Twice a year, I look forward to reading about those participating in Linda’s (Calling it Home) One Room Challenge (ORC), a blogger challenge to complete one room in your home in 6 short weeks. This year, I have convinced my husband that we need to participate! It’s not really the best time for us to dive into a fast-paced, money-draining project, but is there ever really such a thing as a perfect time?
Our home is a cozy (aka smallish) '70s ranch. We are lucky to be on a full basement, but the main level specifically must be truly functional since it is where we spend most of our time, and there's just no space to waste. Besides, I truly believe in actually living in all of a home's rooms - no "look, but don't touch" spaces for this girl. This does mean we have to get creative sometimes, and our makeover space fits the bill on needing lots of work & out-of-the-box thinking.
For our first ORC, we will be revamping the hallway/laundry/mudroom/pantry space just inside of our garage door. It’s an awkward layout. Entering from the garage, you are in a narrow hallway that is part of the kitchen. There are 5 doorways in this tiny space. The laundry room, pantries, “mudcloset”, and garage door are visible from all parts of the kitchen. The dining room, front door, & foyer are all visible from the garage door. And the garage door & one of the pantries are visible from the front door. This requires a cohesive look that will work with all adjacent spaces, so that your line of sight is not jarred by incongruent design. It also requires organization & tidiness, habits on which our entire family are still perfecting. ;)
Our kitchen is long, narrow, & had 3 pantries when we moved in, none of which were that close to each other. I realize this may sound wonderful to those who have no pantry space (it did to me too, before we actually started living in the space). But it quickly became apparent that we needed a place to hang our coats & kick off our shoes, not 3 different places to store our cereal. So, my sweet hubby did a quick weekend revamp last year, & turned the pantry directly across from the garage door (pantry #2) into a “mudcloset’. Since it is not even 12” deep, I think calling it a mudroom would be a tad overzealous. This area will get a small update.
Our laundry room is at the end of our long kitchen, opposite the breakfast nook. I am, of course, constantly in there doing laundry, and the dog’s bowls are in there as well, so the door is always open. I personally do not love looking at my piles of dirty laundry while I’m eating, so making this space more functional, and definitely more appealing to look at, is at the top of my list. An added bonus is that if I can close the door, the baby will no longer play in the dog's food bowls.
It is a very narrow room, with barely enough space to squeeze in a laundry basket. It's also a catchall for anything that doesn't have a home, so the space gets even narrower with all the junk piled up. Please pretend you aren't appalled by our mess. This is it on a good day. :)
Finally, the space that I’m most excited about redoing is the 3rd pantry (for those of you keeping count, pantry #1, a tall set of cabinets close to the kitchen sink, is staying a pantry). #3 is the biggest of the pantries, and while we use it everyday for storage, it will be turned into something we will use even more – an office nook. There is no spot on the main level of our home for an office. My desk has moved from the basement (sharing a space in the playroom or my husband’s office wasn’t practical or feasible) to the family room to the dining room. We had high hopes for a dining room/library/office combo, but the office part just never felt right. I didn’t love that all of my work stuff, bills, etc. would be piled high on my desk while we were trying to entertain, or that my computer screen was the first thing you saw when coming in the front door as the dining room is directly off the foyer. I will have to keep this small space organized as it is still partially visible from the front door/dining room, but it’s not as in your face as when it was in the dining room. And, I have to find a new home for all of the junk we currently have crammed into the pantry. Time to edit!
Overall, I am ecstatic to join in on this fun process – let’s hope we still think it’s fun in 6 weeks! Check back every Thursday for updates; next week I'll share my design plan and the start of the deconstruction process. And if you want to be a linking participant like me, check out Linda's blog for details!