Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March Simplify Results

It's March 30th and I'm so thrilled with the results of my school-room project. I wasn't sure it would work for me to get it all done in about 10 days, but things turned out so well. Our school room had become a catch-all for chunky, wooden, furniture. We are so grateful to have a room for school, but if we're going to be doing school in this room for many more years, we should at least enjoy our room. I just love how this turned out. The first thing was to take everything...I mean EVERYTHING, out of the room and paint. The name of the color is Greenhouse Basil and even the name makes me happy! I cleaned and painted all evening on Friday and finished the 2nd coat on Saturday night. My other plan was to get rid of some of the furniture and replace it with items that were cleaner looking, more streamlined... I made a mad dash to IKEA on Tuesday and brought back the computer desk/hutch, and the kids long desk. I also found the red shelf brackets and the chairs. We put everything together on Tuesday night and I got busy for the rest of the week putting all the stuff back in the room.
Here's a picture of the wardrobe and the bookshelf and a picture of the "new" corner of the room. We found this wardrobe at a warehouse sale and Roger added a hinged desk to the front. I don't really use that as a desk anymore, so I removed it and then cleaned up the inside. I got rid of the book shelf. These shelves hold a year's worth of books. I replaced the book shelf with the wall shelves. You can see in the new picture the little boxes under the kids' desk. Once they're done with one of their books, they can put it in their case so we don't lose it.

Here's a picture of the computer corner. This wooden computer desk is supposed to be able to close when you're not using it, but because of the way it's against the wall, and because the printer is right next to it, we've never used the doors. And, it gets so dusty in the back. And, I threw out about 100 computer discs that either don't work, or I have no idea what's on them. The amount of outdated stuff was unreal! It felt good to get that out of the room and replace it with the new one from IKEA. You can also see in the left side of the "old" picture a small desk next to the window. This was given to us but is just too small for Sam. And, it takes up more space than it's worth. So, Sam and Nate use the new long table/desk in the picture above. Also, I removed the wipe board from the window, It was so old and stained, so I got rid of it. I used a credit that I had at Office Max and bought a new one and hung it on the wall behind the door.

I think this is the best part of our new room. In the old room, I had an oak table in the middle of the room. This served as Nate's desk as well as just a place for the kids to create. The problem is that it was just so intrusive in our room and made it difficult to get around. I got rid of it! The only piece of large furniture that I kept was the wardrobe. I moved it to the opposite corner and got it all cleaned up. Katie's desk sits next to it.

Finally, I have a few things hanging on the wall and the door. I really tried to use wall space wisely, but also to make it attractive.

I just can't tell you how much I love the new look. The kids love it, I love it...we will just love walking into that room every day to do school... Right?

And, I now have a boat load of furniture that I hope to sell to pay for the new stuff. Maybe I should have a little "blog garage sale".

April is turning into a real bear on our calendar, so I think I'll choose a room that is a little less involved. I'm thinking about it.... I'll let you know.


Saturday, March 26, 2011


Not a lot to post right now... Just feeling very thankful on this rainy Saturday.

Thankful for a lovely spring break... Productive. Relaxing. Fun.

#44 A last little blast of cool weather to make us feel cozy at home
#45 Hot chocolate in a favorite mug
#46 My much loved house shoes and fuzzy socks
#47 A green shoot poking out of the soft dirt for a future pumpkin

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Odds and Ends

February is over. It seemed like a long month. Perhaps the 40 plus inches of snow made it seem a little long, or the fact that winter just seems long, period. Anyway, it's wonderful, glorious, lovely March and little snippets of spring are peeking through the dreariness of winter. Gone is the the daffodils poke up their little green fingers to let us know that rebirth is coming. Most importantly, the sun is shining more than it isn't. And, the temperatures are teasing us with a day every now and then in the 70s... YES!!
For the month of February, my plan was to simplify the dining room. Mission accomplished! We have a beautiful buffet in that room that hadn't been cleaned out since we moved into this house 8 years ago. It's all clean, and mostly empty :-) And, the big news is that I got a new dining room table and chairs. Our old table was given to us by Roger's mom, 22 years ago. She had owned it several years before that. It was beautiful...antique-ish... but it was old, and sagging... But the worst part was the 8 chairs. They didn't match the table, which is fine with me, but they were truly falling apart. They creaked and moaned when anyone sat in them. And, the bar underneath several of them had long since broken off. I realized that I avoided using that room because I really didn't like the table and chairs. The table was too low for most men, and it was just not in good shape. I began to look for replacement chairs and was shocked to find out how much they cost! It was cheaper to buy a new set, with the table, than to buy the chairs separately. If I must, I guess I must. I'm so thrilled with the new table...we've eaten on it almost every evening since we got it. Here's a picture of the old table. I made a Valentine's dinner for my family and we at in the dining room. You can't really see much of the table, but that's ok, you'll just have to trust me.

Here's the new table. I went from oval to rectangle...seating for 6 (we'd squeeze in 7) to seating for 8-10. I love it!

I even cleaned the chandelier! It looks brand new.
So, now that I'm really feeling good about the dining room, I'm moving on to a more difficult room. I'm going to "simplify" the school room. It would really make more sense to wait till we're done with our school year, but I have a couple of reasons for tackling it now. First of all, we're just tired of that room. It's sooo crowded with desks, tables, bookshelves, computer, etc... None of us really enjoy that room. So, I'm having the kids help me with this one. We'll do the bulk of the work during spring break. Also, I plan to get rid of several pieces of bulky furniture... I already have a plan for what I want to do in that room, but to pay for it all, I'd like to try to sell some of the thinks I'm going to get rid of. There's going to be a large rummage sale during the Dogwood Festival and I plan to have my things ready to sell in April. That means I need to get this room done during March. I can't wait to get rid of the dark, heavy furniture. I still have a potential of 9 years of home-schooling left! I'd like a cheery room that we enjoy being in, especially in the winter months.
What else? I'm reading a book... One Thousand Gifts. I can't really tell you about it because it's just so personal and challenging. But, I will say it's one of the most life-changing books I've ever read. It speaks to me very deeply. Go get it and read it please... I've started a "Gifts" notebook and am on #35.
I still haven't purchased any clothes this year. I'm wearing my winter clothes, but have a few pictures of fresh outfits to post later. I did wear a pair of shorts last week! My Salvation Army pile continues to grow...
The garden planning is continuing, new baby chicks arrive on Monday, the kids are playing outside a little more each day, we have 9 weeks of school left, and life is good...