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Arianne Brown: I live in a playhouse, and I wouldn’t have it any other way

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Five of Arianne Brown's eight kids ride around on wiggle cars in the family's dining room.

Five of Arianne Brown’s eight kids ride around on wiggle cars in the family’s dining room.

Arianne Brown

If you were to walk into my home, you would not be greeted by a beautifully decorated entryway. The front room would not showcase many handmade or even store-bought wall hangings or end table decor. The couches, while comfy, would not have any sort of eye-catching throw blanket or pillow to bring in the color from a beautiful painting or accent wall.

If you were to take a tour of my home, you would be less than impressed with what I’ve done with my bedroom to make it a welcoming sanctuary. Walking into the kitchen and dining room areas, you would likely wonder why we have opted to fit a small eight-person table in the corner of our kitchen, along with two extra chairs at the counter, rather than use our dining room for its intended purpose.

If you were to walk into our home, however, you would be loudly and quite warmly greeted, might I add, by at least one child riding around on a scooter or other play toy with wheels, as he adds yet another lap from the kitchen to the dining room in what has served as an indoor track or speedway of sorts. Entering our living room, you would find two couches and a love seat with removable cushions that are likely stacked in the middle of the floor in mountain form ready to catch any child who launches off this armrest or that other couch cushion.

If you were to see my bedroom, you would see a bed with some dressers. You may be impressed with the bed size, however, as it is large enough to fit some kids who may be having a rough night. It also contains compartments below filled with blankets and pillows for that occasional big kid who just wants to lay on the floor to feel safe for a night.

In our six-bedroom home for our family of eight children consisting of six boys and two girls, you will find three of those officially occupied. The girls share a room, and so do all of the boys, and not because they have to, but because they want to. The other rooms are open areas to kick soccer balls against the walls, do speed and agility exercises, tumble to your heart’s content, or play the day away with the vast array of toys we've accumulated over the years.

Now, about that formal dining room that has fast become my favorite room in our home. It is a wide-open space with hardwood flooring. It is where my desk sits, and where I can type words for you all to read while watching my 9-year-old daughter create dances to her favorite songs she plays on the Alexa. It is where my little (and big) boys speed around me on scooters and bikes to their favorite tunes. It is where basketballs bounce, soccer balls roll, and where the most awesome of memories are made.

I live in a playhouse, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.