Monday, August 09, 2010

The world has always been our classroom...




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?!


This is what it looked like a few months ago, when the room was transitioning from Dad's workshop/junkroom, before we got rid of a bunch of stuff that didn't fit in in his new workshop in the garage...


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).


I am so glad it's finished and ready for the boys to enjoy. And as proud as I am of what we accomplished, I am also reminded of how much more each of us can do to make the world a better place for someone else...


27 comments:

Theresa said...

Your schoolroom looks really fabulous!!! And that video--wow! What an amazing young woman.

8)(8 said...

I love the colors.

SisterTipster said...

I am excited you were so thrifty in creating such a neat room! It's so pretty and I love your colors and layout! HOPE your year is GREAT!

Angela at said...

outstanding! Fantastic Use of space! I think you did such an awesome job, and i love how much natural light is in the room,
God bless you this season,

Angela in Germany
www.dailythoughtsonmytots.blogspot.com

JayLeigh said...

The room looks really, really good! I bet that feels so good to have worked so hard, found such good deals, and to have such a beautiful room as a result, a work of labor and of love by you, your husband, and your mom. Truly beautiful! And the video really touched my heart. Thank you for sharing it!

MissMOE said...

What an awesome transformation! The room turned out wonderful. I love the colors you chose. Enjoy your school days in your lovely new room.

Mom Guide said...

The room is so inviting. Love the curtains. Be Blessed.

Deb said...

Your room looks GREAT! I love the little desks, and the chalkboard wall, and the cabinets your hubby built, and the curtains...

Have a great year!

Welcome!!! said...

I love the simplicity and colors that you chose. Looks like a really happy space!

Mirjam said...

Wow, love the room! :)

I'm really looking forward to this year's journey and what the kids think of it!

We're still in the unschooling mode :)

Rachel @ The Cupcake Sprinkles In Life said...

I still only have a corner for school stuff-

Your room looks swell!

Yay- great deals too!

Jamie said...

You did a great job that room rocks now.I am loving it!!!Please feel free to stop bu and visit our family blog.

Iris said...

That is AWESOME! I want a spare room now to do like that! We should get together for homeschool stuff!

Lynn said...

Looks great! I love the bench that your husband made. Have a great year!

~Lynn

BrownGirl said...

What a transformation! It looks so inviting. Love the retro curtain fabric. Enjoy your year in your new space!

Fireclaw said...

I love the chalkboard wall and bench! What a great space. I also love all of the different colors and cute curtains.

Lift Up Your Hearts said...

WOAHHH!!! That is INCREDIBLE!! What an inspirational place to learn, play and grow! I can't wait to see it in person! And - did Littlest lose a tooth already??

Diane Gauthier said...

I'm super impressed with this transformation! You deserve a medal!!! You've created a beautiful, inviting, ready-for-learning environment...you've created your dream classroom!!!
congrats!!

Lori said...

your space looks great!

~Tara said...

Aw that room is gorgeous!!

Tonya said...

wow! fabulous!

Cheri said...

ok, I'm coming out of hiding to say, "wow! What an incredible space to school in!" {i'm a wee bit jealous since we're at the dining room table. ;)}

Angie @ Many Little Blessings said...

Wow! Your school room looks fabulous! I love how you have it organized.

rawbanana said...

Gorgeous space! I love all the colors you have used and how clean and fresh everything looks. Great job on painting that little desk!

Lynette said...

WHat a beautiful school room Amanda!

Me said...

I love, love, love the bench with the bookshelf underneath! Making the cushion washable was a good idea. I am about to homeschool 1 of my 3 kids, but don't have an allotted room here as I did in my previous house :( , but found your blog inspiring and your boys adorable. Keep up the great work! Blessings

April said...

W.O.W. I am in love with your schoolroom, the colors, the rugs, the workspaces. This is as good as it gets! And so thrifty, too!

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