Friday, August 22, 2014

Solving the puzzle!

Little Miss Beehive's bedroom has always been something that hasn't sat easily in my sense of order and neatness. It is the smallest room in the house and, whilst small isn't always a problem, the layout of the room has always given us conundrums. As a Montessorian, it's also given me headaches when trying to create somewhere that nurtured her developing needs, such as a quiet place to read, somewhere to draw or create, organised storage with homes for all her things and a 'calming' sleep area.

It is a room that has been 'made up' using some space over the stairs when the two cottages became one and this has created some quirks that have, at times, had me spitting feathers. To the left of the room as you walk in the door there is a raised bit of flooring, presumably to give sufficient head room up the stairs, which reduces the height in the room, but added to this, the ceiling also slants and there is an odd piece of horizontal low ceiling randomly running the width of the room about a third of the way across ! To the right of the room the ceiling continues to slant and there is a window on one wall and a radiator on the other leaving us only one usable wall.
When we first moved in and I realised there was no room for a wardrobe I found a local chap who fitted a great wardrobe and bookcase for us over the stairs side of the room. It has sliding doors and cupboards and is absolutely perfect, giving her a lot of storage space. He fitted it with two rails at different heights that meant she's always been able to reach and choose her clothing and there was plenty of space for storing her crafts and her toys.

Great, but cluttered and no floorspace
Her bed, however, was a different conundrum altogether. To begin with she had her regular bed. It's not a full size single, but not a toddler bed, so we knew it'd work in the space. There was, however, no further room for anything else and when she became an avid writer/artist and wanted somewhere to draw and create we dismantled the bed when my mum offered an old cabin bed that my sister had had as a child and was stored in her roof. This seemed like the perfect solution as it had a desk underneath and more storage.

This seemed a great solution for a while, and as you can see, she had a lovely space to write and draw in. However, there was no floor space to speak of. This wasn't an issue at age 6 and 7, but recently she's wanted her best friend to come over and sleep occasionally and her cousin often shares her room when she stays and when this happens, the door wouldn't open with a second mattress in the room...agggghhhh!

We moved back to the single bed we started with and put a futon mattress underneath. The bed went against the window this time to try to increase space.

It's just 'ALL' bed!

This worked for a while, but the addition of a much needed and loved desk for her birthday two years ago meant that we were playing tangrams once again and just a few books on the floor made the place look cluttered and chaotic.

Space underneath to play/hang out / read
So we bit the bullet and decided to find a craftsman who could create for her the perfect bedroom/bed that would not only give her a proper bed, but also space for her desk and space for her friends and maintain maximum floor space. Not an easy accomplishment. We also wanted something that would last her through her teenage years through minor adaptions and accommodate all her 'collections' of things and Oh My!!! The result has far exceeded our dreams. Our craftsman totally understood not only our practical requirements, but our aesthetic ones too!
Queen of her castle, a calmer area for sleeping
 So, so pleased with it all. He has used the space to its maximum benefit, fought with our demonic walls (all funny angles, lumps and bumps) and created a lifetime piece of furniture that will be serviceable to her until she no longer lives with us. Crudely, this beautifully finished, tactile piece of chunky furniture cost us no more than a good quality bed despite all the personal love and attention to detail and time that he put into it. Oh to be as skilled as he is!!

Her 'sleepover' bed will go in the space against the wall when required and live under ours for the rest of the time, and we will just shift her desk slightly and I will get her a bean bag and possibly a rug, but I'm looking for 'the right one' and don't want something fussy or that causes the room to look chaotic.

I love cottages and old houses, but this room has caused the most hiccups over the three years we've been here, now we've finally solved the puzzle!

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