Thursday, February 16, 2012

Our (DIY'd) Home for 10 - Question 3

"How many bedrooms?"

In the too-big house I designed first, there were 6 bedrooms.  We couldn't fit that many in the more modest plan we were able to build.  It has been sad, because it means the grown kids don't get to keep a room to which they can come home.  Without even a guest room, it makes visiting home seem un-home-like --uncomfortable and unwelcoming, I'm afraid-- and it seriously breaks this mom's heart.  But that will be remedied by the space above the garage, and the transformation of the planned-library-that's-become-a-bedroom into exercise-guest room!

We have 4 bedrooms upstairs.  With the kids still so young when I started designing, I wouldn't consider a main floor master with the rest upstairs.  I can now see the possible advantages, but still think it's good that the upstairs is not just "kidville." --I think it would be too easy as the kids got older for me to avoid going up there, and who knows what it would look like, in short order.  

At the outset, I'd planned a bedroom for the 3 younger boys, a bedroom for the 3 younger girls, a separate bedroom for Prince Stoic (with his own, built-in desk),
Plan vs current reality
 and we gave Princess Bossy the "library," planning to use it as a bedroom only until she moved out.  Prince Stoic's room was to become the place for the next oldest to move, as each kiddo left the nest.  

The personalities and age ranges of the 3 younger girls proved to be an unhappy combination, so when Princess Bossy vacated the library, Princess Sassy moved in, and now, of course, shares it with her husband-prince until we have the garage with space above.  The residents of that room have use of the main bath, which is not always the greatest, as busy teens/young adults and publicly presentable bathrooms are a hard match. 

Bunk Room "Pins" on Pinterest
I had always dreamed of having bunk rooms for the kids.  This idea is done to perfection by August Fields in her boys' bunk room, and there are many more examples on Pinterest.  I thought they'd be an efficient use of space... But so much interrupted wall-space is needed, that they require more square footage than I'd imagined, and limit other features, like window placement.

Instead we ended up with more typical room configurations.  The squarer shape, I think, is why it was difficult for 3 girls to fit and commune nicely in their space.  In the boys' room, figuring it'd be longer until Prince Inventive got to leave it, I created an alcove to separate him a bit from his younger brothers.  They could still talk to each other, but he might be able to have a light on later, have a specific area to decorate to his taste, etc.   

To keep the highly populated rooms less cluttered, I designed built-in storage for the kids instead of closets.  They combine drawers, shelves, and hanging space, so separate dressers are unnecessary.  I also had Hubby build each child a bed with drawers so they'd never have reason to run out of room for clothes, books, and sports equipment.  

It was a good idea, in theory, since, of course, all sorts of things get crammed into each space until there is overflow into the rooms, and we have to have periodic de-junking... Which doesn't mean it doesn't work, only that we have 'normal' kids.

Hubby and I don't require a luxurious suite to ourselves.  It just doesn't suit the priorities of finding room for our big family.  This meant a modestly-sized bedroom, and no 5-piece bath, just for us.  We also have built-ins to help us out.  Hubby has a very small closet, and even though mine's a walk-in, and some larger, still is conservatively sized, especially since it serves to house our big Dyson vacuum, all our gift wrapping supplies (it's the hide-all spot at Christmastime), and extra pillows and blankets.  3 wedding dresses live in there now, too.    

We're more of a showering family, than into baths, so we limited the one bathtub to downstairs.  It went there in case anyone was ever too sick or injured to make it upstairs.  This proved to be a good idea, since Princess Bossy broke her ankle only 2 months after we moved in, and couldn't stand in a shower, and would've had a very difficult time crutching it up the stairs.

The upstairs baths were planned so that shower takers could be separated from those needing the sink or toilet, to avoid lock-out problems at crucial times.  The right-side bathroom has always been shared by 1 boy and a bunch of girls.  While someone showers, someone else can brush their teeth, the girls can curl their hair, etc., etc.  I owe my sister a debt of gratitude for suggesting the pocket door from shower into the laundry room as an alternate exit for the shower-taker.  This makes good sense for the deposit of dirty clothes and wet towels, anyway.

On the left side of the house, we have a variation on a Jack and Jill set-up.  The boys' bathroom and the 'master bath' is connected by a shower room.  Again, one of us can shower while the rest are free to use our respective sink, toilet, and mirror, as needed.

I find it a great blessing to have the laundry room upstairs.  In our last house, with the bedrooms on the main floor and laundry in the basement, we constantly had laundry waiting to be folded on the living room couch... Awful!  I am so happy to keep most of the laundry so close to where it comes from and where it goes to.  My dream laundry would've been much larger with more folding and sorting room, but this fills the bill.  Our solid core doors really help to cut any noise that might otherwise be disturbing for people trying to sleep while laundry runs.

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