Last August when we announced the pending arrival of our wee Minion, our home became a great topic of discussion. I'll be damned if the next thing out of people's mouths after Congratulations wasn't, ARE YOU MOVING?
See we live in 508sq/ft (the 8 ft counts for a lot at this size) and are perfectly happy. We live in a great neighbourhood, on the Westside, near the beach, and walking distance to everything. We have many friends nearby. But most importantly, we always agreed we would rather live closer to what we love and have less space, than live away from it all to have more. Disclaimer: By NO means am I a minimalist.
As my belly grew, the topic of where The Minion would go became a delicate subject. There were two schools of thought which everyone felt entitled to weigh in on: 1) We HAD to move, babies have a lot of stuff. Our lives, and more importantly, that of our child's would be compromised otherwise. 2) We'd be fine, babies don't need a lot or know any different.
Luckily, and I truly believe this, we fell into the latter of the two. In a consumer based society and the nature of my profession, I, for some reason, feel the need to defend this.
As millennials, we get a bad wrap. Our generation has taken a hit as the "throw-away generation"--A generation of excess that is entitled and doesn't care. The thing is though, we're not all created equal. I (half) joke that there should be subcategories to help define what we really are. We live at a time where space is limited and quality isn't what it used to be. Our homes are not the "conventional" family homes. We demand more, not from entitlement but from necessity.
There's a certain assumption (perhaps generationally, perhaps not) that a baby needs a room and all things baby must go in it. Well, let me tell you that sure wasn't happening in my home (this is likely my Taurus speaking). Minion was joining our family so why not incorporate him into our lives--things and all?
We (I) spent a great deal of time thinking, planning, talking, researching, and sourcing how this would work in our space. As a designer and fan of small spaces, I always try to approach everything from a multi-functional standpoint. Baby would be the perfect opportunity to practice what I preach. There was a list, then a revision, and a revision of that. A lot of measuring, editing, a well chosen custom piece or two and a few middle of the night epiphanies.
In the end, I'm happy to say we did it! And more importantly live it daily. Minion's things go with ours-- in the bathroom, in the closets, on the book shelves. Baby has a mini crib and a nook instead of a room and he doesn't know any different. Someday we might see thru the plans for the custom wall mounted change table but for now we're doing just fine without. Baby's clothes live in the drawers of the new hall closet organizer (which I'm a bit jealous of). The bottom shelves of our built-ins house baskets for toys, books and linens. But above all else, we incorporated uncoventional, well designed, quality pieces into our home that will grow with all of us. No baby explosions here.
At the end of the day, the park is our backyard, the beach is our pool, the local café is our extended living room and we're happy for that. Sure the day will come (perhaps sooner than we realize) when we outgrow this home, but until then it's ours, every single well used square foot of it.