15 April 2015

Bedroom Swapsies for a Whole New House

Lots of people I know are making massive moves in their living situations - shifting houses, moving towns, doing major renovations and the like.

Us, well we're staying put. No plans to move, knock down walls, or do extensions - although sometimes I've felt like we need to do SOMETHING.

[Dash's old room was less than 1.5 metres wide; it used to be the laundry; now it's my craft room]

Especially for poor Dash whose bedroom was only slightly bigger than his bed. He'd been in there for *gulp* five years, he reminded me the other day.
I shook my head, unable to accept that, I mean, it was only ever meant to be temporary. He was sharing with his baby brother, but set up a bed in the teensy ex-laundry-ex-babyroom when he found that sharing with a two year old was less than ideal.

Recently he started to experience claustrophobia at night and couldn't go to sleep in his cupboard own bedroom so we had to start looking at alternative options. How could we give him more space without spending a gazillion bucks building an extension?

[Scrag's old room which is now ours; I only painted the chalkboard wall just before Christmas]

I racked my brains and came up with a solution: We'd have to give up our giant room-with-sunroom and give it to the boys. Put french doors to close off the sunroom giving Dash his own room, which could still be opened up into a giant space when needed.
Dash's cupboard-sized bedroom would become a study/craft space. And we'd move into Scrag's old room.

The trick was to try and sell this idea to my hubby. I knew he wouldn't likely be keen - I mean, who would? Our bedroom was lush, with all that space.

I took a while to let the idea sink in, time to to bring hubby around. The fact that every night was a drama getting our big boy to sleep helped.

Finally we made the call: we'd give up our room. And do a giant bedroom swap on Easter Weekend. All systems were go.

[Our old room, now Scrag's room/rumpus. The new french doors to divide the room are still leaning against the wall waiting to be hung]

I found the perfect french doors on TradeMe for a song (rimu, with bevelled glass, just the right size); and I promised myself we'd get new carpet and fresh paint before we moved in (the carpet is completely had it, the walls dinged-up beyond belief).

We ran out of time for carpet in our new room, it would have to be an old rug to cover the spilled paint and threadbare patches. But I bought a tin of paint and set to work the day before Easter, patching up holes and painting over the giant green chalkboard wall  painted just before Christmas.

The kids and I set to work carrying armfuls of clothes and boxes of toys to their new homes on Good Friday morning, maneuvering bookshelves and relocating drawers. We left the big stuff to daddy when he came back from his game of golf.

Yes, golf. Poor Daddy went off for a game and came home to find the house in chaos, no turning back. (He'd thought we'd do it slowly over the weekend. Me, I like to get things over with).

By the end of the day we all had new homes.

[Our new room is painted in Resene Half Beryl Green - a double strength version of the soft green I painted the kitchen/dining]

Hubby and I have a peaceful sanctuary at one end of the house, overlooking the garden, opening onto the deck. We have two wardrobes and freshly painted walls. One day we'll get new carpet and that one-way film on the windows so we don't give someone a nasty surprise if they walk round the corner while we're dressing (it has happened already; I guess we could just shut the curtains??!).

The boys have a massive new space which doubles as a rumpus room. Scrag has the bunk beds AND a pull-out couch with the little TV and DVD player. It's a space perfect for sleepovers and hangouts.

Dash has a new room that is three times the size of his old cupboard. Once we get those doors hung it'll be the perfect retreat for him (and since the move, there's been no more fuss at bedtime. I think he appreciates our sacrifice).

The little room (Dash's old cupboard) has a new incarnation as a craft room/study. It's still a bit of a mess as I'm in the middle of party crafting and finishing off painting the hallway so there are cans and boxes stacked everywhere, but you get the idea. It's the perfect size for a a creative space.

We've made space for everyone without spending more than $60 on a tin of paint and $175 for some new doors. No walls knocked down, no new rooms built, but now everybody's happy and we've made the most of the space that we have.

It's like having a whole new house.


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