Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Home Tour: Office/School/Guest Room

    When we were looking for homes to purchase, one feature that was very important to us was for the home to have some sort of extra space. It could be an extra bedroom, a formal living room plus family room, a formal dining room plus eat-in kitchen etc. We wanted to have a space to serve the function of our office/school/guest room. These areas had previously resided as part of other rooms and the arrangements simply weren't working well for us.

     The house we chose to purchase features a formal dining room and an eat-in kitchen. The eat-in kitchen is small and clearly intended to be a breakfast area, but our new (to us) large table fits and so we are using it as a main dining area. The original dining room was then repurposed into a multipurpose room (that highly desired office/school/guest room!). 

    It looks quite a bit different from it's original form! It took some investment to transform it into the kind of space we had envisioned. In the end, the efforts and expenses were absolutely worthwhile. We love this space! It is one of my favorite rooms in the house! 

    Welcome to the home tour of our office/school/guest room!

The Original Room
   These photos are prior to us having moved our things into the house. The previous owners generously offered to sale to us the table that was in the room (which is why it's also in the room photos). The room also had an antique dining room light fixture. 

The New Room
      Since we were not going to be using the room as a cozy dining space, we wanted to change the light fixture to something that offered a lot more light. We opted for ceiling fan as this also serves the purpose of helping to keep the room cool (this is Texas, after all!). 

      The biggest investments in the room were in the form of furniture. We made a trip to IKEA to purchase a desk with hutch, children's table and chairs and sleeper sofa. (I had been planning this space for quite a while and had saved up for the purchases. It was great to be able to go shopping to purchase everything to make the room fully functional and beautiful for us!) 

    We repurposed our bookshelf pantry shelves to be... well, bookshelves! We now have a rather large space for our books and love it! We also already had the large cork board and dry erase boards. The curtain was a set we had purchased while living at the rent house here, and they worked out nicely in this space as well. The rod was one we had created for use in our townhome. The nice part of having taken a DIY approach then is that now all we had to do was recut the pole to fit the window. 

     My big crafty project in the room was the alphabet wall. I wanted some kind of a subtle "school" element since we would be using it as a school room as well when we homeschool the children. I loved the idea of an alphabet wall, and ordered plain letters from the Letters For You Etsy shop. I painted them in colors that coordinated with the curtains and hung them with command strips. I love how the wall looks with them! A simple yet very effective decor element!

    My decorative desires for this space was for it to be a simple, calm and comfortable place to be. Of course, functionality was also high on my priority list. It needed it to be a space we'd enjoy spending a lot of time in and worked really well for our needs. I believe those goals were accomplished! 


    As you can see, the new lighting makes a huge impact. I love bright, white lighting in rooms! This is the view we see from the kitchen. I really enjoy this space being in a central location in our home. I can be nearby and available, but still able to tend to a task elsewhere. 
     We use the dry erase board on the left to write out our current memory verse, poem or anything else of interest that we might wish to display. The cork board on the right is used for the All Aboard the Animal Train material and/or current artwork. (It includes a border and cards that show the components of the day ("together time," "surprise time," "story time," and "outside time.")). When we complete any of the paper components of the units we display them here. 

     The bookshelf contains a majority of our books in our home. Yes, we have a large home library and love it! I do periodically go through and weed out the lesser quality books. I also keep our family recipe books and cookbooks here since it's right off the kitchen. There are some baskets and bins on the shelves currently that hold some extra office supplies (but those can be relocated to within the desk in order to clear even more space for books on the shelves for future homeschooling materials for three children). The bottom shelves contain our current homeschooling/activities materials. To the left is material for Annelise's activities. The five bins in the middle are the "surprise time" boxes that correspond to the All Aboard the Animal Train curriculum that we use for Tennyson. The box on the far right is a file box with files of themed units, some book-based activities we've used in Mama & Me Book Club and some from M is for Monster Box subscription boxes we used to receive. The children and I thoroughly enjoy selecting books from our home library shelves! 

     The new desk offers us a lot of storage space and writing area. The shelves to the left contain the student sheets to the All Aboard the Animal Train curriculum. The shelves to the right contain all printer paper, notebook paper, specialty printer papers, construction paper etc. I also have some small buckets on the bottom shelf that hold crayons, pens and pencils, scissors etc. The drawers on the bottom right hold additional office supplies and a filing cabinet. It's so nice to have a easily accessible filing area to keep paper clutter cleared elsewhere! On top of the desk is a laminator, printer and box of wipes for art/messy projects. I've longed to have a nice large desk space, and this set up as been a dream! It's been so very nice to work at this space!


             The sleeper sofa is the component that makes the room a guest room. Aside from an office and school room, I  really wanted a separate space for overnight and long-term guests. In our previous homes, they would choose to sleep on our living room couches and utilized the main living area for their stay. It was very inconvenient and taxing on our family after a week's time. So, for our purchased home I wanted a space guests to stay apart from our main living area so that we might maintain full functionality of our family for the duration of their stay. This room provides that purpose! We have talked about adding glass doors to the entrances to the room (covered by sheer panels when guests are present) to provide extra privacy and block some noise especially when the children are trying to sleep. We haven't implemented that plan just yet though. Nonetheless, I think having this space will work out much better for us all!
       We purchased a sleeper sofa for the room. The interior of the sofa stores all the sheets, blankets, pillows etc. that we might wish to use for overnight guests. I like being able to have everything in one place and right where it's needed! When we're not needing it for a guest bed, it folds up into a sofa and becomes a delightful reading spot as an element in our office/school room!

     I really enjoyed getting to dream up this space and then adding all the elements to make it a reality. I'm eagerly dreaming, saving, and awaiting working on the next area of our new home! 

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