Today’s post is a continuation of the 2017 House Tour. We are celebrating our three-year home and blogiversary by giving our readers an updated tour of BHH. If you search House Tour on the sidebar, additional 2017 posts and tour posts from previous years will pop up.
During this summer, our kiddo spent six weeks at summer camp as a leader-in-training. While he was away, I gave his room a thorough scrub. I am not in the habit of cleaning my kids’ rooms. I consider that task a useful life skill. That said, the only way I was going to take pictures in there was if I cleaned it myself. Although I am pretty easy-going, I do have some standards for interior blog photos. They are lower than professional bloggers but higher than a teenage boy. The gap between those two sets of expectations is very wide.
Hmmm…Now that I have written that out, I think I may have the perfect new reality show for HGTV. Teen vs. Professional Blogger: House Swap. It could be a winner.
This bedroom is located in the wing of the house that was originally the servants’ quarters. Even before we made changes, the dimensions of this room were only 9′ X 11′. It contained one tiny closet and no additional storage.
Now, flash forward to the mid-twentieth century and a lifestyle without servants. We are not sure how Dorothy and her husband used the house initially, but in her later years, Dorothy kept this portion of the house closed off.
When we bought BHH, this bedroom and the one beside it had severe damage from ice dams and a bad roof. That misfortune was exacerbated by the fact that the heat did not work on this side of the house. This wing of the house sat cold and unnoticed. It is likely that Dorothy never knew how badly the rooms had deteriorated until after the fact. We are a family of six people, and we have a hard time keeping up with everything here at BHH. I think it is remarkable how well Dorothy managed living here alone after her husband died. Stuff happens.
To function as a proper room for a modern child, we knew this bedroom needed more storage. We borrowed 12″ from the already small floor plan to build a floor-to-ceiling built-in bookshelf. The bookshelf was one of our first big projects, and it was fraught with blunders and folly.
Although the bookshelf reduced the already small room down to 9′ X 10′, the extra storage made up for that shortcoming.
Clearly, the bed takes up the bulk of the floor space. I would like to put a new bed with a smaller footprint in this room, but the boy loves his classic bed from IKEA.
The opposite side of the room is pretty bare. The black blob in the bottom left corner of the picture is a giant bean bag chair. It was the only thing that S. really wanted for Christmas last year. It is humorously large, and we had to move his dresser and hamper into the hall to accommodate its hefty bulk.
Because the closet is packed with
junk precious memories and important items, I hung an over-the-door hook rack for his sports bags and other items that he reaches for on a regular basis.
S. is an avid reader, and he loves having all of his books right at his fingertips.
Although this room is not fancy and it does not have a theme, the boy is very content here. It is his haven, and he likes it just the way it is. Here at BHH, we believe that our kids’ rooms should reflect their interests and taste, not ours. They get a lot of input on the style of their rooms and responsibility for the bulk of the upkeep.
Andy and I believe that giving our kids this control fosters their independence and autonomy. We also think that it helps set up more realistic expectations for their living arrangements once they strike out on their own as adults. I do not know about you, but the first place that I lived in looked nothing like Pottery Barn or anything out of Better Homes & Gardens. It was more prison chic than shabby chic.
How do you handle your kid’s rooms? Do you decide the decor or do they? How do you compromise? What was your first home like as a young adult striking out on your own?