Saturday, July 20, 2013

Livingroom Renovations Done (pretty much)

Last summer I was sitting in my sorely outdated livingroom and had enough of it.  When we bought the home it had orange shag carpet, matching orange velvet drapes and mirrored tiles on the walls.  The security blind on the large window broke the first year we lived here so we got next to no natural light in the room and it was just plain depressing.  So while sitting on my old, stained, hand me down couch I got fed up.  I hauled my sofa out to the alley for pick up, emptied everything else from the room and ripped out the carpet.  And then I realized I could not lift the carpet and had to wait to ask the neighbors to help me haul it out to the alleyway as well.  For 1 year I worked on this room, doing everything myself, paying for each step slowly as I got the funds.  I pulled down the mirrored tiles, and ripped the hardware for the security blind out of the wall.  Patched a ton of holes and repainted the walls and trim.  I laid new flooring (yikes that was a learning curve), bought new sofas, a bookcase, a little window seat (Ikea kitchen cabinet actually), and a tv table to use for school, and new artwork.  I found a little chair and desk at a thrift shop as well as most of the knick knacks now decorating the room.  Actually several of the items I found at the dollar store as well.  I hauled a heavy work table up from the basement for the tortoise tank(as mentioned in an earlier post).  And slowly but surely the room went from being trapped in the 70s and ugly to being a room I love to be in.  Here are some pictures showing the before, the after and a few in between.

Before!  The orange carpet was so stained you could see where the sofa used to sit.  And aren't those mirrored tiles so wonderful? Ick!

Before: The bay window area.  You can see I was starting to rip out the carpet here

Mirrored tiles and wallpaper gone.  There was so much damage.  I really should have ripped all that drywall down and started it over, but I think I made it look good anyway

Corner showing part of the wall that had all that damage and the front door(never actually used as a doorway though)

This is the wall that had those hideous mirrored tiles on it.  Not bad eh?

The bay window area as seen from the no longer hideous wall

The big picture window with the broken security blinds.  You can see I ripped out the interior hardware, patched the holes and repainted.  We didn't learn how to get those blinds off for another 6 months after this.

Starting to lay the laminate flooring

Just about done the laminate

After! So this is that window seat area as seen from the no longer hideous wall. I still have the stained glass window clings to hide to finish this section off.  And figure out if I want the lamp to stay in here or not, it doesn't really get used in here

After: The security blinds are gone, new curtains and rod are up

After! This is the formerly hideous wall.  You would never think looking at it now that it was so ugly before or that it had so much damage to repair after I took them down.

After! as seen from the front door.

After! This picture was shared in the post below but I just realized it shows the light of day coming in.  See no security blinds, wonderful natural light shines in when I have them open

After! Under the tortoise table is Finn's kennel when not in use and the cutest little rug ever. 

So there you have it, one livingroom nearly done being renovated.  I still need to install baseboards and a couple thresholds for the 2 doorways into the kitchen but with school starting back up I just wanted the room to look beautiful and functional even if those things are not done yet.

Getting Organized for a new school year

Every year in the summer I attempt to reorganize our school space.  We live in a very tiny home, and as such do not have a dedicated schoolroom.  What we do have is an eat in kitchen, and a livingroom that is used for everything from relaxing, school work, a playroom, animal room etc.  This year the reorganizing project took on a whole new meaning when I finally finished off the renos in the livingroom AND most importantly the fish tank on top of my IKEA expedit 4x4 unit cracked and by morning the wood at the seam of my expedit had swollen and cracked causing the entire unit to need to be emptied and removed befor it collapsed.  I had books lined up on that expedit 2 rows deep in every cubby plus laying stacked on top of those rows.  So this made for a challenging problem.

Problem #2 was that I am preparing to open a home daycare, and need the kitchen space to put the leaf back in the table and add more chairs around it.  To do so I needed to use smaller shelving to hold the school books or it would be too crowded to get around.

So the school books are now going to be stored on a small 3x3 cubby unit from walmart.  When I say small I mean the entire unit is the size of 2x2 section of the expedit.  Yikes! double yikes is that I believe strongly in using living books to learn with which means we have TONS of books and now just a tiny space to hold them.  That isn't even counting the books being stored for future use and not scheduled this year.

So I have the books needed for the first 6-10 weeks of the school year (depending on the student) and the rest are in boxes, bins and piles in my back mudroom waiting for me to figure out what to do with them.  They are all needed for this year so I don't want to tuck them too far away but my goodness there is a lot of them.

Anyway, the reorganization project is nearly done, so here is our work space for the coming school year.

This is the back wall of my livingroom.  That bookcase holds our hard cover children's classics books(well the prettiest ones) sorted by collection.  I have some more to shelve in here to the 2 sets on the 4th shelf but have to dig them off of other bookcases in the house.  The wicker basket on the bottom shelf holds the books for the current konos theme.  The large books next to it are our kingfisher history encyclopedia, the kingfisher science encyclopedia and the encyclopedia of world geography.  Next to the bookcase is Is little desk, she asked for ages for one and I found this one at a thrift shop last year and the chair at a thrift shop last week.  In that big cage is our 2 syrian tortoises.

This is the small cubby unit for the first trimester's books.  On top is our talking globe, microscope, microslide viewer, and triple balance beam.  Next to this cubby is the board we use for AAS, most of the tiles are not on it yet(they were taken off during this reorganization).  It will be placed on it's other side when they are working on it, but it works better for storing it in this way.

Our big white board, bulletin board and AAR pre-level 1 capital letter chart.  This wall is perpendicular to the one with the bookcase and right next to the opening to the entrance way. 

Across from the white board wall is the "teacher wall"  This cabinet we call the teacher cabinet, it holds the colored paper, rubber cement, and other items the kids do have have freee reign over.  The top drawer currently needs an over haul but holds their pencils, crayons, scissors etc.  On top of the cabinet is another white board, this one will hold special announcements, appts to remember and the daily menu(for the home daycare).  The orange bucket holds my stapler, sharpies, moms only pens, my tape etc.  Our betta fish in a new home is now up here, the spinner of fancy cutting scissors, the blown glass the kids made in May '12, a strawberry shortcake candle, and 2 plants I am starting (chilli's and yellow peppers)

Better view of the teacher cupboard.  Top drawer was explained.  2nd drawer holds the clean trays for activity trays, wrap arounds and a few other odds and ends.  The bottom drawer has our MUS manips.  The binders are kept on top of the rolling cart, simply because that is easiest.  That's our geography curric, the kids WWE pages, French curric, The next time travelers set we are doing and a couple sonlight IGs.  We do not follow sonlight exactly, but I like having them handy to refer to student questions for the books and for the bible curriculum.  The Top 2 drawers of the cart hold the kid's duotangs, spiral notebooks and hilroy notebooks, and nature journals.  The 3rd drawer has items to be used in the sensory bin.  4th drawer has HWOT items, the 5th drawer(1st big one) holds the ongoing lapbooks and those that are coming up next, the last drawer hold workbooks/copybooks.

Manips are stored in plastic shoeboxes on a shelf in the front entrance.  They need some reorganization too, but this works to store them and keep them close at hand even if it does not make the entrance overly beautiful

Promise not to tell about this mess? This is my back mudroom.  It is a tiny room that already had my pantry, dryer and deep freeze in it.  Now it is filled with books that have no place to go temporarily

Between the dryer and the back door is the bins of science kits and supplies and other random odds and ends that also need a new way to be stored.

Back to the livingroom.  I bought this tv stand to use as a school table.  On top when a kitten is not destroying the table cloth or sleeping in the basket is where nature items for examination will go, items for the konos theme, or random things I decide to strew will go.  That white bin in the cupboard is the current sensory bin filled with bird seed.  Under the edge of that table clth the table has 2 shelves, 1 holds a wooden tray which will be pulled out to put the nature stuff in.  That way I can tuck it away off the table easily if people show up for a visit, or a child or animal is keen on destroying it.  The other side has 2 more little baskets like the one the cat is sleeping in.  Like the one on top they will hold small items I want to put out for the kids.

So that is the current progress of the reorganization project.  I have a few small things to take care of to finish up before dealing with the backroom and finishing the lesson planning for 1st trimester.