Transition From Breakfast Room To Sitting Room

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After a year of using the breakfast room as a bedroom, Matt and I were finally able to move into the guest bedroom about a week after I refinished the hallway floor. In the weeks leading up to that move, I was dreaming of having my breakfast room back. I had given away our dining table that I had used in the room before, so I was also dreaming of either purchasing or building a new dining table. After finding a beautiful unfinished pedestal, I decided that that I wanted to purchase that pedestal base and then build the top and finish the whole table.

Well, that’ll have to wait now, because just a couple of days before we moved into the bedroom, Matt threw a wrench into my plans with his announcement that he wanted a recliner where he could sit during the day.

I’ll be quite honest. I heard the word “recliner” and my heart sank. First of all, where would I put it? And second, that word “recliner” brings about an involuntary feeling of dread.

As I’ve been remodeling and decorating the house, I’ve asked Matt every step of the way what he needs and wants. He has always assured me that he doesn’t need a chair anywhere because when he’s up, he uses his wheelchair. (My husband has M.S., so he’s wheelchair bound and also spends quite a bit of time in bed throughout the day.)

But now he had decided that he’d spend a whole lot more time sitting up (and a whole lot less time in bed) if he had a comfy chair somewhere and didn’t have to sit in his wheelchair exclusively.

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So, yeah. *Sigh* He waited until I had finished the living room, finished the music room, finished the guest bedroom, and was just about to get the breakfast room back in usable order, to spring this info on me. So that left the home gym or my studio as options for his recliner.

Or…the breakfast room. Ugh. The breakfast room. That’s the room that made the most sense.

I struggled with the idea for a day, but there was no way I was going to say no. It was obvious over the last year that he really enjoyed being in the breakfast room during the day. It’s the brightest room in the house during the day, it has a TV in it, and it’s pretty much right in the middle of the areas where I spend most of my days. So over the last year, he was never stuck by himself in a bedroom. He really got used to that and enjoyed it.

So, the breakfast room was the natural choice. Then came the second issue — finding a recliner that would be comfortable for him, and that I could live with in a very central room of our house.

I was determined to find something that didn’t look like a recliner. After much searching and and reading customer reviews, I finally settled on this light gray recliner from Wayfair.

I bought two of them so that we could sit together in the room and watch TV. They came in a few days ago, and here’s how they look.

breakfast room turned sitting room - 1

I really like them! And more importantly, Matt really likes his new chair. It’s a great size — not too big, and not too small. I was concerned about how it would “fit” Matt since he’s 6’1″ tall. I was afraid that the back might not be tall enough to support his head, but this one works perfectly for him! And it’s comfy for me as well, but I was less concerned about it fitting me since I’m only 5′ tall.

It’ll take some getting used to for him, because it’s been a while (literally years) since he’s sat in anything other than his wheelchair. But so far, so good. We even sat in them yesterday and ate lunch while watching a show, and it worked out great!

breakfast room turned sitting room - 3

So now our breakfast room is a sitting room, and now that I know the chair will work out for Matt, I want to do a little more decorating in the room. I took the curtains down many, many months ago because with a bed in here, the room was really cramped and I didn’t want to take a chance on the curtains getting ruined. (Since we were in here a lot, so was Cooper, and he’s kind of a whirlwind of energy.) So I need to dig those out of storage and get them hung back up.

breakfast room turned sitting room - 2

And because I use a Hoyer lift to get Matt from his wheelchair onto his recliner, that means that he won’t ever need to have his wheelchair in this room. That means that I’m pretty sure I can use an area rug in here! That’s always exciting to me to find areas where I can actually use rugs because with a wheelchair user in the house, there just aren’t many areas where an area rug won’t be a problem for him. In fact, the only place I currently have an area rug is in the living room. I love area rugs, so I look forward to being able to use one in here as well.

breakfast room turned sitting room - 5

And the there’s the chandelier. The size and height of the chandelier is much more suited for use above a dining table. With it being above two recliners, it kind of feels like it’s coming down right on our heads. So for the time being, I may see about finding a flush or semi-flush mount light to use in this room until we’re ready to turn it back into a proper dining space. That will happen when we build the addition on the back of the house to include a comfy family room where Matt will definitely have a very nice, quality recliner where he can sit.

breakfast room turned sitting room - 6

And finally, I’d like to get a little side table with a drawer that we can use between the chairs where I can place my cup, and where we can store the remotes.

breakfast room turned sitting room - 7

So while I won’t get my breakfast room back for a while, I’ve managed to move from disappointment to excitement about getting this room usable for Matt and decorated for me. And I love the idea of him continuing to have the ability to spend as much time as possible in this room since it’s clearly his favorite room to be in during the day.

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  1. I know you will make this into a wonderful space for you to share in comfort. Homes adapt for our needs and wants, and I can imagine sitting there, watching out the window, enjoying tv and the company of you in the kitchen. I am looking forward to seeing your finishing touches here.

  2. Well this got me in the feels! Knowing how caught off guard that would be, you just went with it and enjoyed the change for Matt’s benefit. Feel good story of the day for me. 😊

    1. Yes, I SO agree with Teresa, and I am so happy for Matt. He will spend less time in bed away from the household, and more time in a sunny room, in the middle of goings on! And the ease you changed things up was commendable Kristi…like no problem! And now you spend more time together, and comfortable for him too. I LOVE it!

      1. LOVE THE CHAIRS!! Omg! You’d never know they’re recliners, honestly may purchase one. A house becomes a home when it’s comfy, this looks great for both of you.

  3. Recliners became a part of our life when we developed back issues & after an emergency shoulder replacement. We have found it nice to have a small table on the outsides of each recliner so we can hold hands while watching tv. The other item that proved valuable during my shoulder recovery was a small pillow, filled with foam beads, that could tucked into different places behind my back & neck, to relieve pressure points. We ordered it from Amazon. There is nothing more relaxing than a recliner. We ended up getting a large one for the bedroom because it was a better fit for sleeping than the adjustable bed. It is your home and comfort is the best barometer for what works for you. I love the recliners you selected. Perfect!

  4. The best thing about a home is how it can change to suit our needs! Glad you found recliners that fit you both!

    1. I adore your decorating style. Admire your building skills and creativity even more.
      Love the chairs you picked out for your sitting/breakfast room, but was wondering if you still find them comfortable after now using them for a bit?
      Can’t wait to see what’s next!

      1. Yes! I wasn’t sure I would, but after using it every day for almost two weeks, I can say that I really do love this chair.

  5. This post makes me happy! I love the look of the chairs in there…it looks natural. Both you and Matt are accommodating to each other’s needs. Kudos to both of you!

  6. I love that Matt gets to continue soaking up the sunlight! I understand your feeling of dread hearing “recliner” but have noticed, as you proved, they are finally being made to look good!

  7. I’m glad that you found a way to make Matt happier and more comfortable. Could you also put a few bird feeders near the window? That way, if he doesn’t want to watch TV he could enjoy nature. Unless he isn’t into birds.

    1. Great suggestion. My husband didn’t know a cardinal from a wren until I hung a feeder, now he enjoys being able to “name the birds” and gets a kick from watching their interactions (esp. the hummers).

      1. I’ve always been a bird lover, and feed them religiously, but with our latest house, my husband has taken over filling the seed feeder, and finding ways to outsmart the squirrels and raccoons We live on a lake, so now keep the binoculars out on the screened porch so we can check out the geese and herons too! My husband didn’t know a thing about birds, but now he calls me to see his latest finds!

        1. Forgot my comment about the chairs! LOL! Those are really nice! My husband gets to keep his recliner in our bedroom (mostly because it’s old and ugly!) I’ve been trying to get him to choose a new recliner, but he fusses at the costs of them, the shape, the lever/no lever/power recline, you name it! Seems there is no single one that he can live with, and it makes me crazy! Can I ask if yours is powered or a manual operation? As for your breakfast room, since Matt likes the space so much could you live with it being permanent, and moving the breakfast room to the music room or even living room? The new addition could be dual function as a new living room/music room combo! Then Matt will always enjoy the space that is central in the house and not feel left out beyond the active spaces.

  8. I think the room looks really good. Bright windows and comfortable. Love the chairs. Did I see a dishwasher in the one picture from the kitchen?

  9. Another beautiful space. You are the best for making these adjustments for Matt. I don’t know how you get it all one! Hugs from Pearland to you both. Mona

  10. I like the recliners in your breakfast room and I’m sure you and Matt will enjoy them while you watch tv, read and just enjoy that bright room.

  11. What a lovely interim solution for you two, until you get your beautiful new family room built.

    Since Matt really enjoys the light in your breakfast room, consider installing skylights in your family room ceiling, when you get around to building. If this side of the house is sunny, the opposite side may not be so. Skylights, or even Solatubes, will make a huge difference in a room where you want to have natural light during the day.

  12. Bravo, Kristi!!!!!….. You have made the room comfy and cozy. A place for your Matt to not feel isolated. And being the Kitchen is literally just around the corner…. making all things so very convenient. Sending abundant virtual HUGS……as ever, Pat

  13. Well if this wasn’t the highlight of my day 😊. Reading about love in action. Thank you ma’am!

  14. Just a question….why dont you put the recliners in the living room and mount a tv above the fireplace? That way you could use both rooms?

  15. Thank you for sharing how adaptable you are. That it took you a day is more than reasonable. My first thought was of your upcoming family room addition. Up to this point I didn’t see a need because you have your beautiful living room. However this really opened my eyes to how you will use the family room once it’s built.

    Also love how you are fully using every room in your home. Keep up the great work.

  16. Way to adapt, Krisit! So glad Matt will have more “chair time”, and be closer to you during the day. After my heart surgery a few years ago, my husband and I would often fall asleep in the living room, myself on the sofa, and he in his recliner, which stretches out all the way to accomodate his 6’3″ frame. It was painful for a while to get into and out of bed, so this worked well for us at that time. Recliners have a bad reputation for not being stylish, but they’ve come a long way, and yours fit the bill of style and function. Good design is as much (or more) about function as it is looks, so you’ve done what professionals do – design for living, not just having a showroom. Good job!

  17. Kristi, I love the way you are so willing and able to adapt. Recliners are much more beneficial to your health than a wheelchair….better for circulation and may prevent other leg issues down the road. Nice looking chairs as well!

  18. I agree with all the lovely comments about the recliners but have a comment about lighting. How about trying to find something similar to the kitchen light, maybe white if you don’t want gold to class with the grey chairs.
    I love having a bright room for daytime eating and if your family is going to be bright so much the better for everyone.

  19. Hi Kristy, those chairs look perfect!

    I have a suggestion for the rugs. I buy outdoor patio rugs to use in my
    home. They have so many attractive styles to chose from nowadays. They
    are so much easier to clean and they were built to take heavy objects sliding
    across them and traffic.

  20. At first my heart sank when I read “recliner” (maybe from watching Frazier? Or from some of my older relatives homes) but this is nice, now that I see it, I agree that I would rather be in there than in the bedroom. Hi Matt! Are you still the admin for these comments?

  21. I fell in love with my recliner that I bought 20+ yrs ago so much so that we moved it from Ohio to S Arizona. It’s a Lazy Boy and is guaranteed for life, but I haven’t had one second of difficulty with it. It’s like yours without a “gearshift” and it’s a wing back style. People who sit in it don’t realize it’s a recliner.
    In conclusion, they don’t have to be ugly

  22. Great solution, Matt and Kristi! Keeps you within chatting distance and they really are nice chairs. Even better to add a rug and table with a drawer. Lovely space.

  23. In all honesty, my heart sank as well, when I read recliner (just not my thing), but I like the ones you picked, and it warmed my heart to hear the rest of the story.

  24. You were one of my favorite bloggers even before but even more so now that I know your personal story. My husband, the love of my life, is also mostly wheelchair bound and I love seeing how you make your home work for both of you. You are the only blogger I know of that I can relate to on such a personal level. Thanks for keeping it real even when it must be difficult!

  25. This is terrific! Love how Matt “the Hubs” will really be in the hub of your home! I can just imagine your chatting together as you move through the space between your studio and the kitchen and pantry and whereever else you need to go to use your tools or cook. Yes, to light and birds and maybe a birdbath outside the window! Love the recliners too.

  26. You have the nicest taste. All of your rooms are beautiful and this is no exception. I know Matt is happier in this room as it is so nice and bright. The recliners are beautiful and don’t announce “RECLINER”. So nice and I’m sure you will enjoy it.

  27. I so agree with Beth! You are such an inspiration even beyond your artistic talent, and decorating and remodeling skills. I also care for a wheelchair bound family member and know the difficulties that go with it. Matt being able to enjoy the new tv room and the view will be so nice for both of you.
    Have you ever seen or tried a pivot disk? If it can work for you, even if only for specific transfers, it will save you so much time.

  28. Very nice recliners, and I am glad for Matt that he has a nice place to hang out. I just love Cooper’s ears in the pictures. He has grown into such an adorable grown doggy!

  29. Those chairs really do look great, Kristi, and I can see how you’ll both enjoy that room. It’s bright, cozy, and connected. Recliners are becoming more attractive all the time, and you found a very good example. Bottom line, Matt will benefit greatly from the new arrangement, and you will make it beautiful. Nice teamwork!