Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The joys of our house

Since we have re-arranged the rooms in this house it has transformed the way I feel about it. For many years now - probably since Leo was toddling - we'd been battling with the house. We were forever swapping bedrooms, decorating and moving furniture, in an attempt to make the space work. It never did. Now it does. The vital changes are:

A big enough bedroom for each child to be happy spending some time there enjoying their own company and spreading out their stuff without everyone else falling over it. This is especially useful when people are not in the best of moods.

TVs in those bedrooms! I know this is meant to be the cardinal sin in the book of modern parenting but, not surprisingly really, the kids don't actually spend their whole lives in there glued to the box. They choose to watch in their rooms if they want to be alone or if no-one else wants to watch what they're watching. It means that I can happily say that I don't want Mortified or Basil Brush on in the living room and they will go away and watch elsewhere.

Our living room and kitchen are part of the same big space. This means that the person cooking or washing-up isn't banished from the place where everyone else is chatting, or just being.

The kitchen has enough worktops to cool scones, make tea. and stack the dirty trays etc. - all at the same time. You can put out four plates and serve up on to them, while the chopping board is still sitting there too! This will be hard for you to understand unless you've lived with one small worktop and a family of four. It is liberating.

The living space is cosy in the evenings as the TV, PC and tea making facilities are all in the one room. Oh, and the sofa is there too so I can fall asleep in front of a late film while D's typing away.

Pearlie having her own shower is great too. She wakes in her own space, watches a bit of TV, maybe does something else for a bit, and then can shower and dress right there - a civilised start to the day.

One of our chief causes of rows used to be arguing over bathroom access in the evening, when people always seemed to want to brush their teeth at the same exact moment. Now people can do that in two different bathrooms! Hooray!

Dani and I are back on the top floor to sleep, which feels much better than the basement. I like to see the starry sky before I sleep, and wonder what people are doing in the flats behind our house.

All in all it feels like a Christmas present I'll enjoy for years to come.


Lisa G said...

I've also had a love/hate relationship with my house over the years, mainly because my ex partner once lived here and i've put it up for sale a couple of times. But it's amazing what a bit of tweaking will do to change your mind, the house now bears little resemblence to when my ex was here and since having the garden transformed last September I really like living here. Wouldn't mind an extra bathroom like yours though!

'EF' said...

O for an extra shower room! Us five are always bickering and shoving and queueing for the teensy little bathroom we have..it's all very uncivilised.

I love hearing what you've done to rearrange your home, it all makes perfect sense. The thing about the teevees in rooms is something that we kind of do in form of shifting laptops from bedroom to bedroom that can play dvds of choice. It's totally against what I thought I would do with my kids, but far better than having a shrine to a singular screen in the living room. I really wanted to put the kids presents under our (now mysteriously knackered) teevee in the living room this xmas (instead of under the tree) but I wasnt allowed;)

Gill said...

Your place sounds fab now Allie. Ohhh we need more bathroom space too! One more loo and 2 working showers at least.

We have the TVs in bedrooms - and PCs (bliss) but not the joint kitchen & living room - that's a thing I'm going for next. One big living space instead of 2 smaller rooms.

Nic said...

Deeply envious of your one big living space and your kitchen surfaces - the two single biggest things on our home wishlist right now. We do indeed have enough rooms and enough bathrooms here but living space is split and kitchen is tiny.

Elle said...

All sounds great. We put the playstation in Ben's room just before Christmas to keep visiting children happy during a party. We've decided to leave it in there it's worked out so well, he only really plays on it first thing and it even entices Katie into his room to play alongside him - an achievement indeed.

An extra loo would go down well in this house!


alison said...

I just want an extra bedroom or two ...

grit said...

tv in bedroom! after years of saying never never never never not ever, we now have tv, dvd and video on bedroom floor. it is superb resource for any irritating kid who needs immediate separation without sense of punishment ... and i get to watch late night movies. never going back.