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School side

June 13th, 2009 · 2 Comments

With an airy, open plan, high bar, sleek kitchen, private patio and sunny windows, our house was designed in 1981 as a super-hip bachelor pad.  Nearly thirty years later, it’s now a cozy house for a family of four.

The living space is located on the second level of the house.  With the kitchen, the entire area approaches something like 1,000 square feet. There is a stairwell in the center, dividing the interior into rough halves.  The southern half recently became our “school side”.  It’s the one part of the house dedicated to our manipulatives and pint-sized tables and chairs.

This picture is from the dining area.  The southern half of the upstairs interior is across the stairwell (hidden by the low wall).  I took these pictures right before our violin lesson, so you can see all the violins out on the cart.  C&D’s favorite artworks are on the magnet board (four small ones hung together).  They also have pictures of a few famous violinists.  David’s favorite fiddler is there, too, Celtic Woman’s Mairead Nesbitt.  He is smitten.

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This is the view of the “school side” looking southwest from the top of the stairs.  My camera doesn’t have a wide angle, so a few pictures are necessary to get an understanding of the room.  (Fiona, do you see your present in the picture?)  The shelves and rug have defined a work area in the middle of the room.

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The next picture is facing directly south, peeking over the stairwell which goes downstairs to the two bedrooms.  The ceiling of this part of the house is gabled (I think that’s the word?) with windows at the top.  You can see the morning summer sun shining down on the carpet through the rectangular east window; in the evening the sun shines through a large round window.  The low, beige-colored shelves are from a homemade play kitchen purchased at my favorite consignment store; I took the doors off so C&D could more easily be enticed by the kitchen’s contents.  Across from the play kitchen are two large kitchen cabinets that came from my neighbor’s house after he remodeled his kitchen.  One of the cabinets faces west so we could stand a table against it.  In the Ikea cabinets along the south wall are my books, materials for later, extra baskets, home office supplies, etc.  The tall pine and birch cabinet on the west wall is where we keep our stereo, computer CPU, router, printer, scanner, DVDs, and a few toys.  The painting on top of the cabinet was painted by Carmen, David, and I.  It was supposed to be painted by a chicken we called Jackson Pullet, but Jackson didn’t like the feel of the paint under his feet.  I’m going to hang the painting on a small wall that would be just to the right of the photographer of this picture, but I need to spray some polyurethane on it, first–the paint is water-soluble.

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The plant in the red pot doesn’t look so hot.  It’s a cinnamon-scented ginger, and has taken a lot of abuse from C&D as they alternately over- and underwater it.  It’s surviving, though.

If you stand near the black couch and look northwest, you see that the back of the shelves could someday make a nice magnetized surface for posters, geography work, etc.  We’re excited about that, because with the floor-to-ceiling windows opposite this low “wall” we’d have a nice, sunny area for work.

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It will also help provide C&D with another “niche” to work so they are not constantly interrupting each other.  In this picture you can see the low wall for the stairwell up ahead.  I have a magnet board for this wall, for between the keyboard and music materials.  When we have caught up from recovering from our flu and I can find some drywall anchors, I’ll hang it.  At the right side, the green chest is an old locker from WWII; it has some of our art supplies such as our drawing paper and laminator.  The sewing machine lives under the keyboard for now, in the event we need to make another excavator.

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By re-arranging the upstairs this way, we now have a generous “school side” and an even more generous living/dining/kitchen area, which suits the flow of the traffic of the house and also allows a large area for imaginative work and play.

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(Does this add new meaning to the one-room school house?)

Tags: Dynamic Duo · Home Ec · Learn Something

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Sabrina // Jun 23, 2009 at 8:02 am

    This looks wonderful! Too bad our children are so far apart in age (though it wouldn’t seem that way). I’ve already passed along almost all of our preschool and early school doodads.

    Your ceilings upstairs also are “cathedral,” where the (high) ceiling follows the line of the roof with little to no drop space. Certainly it gives a feeling of spaciousness and light.

    I broke down and watered the lawn yesterday. The result? The Heights received an afternoon shower, lasting about a half hour, maybe a quarter inch of rain. Did you get any? Did my powers extend as far as your neighborhood?

  • 2 J. // Jun 23, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    It does give us a sense of spaciousness, and we like hanging out on the “school” side, looking for something school-ish to do. :)

    No way, no rain. It was exciting to see the sky cloud up a little, though.

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