Villa Solita – Family Area Evolution – Dinnette & Family Room

Per the original floor plan from for our model home, the two spaces connected to the kitchen are known as the dinette and the family room. Together these two rooms make up the family area. This space has gone through an interesting evolution in the first year and a half.



Floor Plan for the Family Room.


Eastman Model home had blue and white coffered ceilings.

Eastman Villa – This is not our unit but the model home we saw while our home was being built. The model shown here staged with blue and white coffered ceilings.

Eastman Model Dining Room

Eastman Model – Dinette Area as seen from virtual tour from NVHomes.













March 2014 –  Dinette 

When we first moved in, the room was a hodge podge of moving boxes awaiting unboxing in our new home. We assembled our white and stainless steel Ikea Bar here. The basement door was also removed and stowed in the dinette to prevent damage to the glass and made it easier to move items to the basement.

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Eastman Dinette – March 2014 –











April 2014

After the unpacking had come to an end we decided to use the space as a dinette. But with only one dining set, this meant that the formal dining area was left empty. Since we only had two club chairs instead of a full sofa for the family room, we used the dining room chair a lot whenever we had company over. Read more about the evolution of the family room area in the post Villa Solita: Family Room Progress.

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Eastman Dinette – April 2014 – One month since we moved an we decided to try out our only formal dining set here.

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Eastman family area – April 2014










July 2014 

While searching for the right couch for the space, the family area shared the formal dining set to provide additional seating for guest and to tie the two areas together with a common color theme and similar furniture. Here is the room with a new rug and accessories.

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July 2014

We just learned that we are pregnant with our first baby and the urgency to furnish our house was strong. We made a great selection with this very large, durable and easy to clean sectional with cuddler and ottoman. This family couch was so comfortable and was a big part of the early part of or family life.

Villa Solita: Family Room Progress


 January 2015

Street Side Couch – Call it nesting call it whatever you will. While pregnant with JP we saw a huge moving truck in the parking lot of a shopping center on Rt. 50 with these couches and several others in different colors. We originally intended for them the banquette seats but they were not tall enough for proper dining table height. But just as a second seating area the couches seemed misplaced with the main couch in the adjoining family room. We tried our a fancier rug but it was still not use for more than landing the laptop bags and purchases from the store.

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Elephant Stuffed Animal for JP

February 2015

The extra seating was useful for JP’s baby shower. With 30 attendees, the extra couches came in handy. We put a folding table in front of it for the shower.









May 2015 

JP was just born and our whole world changed. The street side couches were still in the dinette but within a month of staying at home and using the space, it became clear that the dinette needed to be a kid’s play area. After all, this was the family area. With ample seating on the family room couch, we did not need the additional seating in the dinette area. At that time we had a Pack and Play which functioned as a sleeping area, playground, and a changing table for our little guy. We gifted the extra couches to family who had a perfect spot for the set.


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May 2015 – Family Area – JP in his swing and Sol working on his laptop.

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May 2015 – Preparing to move the couches to their new home to make room for a space for JP.








With the street side couches moved out, we temporarily staged the dinette area with JP’s things to see how the room functioned. At this time, JP’s Grandparents were providing tremendous support by coming over to take care of JP. The space was designed to make it easy to care for JP. We set up a diapering station complete with a laundry basket, the pack and play which functioned as only a sleeping area and play yard for JP. We also unpacked the high chair which surprisingly worked well as a chair to keep JP upright and at eye level.

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Sleeping with Daddy







September 2015

It was around this time that Jimmy was 6 months old that we learned that we would be welcoming his brother Billy the following Spring. Jimmy was already showing signs of becoming mobile and we wanted to prepare the space. We found foam flooring at our local home depot. Not only did it define the playroom, area, the foam flooring provided a softer place for baby to land when learning to crawl and especially when learning to walk.  The foam also was easy cleaning. We decided to institute the no shoes policy once the foam flooring went in. From a design prospective the foam flooring’s color scheme matched well with the elements in the kitchen which helped bridge the two spaces together from a design perspective. The BEST cabinet was now fully assembled with doors to hide the toys in the room. At this point we haven’t added child locks but they are on our mind.



March 2016

Added a gate. With Jimmy 1 year old and baby Billy on the way in May 2016 it was time to install a security gate (seen in the background).




















We purchased the Regalo 192 inch gate in white. These actually held up to two boys and had a useful life in our home for 2.5 full years after installation surviving our two toddler boys.









May 2018 – Mother’s Day (2 Days before Billy was born)


Jimmy and Mommy getting ready to go out for Mother’s Day Lunch























Our family room area just a week or so later with the arrival of Billy. It is important to note that the family couch was the primary lounge area and has held up beautifully after recovering from two back to back pregnancies. The couch in our family room was definitely the right choice. Here are the boys lounging with Grandma Janet who visited just after Billy was born.

Christmas 2016

By this time Billy was starting to crawl and Jimmy was an expert in walking. We secured the TV twofold; first with TV harnesses that secure the TV to the wall. Second, we installed the barrier child gate around the perimeter of the TV stand/entertainment center.

















Pretty soon the high chairs became a hazard because the boys were using it more as a plaground item than for it’s intent. We decided it was time to get rid of high chairs and get a small table for the boys to eat/play on in the playroom











It was no small undertaking to remove all the foam padding so we took the time to really rethink the space and how we use it.

March 2018






See more details in the blog post Playroom Evolution – March 11, 2018

May 2018

The foam padding was finally removed after 2+ years of use. It had just become very dingy and had survived a lot of foot traffic.  The gates came off when it was apparent that the boys had figured out how to unlock them. There was a crack in the gate from the boys pushing it around so much. We also removed the gate around the TV and with Neetin’s help, mounted the TV securely on the wall and out of reach of the boys. Read more May 2018  Family Area Evolution








November 2018 –

While Grandma Janet and Grandpa Paul visited us in November 2018 we finally brought over the toddler coat cubby used in my mom’s childcare center, to help bring order to the space. Once the cubby was here, we dusted off our mail management center.  This was a major change for us, with the white sideboard still functioning as a toy cabinet for the boys. This was yet another moment to reevaluate which toys should stay and which had to go but in all, the room is growing with our family and we love it.






See more details in the blog post Playroom Update – November 2018






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Adventures of the Solita family!