Published: March 01. 2011 2:00AM
Moving day? Try moving month! The first few weeks of moving month started with the arrival of two U.N.I.T.S. in our driveway. This last-minute whim turned out to be a brilliant strategy. We leisurely packed small items and organized them in order of importance into these large closet-like structures. Closing day actually came 10 days before we physically moved the children to their new home. With the help of Dias Home Repair, I spent a week installing curtain rods and bathroom hardware, hanging draperies and placing light fixtures and wall art. When our first day in the new house arrived, Two Men and a Truck came to transport the heavy and bulky items. Jay and I had the harder chore of matching six anxious children with the right pillow, towel and bedroom!
The first order of business in the new house was to organize everyone's personal space. Optimization of space and creation of adequate yet attractive storage challenges us all. For us, the three little boys took top priority with their work and play stations.
I racked my brain on how to set up three computers so they would be convenient but not overwhelming. Jim Dancik, an Anderson-based craftsman who showcases his custom tables and benches at Mauldin Antique Mall, saved the day. He took my side-by-side narrow desk concept and turned it into a clever, single "shelf-like" computer station. The six children immediately formed three teams of two to take ownership of the individual computers and are totally comfortable with the wireless mouse, flash drives and secret passwords.
On the wall opposite the kidsí computer cafe, Jay set up his workstation. Dancik came to the rescue again and sized Jay's desk to fit in front of my mom's old china hutch. Both worktops were finished with tongue oil for durability and stained to co-ordinate with the hutch. An aged black treatment was worked into the table skirt and legs. The result: understated, blended and extremely functional.
With the computers installed, the surround-sound system that supports our family television became the focus. As it happened, the old mantel discovered in an antique booth was scoured and hung over the wall-mounted screen. An ideal camouflage! A distressed ceiling tile table was tucked underneath the mantel to give the look of a continuous piece of furniture. Large candle hurricanes with twig wreaths distract the eye from the less aesthetic speakers. The table also creates floor storage for a large trough of blocks. Notice that the television components are missing. Michael Littleton from Simply AV gave us an unencumbered look by adding "Control 4," which allows all television boxes to be hidden away in a nearby closet and be controlled by one remote.
Nestle seasonal decor and florals onto the manteltop for an ever-changing display. A spring collection of bunnies and antique pitchers and creamers are pulled together with silk ivy.
Now for the creative outlet! Crayons and markers need a restricted area. The last thing we want are marker drawings on walls and new slipcovers. A 30-inch tall table with low, colorful children's chairs make a fun area to be inspired. Above, a bulletin board is mounted to boast original artwork. Wall pockets hang to the side and hold sketch pads and coloring books.
With the rest of the family organized, I could concentrate on command central: the kitchen. When designing the kitchen, I sought a cottage/farmhouse look. I was able to customize the cabinet selection so that I could incorporate old painted shelves in with the white bead board cabinetry.
Sections of open shelving and glass doors in the installed cabinetry reduce the manufactured look. Plates are quickly gathered for setting the table and easily stacked after washing. Baskets of various sizes and weaves neatly collect dish towels, oven mitts, spices, lunch bags and many other items.
Wire racks prolong the life of fresh produce. The black cup rack is installed upside-down so that plates and platters can be showcased.
A marble-top island floats in the middle of the kitchen and doubles as my work station. Everything in the kitchen is within reach and at my fingertips. I just need to look right or left and can oversee homework, supervise Internet access and ensure none of those crayons or markers are leaving their restricted area.