be read, benjesbride. I don’t think I have it in me to write it again! ) Thank you for the kind words, Lindsey.

  • kicez
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    laughablemoments, I would like to thank you for the story about donuts too. I meant to do it earlier but it slipped my mind when I was typing and little ones were running around... I'm sorry!

    Thank you for tips on play silks. It seems no one sells them here for that purpose, so I'll have to find some adult ones or order from abroad (order a lot and resell, as the fashion for them will surely come here sooner or later, ha ha!).

    Thank you for the pictures of playrooms!

    I was thinking hard about that under the stairs room. I would love to let the children use it but it means I'm devoiding myself of a lot of storage space. I don't have a pantry nor basement (well, I've got two basements in another building but I can't access them easily and they are just like holes dug right in the ground, so there are lots of big spiders and other scary creatures, including bats during the winter!). I was hoping to have a pantry and storage for my sewing stuff under the stairs. If I give this room up to children, I will have to store my things somewhere else. I think I need to wait and see if kids make good use of that space. Please don't laugh at me, but I dragged my recliner there :O I can always take it out (at least I hope so, as it wasn't an easy task - I had to do it when my DH wasn't looking, otherwise he would probably be still laughing... ;-)). Both girls can sit on it at the same time, so I hope they'll use it there (and I will have a more private space when taking a nap or nursing the baby). It does take up quite a lot of space, so I think I will have to drag it out some day and maybe exchange it for the Poang-like armchair. Or just a mattress and pillows, which I think would be the most versatile solution.

    I think that my next step is to wait for DH to get well and ask him to help me bring the sofa downstairs. Then I'll take Poang-like chairs upstairs, remove the recliner from under the stairs, order a fluffy rug, a mattress and lots of pillows and put all that under the stairs, making a nice reading nook. What do you think about that?

    I checked with a tape measure that I could put my DD's desk there. I think it would fit nicely and offer her a little bit of privacy. Maybe I'll try it out some day, but now, lets see if children utilise the setup with the reading nook.

    DD's desk can be placed under the living room window. The desk is big, as it's 30 in x 60 in (75 cm x 150 cm). It is a Linnmon tabletop from Ikea + legs, so it looks very light. It is now upstairs in our homeschool classroom, but we don't use it at all (I wrote about it before).

    You mentioned Harry Potter - to tell the truth, I would love to put a bed under the stairs, then lock the door (if I had one - still need to wait for it!) and go to sleep, with no one snoring in my ear, without the need to breastfeed the baby 14234523523 times a night and then getting up at 5 am when the baby feels rested and ready to play!!! ;)

    I need to ask you about working with a timer. Lets say I set it for 10 mins and ask my DD to do her math worksheet. What if she does nothing at all? What if the alarm goes off before she finishes? What if she needs my tutoring during that time? I think you assume the child is going to actually work during the set amount of time, am I right? We use MEP for math (do you know this curriculum? Today, we did page 100 of the 2nd grade book and I had to help her with almost everything - she does know how to do the calculations, but she tries to count in her mind, instead of writing down, and therefor makes mistakes. She also gets frustrated just by thinking she has to count things like 95 - 47 (too little units in the minuend)).

    Lindsey, thank you for your kind words! And thank you for sharing the strategy for no presents party!

  • miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)
    2 years ago

    Here's another strategy: check second hand stores for old silk scarves, hankies, etc. Sometimes you can even find remnants of silk fabric or sarongs that you can cut and hem (or not hem lol) They work nicely as play silks :-)

    kicez thanked miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)
  • miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)
    2 years ago

    PS I edited my first post to give credit to the proper genius mom!

  • benjesbride_misses_sophie
    2 years ago

    We've used Math-U-See from the beginning. MEP is familiar--I've been to that website before-- but I've never tried it.

    Using a timer was a big shift for me. I think my daughter would tell you that she loves the timer because it means lessons don't feel like they drag on forever--I just asked her and she said the timer helps her get in and get stuff done. Here are some more thoughts:

    --You could let her pick the timer out and set it so she has ownership of it. If you think she'd like a visual count-down, check out a "time timer."

    -- If your expectations are set forth I doubt that she'd do nothing for 10 minutes unless she is simply disobeying.

    --When the timer goes off in our house, the book is closed and we're on to the next subject. I think it might be a Charlotte Mason philosophy to let everything be done in its own time. It's been quite a paradigm shift for me to not worry about finishing the worksheet or finishing the chapter before moving on, but it's made for a more delightful school day around here.

    --I only have the 8 year old and the 5 year old and we're always in the same room together so if she gets stuck she just tells me or asks me a question. She's learning a math skill that's challenging to her this week, so we watched the Math-U-See intro video twice together and I did sit next to her more than usual this week.

    --Regarding your daughter trying to do the math in her head... Math-U-See uses manipulatives. If you don't have manipulatives for MEP, maybe they'd be fun and helpful for her to "see" the math. I've read that some moms use cuisenaire rods as their preferred math manipulatives.

    --I'd also like to give a plug for the Teach Me Educational Apps I bought the bundle about 3-4 years ago and both of my kids LOVE them. It's the only "game" I have on my phone and has been extremely useful.

    kicez thanked benjesbride_misses_sophie
  • tbchic
    2 years ago

    I just read your post and learned a lot of fun tips. I like the pencil bag idea and the IKEA cabinets.

    I also wanted to say how awesome it is that you have such a cool place where your kids can have fun and you can also be a part of it in your common area. That is one thing I wish I would have done and feel selfish for not doing when my son was younger. Instead I went for the pretty living room that we rarely go in when I could have transformed it into a play area haven. He is only 5, but doesn't play with as much toys as he used to.

    Looking back I would have made one of our living spaces or dining room his space instead of overcrowd his small room with toys. I still might do it since he's not that old :) your post makes me want to do it.

  • auntthelma
    2 years ago

    He's only five. Do it.

  • laughablemoments
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I took a peek at what you’re dd is doing in math. IMO, it looks like a pretty advanced curriculum. If you have eager learners that love to be challenged, that’s great. But if they are struggling, it could be setting them, and you, up for extra frustration.

    We have several friends that use and love MUS, like benjesbride. After trying several different programs, (We have 7 children, so lots of opportunities for us to try to figure things out, hee, hee) we settled on CLE Math as a really good fit for our family. By 8th grade, they are doing basic algebra in addition to life skills math (balancing checkbooks, etc.) The younger levels do require that I be nearby to oversee some of their work, but it builds independence relatively quickly.

    If you have trouble finding cuisenaire rods, basic items around the house can work as manipulatives: dried beans, markers, crayons, flat glass beads, etc. We’ve used small baggies for gathering items into groups of 10 to help our kids understand their math concepts. Chalkboards, whiteboards and markers, even special pens or pencils or a simple drawing app on an iPad are all useful for breaking up the monotony of writing things out once in a while. But if those prove too distracting, there’s nothing wrong with a basic pencil and paper, either!

    You made me laugh, dragging your chair into the storage area. : ) Keep manipulating your space until it works for you, you’ll get it figured out. (And then the kids will grow and change and you’ll get to make changes all over again...) Keep brainstorming, its amazing how many possible solutions there are. Sewing in the homeschool room? School in the living room? Snoring hubby in the closet? Just kidding.

    I remember well the night I was done nursing our youngest ten month old for the umpteenth time in one night. She was in a pack n play next to my bed. It had wheels on one end, and when she woke me for yet one more middle of the night feeding, that was it. I picked up one end of her bed and rolled both it and her right out the door, parked her in the middle of the living room floor, and shut the door behind me. We both slept great the rest of the night, and she moved in with her sisters soon after. I loved nursing all my babies, but this mama was at a point where rest was desperately needed, and baby was big enough to safely miss those night feeds. Each nursing relationship is special and individual. You’ll know when to make adjustments.

  • kicez
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thank you for info on timers. I'll try this out! It should help my DD stay more concentrated if the knows that once the lesson is over it's over for good. I need to check if "time timers" are available in here!

    Do you take breaks between lessons?

    We use manipulatives mainly for learning a new concept, but when it's time to practice calculations, we usualy stick to pen and paper. I need to read more on cuisenaire rods. I have a paper version of them somewhere, but I've never really knew what they were for ;)

    What I like about MEP is that it's spiral and if offers a lot of practice. It also contains some non-trival problems, that require children to use logical reasoning.

    I googled CLE Math and it looks interesting. Very short lessons and also spiral. Are there enough practice problems?

    Is Math-U-See a set of video lessons? I'm afraid my DD would have trouble understanding the teacher speaking quickly in English.

    As to nursing, when my youngest was born, I hoped she would start sleeping through the night at the age of 3 months and I would be able to move her in with her sisters three months later... She's almost 9 months old now and still demands nursing at night (sleeps in the master bedroom in her cot). She can sleep for up to six hours at a time, but then she wakes up and I have to feed her. After that, she falls asleep for short naps and wakes up very often and doesn't let me sleep. I think that at that age she should be able to sleep through the night, shouldn't she?

  • PRO
    Gray & Walter, Ltd.
    2 years ago

    I've been there and done that so I understand where you're coming from. I have three kids who are no longer in this phase. I think this is the approach you need to consider. Pretend you have an apartment in NYC where space is really at a premium. There is a way to make a living room with space for the kids to play that all can enjoy. Don't give up, this would be a fun project. Where do you live? Happy St. Patrick's Weekend!

  • miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    "I think that at that age she should be able to sleep through the night, shouldn't she?"

    Probably. It's common for babies to sleep through the night for a few months, then wake if they are going through a growth spurt, then start to sleep through again. How much solid food does she eat? By nine months most of my babies were eating mostly solids, nursing a couple of times during the day, and sleeping through the night (except the ones who never did and still do not at age 10+!). One of them even self weaned around then; he walked at nine months too. But Every Baby Is Different!

    If waking in the night for Baby is no longer working for Mom, it's time to get Dad on board to get up in the night. No boobs makes it a lot easier not to breastfeed lol! There are so many strategies, it's just a matter of researching and trying them until you get the one that works for your child. Even if you plan to breastfeed for a couple more years you do not have to be a 24/7 milk dispenser.

  • kicez
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    The reclainer is like a family member to me, that's why it's got its own room in our house, ha ha ha!


    I need to check if my DD's desk deserves it's own room too ;) But then my recliner would be homeless!

    There's one more setting I want to try just for fun - two Poang like armchairs and a coffee table. I wonder what I'm going to do with all the books, when I can't keep them under the stairs? ;)

  • kicez
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Children at schools work with textbooks like these:

    https://flipbook.apps.gwo.pl/display/2441

    https://flipbook.apps.gwo.pl/display/2442

    https://flipbook.apps.gwo.pl/display/2443

    Here's a fragment of the textbook our government published: https://naszelementarz.men.gov.pl/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/2_klasa_podrecznik-czesc-3_do-zawieszenia.pdf

    There are some short texts to read (poems, stories) and activities ranging from practicing spelling rules to crafts. The texts are on something social studies + mathematics. Are such textbooks available in the USA too? I think it would be fun for my DDs to have access to a textbook like this in English :)

  • kicez
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Ladies, I did it! Now there's my DD's desk under the stairs:

    My DD is very happy. She had been sitting there almost the whole day yesterday and listening to audio stories and drawing. She's got her private space at last. We'll see in some time how it works for us. I don't want her to spend a lot of time in there - just when she's studying or needs a little privacy. There's little natural light, but on the other hand I've seen many photos of kids' rooms or officess, where desks were facing a wall far away from the window, so maybe it's ok as long as there is a good desk lamp.

    I need your advice on kids' bedroom! I would like them to share it for as long as possible. Here are three settings I thought of:


    I marked in pink their beds:

    This is Tarva bed frame from IKEA. We painted it white and we use white bedlinens.

    The blue squares are tables/cupboards, not chosen yet!

    Which of these settings would be the best, in terms of kids' convenience and ease of design?

    Fortunately we don't need desks of big cupboards in there :)

    Please look here: child's bedroom. I like the idea of putting a big framed piece of fabric/wallpaper on the wall above the bed. I bought these fabrics:


    Each girl could have her colour of accessories.

    Please let me know what you think about that :)

  • laughablemoments
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    You’ve been busy! Yes, your little love should be able to be trained to sleep through the night. A six hour stretch of sleep is a good start. It sounds like her habit is waking and snacking, so that may take some time to replace with a new habit (sleeping), but it can be done.

    The homeschool book market in the US is flourishing, so you can find just about whatever you might be looking for. Rainbow Resource is one of the biggest homeschooling supply houses I know of; you might have fun browsing their site. The books you linked make me think a little bit of Usborne Books.

    If you want a number of ideas for the girls’ bedroom, you’ll probably get the most responses by starting a new thread on that topic.

    I can tell you what works the best for us. We have two sets of three girls who must share two different bedrooms. We ended up doing bunk beds with trundles on wheels under the bunks for them. This way they have a lot of floor space during the day, and room to contain their many interests on the other walls of their rooms. (When they were little, they didn’t need as much space. I kept their toys and things in our living areas where it was easy to keep my eyes and ears on them. They needed frequent help navigating their interactions then.) But now that they are older, they appreciate having places for their things, and I appreciate that their stuff no longer has to be housed in our main living areas! Trundle beds have been a real game changer for us. Our bedrooms are not big, but stacking their beds like this really helps them feel spacious.

  • Kathi Steele
    2 years ago

    kicez, I like the second plan because it gives them a little space, but laughable's idea of bunks is good too!!

  • Lisa
    2 years ago

    I like the 3rd plan. It appears to open up the room the most w/ regards to floor space. I believe I saw this same layout on HGTV last week. The fabric is cute!

  • kicez
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thank you for sharing what works for you, laughablemoments! Before I got my two elder girls those Tarva bed frames, I was considering a bunk bed, but in the end I decided against it. It is a year later and I still need to help them do their beds every day (at least the younger one) and I cannot imagine taking off and putting on fitted sheets for weekly washing on the upper bed... I was also afraid of the risk of one of them falling of the bed (a year ago my middle one was 2 and 10 moths, so still very young). We have three bedrooms and the master bedroom upstairs, so fortunalety children don't have to squeeze everything in their room :)


    I will start a new thread, thank you for the advice!


  • er612
    2 years ago

    I agree. I like the third layout best.

  • laughablemoments
    2 years ago

    Ahhh, the dreaded bunk bed bedding! I forgot about that challenge-oops. Since my kids now make their beds themselves (and the big ones help the little ones), I no longer deal with that. I can see why you want to keep them in low beds at this stage, too.

    You know...you could still do a trundle bed under one of the Tarva beds in plan 3, and even put drawers under the second bed for their things, if needed. This would still give them a spacious room. Just a thought. : )

    kicez thanked laughablemoments
  • miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)
    2 years ago

    For many years two of my daughters shared a pullout sofa bed. They *usually* folded it up in the morning to give play room. That plus a single bed could work in your kids' room, if they don't mind sharing.

  • shwshw
    2 years ago

    following...

  • kicez
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    I like the idea of a trundle bed! This would be the safest for my youngest one! It could work for a few years until she asks for a "normal" bed. Maybe I decide to move my eldest one to a separate room by then and the youngest inherits her bed hmmm.


    lindsey, we've already got two beds :)


    laughablemoments, I wanted to tell you that I tried not nursing my baby last night. She woke up 4 or 5 times and was crying. I had hearing protectors in bed and used them twice (poor DH didn't know about them ha ha ha). She fell asleep on her own each time. I think the next night I'm going to dress her up in warmer clothes (I was worried she was cold) and leave her in a play pen downstairs. I hope I don't sound like a bad mother...

  • miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    "I hope I don't sound like a bad mother..."

    Not at all. One of our daughters slept in a playpen in the laundry room for a few months because she said "ahhhh.ahhhh.ahhhh." at perfectly spaced intervals for about half an hour before she fell to sleep each time she woke. It was a very contented sound and she didn't need help, but it drove the rest of us crazy (papa, mama, and two kids under two shared a room at that time). So she moved to the laundry and we all slept a whole lot better!

    So nice to hear your little one is able to self-soothe too. Makes the whole process a lot easier on the parents :-)

  • kicez
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thank you! A year ago my middle one used to talk to herself before falling to sleep, so I can imagine how that "ahhh" sound could have been annoying :)

    We are currently raising chicks at home (too cold to take them to the hen house) and my only hope is that the light and their constant chirping doesn't wake the baby up.

    Did you check on the baby from time to time when she was sleeping? Do you have any advice about her not getting cold at night?

  • miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)
    2 years ago

    I didn't really check her much :-/ I could still hear her if she cried because our house was small. Never used a monitor because again, small house.

    As for getting cold, that is less of a concern than most parents think. If she is dressed appropriately for the weather and the house is kept at a comfortable temp she'll be fine. Getting too hot is disruptive to sleep as well.

    We used wood heat exclusively so our house got quite cool at night. In winter we usually used a footed fleece sleeper with a long sleeve snap bottom t-shirt underneath, sometimes a pair of light cotton pj pants. If it was a bit colder we would add a pair of socks and maybe a sweater. If it was very cold we would add a flannel bunting (aka sleep sack with closed bottom). And this is a child safety no-no but our babies always slept with a blanket or two. Plus the room she slept in was very small, probably about the size of under your stairs, with a door so her body heat was contained. The room was never cold when we went to get her nor were her hands or cheeks.

  • pennydesign
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I just wanted to pipe in and say that you sound like an amazing mom. Please learn to trust yourself and know that what you're doing for your kids IS NOT going to be criticized by anyone here!! :) (If they do, well then eff them).

    Some points that I noticed....You seem to be worried about what your mom said (we all do...) but I think the style of windows and the fireplace/stove is a non-issue when it comes to how the rest of the house is decorated. It will work, whatever you choose.

    I LOVE the space for your oldest. We ALL need a place of our own (was secretly cheering you on for putting your recliner there...that kind of thing is right up my alley, but I do remember what it's like with little ones having four of my own back in the dark ages). As an aside, we always rotated toys in our house simply because we didn't have room. They loved it. Also what held the most attention was simply empty cereal and oatmeal boxes :) I had started keeping them to recycle and one day just taped them up and let the kids do what they wanted...HUGE hit. Also, I remember that laundry baskets made the best boats/forts and add some pillows and mine would fall asleep "reading" a book...

    What we did at one time in a shared bedroom was put the beds head to head toward the corner with the Ikea LACK table in the very corner...it all fit well and the table held a lamp for reading and cups for water and a book or two...plus you can't beat the price and I think it comes in red??

    Anyway I read all of this thread and have loved walking down memory lane with everyone...thank you for letting me share... :)

  • kicez
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    When I cover my girls with blankets or duvets, they usually kick it off, co maybe children really don't need that much heat :)


    The baby slept well tonight. She woke up once at 1 am (I didn't hear anything, DH told me in the morning) and then a few minutes before 5 am (that's when we get up). I'm so glad and thankful you motivated me to take that step and let myself, and the baby, get a good night sleep!!! With my middle one, I nursed her for 2,5 yrs and that included nights too... It is such a relief for me to know that the baby can sleep on her own!


    pennydesign, thank you for your kind words. You are right that I shouldn't worry so much about the windows and the stove. I see so many photos of eclectic spaces, where people try hard to get the look, that I can have on hand ha ha ha

    I too noticed that children can play with anything - and the best part is that once they're done, we can throw the things away and get something else. It isn't that easy with storebought toys :(

    As to Lack table, it seems like a good idea, but would it work with the high backrest of the Tarva bed frame? I could rotate the beds 180 degrees though...

  • pennydesign
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Yes, you would have to test with your frames--those are cute beds, don't you love IKEA? They have brilliant designers who maximize space...

    In our situation, we just had the beds on metal frames so no headboard. But your solution sound like it would be great.

    I just wanted to offer another idea.

    You're doing great. Don't forget that at your age it's all about kids and happy kids are more important than "stuff"....plus with three you need to make your life as easy on yourself as you possibly can.

    I really wish that I would have understood that rocking a baby is waaaayyy better for your mental health than dusting. :)

    You will get to a place where ALL of your needs are met in the best way possible.

  • rebecca_adia
    2 years ago

    This is such a fun thread for momspiration.following!

  • kicez
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I've got the sofa downstairs now. I covered it with what I had on hand - a huge black blanket and a smaller white one.


    The red thing behind the sofa is a mattress. It's a safe place for the baby to sleep at night (I block the way out).

    Now I'm wondering if it makes sense to buy a table and a lamp for the
    armchair. This part of the living room could be the actual 'living'
    part, while the other side is dedicated to children and their play. How
    about some kind of a wall art?

    I'm sorry, and it probably sounds like I don't know what I want, but I would like this
    room to look more 'finished'. Do I expect too much? Maybe it would be
    best to wait for four or five more years and then redesign this space?
    But can I wait that long? I wish this house was arranged and I didn't
    have to worry about it all anymore! :( We've been living here for three
    years now and it upsets me that everything looks so awful. We don't even
    have a hardwood floor upstairs - just go with carpets on concrete
    floor. We are currently having a bathroom made, but imagine living all
    that time with temporary solutions :( There are only a few things that
    we actually bought for the house - the rest are hand me downs - nothing
    matches, everything old and not to my style. I'd like to turn this house
    to home at last. Maybe I should go to ikea, look at those timy flats
    they have there and order everything there is!!! I'm sorry I just
    needed to vent :(

  • benjesbride_misses_sophie
    2 years ago

    I've lost track of this thread, but just read you most recent comment, Kicez.

    I just want to pop in and say, I think your home is totally lovely as it is. That's room up there? I think it's perfect as it is. Look at those happy and loved and beautiful children playing in a comfortable, peaceful looking, light-filled home. I think it's great!

    If you feel like you want something for the walls, why not use your kids' art? The only thing on the walls of our living/dining is a map and a giant magnetic white board displaying my girls' latest creations.

    What about hanging up three Ikea dignitet wires like this to display special drawings/paintings/cards/etc?

  • pennydesign
    2 years ago

    Agreed....happy kids (and puppies!) are the best decor there is :)

    I really enjoy seeing lives (as in the IKEA catalog--my only exposure) where the kids stuff is as important and the grown-ups stuff...and fully welcomed. It seems like there is much less of a need to "put away" their lives in favor of adult lives.

    I love the rug and recliner together (I can't see the sofa :), but look how much your kids love it---that makes it perfect)

    I'm loving these ikea stools to set down a drink--just recommended them to another poster, so I AM obsessed, especially at 15 dollars.

    I like the direction this room is taking... :)

  • benjesbride_misses_sophie
    2 years ago

    Penny- I love those stools too. I think they’re stackable too!

  • laughablemoments
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I sense your frustration with the undoneness of the space, and I have been there. So. Many. Times. We’ve lived in one fixer upper after another, diying all the work ourselves, while raising a family. Just when we’d get the spaces settled, finished, and feeling pretty, we’d sell and start all over again. Yes, you can have a space that feels lovely and is still child friendly. Believe it or not, it’s close to that already. The light is amazing! The carpet is a nice design, and fits the space well. The girls are adorable. You’re very blessed. : )

    Just because something is a hand-me-down, doesn’t mean it can’t work for you. Many of our things are from thrift stores and yard sales and they still look good and work well together. On the other hand, we’ve also gotten rid of quite a few things that didn’t work for us, and haven’t held on to them just because they were cheap, free, or a gift.

    I pulled up a video that accomplishes a lot of the same goals that you’ve expressed in terms of beauty combined with utility. The decorating style might not be exactly what you’re going for, but the principles are spot on, I think. It’s not very long, and the vlogger has practical, workable, and affordable solutions to making her space kid friendly while still being pretty and adult ready. Organizing kid clutter in the living room

  • er612
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    You could create a corner sectional with twin or crib size mattresses.


    kicez thanked er612