Did y’all have a great Labor Day weekend? Lots of cookouts and picnics and getting together? Bet you didn’t have as much fun as I did — I spent the whole weekend (and I mean the whole weekend, from Thursday morning to Monday afternoon)babysitting my 17-month-old grandson, Capt. Adorable while my daughter and son-in-law went to DragonCon in Atlanta. And besides all the incredibly good snuggle time I got with the Captain — and the chance to watch endless episodes of Sid the Science Kid, my new favorite TV show — I fell in love all over again with my daughter and son-in-law’s house. When my son-in-law, a high-school art teacher, got tenure this past spring, they decided it was time to move out of their apartment and into a real house. Frugal young family that they are, they had a budget and were determined not to budge from it. Their must-haves: A big fenced-in backyard for the Captain, three bedrooms, two baths and good storage space. It took awhile, but they found it — and under their budget. It was cute and in a good neighborhood and had a fantastic backyard. The bad news? Total square footage was less than their apartment. However, after living in it for a few days, I can attest that this house seems so much bigger than it actually is. The secret is a combination of design and decor. I love the archectural details that make this compact space live bigger: The soaring ceilings, the tiled entry way, closets tucked away in unexpected but efficient places, the big airy windows. It would have been so easy to have let this be a cheap and boring house, but no. And the kids have done everything they could to enhance the feeling of expansiveness — they added white beadboard to the eating area, knocked out some useless kitchen cabinets to create more open space and used paint to their advantage with the Captain’s bed- and bathrooms in bright oranges and yellows and the other rooms in soothing and calm neutrals. Adorable!
And a note to any other grandparents contemplating days of move-in babysitting: Line up visits from friends and family. I could not have made it without help from so many people who brought us food and new toys and drove over just to visit us. Thank you!!!