As a work-from-home mom, it’s very important that my home is a pleasant place to be. It sounds pretty simple but staring at the same décor day in and day out can be tiring, which is exactly what I don’t need as a busy mom of two toddlers and a wee one on the way. Here are some steps that my husband and I took to make our home more modern, comfortable, and an ideal place to work.
Our first major decision was updating our alarm system. While we’ve always included home security systems as one of our residential security features, the alarm we had been using was installed more than 20 years ago by the last homeowners. Updating our system was a good opportunity to make sure the wiring was sound and, with the advances in technology, allows me to monitor activity around the house via live feed. This is especially helpful at the front door when I’m expecting a delivery or a parent for a play date.
One of my favorite innovations was when we updated our kitchen. The original, avocado-green appliances were clearly dated, and the beige linoleum had faded so much that even a clean floor looked dirty. We examined our needs, e.g., needing a place where people could comfortably gather, and ended up removing a wall between the kitchen and breakfast room. We gained a wonderful, open area that accommodates ample counter space, a small area where I can put my children’s playpen, and a desk for me against the wall. I now have to place to work where I can also keep an eye on dinner without having to dash back and forth between rooms.
Having a relaxation space in the house was also incredibly important as the line between working and off-time can blur pretty easily. My husband and I turned a spare room into a parents-only space where we can take time away from our respective careers. I love going there while the kids are napping and just taking some time for myself to read a book, do a little meditating, or just decompress for a few minutes before getting back to work. We made sure not to have a television in the room so that we don’t end up using it as a second family room. Removing the unfortunate shag carpeting was almost enough to modernize the room by itself. We installed laminate flooring, put down a few carpet tiles, and changed the wall color from boring white to a nice, soothing blue. Just as the kids have a playroom, so do the adults have a room of our own.
As you may have guessed, we didn’t make all of these updates at once. We worked on small areas at a time, looked for the best deals on paint and home décor we could find, and did as much of the work as we could on our own. The result is a wonderful space where I can be productive, invite clients for meetings, and spend time with my husband and children when I’m off the clock.