My dear friend, Lisa, from The Pennington Point is back today to share a great post with you guys!  I love my sweet contributors and I know you’re going to be hearing from all of them very soon.  Take it away, Lisa…

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One of my favorite ways to fix up my home isn’t about paint or fabric or even burlap. It’s about solving problems.

With a growing family, the needs are constantly changing. A new baby comes along or brother starts playing soccer. Daddy picks up a new hobby or sister develops a passion for dollhouses. As a homeschooler, I am especially vulnerable to the monster that eats up every corner of my home…also known as the children.

I keep my eye on cubbies and shelves and places I can change to make our home work better for us. A tall shelf might work one year then Johnny decides he needs a place to store his Lego pirate ships and we have to make a new plan.

I just go with it. Always watching and keeping my all-knowing-mom-eye on the horizon.

One year we outgrew the school desks we had in the dining room. It just wasn’t working. I had more kids than desks and when we had company it was messy and blah, blah, blah I decided to change it! It wasn’t bad, but my needs changed. I needed a place to serve food when guests came and I needed to accommodate another student.

Dining Room School Desks

So I pulled out my tools and made a huge, long desk. It fills the whole space, no wasted corners. The kids can all do their schoolwork there and it looks clean and neat. Win-Win-Win.

Dining Room School Desk

In the kitchen we started having a problem at lunchtime. Since the kids were getting older and fixing their own lunches, there was a line at the microwave every day. So I went to Home Depot, bought some cabinets and just added another microwave on the other side of the kitchen. With 2 microwaves, we can all make our lunches and eat at the same time.

And if you noticed the plastic cups lined up on the shelf below the microwave, I added a little space for the kids to put their cups so they aren’t just sitting randomly around the kitchen. See? Another problem solved.

Anytime I am going to redo a room I spend a month keeping a list of all of the things that are a problem. There’s no place to put a towel, each girl needs space to store private things, we need a trash can there, etc. Then I figure out a way to fix those problems while I am decorating.

In my bathroom I had a weird corner behind the tub. I needed to maximize the shelf space but I knew if I just built a really deep shelf things would get lost in the back. So I wracked my brain and decided to experiment with building a shelf that opened on 2 sides. I tried to let go of what is “normal” and just build what I needed. It works beautifully!

Sometimes it is just about decorating. We have a piano that was plain, brown and ugly. The rest of the house is light and cheery and I felt like the brown piano was sucking the lightness out of the room. So guess what I did. Yep, I painted it. I researched it for about a month, spoke with several piano “experts” then took the plunge!

That was 2 years ago and I still LOVE it! I haven’t regretted it for one second. But I think I would have regretted not doing it.

Friends, I hope you’re encouraged to make your home into exactly what you need. Don’t worry about what other people do; don’t get stuck with what you already have. Cut it up, paint it, wrap it in burlap (I had to get the burlap in there somewhere).

Be bold. Be brave. Be yourself!

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I absolutely LOVE this, Lisa!  She’s sooo right–our homes are our havens, and the have to work for us.  Part of great design is great function.  P.S. Lisa’s painted piano & built-in school desk are some of my favorite make-it-work-for-your-family projects in the blogosphere–ever.  Thank you for sharing, sweet friend!

Hope you all have an inspired day!

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