Half the Room, Twice the Space and Other Benefits of Our Back Room Makeover

If a home doesn’t make sense, nothing does.

Henrietta Ripperger

They say necessity is the mother of invention.

Well so is 15 year old boy constantly in your earhole about the sheer indecency of having the smallest bedroom in the house, maybe the whole town, possibly the universe

Now it was the perfect size for a 15 month old boy with a racing car bed and a bucket full of dinosaurs but for a 15 year old who’s now 6ft1 and built like a line backer it’s been a bit of a squeeze

Ethan whinged for so long and so loud about having this epically small room that in the end I did what I always do when I’m stumped or desperate – I asked God for an idea because a bigger bedroom isn’t something I could just order up online. That’s when the idea of dividing our long back room in half and creating two rooms dropped like a penny and all I can think now is why didn’t we do this years ago.

Our back room has always been a nightmare.

It ran the entire width of the back of the house and despite how spacious that may sound in actual fact it was next to totally useless in terms of function.

The kitchen end with dining table and home office always had way too much going on BUT I have to say regardless of its many limitations there have been many happy gatherings had right here – Christmas Eve shindigs, kids birthday parties, coffees shared, meals scoffed – yes right in this very overcrowded, trying to be too many things area.  I’ve always been grateful for the  additional living space provided by this back room and so needed given that our lounge room is tiny. To be able to us this space now in a better way feels like a Godsend

The other end of the room friends was an entirely different story. It  got lost in a mountain of stuff – music stuff, computer stuff, reptile stuff, painting stuff  – too many stuffs to mention which made our multi purpose room a no purpose at all room and a crime against space management.

It was also walkway from kitchen to laundry !

With the house basically divided in half down the middle, through access from one side to the other was either at the front or at the back creating this round trip effect.

Kids loved the round trip “race track” when they were little – throw in scooters and dolly strollers and running along shrieking and they had themselves  a really good time.

Looked like this

My “race track” on the other hand looked like this. More shrieking

Dogs race track looked like this

Central doorway would be ideal


Having to leave a walkway down the middle of the back room made quite a decent width room feel narrow and cramped and made furniture placement a nightmare

Then throw this into the mix

  • unfinished cornicing
  • water stained ceiling with one coat of paint
  • random columns creating odd corners and returns
  • bathroom and laundry windows opening onto it
  • An entire wall of orange brick.

It’s saving grace. A wood burning fire smack in the middle.

This is it on one of its good days. Tidied to within an inch of its life. It almost never looked like this. I took no photos on the bad days.

Cornicing issues. Water stain issues. All of them fixable we just never got to it.

This one from after work commenced but you still get the idea

And progress

Now we have this

Putting this wall in has been an all round GREAT idea that’s solved a lot of issues

  • Ethan has his big spacious room
  • Livvy is no longer getting the stink eye from him because she has a bigger room than him.
  • Ken gets Ethan’s old room as his “music studio” and office which means I don’t ever have to look at that great ugly cocophony of black speakers, endless messy cords, pulled apart guitars, sound mixers and God knows what else it seems is required to play a simple tune and
  • I get a dedicated dining room and comfy sitting area that I get to fix it up pretty. Need I say more.

That ugly orange brick is completely gone!!

The two internal windows from bathroom and laundry are gone.

I now have properly lined walls and completed cornicing. I could weep.

Ethan has happily moved into his room and we have the underpants strewn about, XBox blasting and lizard cages stacked to prove it and he now has his long dreamed about Queen sized bed. Not easy to get a photo that doesn’t include said underpants or other random mess.

I however spend most of my time right here  staring at the finished cornicing and rubbing my hands over smooth white walls.

Things still to do

  • Paint the teal wall white
  • Get the fire back in working order
  • Make a pretty blind for the window
  • and find a new home for great ugly filing cabinet

Bunnies have  the best room in the house. Brought in over night out of the cold

I cannot tell you how much bigger this room feels now. And it actually feels like a proper room in its own right rather than just a walkway as it did before.

There’s such a lovely restfulness about a room that has  a clear simple function, that knows its own mind and what its purpose is,  instead of trying to do forty different things at a time. Im basking in it.

I’ll finish with this

To be human is to long for home.

Jen Pollock Michel, Keeping Place

So many times I’ve lamented over what this house seems to ask of me in time and attention and sheer hard work. The garden always hell bent on getting away on me and the house itself seems too often on the verge of chaos and ruin and me of despair. But that very thing is part of the appeal of making home to me – wooing it back from the brink, taking plain old and ordinary and making it sing,  creating something fresh and alive even in the most well worn and worn out of places – from nothing sometimes, from the tiniest of threads, the slightest of hopes. A labour of love, we remain and continue and don’t relent and somedays in return we are astounded by the abundance of it all.

Thanks for reading along. If you’d like to know where anythings from or ask a question or tell me anything at all feel free in the comments below xx

(Quotes Courtesy of Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith)



7 thoughts on “Half the Room, Twice the Space and Other Benefits of Our Back Room Makeover

  1. Hi Trace,
    Well, doesn’t that look super!
    Mark can no longer accidently mistake your back room for the garage…..
    Hooted with laughter reading about Ken’s music room and what it takes to create a simple tune.
    As per previous photos I showed of our rental home. I negotiated with the Landlord to agree to pay for the cost of curtain rods to be fixed on the windows as all the windows have venetian blinds. And are extremely ugly! I must say the addition of curtains and soft furnishings certainly make the house a home. My yellow curtains always get an envious comment from visitors. “Wow, where did you get those”? Answer “My very good friend tailor made them for me!”
    On a different note, I have been watching a comedy program on ABC iview, “Community”. It has amongst it’s cast, Chevy Chase, whom I get a good laugh out of now. Having just slogged my way through a Teacher’s Aide course at Nambour TAFE, I can see the jokes in Chevy’s character attending Community College. (I will also say, I will no longer diss anybody that has a qualification from TAFE, it was hard slog)! Although, even after achieving my, wait for it, Certificate III in Education Support. I’m up against qualified teachers going for Teacher’s Aide positions. I’m just a slightly more educated middle aged person with not much prospect of a job. I do some casual work here and there but permanent jobs of any kind are thin on the ground. Anyhoo…..
    Well, good to see your home looking grand and hear that oldest son is happy in his new digs.
    Love Jen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jen oh I love your comments, it’s like we’ve had a nice long natter. Yes I remember Marks offhand remark – almost lost his life over that one didn’t he. I haven’t started watching Community yet I’m up to my armpits watching all the UK police dramas – so good. Ive put Community on the must watch list now. Well good on you going back and studying – that’s so brilliant !!!So happy the yellow curtains are keeping on and are up again. Bit of colour makes such a difference. I choose yellow more and more these days. Can’t beat a good set of curtains. Thanks for cheering me on Jen xx


Your turn. Share away

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s