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A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room

Have you ever wondered what it's like to be a minimalist family that embraces Montessori at the same time?

We're a Montessori family of six living in a space that is only about 1300 square feet where we also run a school with seven elementary aged students.

For some our home may seem large, but seeing as we moved from a home twice this size and have several special needs to accommodate, requiring two of our children to have their own rooms, this is as small as it can get for us.

Over the last year we've worked extremely hard to make this house a home.  I'm absolutely delighted to kick off a Minimalist Montessori Home Tour, starting with The Dining Room!

A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room

Originally our dining room was a back porch, turned into a sun room by previous owners.  Knowing we wanted to have a homeschool classroom and were limited on space, we turned the sun room into a dining room.  It is by far one of the favorite and most used rooms in our home.

A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room Main View at Entrance

The dining room is not very large at all as you can see, measuring only about seven feet wide by eleven feet in length.

This does not count the full size bed that works as a reading nook/peace corner/guest bedroom depending on our family's needs at the time.

Home Decor

When it comes to home decor, I feel very strongly that items must have a purpose and bring joy whenever looked upon.

The two pictures hanging on the back wall of our dining room are from our daughters' adoption celebrations when we became a forever family.

The pictures also include a representation of our Savior Jesus Christ and a Latter-day Saint Temple where our girls were sealed to us.  I try to have a picture of Christ and a temple in each room of our home to remind us of our faith and belief system.

Lastly you can see a plant hanging on the wall.  There is very limited space for plants where my kiddos won't destroy them or tip them over. The walls work best.  I feel very strongly that there should be a plant in every room, hence why it's included.

Holiday Decor

Two out of four of my children are obsessed with holiday decor.  It's very important to them, to the point that they're devastated if we don't have any and are constantly begging for more.

I on the other hand become very overwhelmed with lots of stuff, especially meaningless holiday decor.

We compromise by changing out pillows, table linens, and tableware for each holiday season in our dining room.  Depending on the season we also may add holiday themed garland around the windows.

This is the extent of holiday decor in our home with the exception of Christmas.  I love that it's so simple.

Table linens and tableware are necessary items, so it's fun to rotate different themes out each season for the kids.

Rotating these items out is especially helpful as we teach seven children and are constantly going through table linens and tableware.

A tablecloth is on the table 99% of the time to protect it from being scratched.

Here are a just a few holiday changes we make throughout the year.  The picture at the top of this post shows our Spring seasonal decor minus our Easter table linens and tableware.

A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room-Patriotic Decor
Patriotic Decor

We pull out our Patriotic decor at the beginning of May through end of July and then replace it with a fall themed nautical motif through the end of September.

A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room-Halloween Decor
Our Halloween Party Table Decor

Halloween decor comes out at the end of September and is enjoyed through the month of October, followed by our fall themed decor that goes that stays out through Thanksgiving.

A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room-Christmas Decor
Christmas Eve Dinner by "Candlelight"

Christmas is especially fun and beautiful.  Sometimes we enjoy gorgeously lit garland.  Other times we opt for greenery filled with cardinals, pine cones and more.

A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room-Christmas Decor Too
A Kid Friendly Christmas Dinner

You'll note that in the winter we have the guest bed fully made up for company and snuggling.  During the months of January and February we usually keep all of the red holiday decor out and use it for Valentine's Day.

Minimalist?

Now some may say that having so much holiday decor isn't minimalist at all, but here me out.

I don't wear jewelry.

I own maybe twenty books, five of which I was given for Christmas this past year and will give away once I'm finished.

I have only eight outfits for Spring and Summer, two being Sunday dresses. The same goes for Fall and Winter.

None of these things matter to me very much.

But, I LOVE to entertain.

I love to host company.

I love to prepare celebratory feasts for my family and company.

These things bring me immense joy.

Combine this joy and the joy of my children when it comes to holiday decor and it only makes sense that this would be a focus in our home.

Minimalism looks different for different people.

For us holiday decor in the form of table linens and tableware along with pillows is important.

Okay, moving on with our tour...

Homeschool Storage Space

A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room-School Storage

Storage space is non existent in our early 1900s farm house.  We try to use what space we can find. Most often this is wall space.

This wall mounted bookshelf stores many of our school supplies.  You'll notice white boards, notebooks, folders, and more.

Our students use our dining room table when writing on a regular basis, so it makes sense to store these items in this room of the house. When school's not in session we tend to pack school items away and use this space for library book storage.

The bins below the shelves are filled with materials like paper, play dough, stamps, and fidgets.  All of these are easily accessible to our children for when they need or want to use them.

The fidget toys are used by all of our students when they choose to take a five minute break from their work each day.

Note: You may notice part of a window in this image.  This window separates our classroom from our dining room.

Art Supplies

A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room-Art Supply Storage

My kiddos love art!  Our biggest issue in this home has been finding kid accessible storage for their favorite supplies.  Using one wall in our dining room has been the perfect solution.

The kiddos work on art projects at this table.  When they're finished, the bathroom is right through the door in the picture above where they're able to clean up.

A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room-Coloring Book Storage

On the right side of the door, just before leaving the dining room and entering the kitchen, are the kiddos' coloring books.  My kiddos love to color.  It provides such stress relief for them when anxious or upset.

What I love about this storage space in particular is that it's very small.  Coloring book collections are minimized to only five or six books per child depending on their size.  

Each child has their own space so no one fights over coloring books. The tallest child's coloring books are at the top and the shortest child's coloring books are at the bottom.

I selected this family photo framed above the coloring book storage because it inspires me to reach new heights.

Still to this day I have no idea how we survived taking all four of our children at very young ages, (some lacking safety awareness) to the top of White Face Mountain in New York.  We took a risk and it paid off as a memory we'll never forget. 

A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room-Art Supply Storage

On the left side of the bathroom door we store art supplies.  What you see here is all that we have minus what's in the bins I've already explained.

All materials are 100% washable/erasable so I don't have to worry if one of my kiddos or students has an accident or decides to be careless.

Art materials are placed on shelves based on who I want to have access to them.  I don't mind if my youngest uses glue, stamp pads, pencil sharpeners, and colored pencils without supervision.  She can't quite reach the paint materials without assistance from an older child or adult.

Glitter and scissors are on the top shelf as they require adult supervision at all times.

The View

A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room View

The most appealing aspect of our dining room is the view!  Depending on the day you may see up to eighteen deer, nine wild turkeys, various species of birds (including humming birds), butterflies, hundreds of lightning bugs and gorgeous sunsets.  It never gets old.

We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful place with a million dollar view!

Where to Find Items in this Post

For those who may be wondering where to find items in this post here are the details:

Our dining room table, indoor/outdoor pillows, bedding, indoor/outdoor throw rug and some table linens were purchased at Pottery Barn.

Wall bookshelves, art supply book shelves, tableware, and some table linens were purchased at Pottery Barn Kids.

The coloring book storage rack was purchased at PB Teen.

Storage bins, picture frames, and the wall hanging plant were purchased at Walmart.

Art supplies, school supplies and coloring books were purchased through Amazon, at Walmart,or found at our local craft store.

Disclaimer: I am not an affiliate of Pottery Barn stores, nor was I given an free or discounted items in exchange for writing this post.

I am not a fan of shopping in general, so when I find a store that has quality items that I like, that children can't destroy, I become an instant loyal fan for the sake of not having to spend time going to look in other places.

A Multi-functioning Room

Our dining room functions as part of our classroom, an art room, a guest bedroom, reading nook, peace corner, and more, but it functions well!

It includes everything we need in a very small amount of space.

All art and learning materials are easy accessible to children.  Our dining room provides the ultimate orderly Montessori experience filled with independence and accomplishment.

Anyone who comes to our home can't bear to leave this room.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy the posts below.

To Save a Child There Is So Much More To Montessori The Montessori Floor Bed and Special Needs
A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room

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