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At Home With: Kristin Cummings

Mom, labor assistant and birth instructor

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We got the idea from a girlfriend of mine who had seen "The Not So Big House." [It's a book] looking at renovating without adding big boxes on the back of your house and using existing space.

One of the things we loved in there was the "away room" idea. They said that children get drawn to small spaces. If you give kids something to play with, they're gonna crawl in a box, they're gonna make a little fort where it's small and cozy. I love that idea with the away room that it does have space for grown-ups to do that too.

This used to be a second-floor exterior porch that was really rickety and falling down, so they just enclosed the whole thing and made it more of a master suite. I definitely want to put books up there, probably some pictures of people that are special to me, family members. We'll have to put [down] some big comfy floor pillows. I want it to be not a sitting room, but a sit-on-the-floor, stretch, snuggle-with-the-kids-and-my-family, look-up-at-the-stars room.

I usually go walking in the morning, but it was pouring down rain at 6:30. I had a 4-year-old in the middle of our bed sleeping, and I was able to sneak over here, put my yoga mat down and work out for a half-hour. For a while the girls called it the yoga room, the sky room, the tree house. When we first got this space, we'd come in here to check it out and the girls listened to the birds singing and lay on the floor, and looked up at the stars. How often do you get to look up at the stars in the city? HS

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