As I posted previously in our 5th Birthday post, we are scaling back our sewing. It was taking up about 500 sq ft of our space and sadly was not paying its way to justify the rent cost. So some hard decisions had to be made, and we cut back the in house sewing dramatically. Our sewer has not lost her job, but she now is helping us out in the office (much needed by the way).
So our renovations have to be done in stages so that we are not without any facility that we need to operate at any given time. The first project was our break room. Part of what we did was scale back the square footage available to our kids, so we made our break room a really nice fun haven for them. Check out some of these photos.
This is the BEFORE shot of our little TV and eating area for the kids area in our breakroom.
Our kids enjoying a birthday party in our breakroom. We had open shelving that was ugly and messy.
This is our kitchenette (BEFORE) just after we had it installed. When we took over our space there was no kitchen, just a big room with water connected. So with a combination of a recycled sink and a couple of recycled cabinets from a renovation, and some new cabinets and new counter, we had a little kitchenette. Add a microwave, a kettle and a toaster oven and we were set. The mismatched cabinets we lived with :)
I do not have any before pictures of our back storage room. It is a small room, and we had it lined with shelves. It had an old worn tile floor and it was painted a dark red, so it was always very dark and dingy back there.
What did we do? Well we added more cabinets. That old storage room, as we turned it into a kids nap area, we lost of a lot of our storage doing that. So we had to be creative in finding places to put things. So we added cabinetry and shelving. And using Ikea boxes designed for the Expedit System, we were able to make most of it hidden so it does not get messy. We added a new counter and with the use of two bar stools its been working great as a homework space, and extra eating. We moved the fridge around, lost the open garage shelving. We repainted, and that made a huge difference. We added a comfy couch for the kids, and put a curtain up so they could have a little nook for watching TV in peace.
We took the old rug from our kids playroom (that’s coming in the next post) and laid it over some foam tiles in the nap room. A bargain buy of a toddler bed from a consignment sale turned this into a nap room for toddlers. Add in the pack and play, babies can nap in here too.
So here are the after photos. We are all pretty happy with the end result!
We have an amazing amount of storage both above and under the counter. A coffee station (important!). The counter has been doubling as eating and homework. Artwork on the walls makes it a fun place.
So this is our kitchenette AFTER the renovation. We painted the cabinets with a waterbased enamel. And they look fantastic! I want to do this to my cabinets at home. We added a corner pantry. We put in a matching table that we already had, so everything is black. It really pops off the light turquoise walls.
I did not choose the colour. I let little Izzy choose it. Gave her some swatches and let her choose. Aqua is her favourite colour.
So remember the ugly shelving from before? We took some of it and put it in the corner pantry and gained a bunch of storage that way. And yes you can tell an Australian works here by the top shelf …
The shelf to the left is where employees put their bags. We have a nice big comfy couch for them to sit on, and upgrade from the kiddie couch of before. A TV is on the wall behind the curtain. The curtain can be pulled close so nap time can happen or if they just want to “hide”. Books and toys are on the shelves against the wall.
I do not have a before picture of this room. It was very dark as the walls were a dark red, the floor was worn. And we had it lined with shelves and used it as storage. We took out most of the shelves, painted it and put down a rug. Now it is a little hideaway. We got a toddler bed for toddler naps, there is a pack and play for baby naps. The shelving stores nap mats, the local babywearing groups carriers, and 2 of my sewing machines. Some art work on the walls and its a nice little space now.
So now the kids are all set up with their area, the next step is to work on converting their playroom to a classroom.