This house we have now was the perfect weekend getaway when we had college-aged kids, and it's turning out to be a fairly awesome retirement home for Hubby and I. Having no stairway inside the house, to allow sound to travel up from Hubby's stereo and bigass TV down in the Man Cave, has turned out to be a godsend. Learning to share a little 5x5 bathroom with one sink occupying the same space as the toilet and shower, with no counters or drawers, and which also serves as our guest facility? Not so much. I know, first world problem, right? We manage.
Now that we have a grandbaby, however, I have to wonder, what was I thinking? OK, I know what I was thinking. I was thinking about older granchildren, who could spend their days at Blue Hole or Jacob's Well or Schlitterbahn or climbing Mount Baldy or Enchanted Rock or riding the zipline or exploring caves, then come back to have slumber parties and play video games down in the Man Cave. Guess I didn't give enough thought to the early stages, when you can't let them out of your sight! We have no play room or toy closet. Every cabinet and drawer is already stuffed to the brim. And there is certainly no space for play kitchens or toy work benches or standing art easels, unless it's out on one of the covered porches.
My daughter's house is pretty much the same way, but that was intentional on their part. They believe that life is better when you focus on accumulating experiences and adventures, rather than "stuff." Her solution to the play-station-problem? Just install a shelf somewhere. If you put a few tools on it, it's a workbench. Put some pots and pans on it, it's a stove. Put an old manual typewriter on it, it becomes an office or a place to write stories and plays and newspapers. The sky's the limit, really, and all in just a tiny bit of space.
So, I was looking around the house, trying to figure out where I could install such a thing, and you'll never guess what I discovered. I already have one. DOH!
Not long after we moved in, we noticed this odd little flip-up shelf on one end of our kitchen island, and we had no idea what it was for.
As in the bathroom, there is almost no counter space in our kitchen, so we thought it might be where the original owner might have set up her mixer or Cuisinart when she used them, or maybe it was meant to be a place to set your grocery bags while unloading them.
Or maybe, just maybe, it's meant to be absolutely anything you want it to be!
So, this morning, I was sitting in my special thinking chair, wondering where I could find a tiny table-top easel that would fit on this wee little shelf, when somehow my mind found its way to one of those life-hack memes I saw on Facebook recently. (Amazing how often this happens when I'm in that special chair!) Anywho, this one happened to be about binder clips, which we have quite a few of.
It got me to thinkin', what if I just clipped a big one onto the edge of the shelf, and left one the clips sticking up, like so...
Et Voila! We now have a pint-sized art studio!