No, we’re not selling our house and moving across town.  But after two years of happily typing away at the little computer armoire tucked in a cozy corner of our family room, I am officially moving up.

I had been outgrowing that little mini-office for some time.  When we got the new iMac, we had to bust out some of the shelves from my little home within our home to make room for the monster screen that I love and diva kiss at least once a day.  (You know the diva kiss — the kind where you don’t actually touch your arms or lips to the object of your affection because you might muss your perfect makeup, or, in the case of my beloved iMac, leave a smudge on the pretty screen.)

Then, as I spent more and more time designing blogs and buttons with my right hand on the mouse and my arm dangling off the flimsy pull-out keyboard tray, I began to develop pain and numbness in my arm and elbow.  I know two people who have had carpal tunnel surgery in the past year, and I knew that I could not continue working in that situation.

I told my husband of my discomfort a couple of days ago, and he immediately moved the computer and all its paraphernalia to the dining room, where I now sit with a pastoral view out my double window and the morning sunlight pouring in.  It’s a much more pleasant place to work, and I have all the space a girl could want, plus the support of a stable table beneath my arms. 


This is my DINING ROOM.  It is furnished with a formal antique furniture and intended for entertaining, but it’s awfully hard to entertain with a 24-inch computer monitor monopolizing half the table along with two laptops (husband’s) and a bunch of other crap clutter that is too unimportant to list.

I do, however, have another option.  There is actually a room in our house designed to be an office.  It is located right inside the front door, and at the moment it contains half our children’s toys.  When we moved in, we didn’t have a finished basement, and we didn’t have office furniture, so that room became a playroom.  And while having a playroom on the main living level is incredibly convenient, it isn’t a particularly attractive sight when you enter our home.

If we were to move the toys to the basement, then I could have my very own office.  But that would involve furnishings.  Which we don’t have and really don’t care to purchase at the moment.  And I would be more secluded from the activity in the house.  Which may sound like a pro, but I consider it a con.  With the ages of my children, I need to be visible and available.  Which I was in the family room, and I still am to an extent in the dining room, but the office?  Notsomuch.

It would also mean that my 2-year-old and 5-year-old would have to play in the basement, which isn’t ideal at this stage of life.  I prefer that the basement be the place I send the big boys when the weather isn’t conducive to playing out of doors.  I fear they would damage the little girl toys with their rambunctious boyishness, and when they are all down there together, they tend to fight. 

It’s so nice having two designated play areas.  Yes, I realize no one NEEDS that much space, but it sure has is convenient.  Besides all that, I just like having my girls playing on the same floor of the house that I am habiting.

So basically, I either give up my dining room or my playroom, each with its own set of pros and cons.  Which would YOU choose?

Join the Conversation

19 thoughts on “Moving

  1. Go for the office. Your 2 year old is 2 1/2 and your 5 year old will be in kindergarten in the fall.
    If you are in the family room or dining room and they are playing in that front room what’s the difference of you being in there and them elsewhere? Furnishing the office could be fun, too. Take your time buying one piece at a time and enjoy the process.

  2. I just went through a similar dilemma and chose to turn the least used room in the house into our den/computer room: the dining room. It meant selling our beautiful table and chairs and I absolutely loved but it made more sense in the long run.

    However, if I had the option of a separate room I probably would’ve moved the kids’ stuff out and taken over. Oh, and Craig’s List is a great, great place to get used furniture.

    How’s that for not really giving a definitive opinion. Natalie

  3. I would give up my dining room, but as I told you earlier this week I already did years ago. Our basement is also finished and having 2 play areas is wonderful when both of my kids have friends over. With your youngest being 2, you may still use the playroom for quite a few more years.

    Having said all that, a few questions to think about: How often do you use your dining room as a dining room? How important is it to you to have a more formal setting for entertaining? Is it worth it to keep a dining room for the number of times a year that you use it? We realized that we didn’t care as much about the formal setting. Except for wine glasses, we haven’t used our good china in years. It doesn’t bother me at all.

    Remember you can always change it back later if you want it again. The main thing is to find what will work best for you and your family.

  4. Move to the playroom.

    The kids bedrooms can be part playroom part bedroom if necessary.

    A picture of the room would help us tell you better how to repurpose the room – but is there any reason why you couldn’t keep some toys in the playroom and set your office up in there too – kinda a half and half thing. Mostly so that you can keep the littlest one close if you need to.

  5. How much entertaining do you really do in the dining room? Does your family regularly eat dinner in the dining room?

    Could you rearrange the furniture to accomodate a desk/table for your work and your table and chairs?

  6. Give up the play room. Think about it – you could be working with the front window open and the girls could be out front in the nice weather playing. Plus, these walls are thin – I hear everything from my office, so even if the little ones are up to no good, I hear them fast enought to respond. And other days it is good because if I choose to ignore them, its easier from here!

  7. I’m going to think outside the box here and say: replace that computer armoire with something that’s at a better height & stability for you to work.
    I solved the problem by getting a better CHAIR.
    Or, here’s a thought, put those toys in the family room. You have a family room, playroom, basement all for playing. (That is a LOT of play space!) I assume you also have a living room. Let the girls have their toys in the family room. Then you take the playroom as your office.

  8. I’m in this dilemma. I chose to share the playroom with the boys. I have severely lost in this compromise. I don’t have a basement to send them to, so I end up stepping on toys, looking for paperwork that I threatened to maim and destroy if touched, etc. I’m looking for a solution myself. My youngest will start K in fall, but don’t want to wait till then to find a solution.

    BTW – I diva kiss my iMac every.single. morning and we talk openly with each other. 🙂

  9. Having been in your house, I would definitely make the playroom ONE room in the basement, and use the room inside the door as your office. Definitely. In Texas all the houses we are looking at are pretty big and have formal studies, something I am very much looking forward to!

  10. I would give up my dining room in a heartbeat, but that’s because we never have anyone over and typically eat at the less formal table in our family room.

    If you use your dining room then it may be better to give up the play room.

  11. Make it your office and just keep your little wooden toy box in there so when C is in kindergarten, B can play with a few things while you’re working.

  12. Have you considered going to the basement and making that a combo playroom and office? I’m thinking that it is a finished basement when I suggest this. I saw it on HGTV and loved it. From that moment on I dream of basements literally daily! ROFL

    If you are in the ‘office’ upstairs, why not just move your computer armoire into that room and add a small table (at Sam’s for about $20) and put your iMac on that table. That way you could add a little kids table and chairs for the girls to color and draw while you tap away on the computer. Plus it gives them homework space for later. If you have an Ikea near you they have a table and 2 chair combo for about $35. I bought one set unfinished at Micheal’s with their 40% off coupon, so I paid about $15 or so. Then I painted it and decorated it for my daughter’s room. Very affordable and they love it!!

    Oh and in regards to your dining room, please take care of computers on your table. I did this for about a year and now my Thomasville table has a slight look to the table that I notice every SINGLE day! ugh

  13. I have my computers in the dining room. And although it’s not great to look at…during those long boring holiday dinners it’s certainly convenient. Blog and eat, blog and eat! hahah

    But really….it works for now. And I find that it doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would.

  14. I’d definitely take the front office space. You could designate a two-zone area in the basement – put all the girl toys on one side, and all the boys on the other. It might seem hard at first to be a little away, but your kids will find you (in all of a minute, trust me). You will grow to love your new space and wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

    Or, just have a dinner party and invite bloggers. Everyone can bring their laptops and you can call it a “working” dinner. 🙂

  15. I had to move my child out of a make shift bedroom that is now my office, which forced us to finish off his room in the basement. It was a much needed thing, we were running out of room.

    When we built this house we planned it from the start that he would have his bedroom down there, then I kinda whimped out. So, he’s kinda been every where in the two years we’ve now lived here until less than a month ago when his room was complete.

    I would probably leave a few toys in the same room as your office and co-habitate if it’s big enough.

    I’m a sucker tho – I like having my child with me all the time (he’s 11 for heavensake). I wonder how he’ll do with me on his first day (when he’s 35 of course).

  16. Well, let’s just put it this way. You seemed to go on a lot more about how useful the playroom is right now, rather than the lovely dining room, so I would think that the playroom needs to stay as is and you will just have to stay put in the dining room!

  17. I’d probably give up the dining room. Everyone always hangs out in your kitchen anyways 😉

    Just move the computer when your having a formal party!

  18. Call me the girl who eternally wants it all, but have you considered splitting the difference for a couple of more years?

    Find a great corner desk on Craig’s List. (I found one for $25 that I intended to be an interim one until I could afford a nice one, but I like it so much that I will probably use it until it breaks). Keep your youngest’s favorite toys in half of your office until she can be unsupervised in the basement. You could even get a cute storage shelf with doors if you want to. Again, Craig’s List rocks.

    (Although after reading the comments, I do have to share that my “dining” room is our playroom (no table). But, our “living” room is my office (no sofas) and the real office is my hubby’s office – so we don’t do anything like we supposed to. 🙂 )

Want More?