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We’ve lived in our charming little townhome for six years now.  When we moved in, Sydney was barely two years old, and I was still wearing Brooklyn in a baby sling.  The “plan” was to buy something small and affordable, sell in 2-3 years, buy something bigger with a yard and extra bedroom, add baby #3 and live happily ever after.  Then the housing market fell apart, and baby #3 decided to join our family two years earlier than expected.  Six years later we find ourselves “stuck” in our starter home.


C’est la vie.


As I mentioned last week, I had to accept the way things are.  Joel and I had to let go of our “plan”.  We had to, or else we would be miserable right now.  And really, there are worse things than being stuck in a small home.  For instance: losing a home, losing a loved one, or losing a job.  I count my blessings that all we lost was our plan.  Sometimes I feel like I just might be losing my mind, but then reality gives me a good smack on the head when my kids say how thankful they are…for our home.


The downstairs “great room” – consisting of the living room, dining room, and kitchen – is where we do most of our living.  It has evolved quite a bit over the past six years, going from Kiwi Green walls to an updated Gray Morning along with one or two new throw pillows.  We recently transitioned from our kiddie table to bar stools which was a big moment for me.  I’m still a huge fan of my kids’ artwork plastered all over my fridge, and I’m not willing to let that one go just yet.


A few things that have helped maximize our living space are:

  • Quickly discard anything outgrown or no longer useful (Goodwill practically knows me by name).  For a briefry=400-6 season our house was stuffed with baby items (they take up such a huge amount of space).  If you are in that boat, trust me when I say, this season will pass more quickly than you can bat an eye. Embrace it.  Cherish it.  Enjoy it.  When it’s gone you may have more space, but you won’t have this time again.
  • No coffee table.  I make the most out of our end tables.  Removing the coffee table gives us more floor space and creates an illusion that the room is bigger than it actually is.
  • De-clutter on a regular basis.  Clutter happens.  It’s a fact of life, but it doesn’t have to take over your house.  If you can stay on top of the clutter you’ll feel less and less like the walls are closing in on you.K7A18D4E161CEE_1000003
  • Fill drab spaces with things you love.  I’m very sentimental, and I have dozens of family heirlooms and keepsakes from various travels that I use to decorate.  It doesn’t necessarily create more space, but it will make you feel good.
  • Make it all about you.  I don’t mean this in an egotistical, self-centered type way.  What I mean is, don’t worry about what other people think.  Make your home look and feel the way you want it to.  This may take time.  That’s okay.  Tweaking is one of my favorite hobbies, and the longer I live here, the more this house looks like me.

Thanks for coming over.  I hope you’ve enjoyed.  Next week, we’ll take a look upstairs and talk sleeping arrangements.


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5 Responses to “Welcome to my world…lives have changed & so has the living room”

  1. Jennifer says:

    We’re “stuck” in our starter home too! And with baby #1 on the way, it is definitely NOT how we planned it. But already I’m learning some perspective…we have 3 bedrooms, which means we really still have a decent amount growing room. Our biggest down-side is that it’s a condo…so there is absolutely no yard or front area to call our own, you walk in our front door and head directly up a set of stairs that are pretty drab and not welcoming in any way. I’m excited to see more of your home and what you’ve done to accomodate your family of 5. It makes me feel like we can make it work for a few more years yet…in hopes and prayers that the economy picks back up eventually so we can at least sell and walk away without owing money! :)

  2. sister sheri says:

    What a great thought that all you lost was your plan… not your home! Sometimes more space means more hassle… means more money needed for more upkeep. Small keeps it creative. You are doing an amazing job!

  3. Amy says:

    Jennifer, I am so excited for you as you are expecting your first baby! This home is going to hold some of your most precious memories. I know it can be a bit overwhelming and discouraging at times when space is limited, and I hope I can give you a few ideas through this series. You can definitely make your little condo work…I have complete faith in you! :)

  4. Amy says:

    Sometimes I need to preach this very thing to myself. :) Thanks for the encouragement.

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