Hello, Fancy Friends! I’ve spent some time thinking about our November theme and how I could apply it to our homes. The idea of transformation and creation in our homes is pretty obvious in the home decor “world.” But I wanted to dig just a bit deeper.
Sometimes I think the longer you live in a house, the harder it is to have a “vision” for change. Sure, you can pin images on Pinterest of what you like, and read home decor and DIY blogs for ideas, peruse shelter magazines for inspiration… all of those things are helpful when considering change in our home decor. But there’s an even better place to start: your family’s needs.
The most beautifully decorated space in the world may be aesthetically pleasing and make your heart sing. But if it doesn’t work for your family and your family’s needs, it will be for nothing. And you’ll know it. Something won’t seem right, something won’t “flow”, something about it won’t function properly.
You may have heard the term “seasons” in our lives, in our parenting, in our marriages, in our faith journey, in our finances. In all of these areas, we give weight to the idea that seasons come and go, they shift, evolve, and transform. And we must adjust ourselves, our thinking, our priorities accordingly in order to achieve some semblance of balance, productivity, and happiness.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
Ecclesiastes 3:1-3 (NIV)
What if we applied the same thought process to our homes? What if we re-evaluate our homes and what our family’s needs are within the scope of the home before redecorating? What if we let our family’s needs lead the way in our decorating decisions?
Years ago, when my children were small, the home office of my home was located down in our finished basement. Then I suddenly found myself a single mother, alone in my home with three young children. It quickly became apparent that a home office in the basement, away from the hub of the home — the kitchen and family room spaces — was not going to work. After a few months of pondering and camping out at the kitchen table with lap top, bills, etc, I began re-thinking all of my options: a little-used formal “living room” space at the front of the house… or my dining room. The front living room was still just a bit too removed from all the action for me. But the dining room was a different story. It was located just off the kitchen and boasted a beautiful bay window. I let the wheels turn for several weeks before executing the big switcheroo — the “living room” fell by the wayside and became our dining room, and the dining room became the home office.
And I loved it. It allowed me to work/pay bills/cook dinner and supervise homework, meals, and playtime/tv time at a critical time for my little family.
And this arrangement worked for several years. Until the kids grew older, until I remarried and became a step-mom to two young men. And our home became an incredibly wonderful chaotic place.
And my home office was overrun with a husband who works from home, teenagers and college students needing laptop and printer access, and in general became a catch-all for the stuff of life. We muddled through for a few years just like the photo above. Seriously. And then my daughter left for college… leaving me to a household of men/boys.
It was time to re-evaluate… again. And the Mom Cave was born.
You see, I now needed a place to unplug a bit. A place of calm and girl stuff and HGTV whenever I wanted.
A place where I could blog, read, escape just a bit, but still be readily available for my crew. Once the function of the room had been changed from dining room to office, it could then evolve aesthetically just as we (I) needed it to.
A little thinking outside the box, focusing on what would work for me and my family at the time, is all it took. I needed my home to work for me, to adapt with our changing needs, in order for it to be the best home possible for each season of our lives.
Someday, this three story 30-year-old home won’t be able to adapt to our needs any longer. Our season in life will have shifted once again. And then I’ll be ready to embrace a new season in another home…I hope.
Do you have a space in your home that you’ve re-evaluated and molded according to your family’s needs? I’d love to hear about it!
© 2012 – 2014, Heidi Milton. All rights reserved. Love it? Please share, pin, tweet or email but do not use my work without permission.