July 10, 2008

Carlisle Casa: The Remix

While I was away at my parent's for two weeks I found myself thinking a lot about our home and how it's arranged, how we're using our space, whether or not we could be making more of our 1300 square feet. I think it's good to get away from your living space every once and awhile and allow yourself to gain a new perspective. We have been in our house now for almost three years and while our layout has worked well for us, there are a few things I think we could do to make better use of our space.

One day I was nursing B and emailing (I'm a pro at one-finger typing) when a light bulb went off. I immediately grabbed the phone and called Forest exclaiming, "I think we should move the office from the garage and into the dining room!" When I get an idea I usually have to call someone right away. If Forest doesn't answer his phone I will try everyone else in my speed dial list until someone picks up and listens to me exuberantly share my latest epiphany.

Fo wasn't quite sold on my idea at first, but as we discussed he started to understand my reasoning which is this:

The dining room. Not so much dining going on in there. In my idealistic head we would have dinner at our grand 12 person dining table each night with place mats, candles, a bottle of wine. In reality, we eat at the little table in the kitchen, use a ripped-in-half paper towel as napkins and share a glass of water. So until we have our little brood of children and don't fit at the kitchen table I think that space would be better used as my office/studio and I'll use the dining table as a work surface - that is usually where I cut fabric and do projects anyway.

The converted garage. Now this room could actually be used as a real garage. We could rip up the hideous carpet, paint the cement floor and fore go spending a thousand dollars on the shed we need to hold the stuff we can't put in the garage because it's full of office furniture.

Brilliant right? On Sunday we started the move and while I'm a little freaked out about having my office exposed to all our visitors I think it's going to be great. I am feeling very overwhelmed by work lately (things have gone a little out of control since B arrived) and this feels like a chance to clean everything off my desk, get organized and start over.

So here are is a photo of the room so far:

And here is how it used to look:

Sitting Area 03

I loved this sitting area, but again, not a lot of sitting going on these days. I have since moved these chairs into the living room where they get more use.

I'm on a roll and plan on making some major changes in our bedroom as well as rearranging the living room again (maybe). I will keep you updated on the progress of our Extreme Home Makeover : )


faithsalutes said...

I cannot approve of this rearranging. 1. there are no gumballs nearby when we are doing stuff on your computer together and 2. where is the cozy office chair?

Not approving, but loving.

Amy Roach said...

Little miss rearrange. Nice!
It's funny to read your post because I only dream of a dining room...but it makes sense. Can't wait to see it when it's all done. :)

MamaAngel said...

oh i love the yellow chairs! i am jealous.

Anonymous said...

Raya, this sounds like the nesting you went through right before B was born. You are so funny. I love to rearranging our house too. But what does one do when she has found THE ideal arrangement for the space?... move I suppose.

big hair betty said...

This is fun! I love seeing before/after pictures!

raya said...

Don't worry Faith, I'm moving the white shelf in there so the gumballs (which are like 4 yrs old now) will be there for you. And the chair - not sure what to do yet. My office chair is so comfy, but so not nice to look at.

raya said...

Thanks MamaAngel! The chairs were a Craigslist find.

alexandra said...

yay! out with the formal dining room, in with the living space! I just bought my first house and instead of a dining room... we're going to have a library... filled with books and an oriental carpet and a chaise lounge... who needs two places to eat when you're only going to use one? I love the idea.

erin said...

I do the same thing when I'm hit with a fabulous idea! Sometimes I'm sure my family is avoiding me when I can't get ahold of anyone! Love the repurposing...I can get enough of rearranging the rooms in our house.

teambrownlee said...


did miss emma valentine take that new picture of you and baker perhaps? i may have a budding photographer on my hands; you will need to teach a class for all the kiddos!

love, hope

Suzanne said...

I love the file cabinet. Where is that from?