I love family. I love learning. I love food. This is simply a collection of thoughts, memories, and recipes that are a piece of me!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Our School Room.

This is our school room table and chairs.  My husband and I built
the table together, and I found the chairs at a resale shop
and painted them myself!
When we bought our home, we knew we were in it for the long haul.  We also knew it wouldn't be long before we started to homeschool.  I sort of avoided thinking about it hoping the problem of space was going to just work itself out.  On top of that, I was crazy naive.  I had a table we had made out of an old suit case, and I just knew that was all the storage we were going to need.  I was so cute.

Fast forward a few years, and we started Kindergarten out with a fun setup in our living room.  It was really cute, but it didn't take me long to realize how it was a bad idea to have everything just out in the open.  Isaiah had no privacy to do his work in, it was never quiet for him, and the mess was a constant headache.  Now, if you have your school setup in your living room and it works for you, I sincerely applaud you.  I have no idea how you do it.

After a few months, we decided to have the impending baby sleep in our room for the time being, move the older kids into a room together (which they adored) and change our third bedroom from a nursery into a real-life school room.  This was a dream...at first.  Honestly, this would have lasted as long as we needed it to, but the room isn't big and I knew we would be needing some room to grow soon.  Everything was stacked on everything else, and the loss of usable play space for the kids became difficult.

I had always had a far off dream of converting our attached garage into a school room, but I honestly thought it was going to be more like when the kids were in high school.  Amazingly, we were fortunate enough to be able to do all the work ourselves.  In addition, buying our house from my grandparents came with the added bonus of some really awesome finds that they had left for us!  We have now used this room for many parties, family gatherings, and of course, school.  It's been such a blessing....I hope you like it, too!

I knew exactly what I wanted this room to look like in my head before we ever began creating it.  I knew I wanted a vintage school room feel, so I went online and found the perfect fabric.  I used it to recover the chair seats, the background of our calendar, and in various other places as ribbons and such.

We had a perfect little alcove built in already for a freezer.  It has its own light and everything, so we decided to fill it with an awesome reading nook.  We went one step further and went for a reading loft.  We already had some white cabinets (below), so I simply painted the fronts with chalkboard paint and added new nobs from Hobby Lobby.  This entire area cost us around $100!

We got these letters with Isaiah's homeschool curriculum.  I loved how they had a bit of a vintage look to them, but I soaked them for about 10 minutes in coffee just to stain them a bit.  I also soaked the clothes pins in very very strong coffee to darken them.

I wanted an area where I could display the kids' artwork and achievements, but I couldn't figure out what would go.  I went through so many ideas in my head until I was walking through Lowes one day and saw these amazing...I don't even know what they call them.  Wire grids?  I don't know.  Anyway, I knew they would go perfect on either side of our French doors, and I was dead on.  I just clipped clothes pins all over (which can be removed or moved).  These have been wonderful!  We can change out artwork all the time, and it's easily changed for party decor!  These, by the way, are right around $7 each.  That, coupled with the clothes pins, we only spent about $20 on a huge,  functional statement piece in our room!

I knew we were going to need desks for individual work, so I went on Craigslist and found these.  They had been modified by a previous owner by taking off the original desktop and replaced with a big piece of wood, creating a much larger work space.  I picked two of them up for around $20, and I simply sanded and repainted them with chalkboard paint.  I found $1 galvanized buckets and screwed them down to hold chalk and an eraser.

Speaking of erasers...

These were legitimately my favorite project of the entire thing.  These were so inexpensive but so much fun!

I simply got a yardstick and used my circular saw and cut it into measured pieces.  I then glued them onto the backs of inexpensive chalkboard erasers I got from a local teacher supply store. It gives the kids a nice little handle to grip onto, and I just adore how they turned out!

This chalkboard was mine when I was growing up.  I could not believe my mom had kept it all these years, but when she offered it to me, I jumped!  The history behind it is so much fun, and it fit perfectly with the decor in our room.

I found this clock at Cracker Barrel, and I loved it so much.  I loved it even more when I realized it was half off!

It was super important to find a clock with actual numbers and not roman numerals...which proved to be much more difficult than I expected!

I really wanted to find a vintage library cart to store books that could be pushed all over the house.  Unfortunately, I never found one within budget, but I did find this little gem at The Container Store (more on that awesome place soon!), and it worked out perfectly!

In the background, you can see our lockers.  These are my favorite part of the whole room.  These were left to me by my Grandpa in our back garage.  They are so special, and since he isn't here to see what all we have accomplished with our building skills, it really means a lot to me to get to incorporate some things of his!

Plus, vintage lockers went perfectly!

This was another awesome artifact left from my grandparents.  Apparently, I sat in it as a young child, and so did my mom.  I simply recovered the seat and cleaned it up.  Now it's the perfect Mrs. Teacher chair!

In addition to all of this, we also have a huge lower cabinet set and a large, long work table, both of which I refinished with wooden tops that I stained the same color as our loft.  These are great for storage, but they also have served as the best serving areas for parties!

We also have lots of fun little odds and ends that really helped to pull the room together.  We have a great globe that will get used all the way up through high school, the most adorable vintage-inspired pencil sharpener, and this amazing wire basket I found in our garage when we were cleaning it out.


We absolutely adore this room, and it has been the most amazing blessing.  We are all looking forward to many many years of learning some wonderful things here!

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