Do you have your house set up in an "unconventional" way? - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
Thread Tools
#1 of 20 Old 07-10-2012, 01:12 AM - Thread Starter
WildDoula's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 327
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Is your "living room" really your bedroom? Do your kids sleep in the Master and you in a smaller room? I want to hear about your unusual configuration and why you decided on that.


I'm playing around with some ideas like this to simplify and make everyone happier, but I can't seem to decide on anything that feels "right."

Maybe you have some ideas? We have a two bedroom, one bath with a small kitchen and a medium-sized living room.

, birth-working wife to   (06/2010).
TTC #1 since 2010. Dx PCOS, July 2014. Currently in testing.
, July 2012. Waiting for our  sometime very soon.
WildDoula is online now  
#2 of 20 Old 07-10-2012, 12:25 PM
MPsSweetie's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 2,677
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We do. Our house is less than 900 sqft. It used to be 3 bed/2bath, tiny living/kitchen/dining. So we gutted one side of it and moved things around. We now have half of our house completely open, with the dining table and fireplace right off the entry way, then the kitchen, then the living room on the other end. We left two bedrooms and two bathrooms. One is where the older kids sleep, one is where our toddler sleeps. Dh and I decided to take out our couches and put in a queen size bed, with lots of throw pillows as a couch during the day, in our living room. Once the baby comes it will sleep with us, then we will do some room juggling again.

It can be hard. I don't really like people on my bed, lol. And being pregnant and exhausted, I can't just lay down whenever I need, without kicking people out of the living room.

We did it mainly because our house is so small. Sometimes too small greensad.gif. But I'm trying to deal with it. We started the remodel last year, and of course it's nowhere near done. And now I'm pregnant...

We have also thought about building a schoolroom separate from the house, for our millions of books and learning supplies. That could ease some of the pressure I suppose.

Amee + James (1998) =
Amethyst (May 2002)
Asheby "Bear" (November 2006)
Abbott (January 2011)
Atlas (March 2013)
MPsSweetie is offline  
#3 of 20 Old 07-10-2012, 10:13 PM
Sigrid's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Alaska
Posts: 236
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We live in a 1400 sqft townhouse, and chose to give our kids the master bedroom.  They have waaaay more stuff than we do so it made more sense to give them the biggest room.  The husband and I have never really spent a lot of time in our bedroom anyway, so it's used for sleeping and holding clothes. My husband uses the third bedroom as a home office.  We've talked about him boxing that all up and putting it in the garage.  He was a part time student for quite a few years, but since he got his degree, he hasn't spent as much time in there as he used to.  But the boys seem to enjoy sharing a room for now, so maybe we'll hold off. 

SAHM to 3 boys ages 10, 7, and 3.

Sigrid is offline  
#4 of 20 Old 07-11-2012, 03:20 PM
chel's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: lost in a cornfield
Posts: 4,230
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I have a family closet.
Laundry is much easier and my oldest brings a weeks worth of clothes to her room. Otherwise she winds up will all her clothes on the floor and not knowing what is dirty wants all of it washed.
JoyFilled likes this.

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
chel is offline  
#5 of 20 Old 07-11-2012, 03:49 PM
FloridaBorn's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: 813
Posts: 382
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I live in a 1953 MCM home. You walk in the front door and voila, you're in the middle of a Waldorf style playroom. No huge couches or zillion inch tv. Modest, tiny kitchen with no dishwasher. In the back of the house, a den-like Florida room with my husband's desk and a couch with some chairs.

We cosleep on a king bed in the smallest room in the house. There is only room for one bedside table. My daughter has the bigger bedroom, but the trade off is that my husband and I have two dressers in there with our clothes.

We are building a studio style Tuff Shed out back and will be finishing the interior so it will be a nice working space.

Darla dishes.gif Jimguitar.gif Wrenflower.gif Papahat.gif Grandma dog2.gifNana Anne jumpers.gif & the Great Cosmic Mimi om.gif
3 houses - 2 blocks in the old neighborhood = 1 eclectic/traditional tribe!
FloridaBorn is offline  
#6 of 20 Old 07-11-2012, 04:12 PM
loveandgarbage's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 1,620
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We always give the bigger bedroom to the kids. They have more stuff, use it as a playroom, etc, whereas DH just use ours to sleep. The place we're about to move into has 3 similarly sized bedrooms, though. We looked at but didn't rent a place that had a really large master bedroom that we would've used as a family room. We would've used the living room (small space off the small dining room) for a crafting/office area. I think unique configurations are great!

Jean, feminist mama raising three boys: W (7), E (5) and L (2.15.13)

loveandgarbage is offline  
#7 of 20 Old 07-11-2012, 06:27 PM
Adaline'sMama's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 4,792
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yes, we do. We live in an apartment in the back of an old general store. Our bedroom is in the kitchen. The living room/ playroom is in the master bedroom. DD's room is what used to be the laundry room and the washing machine and dryer have been moved to the basement.

I closed the store when Charlie died, and now that we are having twins we will be moving our bedroom out into the store, making the kitchen a litchen (living room/kitchen) and the current living room a nursery. Whew. That is confusing.

Holly and David partners.gif

Adaline love.gif (3/20/10), and Charlie brokenheart.gif (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical  rainbow1284.gif  twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)

SIDS happens. 

Adaline'sMama is offline  
#8 of 20 Old 07-12-2012, 10:55 AM
mamacolleen's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 185
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We have a 1000 sq foot row house. The main living space is open but we have our dining area in the front (by the fireplace and the front entry) and then our living area and then our kitchen. The front part of the main living space is too small to put our couch so we switched things around about a year ago. The living/dining area is also the playroom so there's toys everywhere. We have a family bedroom in the large master (us and 3 yo DD and soon to be newborn twins). The other 2 bedrooms are small - one we rent to a friend and the other is a 'guestroom' (that room is extra small). We anticipate our friend moving out within the year and not having another tenant/roommate. Once the 3 kids are ready to be sleeping in a room without DH and I, I envision that we will move to one of the smaller bedrooms and leaving the big master bedroom to the 3 kids. (and moving a bunch of their toys up there so it can be a bit of a playroom as well!)

mamacolleen is offline  
#9 of 20 Old 07-16-2012, 06:23 PM
Vaske's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: The cold, cold North
Posts: 325
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

I've thought of making the living room multifunctional:  play/schooling/social by day, kids' bedroom by night, and converting the children's bedroom adjacent to it into active storage to support the living room functions--as a place to put the bedding, toys, art supplies, and books when they're not being used, because the kids don't actually use their room all that much.

Vaske is offline  
#10 of 20 Old 08-04-2012, 07:02 PM
bezark's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 341
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Our house is all kinds of flip-flopped, but it works and it still appears normal.


Our foyer is our laundry/mud room. The washer and dryer are in a closet, but the hamper is right out in the open, directly across from the front door. When we first moved in the laundry was at the farthest corner of the creepy old basement while our bedroom was at the absolute farthest point from it on the second floor; huge pain. To get from one to the other you had to walk the entire diagonal length of three floors.

We recently moved DS1 into the master bedroom because we're gearing up to get DS2 to to his own room and wanted ours to be closer to his, and we moved all the toys up there.

What was originally the play room is now the living room, and what was the living room is now an office/reading/music room.

The "den" (too small and awkward to ever qualify as a bedroom, and contains the door to the attic) on the second floor is our family closet/storage room.

We don't use the attic at all, and DH only goes in the basement to fix things, open/close dampers, etc.

bezark is offline  
#11 of 20 Old 08-09-2012, 10:51 AM
ellairiesmom's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Back Where It All Began...Frankford Twp, NJ
Posts: 1,018
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We sold & downsized in Nov from a 2200 sq ft home with full finished basement, 3 b/2.5 b to a rental my Dad used to live in that is kind of a cross between a duplex & a townhouse & is technically 1 bedroom.  I don't know the sq footage but it's prob less than half the size of the house we had. 


This place used to be 2 bedrooms but my Dad had opened up the middle of the wall & put an archway in to make it a sitting room/dressing room for his wife. So we put up nice curtains on each side to make it 2 actual spaces.  At 1st, we were on the bigger side & DD1 was on the smaller side but after 6 months here, we transitioned DD2 to be with DD1 & swapped the master to give them more room & took the MUCH smaller "side".  Everything just fit for us, but I can touch the wall from my side of the bed-lol.  In the summer, the curtains stay open so the AC unit on our side cools their side too so it's kind of like one huge bedroom right now.  It works out better with them on the bigger side & I don't know why we didn't do that from the start.  They can have some toys in there & just have more space.  


My formal dining room is a playroom since I sold our hand me down formal set along with the house.  That is also open to the kitchen/family room so it works out well with little ones.  


My old kitchen was upgraded & nice but it was teeny, tiny & closed off from everything else.  In this place, the kitchen is horribly 80's styled BUT is large & open to our "playroom" & to one large room that is a family room & dining area so very functional for us.


I do miss having a garage & a yard very much.     

Stephanie~hippie.gifwife to Dov, mama to Ella Irie (9/24/07) & Kaya Raine (2/1/10)~our vbac.gifbaby, born 45 hours after PROM!!!
ellairiesmom is offline  
#12 of 20 Old 08-15-2012, 03:32 PM
otheramerica's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 80
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Our boys are in the Master bedroom. It gives them more room to play during daily quiet time and gets most of the toys out of our living room. It was like that in our old house, too. The Master there was a suite with a bathroom right off of it so we just locked the door so ODS couldn't get in there to play. The room they share now has two closets-one walk-in and one tiny. We put a crib mattress in the floor of the walk-in closet so it's now extra sleeping space and a nice little reading nook. We got a double bar and one of those hanging closet organizers for the boys' clothes. All of ODS stuff is in the organizer so he can choose his clothes as well as put them away. 


The only other "unusual" thing about our house is that our dishes and the kids' silverware are in the bottom cabinets.This way the boys can get their stuff to set the table, and they can help empty the dishwasher. It also means they can get their own drinks during the day. My parents complain about it every time they visit, but I really like it. 


My goals in setting up my house have been to foster independence/helping out and provide common areas to interact. The boys still have some toys downstairs because I like to play along with them. It also makes getting dinner ready easier. 

Mama to Dante (1/08) and Paul (7/10).twins.gif Wife to Allan.asl.gif

Missing Heaven Dec.9, 2011angel1.gif

"The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy!" Psalm 126:3

otheramerica is offline  
#13 of 20 Old 10-03-2012, 11:13 AM
Basylica's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Dallas Tx
Posts: 1,499
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

the house my mom lived in after she and my dad divorced she put me and my sister in the master and herself in the middle sized bedroom. my brother got the smallest.


Also I think of all those houses in britian where the livingrooms are actual rooms with a door and americans have a (unhealthy I think!) obsession with the whole open floorplan deal.

You can easily made a bedroom into your family/living area and the designated family/living into bedroom.

Why not put kids in there? dunno....


Right now i'm in master, kids are sharing middle, and smallest is my office (I worked from home for 4 years) and the weird formal living/dining room off the main entry is the kids playroom, my catchall for stuff that needs to be donated or sold, and has a lovesaq for sitting and guests to sleep on.

my dad keeps talking about moving in and if he does I plan to add double doors (Wide opening) to that room and close the door that connects it to the kitchen/WD area off so it's private.


I've been pondering moving kids and play area to the master and taking the middle sized room for myself OR moving myself to smallest and setting up middle as my office/library/sewing area.

if my dad moved in I suspect I would actually do that so I could get my sewing area out of the main living/family room and put in a bigger table. right now I have TINIEST table imaginable in my kitchen because eating over carpet in the livingroom seemed .... ODD to me. lol.

Basylica is offline  
#14 of 20 Old 10-03-2012, 12:43 PM
althara's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 452
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We are a family of three (plus a 6 month old dog) living in a less than 700 square foot 1 bedroom apartment with a small balcony. We moved from a 1200 square foot 3 bedroom house. I'm still working on rearranging furniture and downsizing our possessions so everything is more comfortable for us until we move at the end of lease. I've already donated over half our possessions but we still have too much stuff for our space.

I've partitioned off 1/3 of the living room with a very tall and wide IKEA shelf unit to use as a bedroom for my five year old. We don't have a dining area, and I'm trying very hard to convince my boyfriend to get rid of the monstrous tube TV in the living room to free up some space.

Working mama treehugger.gif to K energy.gif (2/2007) and A diaper.gif (6/2013). Expecting stork-suprise.gif EDD 10/7/2014.
althara is offline  
#15 of 20 Old 10-05-2012, 12:12 PM
Peony's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 25,342
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

Family of 6 in a 3B house. The two oldest children (both girls) share the master suite. It is HUGE. It has turned into the neighborhood kid hangout which I love. I'll walk up stairs and see kids that I don't even know hanging out. We have bean bags, a TV, "bigger kid' toys up there. DH and I do not sleep together but instead each sleep with a boy in a room. Our dining room is the playroom, it has this huge built in china cabinet that is perfect for toy storage.  We turned a closet in the laundry room into our large food storage. We buy in bulk and the remaining food that will not fit in the pantry, goes there. We also keep a second fridge in that room and another freezer out in the garage. Half of our 2 car garage is also bike and toy storage for all the kid's stuff. 

JoyFilled likes this.

There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.
Peony is offline  
#16 of 20 Old 11-15-2012, 01:16 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 468
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)


pumabearclan is online now  
#17 of 20 Old 01-31-2013, 03:42 PM
January---'s Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Yes, we have an unconventional floorplan.  We are living in my parents basement while DH completes university so we have a very make shift apartment.  Luckily we do have french doors and they built a stone path so we have our own entrance and can walk to our cars without getting all muddy.  When DS was born we moved out of the one (Huge!) bedroom and into... the hallway.  We used to have a sheet for a wall but alas, we have moved up in the world and have gotten an accordian wall that can be opened and closed at will.  This way we have a little privacy because my parents still keep there pantry in the basement with the water heater next to the stairs, so they still intrude on our space, but this way just that much less.

n up super early because of the sun coming into his room from his beautiful window and our room is pitch dark.  At least it makes for a good place for a midafternoon nap I guess.  We have another dividing wall between our hallway of a room and the living room, and we have bookcases on either side which used to serve at a partial room divider before we got this second accordian wall.  


What I love about our living room dining room area is how open it is, what I hate is that we only have a wetbar and not a full kitchen.  I used to not own a microwave and have now become fairly dependent on cooking in it.  That and the crockpot and the toaster oven.  I am thankful for our portable dishwasher, and for DH who runs back and forth to put stuff on the stove upstairs and in the real oven.  We make homemade pizza and DH is my dreamboat so I don't have to see my parents quite as much.  I can go days without seeing them, but we always hear them upstairs and they cook really stinky food which smells up DS's room right when he's trying to go to sleep.


Ok so I guess I've gone past the whole topic of unique floorplans a bit, but to keep this less novel like I'll go to say whatever space I'm in I try to work the best out if it and I can see us using spaces to our liking in the future even if it isn't the intended way for rooms to be used.


When DH and I first moved in together we lived in one tiny room we rented.  When we moved into our first real apartment we slept in the dining room for at least the first week and used the huge bedroom as a game room and dining room.  Oh, and we used lawn chairs in lieu of couches for years.  DS has changed our decorating style through necessity in that his huge room is empty except for his bed because he climbs on everything and has no fear, and we have a small trampoline in the middle of the living room half the time and the rest of the time it's behind the couch next to the dining room table.


The good thing about our current living situation is that wherever we move from here will seem absolutely magnificent to us.  A room for ourselves with a real door?  Our own oven?  Luxury at its finest. 

January--- is offline  
#18 of 20 Old 02-10-2013, 11:39 AM
Sunshyn74's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Michigan
Posts: 55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When we went through the divorce, my two girls and I downsized from a 1700 sq ft, 3 br, 2 bath home with a full basement on 10 acres, to a tiny old two bedroom, one bath trailer on one acre. We made the adjustment quite well, and are actually very happy in our cozy little home. We made the larger master bedroom into a bedroom for all of us. Bunk beds, with a full on bottom and twin on top (I cosleep with youngest on bottom, oldest is on top bunk). We have 3 dressers and two closets (I have one and the girls share one). 3 shelving units, a wooden drying rack, and the doggy bed...all in that one bedroom. Makes laundry and bedtime go very smoothly. The second bedroom is a playroom (I say, as the girls are currently playing at the kitchen table). The playroom closet has our off season clothes and plastic totes with various toys stored. There is a futon in there as well, just in case we had overnight company (rare).

I may eventually take the playroom as my own bedroom and give the girls the larger room, but this works for now, and as long as everybody is happy, we will keep it as it is.
Sunshyn74 is offline  
#19 of 20 Old 04-02-2013, 01:37 PM
Mountaingirl79's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Asheville NC
Posts: 1,261
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My older kids sleep in the master bedroom at their Dad/s house, leaving him and his partner in the smallest room in the house, off of the laundry room. It works for them.

DP and I have an 800 sq ft home for 3-5 kids ( his olders are older teeangers and come over, but dont spend the night much anymore) and 2 adults. We are building onto the back room, and we use our space well. Also, we have home made bunk beds for the kids. 

Mom to three boys 7/7/00 fencing.gif 11/20/02 and 10/29/2011 luxlove.gif


Writing at: and other places! 



Mountaingirl79 is offline  
#20 of 20 Old 04-19-2013, 09:49 AM
whoami's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 241
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We're a family of 4 living in a 2200 sg home. I just moved the queen mattress to the living room and put the two crib mattresses on top of it. When you walk into our home it's one of the first things you see. I took the bed from the spare/office room but I wanted a place to escape to besides my room and I'm turning it into my ebay room so I can start making some money finally. Before I'd go in there to try and be productive and finally list something on ebay or craigslist but the boys would bounce on the bed and I couldn't work like that.  


Now they can bounce to their hearts content on the bed in the playroom and be happy they even have one! My sister coming into town in a few weeks though so I feel like I should move it back but I like it and the boys have been sleeping on the bed for the last few days rather than in their room. My husband thinks I'm being weird but people live in one bedroom studios with their bed and tables and what not in one why can't I put the bed in the formal living room that's never going to function as a "formal" space anyways? 


I saw these on pinterest and that's what spurred the move.

Ma (26) to a happy boy 04.07 and due with another 01.11 ~ finally marrying my HS sweetie 02.12!
whoami is offline  

Mindful Home

Quick Reply
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off