As a quick overview, we live in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath story and half built in 1939. The single attached garage is incredibly small, so small that we couldn't even fit our old compact car in there. Believe me, we tried. The car squeezed through the garage doors but there wasn't enough room to actually open the doors so Brent had to exit the vehicle "Dukes of Hazard" style. Which is why we had to build the shed in the backyard, we were out of room to work in our current garage!
The first house I bought back in 2003 was tiny. So tiny that there wasn't any kind of front entry. When you took your first step through the front door, you were immediately in the living room. There wasn't a place to hang your coat or put your shoes. I made a small promise to myself - to never again purchase a house without a dedicated "entryway". It was a small luxury that I was unwilling to live without.
Fast forward to this house. We have an entryway! It's not big, probably 12 square feet, but it does the trick.
There isn't any heating or cooling in here so we are glad there is another door that separates the entry from the living room - it helps keep the drafts to a minimum.
Inside the front door, to the left, is a recessed coat closet. There is room to hang coats on both sides of it and each side has a shelf where we keep hats, mittens, umbrella, etc. When we bought the house, the closet space was open down to the floor.
Shoes began piling up in there so Brent built a bench with two storage compartments for us to toss our them in. The lids have slow release hinges so Emma and Owen's fingers don't get pinched.
As you move through the entry and into the living room, this is your view looking straight ahead.
If you glance to your right, you can see the hallway that leads to the bedrooms and bathroom.
This is a look back at the entry. And yes, that is a yellow fun noodle at the base of the door. We found if you cut it to length and then slice it open like a fish, it makes a great draft dodger. For less than a buck.
Here's a shot of the entire living room. I used to have couches in here but could never find an arrangement that made sense, so I sold them on craigslist and patiently waited for something better to come along. We ended up accumulating these four chairs from World Market. They are super comfy and comfortably fit one adult plus a child, which makes them great nighttime story reading chairs.
The cabinet the tv is on was a cheap piece of furniture I bought from Target back in 2003. It was a natural pine color when I got it, but as soon as we moved to Omaha, it got a coat of white paint and became the dresser for baby Emma's bedroom. Fast forward 5 years and now it's a media cabinet. I glazed it when it got moved into this living room and changed out the knobs to some oil rubbed bronze so it would tie in with the other furniture.
The coffee table was a fun little project. I had picked it up from a garage sale 10 years ago and the kids have spent the last 5 years making it their mission to destroy it. The stain was coming off and the scratches were endless, so I painted the top this turquoise blue and the base a creamy ivory and then put a coat of glaze over the whole thing.
The glaze helped the details in the legs pop out.
The little wire basket next to the chair came as a set of 3 from Gordmans - a wonderful Christmas gift from my mom.
You can frequently find Emma and Owen plopped on their respective chairs watching Spongebob or Power Rangers.
We bought this map from Barnes and Noble for $20. Brent made a frame for it out of some scrap wood we had laying around. It's been a useful tool to show the kids where their Aunt Anne and Uncle Brian live, where Emma was born (Omaha) and where Disney World is.
I made these wooden stars out of Brent's wood shims. A spot of glue on the corners and some clamps were all it took. I've debated spray painting them, maybe a metallic gold?? But haven't pulled the trigger yet.
Since we don't have a fireplace, we needed a place to hang our stockings, or as Owen calls them "huge socks". We found this piece of solid scrap oak in my dad's barn and screwed a few antique hooks onto it. It serves as a regular coat rack in the off season. Beach bag, purse, hoodies...
And this is my almighty buffet. You'd think it was my child the way I care for it, touch it, put my cheek to it. My neighbor had bought one and I instantly fell in love. Brent said that if I really wanted it, I needed to come up with the money to buy it. So in two weeks, I had sold all of our older furniture, the kids baby toys and a bunch of stuff from our basement that we had accumulated but weren't using. Sometimes it just takes a little motivation to sell all the stuff you don't need/love anymore.
From the dining room, looking towards the front door and living room, here is what we see. That big clock on the far wall is also from Kirklands. I know, I have a problem.
Our main floor living space is cozy and to be honest, quite small, but we feel like we use every square foot every single day. Each room has it's purpose and function and it is just enough for the four of us. Somehow, we magically manage to fit up to 30 people here when needed for birthday parties - standing room only though!