[personal profile] jenn_unplugged
Carter will be 4 in January, something that kind of blows my mind. He's very much a little boy now, not remotely a baby or a toddler. And so we've been slowly taking down some of the barriers we put up when he became mobile.

One of the things I really wanted to do when he was a baby was to create a safe space he could play in and explore, without me having to constantly hover or police him or tell him "no". That worked really well for us, though it definitely made the house less than stylish, heh. I've seen so many HGTV shows where a team of designers goes in to re-style a house on the market, and they remove all the things that were so clearly put there to protect toddlers, often tsk-tsking at the poor homeowners utter lack of taste. I always think, "Well they don't have kids, do they?"

Anyway, one day last week we realized that Carter could open all the remaining baby gates in the house and was already going through them whenever he pleased, so keeping them up seemed sort of pointless. I took them down, and then realized that I wanted to reclaim another space in our house that had been bothering me for a while: the Foyer.

The Foyer is the first thing you see when you come into our house, and it ought to give you a good impression. Unfortunately, the impression it's given for years now is that a pack of hoarders must live here.


This is what it would look like from the front door, typically. Stuff piled on the steps that needs to go upstairs, toys everywhere, etc.


We've had this baker's rack that my grandfather made here for 9 years, even though it really doesn't suit the space. It just gets dwarfed by the height. It's a place for stacking stuff, basically. You can also see the bar/music room gated off behind. This is a gate that Carter can open.


This changing table has been here since Carter was a baby, and it was obviously the spot where we changed diapers, clothes, and so on. Until about a year ago, we still kept all of his clothes here instead of in his closet, because it was easier than going all the way upstairs every time he needed a new shirt. Even after I moved all his clothes up, we continued to use this as, again, a place to put things. The laundry basket is even still there from when I used to change him on that table.


So overall, it didn't give the best impression of our home.

I had a budget of about $150 to work with, so I couldn't do much. I basically rearranged furniture and re-purposed some things. I spent a little money at IKEA and Target, and will hopefully have met my $150 budget once the items I put on Craigslist sell.

Here is what you see when you come in the front door now:


Taking the gates down made a big difference in how clean the space looks.


This little nook has always been space we haven't used well. I decided to make it a comfy reading area. I slipcovered a chair we had in another room (that wasn't being used where it was) and bought the lamp at IKEA ($20!). The artwork came from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. We had a magazine rack in the living room, and I moved that here.


This is where the baker's rack was before. I moved that rack upstairs where it looks much better with the lower ceilings, and bought another $20 IKEA lamp to put here. The mirror also came from IKEA and goes well with the artwork in the last picture. This spot is right next to the front door, so it's a place to sit down and put on or take off shoes.


This table (also one made by my grandfather) was in the nook by the stairs before. I moved the changing table out (and put it on Craigslist) and then picked a few photos to put on it. Mom and Dad, you're not being excluded -- I just don't have any recent pictures of you! That floral arrangement used to be on the table, and I like it in that niche. I moved some framed wall photos around as well.


The view from the living room towards the front door.


The view from the second floor. It's really lovely at night with those two lamps on; it gives the area a nice warm glow.

I did all of this while Doug was out of town, so he was really surprised when he came home! He loved it, though. :-)

I've really been in a de-cluttering frame of mind lately, and I'm looking forward to doing even more around here. The next big project is the garage, but that has to wait for it to get cooler. :-P
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