Mission Find Space: How to Turn Your Apartment Dining Room Into An Office and Kid Play Space

 Mission: Find Space

When we decided to stay in our one bedroom apartment I was confident we made the right choice.  However once little A began to get mobile I began to doubt our decision.  It was great that he could easily crawl from room to room and that he was able to easily follow us around so he fussed less, but he needed more space than his small blanket to play.  It was up to me to find space for him to play!

The First Attempt:  Living-room  Looses a Coffee Table

We moved our coffee table from the middle of the living room area to a position halfway under the dining table. This allowed A to play with his trains on the table while leaving the whole living-room clear for crawling.  

Transforming the living-room was great.  Now we had floor space for Little A  to crawl and he wasn’t hitting his head all the time.  Also when I moved the coffee table under the dining table I cleared all of the stuff that had been being stored on the big table.  For ages we have had our dining table serving as a glorified shelf taking up the dining area.  Unfortunately, having the coffee table preventing us from really getting to the big table made it impossible to easily use the table for other projects even the occasional meal.

The clear table did foster my desire to work on projects and that desire helped me come up with a more practical solution for me and Little A.

Another Attempt to Find Space

A few weeks ago, under the strain of the end of school paperwork and events I had vision that we could use the space more effectively. I thought perhaps we should turn it into A’s sleeping space.  This would give us back our bedroom space and hopefully help him sleep better.  

Unfortunately, the baby room idea was rot with problems. There is a built in book shelf in the dining area and lots of plugs.  Also, there is no real way to baby gate the space to keep him safe if he were to wake up without us to watch him.  Unwillingly I gave up that idea.  

At Last a Great Idea!

Next it occurred to me to turn this space into a office/work space for me!  I could use the dining table as a desk and put the coffee table in front of the built-in bookshelf to prevent Little A from climbing it.

Since I was free when I had the idea I tried it out immediately!  I turned the table so it could function like a desk.  This allows me to look into the kitchen and living room so I can easily talk with DH and watch Little A play with his cool new train as I work.

Lo and behold when I moved the table there was enough room for the coffee table to slide against the wall!  This allows little A even more play space than he had before!  Putting the coffee table against the wall actually worked much better than my idea to put it parallel to the big table. In this arrangement I can reach over and play with Little A if I want to while I am working.  It also allows me to have Mr. Snail’s studio set up without Little A pulling on the back drop.

Find Space office area

Now not only do both me and Little A have more table work-space but we also opened up more floor space. Additionally, I was able to move some project boxes from their “temporary” home on the couch to a new more permanent home under the coffee table giving us back space for laundry– I mean– another person to sit in the living room!

I am very happy with the new setup and feel like it will help breed productivity this summer.  I command Mission “Find Space” complete!

Do you have a small change that could make a big difference in how you use your space?  Tell us about it in the comments!

4 Replies to “Mission Find Space: How to Turn Your Apartment Dining Room Into An Office and Kid Play Space”

  1. We changed one of our underutilized rooms into a guest room! Put up curtains in the entryway since there wasn’t a door, and purchased a trundle bed from a church friend who was upgrading so our room could function as a seating & sleeping area. We also started opening the window curtains in there so lots of natural light now streams in. Our Little J loves to play in there now!

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