I'm doing exactly what I said I wouldn't do. Making my home the most useful and practical I can for kids rather than simply "pretty". So sad.
See my beautiful and rarely used living/dining room combo...well, that space will soon be a thing of the past. I'm tired of having such a large space be wasted. I thought about building a wall to make half the room enclosed so that it could be used for a playroom or craft room, but I think that will make the room too dark and claustrophobic feeling.
I'm also tired of having toys all over the family room and kitchen, and my kitchen island covered in crap (mail, keys, wallets, sunglasses, paperwork, bills) at all times because we have nowhere else to put it downstairs.
So, we are going to turn the LR/DR area into a family room/playroom. We will move the big couch into that room, wire that room for cable (which means Gary gets to buy another GIANT tv- great.) and hopefully find a great toy storage system so that I can *finally* stop looking at toys 24 hours a day. Seriously, does anyone else feel like vomiting when they see toys? Is it too much to ask to have a clutter free and clean home? I'm SO over living in a constant state of messy.
We will then move the dining room table (which has most recently been used as my sewing table) into what is now the family room. I think that will look cool- kind of an informal/formal dining room area attached to the kitchen. Since we will still have our fireplace and flat screen in the "old" family room (see photo below), I will move the LR couch (and maybe the two cute little LR chairs if they will fit) into this new dining area so there will be somewhere to sit besides dining room chairs.
If there is room, I also plan on putting either a couple of bookcases or storage units to house my fabric and some craft items since I will probably still use the DR table as a sewing table.
For the "new" family room, we obviously need some sort of entertainment center for the tv. I was thinking something like this...
The only issue with those is that I don't need any shelf space or bookcase...I need as much closed storage as possible. After all, the purpose of this change is to organize and HIDE all our crap.
I like low storage for the playroom part of the room like this...
I'd also like some sort of secretary desk to store all our mail and paperwork that ends up all over our kitchen island...
Soooooo, what I'd love to do is just go to Pottery Barn online and order $10,000-$15,000 worth of entertainment centers, storage, baskets, bins, etc. and have it delivered right to my front door. But alas, that is not an option. We need to keep costs way down in this little unnecessary redecorating/room change extravaganza. The next best option would be to have Gary and my dad build something exactly like what I would buy from PB, which they could do. However, between adjusting to a 2 year old and newborn and living in a house verging on a hoarders episode, my sanity can't wait for all kinds of fancy carpentry to be completed.
Therefore, my only option is to start searching for some deals! Of course, Ikea was our first stop. I actually think we can create a decent (and inexpensive!) room from there.
I'm thinking either the Billy series or the Besta series for the entertainment center. There isn't a photo of the combination we would do for either, but I have a few photos of each (except we would probably do them in white, not dark brown).
For the toy storage, I really like the Expedit bookcase with baskets (again probably in white, not dark brown)...
Although it's not the ideal situation, I'm still excited about getting to redecorate, and I'm going to try and make it as cute as possible. :)