Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dream It, Do It: Update on Our House

Things are progressing well with the design of our new house. I met with the architect again to talk through the changes we asked him to make to our house. He made some really smart changes to our changes. Based on the most recent design, we asked him to make a few more adjustments, such as stretching the second bedroom closet all the way across the wall and creating a hallway closet by commandeering a bit of the closet from the second bedroom. 

He also had a few more suggestions:
  • He wants to lower the ceilings in the two bathrooms and the foyer to 8', so he can move the HVAC system up into the ceiling. This will free up an entire closet.
  • He wants to eliminate the sitting bench in each of the showers to shrink the bathrooms and add the extra square footage to the master bedroom and the kitchen/dining room/living room.
One of the things I've been thinking about a lot is what kind of furniture to put in the foyer. I want our house to be the kind of place that has a spot for everything. With four of us cohabitating in a relatively small space, it's important to me that we can each put away our stuff, especially when we first walk in the door. We'll have shoes, bags, keys, phones, dog leashes, jackets, umbrellas, mail, etc. There are two versions of this house already in existence in Austin. One of them is occupied by two adults; the other one is filled with a family of four. Although they're both awesome, they feel like there's simply too much stuff for the space available.

Here's a picture of what the foyer space will look like:

At first, I thought about using funky lockers, but a) I realized that they would be difficult for our young children to access independently and b) we're trying to conserve money wherever possible, since we'll be pouring all of our money into this house and into a new couch, refrigerator, king-sized bed, and washer/dryer. I realized that our IKEA shelving unit might be the perfect spot. 

At our old house, we used the shelf primarily for books, but it also held our keys and phones. We put our shoes in a big basket to the left of the door. I liked that our keys were in a bowl up high, which meant that we weren't always looking down into a disheveled bowl (like we do now, since our key bowl is on a desk). The one thing I didn't like about our old system was that Matt and I had to share the shoe basket. I was always digging under his sweaty running shoes to find my shoes. 

Now I'm thinking that we can repurpose our IKEA shelf into our "landing strip." We can put four baskets along the bottom, each of which can hold an individual family member's shoes. (When the children are really young and have small shoes, they won't need the basket.). Then the next highest row can be for each family member's school/work bag. The top two rows can be used for our key bowl, a place to charge cell phones (inside a cute box with a hole cut out of the back for the chargers to pass through), books, ceramics, etc. Ooh, maybe we could get a desktop shredder and fit it into one of the baskets to give us easy access for shredding credit card junk mail without having to store it in plain sight. We can put small hooks on the side or on the wall to hold coats and umbrellas at kid height. We can also put up a sorting tray for mail.

Even our young children will be able to independently access their shoes, bags, and coats. 

My one worry with this system is that our bags might look to messy stuffed in the cubby holes. Unfortunately, they're too big to fit inside baskets. I'll try stuffing Matt's bag into a hole and seeing how it looks once he gets home.

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Ellie said...

You can buy doors and drawers for the Expedit units (which is what that is, I'm pretty certain, I have several). That would hide the bags and still look nice. The drawer option might offer you a drawer for small items, like spare keys or neighbor's keys, or perhaps for batteries and flashlights for an emergency.

I was going to suggest a basket for hats/scarves/gloves but you live in Austin so that might not be as necessary.

I love this idea though. My husband and I may need to get a 4x2 to test this out four ourselves. Right now we have a bench with baskets in it, but I love the idea of having a cubby for my work bag.

Olivia said...

Another thought for bags--could you screw hooks on the outside of the unit? You and Matt could hang your bags on the upper hooks, and the kids could hang on the lower hooks.

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