tzd before and after: double duty dining room

It’s time for another Traci Zeller Designs “before” and “after” … because isn’t that the most fun part of interior design?  This homeowner used my Double Day Design service to work through many of her rooms, and it was such a joy to see this home evolve.

When it came time to tackle the dining room, I knew exactly what needed to happen: Double Duty Design!  For a family of six — parents to triplet boys and a precious little girl (remember her room?) — this house was not particularly spacious, and they needed to use every inch to the max.  For a dining room, that meant plenty of seating at the table … plus a way to use the room when the family is not entertaining.

Traci Zeller Designs Double Duty Dining RoomI couldn’t be any more thrilled with the results!  A large pedestal table easily handles ten people, so everyone has a seat at the table (without an awkward leg in their way!).  The aged finish on the table will disguise plenty of little dings — making it a perfect spot for Mom to monitor homework.  Need to fit a few more?  No problem!  Lots of little bottoms fit on faux ostrich-upholstered benches, so it’s a breeze to seat another family.

Traci Zeller Designs Double Duty Dining Room 2Or perhaps Mom would rather relax while Dad watches a show with the kiddos in another room.  A cozy sofa, nestled between two custom bookcases, provides a perfect spot for reading.  With storage galore, anything the family might need is right at hand.  Extra china, homework supplies, books and much more are easily hidden in the bookcases (with open and closed storage!) and underneath the skirted tables.

Traci Zeller Designs Dining Room Before (Empty)And here’s where this room started.  Hand-me-down furniture had been a temporary solution, but — with the family eager for a fresh look — we started from scratch to create this double duty dining room.  No, that light fixture could not stay!

What do you think?  Does this Double Duty dining room live up to its billing?  Do you have a Double Duty room in your home?

Interior design by Traci Zeller.  Photography by Dustin Peck Photography.  

the (almost) painless way to prevent summer learning loss

If your kiddos are anything like my twin boys, the only things you are hearing in your house sound something like this … “How many more days of school do we have left?”  “I want to go to the pool.”  “When is it going to be summer?”  “Why do we have to go to bed?”

Twin Boys at Great Wolf ArcadeIn other words, they are as eager as eager can be to Step. Away. From. The. Books.  And promptly forget everything they’ve spent all school year learning.

Summer Bridge Activity BooksToo bad, so sad, little dudes … because Mommy’s one-upped you on that.  See, I am equipped with something no parent should be without.  Common sense?  No.  Parenting books?  Nope.  Although those are both very good things.  The one thing no parent should be without is a Teacher Bestie.  When your bestie friends are elementary school teachers, you’ve got just about everything you need to know at the end of one phone call.  And I’m totally not afraid to use it.

Summer Bridge SampleWondering how to prevent summer learning loss?  Thanks to my dear teacher friends, I have the easy — and almost entirely painless — answer: the Summer Bridge series!  I’ve spotted the workbooks in our Charlotte, North Carolina Barnes & Noble, although they are also available on and via the Summer Bridge website.  With as little as fifteen minutes per day (it’s only one page!!) over the summer holidays, your rising preschooler through eighth grader will review concepts learned the previous school year and be introduced to new concepts for the coming year.

Parlez Vous Francais?It’s going to be interesting to see how my kiddos react to the Summer Bridge series.  Because my twins are in a language immersion school, they do not receive any English instruction … so I think this could be an excellent way to ensure they are keeping pace with their peers in traditional schools.

Twin A Wears Crazy GlassesI’m all about kids being kids and having lots of summer fun.  But I’m super excited about an easy way to keep them engaged in learning.  Because — in my book — learning is a lifetime sport!

Do you use a summer program for your kiddos?  If so, what do you think?

Product images and sample via Summer Bridge Activities and Carson-Dellosa Publishing.  Summer Bridge Activities did not sponsor this post or otherwise provide any product or content.  

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