Tuesday, May 19, 2009

remodeling :: 'humble abode'

Being that we were planning a major remodel on our house, my husband and I were forced to remodel our garage apartment first. (knowing that we'd have to live in it for a few months while our house was construction) With a keen eye for style we both had our own ideas of what the space should look like and were quickly distracted from our main goal. Ready to decorate something and anything we quickly began scouring pages of design magazines for the perfect layout and decor for our small space we like to refer to as our 'humble abode'. We were like two kids in a candy store as we were constantly throwing ideas and pages of inspiration in front of each other.

Our excitement and eagerness was quickly set aside when we realized that when you try to decorate a 700 sq. ft. space for not just a couple, but a couple with an 11 year old and a 2 year old, that your freedom of decor quickly switches from high style to high function. 

We were at a stance. 

How were we going to decorate such a small space around function? Is it realistic to have stylish function without absorbing too much cost? 

Our inspirations that we both brought to the table were definitely feasible within the space but had to be brought down to a realistic level of design. Sure, if we had an extreme budget we could have brought in a designer with all new digs and functional furniture to make it what we had imagined, but we quickly realized we'd rather put that money and energy into the main house. . .which obviously should be our main goal, right? I mean, that's the whole reason we're in this 'humble abode.

That being said, the most economic store we could think of was Ikea. We could get "of the moment" style on a small budget while maintaining our immediate need. . .FUNCTION!

Well, we loaded up the family and spent a whole day at the Houston Ikea. We found everything we needed (and then some) and thought we may have a chance of reaching our design. 

By combining some of our old functional treasures with our new Ikea furnishings, we were able to create a temporary oasis that a toddler could possibly withstand for about 6 months. It's now been 5 months and our time is beginning to run out. While the sectional sofa bed has been a big hit, (it's got GREAT storage underneath the chaise) our inner design star is ready to accessorize. Right now the old Pier 1 storage cubes are being used as a coffee table, ottoman, blanket storage, and DVD/media storage. Of course, now that Lucas (the toddler) has watched us for 5 months open and close the storage cubes, they have become not so child proof anymore. Now it's just one more thing that this stay at home mom has to distract him from. 

Did we meet the goal of stylish function? Well, to be bitterly honest, we stopped as soon as our pocketbooks ran over into our remodeling budget. These two kids that were once in a candy store quickly walked back into the streets of reality. Now we're content with bookshelves flanked with only things of necessity while also helping to keep things out of reach from those eager little toddler fingers. After trying to accessorize the bookshelves with design essentials in mind, I later came back to find 'his and her' fedoras laying on top as art pieces. Obviously the whole family has different ideas of how to use our functional space but some how it has seemed to work. 

While we both know that a mirror would look perfect underneath the left shelf, we also know that it would be an accident waiting to happen. Those anticipated accidents also account for the bare storage cubes. Luckily they have some intricate painted designs on them that help enhance the area. A professional designer could quickly look at the space and immediately realize that there needs to be a texture of glass or metal in the area. There's not a day that goes by that I don't dream of that perfect little mirror on the wall or some fresh flowers gracing our 'functional' storage cubes. . .but let's be honest. This is our space of living. Although designers at heart, my husband and I have found a new candy store for the moment. . .

living in our 'humble abode' while the kids surround us with laughter and joy.  

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