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Help us find the best use of our living-room and spare bedroom.

by on Mar 4, 2007

My wife and I have lived in our 3-bed, 2-bath home since we got married a little over 5 years ago. Despite a lack of a basement or garage, it’s worked for us for the most part. But last summer we had our first baby, and the house is suddenly a lot smaller. Unfortunately, we probably need another year or two before we’ll be prepared to move to a bigger place. So, we’ve decided the best way to make the house less crowded without doing anything major, is to rethink our large living room and the third bedroom, which we’ve always used as an office, but is becoming sort of the default cluttery dumping ground room. Hopefully some of the folks here will have some helpful ideas.

We’re trying to do everything for under $1000. If we can do it for a lot less than that, all the better. Luckily, there’s an Ikea nearby. 

Warning: I didn’t clean up before I took these photos. I figured it’d give a more accurate look at the state of things. 

First up, the living room:


A living room has steps, a couch and a TV. 

"A small and Neat Living room with Furniture" 

Stairs lead down to a living room with white walls.

As you can see, there’s quite a bit of wasted space between the front wall and the love-seat. I don’t know if we should try to somehow open up the existing setup to use all of the space, or try to create two separate spaces. One idea that has crossed our minds is putting an enclosed corner-unit desk back in that corner. As you’ll see when I get to the next room, that’d likely free up a lot of space in the office. Ikea carries an enclosed corner-unit desk that’s reasonably priced, so if that seems like the way to go, we’ve already got a piece in mind. 

Next up, the office:

Messy living room with so many items.

"A simple and colorful Living room"

A side of a room has messy book shelves.

Books are sitting on shelves in a blue room with a white door. 

This room is a nightmare. We recently added a third bookshelf and put up those CD storage pieces on the walls, so it’s actually better than it used to be. There’s quite a bit of stuff in that closet that we’ve already decided can be given away, sold on ebay or put under the house. The main question I have is, if this room isn’t the office anymore, what could/should it be? I kind of like the idea of 86ing that desk and moving the desktop PC into the aforementioned enclosed desk in the living room, because then we’d be less likely to just dump everything on the desk, but then what? The room is only 10x 13, but if need be, we could find a way to completely clear out the closet to add some additional space.

Any and all advice and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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