While homeowner Meiyi Li once dreamed of a spacious, tidy abode that fulfils all of her design wishes, these plans went out the window when she started expecting her first child.
We asked her about her design adjustments—and some of the biggest struggles she’s faced taking care of a family home.
You originally planned for a couple of things in your home that you didn’t end up incorporating. Can you talk us through those adjustments?
Our house plans went through many revisions because I started designing even before our wedding. When I knew I was expecting, the fancy plans had to go out the window.
Practicality had to reign and I had to plan with the kid in mind. That’s when the fancy study room had to go and in place, the play area of sorts came in.
How has your home changed since having kids?
I’ve had to cover my limited-edition Karimoku sofa with throws to catch potential spills or vomit and have had to remove the rug in the living room because the kids were dropping crumbs of every kind on it.
I also had to add another sofa for more seating. Kids aren’t exactly known for being clean and tidy.
What are some of the most frustrating things you deal with in a family home?
The house gets easily messy, so I’ve had to make changes to make the space easier to clean and reduce cleaning time.
One of my walls has been drawn on secretly and the wall around my common bathroom switch is stained from all the dirty hands that slam and drag on it. The changes aren’t pretty!
What’s one thing you planned for that you’re grateful for now?
I’m thankful that I planned for a play area instead of the study room so I have space for all the toys and cardboard houses.
Were there any unexpected changes along the way that made things hard, despite your layout adjustments at the start?
What we didn’t originally plan for was having a second kid. So now we’re pressed for space because we only have two bedrooms!
This post was adapted from an article originally published in idealhomes 2023.