But now we have one at home, too!
It was time. We've been a mostly unschooling, on-the-go, field trip/play date/learn-as-we-go bunch for a long time. Last year we were suddenly ready to be home more, lounging about for some book learnin' (well, sometimes).
We don't have an eat-in kitchen, and all three boys share a small bedroom, so the living room, my bedroom and the dining table have been the center of homeschool mess-making. Dinner, and Mom's sanity, often suffer.
But after a year of dreaming and scheming (and praying and begging), my vision finally materialized just in time for School Room Week at the Not Back to School Blog Hop. (It does help to have an important deadline!) I put the last coat of paint on the bench this afternoon. Doesn't it look fabulous?!
Besides being a mess and incredibly dusty, the walls had only been primed, not painted, when we bought the house. The 100-year-old floors had no finish left on them, and were covered in stains.
Scott filled in a few of the windows with plywood for insulation and more room to hang maps (!), refinished the floors to make them shiny and new, and built this fabulous bench under the chalkboard I painted, where we'll store books and toys.
I found the cushion foam at the last minute for half-price, and made the cover out of a shower curtain from Target ($1.50/yd). This is what the desks and chairs looked like when I bought them at a yard sale down the street (for $15 total!) a few weeks ago...
I painted the tops of the desks with chalkboard paint, and sprayed the legs white. The legs are adjustable for my growing boys. Our youngest still fits at the big Pottery Barn table my mother gave us a few years ago, so he has lots of room to spread out.
We were trying desperately to get everything finished this weekend before our older boys got back from camping with my dad -- so my mom hopped in and sewed up the curtains yesterday. We made a great team!
My mom helped me shop for everything, too -- we found the curtain fabric for $2/yard at Ikea. The colorful rug was also from Ikea, for only $30. I splurged on those chairs at a vintage show a few months ago, and couldn't resist the green storage ottomans from Target. The game table was a last minute find on Saturday -- $6 at the Goodwill! It was unpainted, but I had a $4 can of black paint.
This project was such a huge blessing. I'm pretty sure I have a shopping angel, because I don't know how else it would have come together. Most of the budget went to paint, floor finish, the rugs ($60 for all 3) and wood for the bench. Scott spent a good chunk of his summer break with his back bent over the floor sander (borrowed from a friend) and table saw (hand-me-down from his dad).