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Friday, July 29, 2022

Montessori Considerations for Renovations Part 1

Just about 10 years ago, Morgan and I bought our house. At the time, we had one small toddler and a couple little dogs. Since that time, we've welcome four more children into our family and so many changes have taken place. When we bought the house, we knew that it needed a fair amount of updating and we've slowly worked over the last decade to make the house really work for our style and needs.

About five years ago we decided that our basement would really need a big overhaul to make this house work for us long term. This became increasingly clear the more we stayed home during the pandemic and after adding a fifth baby to our house. Both of our bathrooms were also extremely in need of an update and repairs so we decided to do all of the work together. Finally, this project became a reality in June when work started. 

(These are before pictures)

A Montessori Renovation


Throughout this process, Montessori has been front and center in the choices we have made for the space. I am by no means a designer so we'll see how it all comes together in the end, but I thought I would share some of the considerations that we have made with Montessori in mind. 

  • Everything's height. I have thought about the height of everything to intentionally make things as accessible as possible. This includes making sure light switches are at accessible heights (where possible), lowering shower shelf height, adding a toddler height hand rail on the stairs, lowering shelves and hooks on the walls. Low drawers, but with space to grow as everyone ages. We even decided to go with a built in stool in the main bathroom! 
  • Flooring. Flooring was picked with our children's everyday activities in mind. How easy would it be to build on the carpet? Would kids slip easily on the tile? (Yes, I did drip water on the samples!) What would be easiest to clean? All of this went into our thoughts. 

    (During demo and construction! We found some fun vintage paint choices.)

  • Accessibility of fixtures. We want to make sure any faucet we add to the space would be easy for all our children to use. Since we have a lot of kids, how much space is necessary for them to  We want the hooks on the walls to be easy for even a toddler to hang up their towel. 
  • Sensory Needs. We have some kids with additional sensory needs, so we made sure to add a specific place for our indoor swing to hang. We have added additional support so that it can be used for a long long time and be more flexible in the types of swings used. We also added some additional insulation to make sure rooms were extra quiet where they needed to be. 
  • Personal Preferences. The kids have been actively involved in picking aspects of the project that they they can participate in. Paint colors and accessories. Also, we just had to go with touches of yellow for our two kids that are obsessed!   
We are nearing the end of the first (and largest) phase of the renovation. I'll be back to share the final details when everything is done. In the meantime you can follow along on my Instagram stories for more frequent updates on how Montessori is influencing our renovation progress. 

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