We love our little house.  We've been in this place for 5 1/2 years already, our first house purchase after a few years of renting as newlyweds in another state.  At just over 1400 square feet, it does have a small footprint, but it is perfectly doable for a family of four on a one-income budget.  The tricky part is that one of our 3 bedrooms is used as a full-time home office for my husband, whose company is based out of state and whose employees all work virtually from home offices.  He really needs a dedicated space to do his work that allows for privacy, concentration, and quiet conference calls.  Our plan had originally been to bunk a second baby with Eli when he or she (it's a she!) was a reliable nighttime sleeper - this would preserve the 3rd bedroom as Todd's home office.

However, with the arrival of this baby approaching in late May, a few things got us reconsidering.  First, the amount of noisy disruption Eli and I already add to Todd's work environment (and that's without the addition of a vocal newborn!).  Second, Eli's room that he'd start sharing with his baby sister is small, with limited storage from a tiny closet and a very small dresser.  The addition of a crib would make further clothing and toy storage for two virtually impossible.  Third, the worry that they'd wake each other up during naps and nighttime sleep remained. 

A full renovation to our unfinished basement was not a financial investment we were prepared to make in our "starter house," but we started to think that a partial finish might be the perfect compromise.  Todd's new small office is housed in a newly finished part of the otherwise unfinished basement space, freeing up the 1st floor bedroom for use as a nursery (and, since in a small house rooms must always do double-duty, the nursery will retain the guest bed for our frequent out-of-town family visitors). So many positives, not the least of which is that I get to decorate a baby girl nursery!  (The first time around, we didn't find out the baby's gender, and so created this gender neutral nursery which has changed quite a bit now that it's Eli's "big boy room.")

With just a few weeks of construction and a TON of dust, the new office is complete.  With the help of a reasonably priced contractor, and cost savings in the form of doing our own waterproofing (Dry-Locking and extending the height/enclosing the water channel around the perimeter of the basement), purchasing ceramic tile flooring from a building supply outlet, and using existing paint and furnishings, we were able to stay within a few hundred dollars of our original (and very modest) budget.  

It's amazing what a new egress window, drywall, recessed lighting, new floors, and a closet can do for what was previously a dungeon-y, spider-filled space (forgive the photo quality - it is difficult to capture a small space configured like this one!).  The new room still needs some wall decor and some seating.  We also have a way to go in terms of sprucing up the rest of the basement and laundry area without finishing it (I was inspired by seeing this), but that's a project for another time.

In the meantime, we await the baby.  Nursery photos to come next week!



 Framing and insulation in process


 Finished exterior wall of office

 After: New egress window fills the room with light

 New home for the guitars! (to be hung on the wall soon)

We still need a chair and some wall decor, but we're on our way.



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