A Story of Room-Switching

This has absolutely nothing to do with my usual topic of travel. The only reason it is here on this site is because I think it’s an interesting topic to write about, and I have nowhere else to put it!

One of my many and varied hobbies is interior designing my own house. Kevin and I bought our first home in 2014, and I have been working on it this whole time in a slow and steady process. It is great fun, and I am quite proud of it! We have our own style, which definitely doesn’t suit everyone. But being in my home makes me very happy, as everyone should feel in their space.

Recently I made a realization that was magical! Although I feel ashamed to admit it took me so long to think of it.

I had two issues prior to this revelation. First, my living room was a bit too big, and furniture placement was never intuitive; if placed on opposite walls, the couch and the TV were either a little too far from each other or WAY too far from each other, but the room wasn’t quite big enough for two separate living spaces, as the home blogs will tell you to do. We tried that anyway, though. We ended up with our couch in the middle of the room, bisecting it in a weird way with a little table behind it. It wasn’t terrible, but it was awkward and definitely not cozy, which is something I crave in a private living room.

Second issue: our dining room, where we loved to host game nights with friends, was too small. Our big beautiful table fit fine when no one was sitting at it. But as soon as the chairs were pulled out, it became cumbersome or impossible to walk around it on 3 of the 4 sides. Which is just ridiculous.

Can you see where I am going with this? Switch the rooms!! Luckily our house is laid out in a way where switching the function of these two rooms flows just as well, if not better. Now when guests walk in our front door, they are greeted by a large entertaining space, with room to walk all the way around the table (plus we have room to add the extension for bigger groups).

And my living space is now a DEN! I’m so happy with it! It is nice and cozy now, feeling more private and enclosed towards the back side of the house.

Both rooms are still very accessible to the kitchen, so the flow still makes sense. The main thing we need to do now is get an electrician over to install an overhead light for above the table. The ex-living room has no lights in it at all – we used lamps, which work for watching TV but are not very efficient for a game night. I also might repaint the new den with a darker color to enhance the coziness even more. A bonus to this new setup: our powder room is no longer RIGHT next to where our guests hang out and eat. (Does that weird anyone else out?)

Key Points

  • Just because a space was designed to be used a certain way doesn’t mean it’s the best way for you. Find what you like best.
  • Your house can feel totally new and fresh without needing to buy anything, just by moving the things you already have.
  • The actual furniture movement is like playing one of those puzzle games where the pieces have to move around each other without leaving the square. It’s tricky, but just start with the largest.
  • Set aside a whole day to do this, and do some deep cleaning as you go.
  • This should be obvious, but… don’t attempt to move furniture alone!
  • If you’re not sure if you’ll like the change, just try it. You can always put it back. It is a lot of work, but you will have cleaned behind everything and gotten in some weight-lifting, so it won’t be totally wasted time.
  • Only surprise your partner with switched rooms if you know they’ll get over it eventually. 😉 Kevin doesn’t love change, which is why I had my mom help me with 90% of the switch while he was out (we had discussed it before, he just didn’t think it would work). It’s been a week, and he’s over it now. He knows it’s better this way; he just doesn’t want to admit I was right! Ha!

Have you ever switched your rooms? How did it go? Let me know in the comments!

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