Evolving space: a toddler-friendly Montessori dining room

Back in January I wrote a blog post about trying to make the space in our dining room more baby-friendly. I’ve made more changes to the room since – I painted a blackboard wall in April, and slowly the shelves in the dining room were given over solely to art materials as her toys moved into her room (video here of the most recent set-up). 

Yesterday, whilst Frida napped, I decided to make a further change to the space. One corner of the dining room had always frustrated me – we didn’t really use it, the space felt cluttered, the cabinet was filled with things we didn’t use. It felt like a visual drain on my energy, and a waste of perfectly good space (well – perfectly good if you ignore the paintwork that needs touching up, and the old fireplace with broken tiles which we still haven’t gotten round to renovating, and and and…). 

This is what it looked like before:

Before: not a very inspiring space at all

Frida has a tiny play kitchen which was stuck behind the dining room door, and I was also wondering if the reason she didn’t really use it was because of its location. 

Once I had decided I wanted to change the space, I had to do it immediately – I’m not very good at being patient! As soon as Frida fell asleep I set to emptying the cabinet, putting aside charity shop piles. I roped my husband into moving the cabinet into the garden, then moved some of her toys and rugs around to create what I hope is a more inviting space. 

This is how it looks now:

The new set up – I hope you’ll agree it’s much more toddler friendly

So far Frida seems to really enjoy her “new” space, and the room feels lighter and bigger. 

I’m very conscious that our home is so important to Frida, especially as she doesn’t go to nursery or anything – our space needs to fill all her needs as well as being conducive to the practicalities of daily life. 

The following photo gives you an idea of how our dining room space joins up. Her blackboard wall is on the left, and to the right is another red cabinet which we do actually use! 

(Looking at this photo I should definitely have moved the cabinet and the chair in the garden so they were out of view… oh well, chalk it up to “real life” and not having the time to stage photos!)

I’ve found that I change our spaces around a lot; it feels like I’m always trying to tweak one area or another of our home to suit Frida’s growing needs. 

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