This post is admittedly a little weird and awkward for me to put together, largely because it feels pretty personal and literally a little too close to home. However, I’ve been asked about our space a lot and it makes sense to share a bit more of our space since our blog is about our home.
Let me first start with a quote I came across this afternoon that gave me that final push to finally write about our home:
Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.— William Morris
My first caveat is that we do not claim to be minimalists, organization experts, or interior designers, but we are definitely drawn to the idea of simplifying our space. I have read some books/watched a documentary about cleaning up your environment to clear your mind so I often have bursts of inspiration to do some kind of a purge at home (much to Luke's delight). We’ve always worked hard at finding our family’s balance of utility and beauty, and having children has definitely put that to the test. Between the two of us, I am more likely to hoard stuff and Luke is quite infamous for randomly throwing out stuff that he no longer finds useful or beautiful. I often catch him hauling random things saying "this does not bring me joy." 🙄 Though I like to hold on to belongings (I have the tendency to ascribe more sentimental value on stuff largely based on who gave it), Luke very well knows that when our house starts to get messy, I get increasingly irritable and end up going 🦇💩 crazy. So as much as I whine and complain about Luke ruthlessly discarding our things, the man really is the yin to my yang because he helps keep the messes at bay.
Although we don’t follow all of these to a tee, we generally abide by these rules at home:
- Everything has a home (meaning, we do our darn best to keep counters and exposed areas free from loose clutter).
- Tidy up the house at the end of each day (let’s be honest -- we have two young boys so naturally the house kind of explodes during the day).
- Make the bed every morning (always a goal but only realistically implemented 80% of the time, haha).
- We all share the house (we like to think of our house as “a kid-friendly space with an adult-friendly aesthetic”. Read more about our kids’ stuff in this post.)
We live in a row townhouse with an open concept; the living room, kitchen, and dining room are all in one open space. What that really means is that there isn’t a ton of room so we have to be mindful about how we use our space. We painted the walls white and grey as soon as we moved in because we weren’t into the warmer yellow-ish white that it came in.
Luke made our coffee table using oak with a walnut inlay, sourced from a local store. Both of our couches are from West Elm, one of our favourite home furniture stores.
We are in the process of rethinking our entertainment unit. We sold what we previously had largely because Luke was itching to work on a new project and also because Micah had started to climb into the drawer where we stored toys. He also enjoyed attempting to push our non-mounted TV around.
The kids and I spend the majority of our day here, so don’t be fooled by these pictures -- this space is usually full of toy cars and stuffed animals throughout the day. Until we move to a larger space one day where the kids can have a playroom, we intentionally stayed away from larger pieces of toys like play kitchens and indoor ball pits because we don't want to drown our living room with the kids’ stuff.
Kitchen and Dining Room
This space is probably my second favourite area in the house, after our bedroom. I just love how bright and open it feels. Even though we face north, we get a lot of sunlight off of our neighbours' homes. The kitchen probably gets the messiest throughout the day. Between bottles, dishes and food preparation, things tend to pile up pretty fast. This area is where the “everything has a home” rule is most needed. Luke and I both hate it when the counter is full of random stuff. We try to minimize the number of things on the counter -- larger items like our blender and toaster are stored in the cupboards to have less visible clutter. The drawers and cabinets are also child proofed with magnetized locks that are hidden from the inside, so there are no visible clunky locks. 😀
Lots of people ask if our dining table is made by Luke as well. What a compliment! But alas, the table is from Restoration Hardware - purchased with a handful of gift cards that we received at our wedding. Although he does intend on replacing it when we move into a bigger space.
We keep the kids toys in a large vintage treasure chest, mostly sorted into smaller plastic bins that are organized by “toy type”. Because clutter stresses me out, I try to give Micah one bin at a time so that he does not end up bringing all the toys out at once.
As with everything else in the house, our room is pretty simple. We each have a closet, a side table, and a sink. Virtually everything you see here… Luke made himself! He made our bed, our side tables, the lamps and the shelf. My favourite thing, of course, is our bed. We bought a king mattress and he made the frame in our garage (/his workshop) with the help of some friends. Our bed and side tables are made of the same wood that we used for the coffee table in the living room. Luke used casters so that it'd be easy to slide the bed when needed. The side tables have a concrete top that he poured himself (I helped!), with thoughtful features that allow us to have the plugs that we need without the unsightly cords that accompany them.
Pretty standard dual-sinked master bath. Our guest bath (not pictured) has a tub and a single sink.
Kids Room / Guest Room
This room used to be our guest room, but we converted it to the kids room once they came along. Since we currently don’t have anywhere to store our spare bed, we decided to keep it in their room for the occasional guest (who receives the great fortune of waking up with our children). We got rid of the kids’ change table because we never really used it; besides, we needed the room for the second crib once we found out that Judah was on his way. 😉
So far, the boys share 3 drawers inside the one closet in their room. Each kid gets one drawer, and they share the third for things like swimsuits and extra towels. Only the clothes that fit them are in the room; the rest are stored in labeled bins in the garage. I try to do a purge of their clothes every 3 months or so because they seem to accumulate so quickly. I keep a little bin of small toys under the bed for the odd time that I hang out in their room, likely while doing laundry which is right beside their bedroom.
Garage / Luke's Workshop
“This is where the magic happens.” 😉
We have a tandem garage and share one vehicle, so we converted the other half of the space into Luke’s workshop. This is the birthplace of much of our home furniture, as well as a lot of the office furniture at Glass Canvas (where Luke and I both work).
And there you have it. A mini Schenk Haus tour! Thanks for reading along. 😀