As we get closer and closer to finishing the barn, we are also getting closer and closer to the “fun” stuff – furniture and decorating.
Our biggest priority – practicality. With only 320-square-feet to work with, there is little space to waste. Revision – there is no space to waste.
- We need to eat.
- We need to sleep.
- We need to lounge.
- We need to store stuff.
So, we set our minds to furnishing the space – knowing that everything in the space has to have a smallish footprint and be VERY, VERY practical. Bonus points for extra storage and double duty pieces.
Another note about furnishings – pretty much everything in the space is going to be new to us. Because when we build, all of our furniture will come with us to our new house. And we want this space to still serve a purpose – as a guest space, potential office/studio space/whatever. (So, yeah. All of you need to come visit us after 2015.)
All this to say that we picked almost all new furniture for this area so that it will still have a useful existence after we build.
Last weekend, I tricked my dad (Papa Bear) and my brother (Ky-Ky Rena) to help me assemble Swedish furniture. They were overjoyed at the prospect of spending four hours on a Sunday interpreting hieroglyphics. Who wouldn’t love that?
First up – the sofa. And the bed.
Because it’s both things!
The beauty of this daybed is that it uses two actual twin-sized mattresses (instead of a sofa bed mattress) and it slides out to (almost) king-sized. But during the day, it’s only a twin. So, it can serve as a sofa during the day. And a bed (with real mattresses at night). It is surprisingly simple to pull out and in on the floors.
Plus it has three GIANT drawers underneath. I’ll post again when we decide on mattresses and bedding and the like, but for now, this seems like a great choice for us. It’s relatively unoffensive in the looks department. And it is a three-fer for practicality – sleep, lounge,storage. Bam.
Since we eat at home nearly every night (and morning and noon), we needed somewhere to sit down together. I just wasn’t thrilled with many of the options I’ve seen in small home forums and blogs.
I didn’t want a real table to eat up precious floor space because we would only be spending a little time there each day. Especially since it was not giving any added storage.
So, my original plan was to find a simple, narrow table and add it to casters. It could slide to the wall when not in use (with a bench underneath). I still think this is a pretty good idea …
But then I went to IKEA with Michelle and Shannon, and we found the STENSTORP island. With a purdy butcher block top. I can’t resist butcher block.
It also has added storage. Quite a lot of added storage space actually. Which is a deal-maker for me.
The beauty of the island set up is that it can easily fit all three of us for dinner if I pull it out from the wall (we also have a table on the deck for dining al fresco or when we have guests). But it also can slide against the wall when not in use. And it can provide extra counter space in the kitchen, added storage, and extra work space for computer, crafting, or playing with Henry.
At this point, it’s sort of looking like a lot of sterile, characterless furniture. But I think as we pull in a few decorative elements, it will feel less boring and cold and more like home.
(I mean, don’t forget that we have to find a place for the monster train table that Henry spends 4 hours every day playing at. I’m crossing that bridge when I get there.)
So, these pieces (in conjunction with the wardrobe) will serve as our main furniture in the barn apartment. We have talked about moving the wardrobe to the bottom of the stairs (for coats, shoes and bags), and then moving a few small dressers into the space instead for clothing. Time will tell.
A positive side to having 320-square-feet to work with. Doesn’t take much money to furnish it.
Small living for the win.
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