How to Redefine Your Space and Make It Work for You

Hello everyone! Madeline here again from Ellis & Page! Question: when watching HGTV do you roll your eyes at everyone’s wish list? Hardwood floors, open kitchen, updated bathrooms- always the same- and if you’re reading Remodelaholic, I am guessing you didn’t get everything on your wish list! Well, I am here to talk about rethinking that wish list a little bit.Redefine Your Space

When you buy a house, every room is given a name and thus a purpose. Living room, dining room, breakfast nook, etc. But what happens when that room doesn’t function right for you? Well… you need to think outside the description! I just finished a year of living with my awesome parents- and while there, we transformed their eat in kitchen to a “keeping room.”

Here is the eat in room before. Lovely table- but no one sat there. A little corner storage- but not too much.Kitchen to Keeping Room - 1

One day, as my mother grumbled about no one using the space and not having enough storage in the kitchen, I suggested taking out the table. It took a little persuading, but I finally got her to think outside the floor plan! Luckily my husband was around for the weekend to do all the heavy lifting, so we decided just to try it.Kitchen to Keeping Room - 2

After taking out the table we added a buffet that was in the dining room. It fit great, provided lots of storage, a bar area and a serving area during parties. Then we brought in a chair and an ottoman. Mom loved it!Kitchen to Keeping Room - 4

The flow into the kitchen was so much better, there was more room to mingle during parties and talk to the cook and barstools to sit on if they wanted! But we needed a bit more storage. Ikea floating shelves to the rescue- we used these in our old living room, so I already loved them!Kitchen to Keeping Room - 6

Kitchen to Keeping Room - 7

The space functions so much better for my parents now. My mom reads the paper every morning in her chair and uses the wine bar every night. The dining room – with seating for 8- is just a few steps away (you can see it in the picture below). Kitchen to Keeping Room - 5Kitchen to Keeping Room - 10

No one feels cramped when they walk into the kitchen and the view from the living room is more open. The buffet and shelves provide a ton of usable storage- my favorite succulents even found a space!. Win win win.Kitchen to Keeping Room - 8

Kitchen to Keeping Room - 9

The floor plan might say that this is an eat in kitchen- but that didn’t work for us. If there is a space in your house that isn’t working for you, I encourage you to rethink it. Don’t use the dining room? Maybe it would be better as a library or an office or a play room? Never have guests? Change the guest room into a den or a tv room or a game room. Make your house work for you- and you’ll be happy you did!

Thanks so much for letting me stop by- and my next project will be from my new home- I showed you how we updated the grout last time I was here, and just cleaned up our gardens outside. There is so much painting and building going on- I cannot wait to share more with you guys- it needs a lot of work, but it’s going to be good : ) Thanks so much for letting me stop by- see you next time!


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  1. We did this too! I don’t believe in rooms just collecting dust. We turned our formal dining room into an office for two (plus some shelving with bins to store craft stuff) since our breakfast nook was huge and fit our 6 person table. And we turned our second living room into a playroom for the kids. We are about to make the second living room into an office/work space for the kids now that they are getting older with some combination IKEA wall shelves that will function as a desk or later we can change them into regular shelves – so excited! I’ll blog about it here: https://www.realtyhousewife.com/ once I get around to actually doing it. First, we have to get through our current rental renovation. Ugh..