Saturday, May 5, 2012

Child-Friendly Downstairs

Our house has a very odd set-up. I really like it, but it is different. It is a split level house. When you walk in, you can go up to the main floor or down to large room and the laundry room. From the kitchen on the main floor, you can go up to a long room that sits above the garage.

When we first moved in, we put the living room and dining room above the garage. It isn't closed off; there is just railing to block it off. We realized that when Hayden became mobile, the upstairs was not longer a good idea because he could fit through the railing and fall a considerable distance.
We already moved the tv, but the railing is over the stairs to the bottom level.

We tried moving the office to the large (and unused area) downstairs and using the downstairs bedroom for the tv/playroom. That didn't work because Hayden hated the door shut. So, we moved my soap room down and the tv/playroom up. That worked ok, but Hayden still didn't like the door shut and we had to be really quite after he went to bed because he was next door. Plus, the downstairs was not at all kid-friendly. It really wasn't ideal.
My incredibly messy work area!

VERY un-kid-friendly!

The solution...move the office all the way up above the garage, the tv/playroom down to the large area, and turn the spare bedroom into a guest room. We decided to paint the downstairs because it was a little gloomy. We went with a bright bluish-white with a darker trim because it is partially underground. We couldn't get our extra large couch downstairs, so we are having to make due with a brown pit couch that we had when I was growing up (bonus: it makes a great fort). I really like the downstairs now, it is a nice place to play or relax.
I love the color!, notice we cleared the bottom two shelves for Hayden!

The rest of his play area and the dog's bed.

Another bonus to moving, I got my office organized!
We haven't finished the upstairs office area yet, but it is functional for the time being!

I think the best part is that we are using that big area downstairs! It isn't just for storage anymore. Really, we don't need near as much storage since I've started decluttering anyway :)