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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you have a problem area (or areas) in your home that you just can't use efficiently? Maybe a spot that was poorly thought out or awkwardly designed during the construction of your home - or a layout that just isn't working for you?

Or did you have an awkward area and find a way to fix it or use it for something different?

Share your problems and solutions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Right now I'm struggling with our entryway. It's narrow, has a tiny closet with folding doors, and the basement stairs right beside the door. For five people and winter coming it is totally not going to cut it. This morning I am assessing which wall to put some hooks on for the kid's coats and backpacks. I'm eyeing the ledge in the stairwell to try to come up with some storage ideas, but it's only 6" deep and I'm not sure I can fit anything on it.

I had considered making a mudroom area at the other door - which has loads of space - but we don't use that door so I'm going to do something else there.
 

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my living room. its a fairly large room, long room however I haven't figured out a way to arrange my furniture that I'm happy with.

I have a fireplace on one wall, a very large/long radiator along my window wall, there is a door also on that wall and I have the door way from the kitchen on another wall. That leaves me one long wall to put a couch.

In my plan of buying new furniture in a few years I want to sort of "flip" the room so the fireplace will be the focal point in the room. The wall with the radiator is really messing with me.
 

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How wide is the room? Our last livingroom was long and I put the couch across the middle of the room with a low bookshelf (doubling as a sofa table) behind it. It broke the space up into two distinct living areas and made it a lot cozier.
 

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Most of the house, really. The door opens the wrong direction, onto the basement stairs and the entry is really narrow so you have to crawl around it to get to the stairs up into the house. The stairs are a stupid idea to begin with, what a waste of space when you could just enter into the LR.

The LR barely holds 1 sofa and two stuffed chairs and my computer desk, and there's one narrow window so it's always dark in here.

My kitchen is so small I can stand at the stove and reach into the fridge, or the sink at the same time. The cabinets are too small to get baking sheets, casserole dishes, or frying pans into, and I have to be careful how I stack the good china so it all fits.

The master bedroom barely holds the bed, with a dresser you have to turn sidewise to get past it. Two windows and 3 doors make it impossible to rearrange the furniture. And the closet is tiny, they all are.

I could go on... but there's no point. We're managing. I find getting rid of a lot of stuff has helped the most. I want to get rid of our farmhouse sized dining table, it's in a dine-in kitchen the size of an apartment space. And since we have no mortgage, I don't often feel the need to complain about it.
 

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My entryway - the door swings open and 6 inches from the edge of the door is a stairway with a massive thick wooden railing. We like to NEVER got the furniture in the house - had to take the patio door out and come in the back - in the rain!

We're thinking of removing this railing thing - there is a handrail on the other side, and we have no one who would need that to navigate the stairs. It would open up that entryway and make it much more welcoming.
 

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We have a living room in the front of the house and a family room in the back. Since we only need one TV room, the living room sat completely empty for the first six years we lived here. We couldn't come up with a good use for the room, so we did nothing.

Then, we got a puppy and it was her room while she was in training (blocked off from the rest of the house). Finally, I turned it into a sewing room and it's been awesome ever since.

I think we were too concerned about appearances for too long. The living room is the first room seen from the front entrance and, for a while, we thought that it needed to look good for company. Nuts to that! We got over that idea and made the room work for us. :D
 

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Our big bathroom has a lot of wasted space. There's a big, uncomfortable tub that's never used. The sink and surrounding countertop is twice the size it should be. I'd like to take out the tub and build a closet there, but our house is an old mobile, and what might be under the tub I may not want to deal with!
 

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The yard isn't working for me. Haven't figured out how to fix that yet.

The kitchen trash can isn't working. The dog has figured out how to lift the lid and get into the trash. Still trying to figure that one out.

I have learned that every house we have lived in needs some tweaking sometimes that means our routine. In this house the children keep there backpacks in the kitchen instead of with the coats. That has worked really well for us but I wasn't so sure it would at the beginning.

I have also discovered that correct sized furniture makes a area work so much better. Each kitchen might need a different table size. Buddy still loves the kitchen that could not have a table in so we ate at the counters with counter stools, I personally am glad to have a kitchen table back.

Each house we have lived in had different struggles to make it work for us. Sometime we had to change our routine/how we preferred things. Sometimes we were able to add things to make the house fit how we liked to do things.

Good luck Monkey!
 

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Actually, my bedroom isn't working for me.

Our house is a split into 4 levels. We wanted the kids to all be on the same level, so they are all upstairs and dh and I are downstairs, off of the foyer in what used to be the playroom. So, now, the toys are spread throughout the house, and our bedroom winds up having toys and children in it all the time. The office is off of our room, and their computer is in there, as well as ours, so that's another reason this becomes a thoroughfare.

With baby #4 on the way, we can't reconfigure, as we're already out of space, but we are redoing the basement a bit. Right now, we have the big screen tv, a couch, and a recliner. The problem is, there is a bar in the basement, along the back wall that takes up quite a bit of space. We aren't entertainers, nor are we drinkers, so we don't use the bar except for storage of holiday decorations.

We're taking out the bar to make more space in the basement. We're going to get a sectional couch and then make the area behind the couch an area where we can put small bookcases to hold toys. We're also reconfiguring some shelving on the other side of the room so that the tv will be built into the wall along with shelves for more storage over there.

We're hoping that this will give the kids more of a place to play and keep their toys. We'll be moving the boys in to a bedroom together and making ds2's bedroom into the nursery for the baby.

I just want my bedroom to be the haven that it used to be. Just by it's very location of being on the main floor, that is tricky, but I'm hoping this will help!
 

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Our dining room has been the major problem room, it is beyond tiny. We have a small table, a small hutch and a server. We can't even have our table in there without it blocking the back door. Forget the hutch and server. So our dining room is not a dining room. I'm in the process of changing it into a butler's pantry on one side and a home office on the other. I'm hoping that will work for us since we need both of these things.

I'm thinking that the people who built this home must have had Barbie furniture! That or even the smallest furniture I can buy today is gigantic compared to the furniture of the 50's. I mean really, not being able to fit the smallest of dining sets in the dining room of a home seems wrong. Like the guy who drew up the blueprints messed up.
 

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The boys room - they have a huge room with a bunk bed with a trundle in the drawer. They have now decided to gang up on each other. We have separated them out and divide with shelves but it is just not working for me.
 

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My apartment was originally designed for the units to NOT have washer and dryer hook-ups. When they revamped them, they took the easy way out and put the washer in the center hallway that has connecting access doors to the living room on the 1st side, the bedrooms on the 2nd side, the bathroom on 3rd side and the kitchen on the 4th side. That was the easiest because the hot water heater access is right behind the washer. But because it was an inside wall, they couldn't vent the dryer so the dryer electrical outlet and vent is on the other side of the kitchen so I have to carry (more like drag the basket...lol) of wet laundry from the hallway to the other end of the kitchen which is about 10 ft. Definitely not convenient, but I guess I could have to drag the laundry to the laundromat, so I guess that's a good thing.
 

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Our basement is long and narrow with a fireplace. (it's DD room now) It's impossible to arrange furniture and make it functional.

Ours is a split level ranch style. When you walk in the front door you either go up the stairs to the main level or downstairs. I hate it and whoever designed this style of house in the 70's must have been smoking something really bad. :p
 

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Great thread! Actually our house works pretty well, and whoever designed it 30+ years ago did a great job. But with that said, there are little things:
1. Small master bedroom and bath. We couldn't put all of our bedroom set in there, so the bureau went into the dining room as a side board.
2. A very nice wood floor for the front entry. It's beautiful, but not functional. I'm always wiping up water spots from it.
3. The opening to the garage is right by the stairs to the basement. Someday, I'm afraid that I'll come in from the garage with bags of groceries, and drop them down the stairs. And the garage is a little small for our two vehicles, plus, garbage cans and snowblower, etc.
4. The kitchen USED to be a mess, but we remodeled it, and now it's a joy.
5. So overall, we are very happy with the house.
 

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My house is too far away from my boyfriend. That's my major complaint. I don't want to move!!! I love my house.

Some things that aren't working well:

The bathroom is very large and long. It has empty space along this one wall that I just can't figure out how to use. It has a huge linen closet so I don't need a shelf-unit thing in there, I've tried a sitting chair (that no one used and looked out of place), a dog-crate with the turtle in it (for higher humidity, but now she's relocated) a basket for dirty clothes (didn't like the looks of that) a hamper (again, didn't like the looks of it, didn't need it in there)

I think my furniture is too big for the house but I love the furniture. It creates definite road-blocks when more than one person is walking around. I keep shoving things together to make more room for the dogs. (three large dogs and 2 small dogs) I like them to be able to flounce around tackling each other.

I think I'm the issue with most of the house issues. I love my dogs, everything is geared towards them.
 
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