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Nesting From Afar

Story print by the very talented VOL25

I shared part of our house-hunting journey in my “Day In the Life” post earlier this month. Since then, we found a home in Florida, have been working tirelessly through mortgage processing (and all the goodies that go with buying a home out-of-state), arranging our packing and move through the military (no small feat) and wrapping up loose ends here in Virginia. But how does a 23-week pregnant mama with an insatiable urge to nest cope? In addition to the incredible purging and Craigslist ads I’ve been posting, I’ve been “virtually” nesting via Pinterest. I’ve been planning rooms and color schemes, choosing furniture and envisioning our new life in Florida.

Through all of it, I have come to some interesting conclusions: First, I am over the moon to have a home of our “own” again. We’ve rented for the last four years and there is something that never feels quite as settled. It’s been a long time since I have been so excited about a “project.”

Second, I am repurposing our home and my ideas of what home should look like. With one year of homeschool down and a new addition on the way, our soon-to-be family of six operates very differently now. The furniture I bought pre-kids six to nine years ago isn’t really a fit anymore. The way I arrange our home is going to change. It needs to be more than kid-friendly. It needs to be family-centric, yet mama approved (easy to maintain/keep clean/clutter free — and allows kids to independently contribute to keeping our home)

 That means the family room won’t be overrun with toys- but it  our spaces will be designed for children and their interests too. First to go – our formal dining room and definitely no formal living room. We have an amazing straight-out-of Pottery Barn dining area. We hardly ever use it! The new space will be a multi-purpose room. We’re keeping our large table, but swapping chairs and planning for adjacent space to be an art area and creative space.

The kids will continue to share rooms that will have only a few toys. Rooms will be designed for sleeping and reading and we’ll use the extra room as a playroom –A baby-safe area that rotates toys. It needs to be organized so kids can easily clean up after themselves, but creative and fun without clutter.

Outside has been one of my favorite areas to explore. We are going to have a pool (hooray!), but at the expense of having a large yard. Instead, the kids will have a 15×40 side yard as an outdoor play space. I’ve been researching tons of natural play areas that are both engaging and alternatives to the typical wooden swing set we have now. Some of my favorite ideas:

So there you have it. Pre-planning from afar. Can you tell how much i am looking forward to the family time that is ahead of us? It has been a long time coming. I can hardly wait!


About Stephanie

Stephanie Beaty is a blessed, homeschooling mama of four and military spouse. After a 10-year career as a professional writer/PR pro she began Lifeography, a modern child + family portrait studio where she focuses on capturing relationships and connections. Although her growing family currently resides in Tampa, Fla., home is wherever the Navy sends them.

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  • nela

    loving your organized mind, steph! we also bought a home, and if everything goes as planned, we’ll be moving in this fall. so i’m right there, following in your footsteps :) my only ‘problem’ is that i have a very has-a-mind-of-his-own-about-all-aspects-of-interior-design husband 😉

    • Stephanie Cribbs Beaty

      Thanks sweet Nela! So excited for you — and to see what you come up with. Fortunately, my husband is a little less opinionated in design — but when he has an idea, I’m usually in trouble! Ha!

  • Lau_zabala

    I am also moving (in the next couple of weeks!) thanks for the tips I wil for sure keep in mind all your great ideas on arranging rooms family oriented!!!

    • Stephanie Cribbs Beaty

      Can’t wait to see what you do! Come back and share with us!

  • Sandi Clark Thompson

    When I did child care out of my home I had an outdoor space like what you are envisioning. It was so great, the kids loved it and we didn’t have a yard full of colored plastic toys just laying around. One thing the kids loved was having a few large rocks to stand on and jump from. I also found a large dead tree branch that I laid on it’s side and they would walk on it like a balance beam. You might also consider some outside musical instruments like a drum or some chimes that they can play with a stick. Just some thoughts for you to consider :) I can’t wait to see what all you come up with in your new home! Congrats!

    • Stephanie Cribbs Beaty

      I just LOVE these ideas Sandi. Thank you! Adding them to the list. WIll eventually do a whole article on outdoor spaces. You really seemed to have put a lot of thought into yours!

  • Vanessa @ Strickly Speaking

    These ideas look lovely and how exciting to own after renting for 4 years! I love Pinterest. :) I’m a big fan of the “formal dining room” – especially if you have nowhere else to eat – but I LOVE the idea of a multi-purpose room and really making the most out of that space!

    • Stephanie Beaty

      Thanks Vanessa! Multi-purpose will be great! For us, it will also serve as a “formal dining” room b/c our big table will be there – but we do have a kitchen table too that the family eats on regularly.