2. How to create a new room you NEED

How to create a room you NEED / part 2 of Reclaim your Space, a series on making your home work for you today via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

How to create a room you need is as easy as changing out a room you don’t use to it’s full capacity. Here’s how I did it. Twice. 

Old dining room before / How to create a new room you NEED. Part of the series, Reclaim Your Space, via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net

#1. Here is our dining room when we first moved in. We never used it, never liked it. We ate in the kitchen or in front of the TV to avoid the room.

Old dining room before / How to create a new room you NEED. Part of the series, Reclaim Your Space, via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net
After removing the carpet and widening the doorway, this new look worked well! Thing is, I didn’t realize at the time that I’d get my dream kitchen soon… or that I’d start blogging.

After renovating our kitchen, I thought I ‘had to have’ a kitchen table in that space still. Isn’t that what people just do? Well, I found I was just dusting the table because our kitchen island was designed to eat at.

Old dining room before / How to create a new room you NEED. Part of the series, Reclaim Your Space, via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net
And I started seriously blogging. So I threw my computer on the kitchen table for a makeshift office.

Dining room AFTER / How to create a new room you NEED. Part of the series, Reclaim Your Space, via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net

And then I woke up. The table went, and I built a full blown blog office instead.

What was once a room we never used is now the most used room in the house.

Office before / How to create a new room you NEED. Part of the series, Reclaim Your Space, via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net

#2. Once upon a time I had this downstairs office. It was part of my dayjob. I never liked being in the room so I didn’t care what it looked like. But the room itself was fabulous!

Thank goodness for a power surge! It blasted that computer to smithereens, forcing me to ditch the office idea.

Office turned photo studio / How to create a new room you NEED. Part of the series, Reclaim Your Space, via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net

I proceeded to gut the room and created a MUCH needed and very desired photo studio instead. The room still helps me earn, but in the way that I love. :)

When a house is built, rooms are created for standard schmandard uses in obvious places. If you are fortunate enough to have a house built specifically for your very own needs, well, you’re fortunate! But in most cases, we are working within a prebuilt structure. We need to make our homes serve our current needs today.

The good news is, there’s generally a room in your home you may not be using to it’s full capacity. Maybe… just maybe that room could become what you really need instead.

Moving furniture around is free. If you desire an eating area in your living room in front of a fireplace, what’s stopping you from trying it out? Or maybe a teen’s bedroom would be better in a larger basement space? Or if your kiddos are toddlers, maybe that formal dining room would better serve as an extra playroom. For now.

Isn't it time you use your home for your own specific needs? Change it up! Part of Reclaim Your Space, a series on gaining the home you need again. via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

My challenge to you: Flip out a room

Think of what you need.  Then look at a room that isn’t working.  I challenge you to move the works out and set it up as desired for a trial period. Just. Try. It.

I know exactly what you’re thinking…

“What about resale?”
“But that furniture cost me a fortune!”
“It’s a family heirloom…”
“My family would never go for that!”

Here’s my take. 

Your home is yours today. You pay for it and if you’re tight for space like me and utilize every square inch, isn’t it time you allow yourself to use it for your needs today?

Not convinced yet? Next time you’re in a thrift store, crack open an outdated decor magazine and leaf through it.

Times change. Our needs change. Your tastes change. Sticking to just one thing forever that doesn’t work for you is actually doing a huge disservice for your home and family. You have nothing to lose by trying it out.

Store that furniture in the garage for the time being or hand the heirloom to another family member that may need it. Or.. you never know… maybe you could sell it right from your garage and earn some money to buy what you really need instead… how’d I do?

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be so much happier you took the risk!

What do you wish you had? What do you want to flip out?

All segments of Reclaim your Space are HERE

1. The secret to a more productive space

2. How to create a new room you NEED

 

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  1. My dining room is not a “dining room” either Donna… it is now a large pass-thru from the kitchen to the living room. I have 3 hutches lining the walls… the dining room table never did fit there! Love your new dining room!

  2. I did that exact thing with my dinging room, it became my studio/office. I have changed it back to a dining room twice for the Holidays. After Christmas I found that my family liked eating in the space more than the kitchen. So now I’m on the hunt for ANOTHER studio space. I have to say the challenge is the most fun for me. Making space that isn’t there today, creating a beautiful space tomorrow : )

    • We lived with plywood floors for nearly 4 years. LOVED them just bare! :) I actually miss them in many ways. Thinking of ripping up a basement carpet over a cement floor and laying down and leaving the plywood next round.

  3. This is just what we did this past weekend. We had a bedroom in our basement that had not been used as a bedroom since we moved into this house 3 1/2 years ago. It had bedroom furniture in it but no one has ever slept there. We moved everything out of the room, painted it and moved most of my sewing and quilting things in there. It is wonderful!! I have my own room to create and relax in. Love it. I encourage anyone to go find a room that you are not using for what you think it should be used for and make it into something that you will love. Thanks for all your inspiration. I read your blog all of the time.

  4. Love the after rooms much better, especially the photography room. So much natural light! I too have a room that isn’t used much that I could repurpose. Thanks for enlightening me!

  5. Oh we would get along so fine! Now, is that the same basement room though! I love love love it!! It is wonderful to see your beautiful backyard from that awesome space as well! We have always renovated the houses we have been in,,,,and are not scared to change a wall, take out a wall,put in a window, make the space work for us. I love your creativity!

  6. This was absolutely my New Years resolution! To examine all of our spaces room by room and make them work!!! Big project but fun!!

  7. I just need to make furniture swaps and buy pieces that work better in the spaces i have. i love the idea of swapping rooms but i just don’t have any i can do that with. i added an armoire to my sewing room and am planning to get another one for the other side of the room – makes a huge difference in storage and floor space to have stuff in a cupboard with doors that can be closed instead of stacked on tables and chairs and the floor!

  8. Very smart!! We added a ping-pong table to the bonus room/studio this Christmas. I wanted a place that my daughter and her friends could hang out but I lost my sewing table in the trade…As I’m rearrange and trying to make space for the table I realize there are pieces of furniture we just don’t use…not to mention two built in book shelves full of untouched books….They’ve got to go…it’s time to live in the now!
    Thanks for the back up! :)
    Denise

  9. I love your dining room. My husband and I downsized big time 2 years ago when we bought the house we’re in now. We have a very small ranch with 3 very small bedrooms, a livingroom/dining area (NOT diningroom) and a very, very small kitchen. There’s not much we can do. Of course, we did this because we’re getting older and we needed a house that was really easy to maintain. I miss my two other houses that were so much bigger, but life happens. So wish I had the money to change even my small rooms that I have. My hubby promised to get rid of all the 80′s wallpaper 2 years ago. Guess what? Not done. My entire house is a flashback to the 80′s and hubby loves it that way. I just try not to look at it.

  10. Love the new office! I have seen many dining rooms turned into offices, craft room, play room or combination. It makes sense for a lot of people to have one eating area and not have a separate dining room too. Also another room that may not get used much is a small living room when you have a large family room/great room. We need to use our homes to fit our family lifestyle…so we can enjoy it more!

  11. I did the same thing last year. Had a computer room in an extra bedroom that was never used (we all have handhelds) and a JUNK filled basement with a family antique bed stored in it. We moved the bed upstairs into the computer room where it can be seen and used. And we made a wonderful TV room, reading room, and CRAFT area in the basement.

    My husband just came from the basement last night and told me for the hundredth time how much he LOVES the basement.

    Both spaces are now useable and USEFUL! And little money was spent, just rearranged what we already had!

  12. I remember when you showed this before and I loved the pictures, Donna. So Inspiring!
    There are 4 of us in our 1600 sq. ft. house, and the only space not being used was the laundry room. There was about 5 feet of counter space I claimed as mine to start my Etsy Christmas Tree Topper shop out of. And it’s working for me! Even in such a small space I can glitter, paint, wire, glue, and tie most of my products, and it’s nice to be out of the main great room area, where my husband works from home. That’s why I started it, to regain my sanity!
    I have a canvas shoe organizer on the side exit door, which holds a lot of smaller supplies, a couple of drawers that were previously junk holders (doesn’t everyone’s laundry room drawers turn into that, and a couple of the cabinets in there. It keeps the work out of the kitchen so the 3 males in the house don’t get grouchy about it, and it works!

  13. Isn’t it the truth? We are in the throes of house hunting for the 4th time in our marriage (!) and it is so obvious that most houses are such cookie-cutter homes. I know I’ll never find my real “dream home” short of building it ourselves (which isn’t going to happen) so I have to use my imagination and make whatever home we choose into the dream home equivalent. And yes, my tastes have changed DRAMATICALLY over the years. And half the fun is changing things out and moving things around! Now if only my family felt the same way lol. xoKathleen

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    doubt donate to this brilliant blog! I guess
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  15. Donna, you are absolutely spot on with this…

    Our house in Ca was gorgeous “cookie-cutter” that had a formal dining room in an el connecting the kitchen and formal living room… It was a huge waste of space!

    The open concept family room was off the other side of the kitchen with breakfast area. We walled up area between the formal dining room and the formal living room and created an office right off the kitchen. Perfect!

    Then we moved all the media from the family room to the museum of a formal living room… Perfect!

    The open concept family room (off the kitchen) became a serious gathering space in front of the fireplace…big drop leaf table for playing games/eating, and a sofa and chairs for chatting and reading…

    When we listed the house, the realtor poo-poo’d the set up and said we should probably consider removing the new wall…. Not a chance! The house sold within two-weeks of being on the market!

    We had more useable space, and the layout worked perfectly for our family of 5!

  16. Aw thanks sweet pea! I’ve been using my back bedroom as a spare room (twin bed) and kind of sort of office (file cabinet and table I never sit at) for years. All the spare stuff goes in there and it’s a holding room for many things at different times. Never have liked it. My goal this year now is a re-do. Remove the very old border around the top that makes it way too dark – fill in the holes in the wall and repaint. Maybe leave the file cabinet because it is wood and pretty, but remove the table and do something else. And maybe a small sleeper sofa that will help fill the bill if we ever need a spare bed. Thanks for the kick in the pants!

  17. Hi Donna –
    I know exactly what you’re talking about and I know exactly which room in my house needs to be changed. Trouble is – it requires taking down a rather important wall. That wall is important because it contains the stairs to the basement and a sneaky servant’s staircase as well.
    It will happen – just not right away. The good news is – we have had many different plans over the years that we’ve lived here to get to my goal of having a living room type space that is contiguous with the kitchen – and ALL of them been WAY more expensive than this one. (and this one won’t be cheap either) But this one makes the most sense – now we just have to figure out how to do it!
    -b

  18. We bought my in-laws home recently so their formal living room (who uses those anymore!) has now become our much needed homeschool room. I agree – use your home’s space to the fullest for your family’s needs even if its unconventional. Resale value shmesale value!

  19. Awesome and inspiring post! I have a small studio in a bedroom that I really need to look at and see if it can be rearranged to function better for me. I LOVE what you created in your space for your blogging and business needs. Looks fabulous!

    blessings, Edie Marie

  20. Hmm. I don’t sleep in my MBR. Long, ugly story, but I hope to never again. So, I currently have a king bed for my 5 cats, a TV, and antique desk I can’t bear to paint.

    I am making floor to ceiling cabinetry (16′ 10″ wide) in a tansu style, out of pallets and reuse center cabinets. I have my mitre saw where in theory it should blow sawdust out the slider (theory, right?), my joiner right beside it. An antique junk window blocks the sawdust from spraying on my computer, which is at the desk. I have my two biscuit jointers and 2 of my 5 sanders in other plugs. On the floor I have 3 doors from pallet wood biscuited, glued and clamped, waiting for me to put hinges on them. If I knew how to use them, I’d bring in my planer and 2 routers. Haven’t taught myself to use them yet.

    This project might take me awhile to finish, and then I move on to my kitchen cabinets. But I’m already planning to bring my saw horses into this room upon which I can refinish my antique doors. Cardboard protects my really nice hard wood floors from scrapes, Citristrip, paint (chalk and otherwise) waxes, stains, Mineral spirits, glue and just spilled wine. Oops.

    I think I’ve almost successfully wiped out sad, horrible memories and found another purpose for this room. It’s bigger than most people’s living rooms and a great workshop.

    Thanks. I hadn’t looked at this this way.
    “So there,” she emphatically nodded!

  21. The room that isn’t working for me in our home is our livingroom/kitchen. There is a huge wall separating them. So I just priced out a huge beam so we can take the wall out. Problem is it’s going to cost $700. So I will need to wait to save money in the mean time. But I look forward to changing what doesn’t work for our family into something that does work.

  22. I agree, and have done this myself. our house is a small 985sq foot 3bdr ranch and have one almost grown son, so the third and smallest bedroom was a guest room/craft/sewing/scrapbook room. We couldn’t entertain at all in our home as it was so small, so about 7years ago I tore down the wall between small living room and small eat-in kitchen, got a large Ikea island to eat at, (with 4 large life-saving drawers) and made a huge difference. Then last year I tore down the (non-load bearing this time) wall between living room and 3rd bedroom..now we have a dining area, with a large wall of cabinets that hold more stuff than was originally in the craft room, and no one slept in that room anyway, they chose the couch. so much better, and now we can entertain a small group! love it, Misti

  23. You are so right! I threw out our dining room table 2 yrs ago, haven’t missed it! It’s a little room anyway so the computer desk, hutch & cat spot are happy. One month ago my husband managed to have an “extra” Harley Davidson & has no room in his small garage for the baby. We looked at each other & smiled!! Yep the baby is in the dining room!!! It has worked pretty good as I am the coolest wife in the world & it is safe from the elements & greedy hands. It was of course clean & min fuel. He put a pan under it to catch the one drip a week, you know they like to mark they’re spot. TY for addressing our homes are for our lives, so live!!