What I don’t like ... ever … is wasted space. I loath the room that sits empty, all decked out like a prom queen who’s been stood up.
I love to use each inch of space in the house. I adore beauty and yet I crave function. My old high school boyfriend and I used to always chuckle about his Mom and Dad’s living room––pristine, quiet as a tomb, and covered with plastic. I know many of us have grown up with this type of “that which shall not be sat in” room.
Me, I want to live in the living room. Odd I know, but after all, let’s have a little respect for title. Living room––Yep, no mistaking what we are supposed to do in there.
A few years ago our living room was becoming that sad perfect empty room. I could see it crying out for company and, despite the fact that I would visit it on occasion with a good book, as time passed, it became the “company” room. When guests were coming I would feel so happy for the living room as we prepared it by lighting its candles and stoking its fire. But then the inevitable would happen. The guests would all gravitate toward the kitchen.
The kitchen is the nemesis of the living room in house-land––stealing its thunder and its head count.
So after its last disappointment, I decided to shake it up.
I switched the living room and the dining room. Just had them change places. Oh what fun it was. Beauty and function. Felt like a whole new house. So now the lovely living room is right beside the family room for flow of guests and the dining room table is right in front of a roaring fire.
The house took on a whole new energy and we love it.
After the boy left, lo these three years ago, my husband decided to leave his office retreat and bring his computer to the main floor, to the casual dining table by the window overlooking the backyard. I soon joined him and we found a whole new life at that table across from each other. We were doing our own thing, but we were “together” sharing a joke or a newspaper item or just checking and double-checking in on our ical events. It was a wonderful way to bridge the gap of the boy’s leaving.
And it stuck. We love it.
But of course “as two become one workspace”, I was again facing the issue of the wasted office space. My office was built above the space we now occupy together. It is pretty and I love it. After I deserted it, I found myself visiting it. I would stand at its door drinking in its velvety tones. I even considered putting a rope across it and charging admission.
Then the day came, as I knew it would, when I would no longer be able to stand the waste. So...
The desk came out of the middle of the room and went to the wall, housing my record player and some records. The mirrored chest of drawers came out of the office and went into our master bedroom replacing the chair and ottoman that would go into the office. Just angle the chaise lounge a tad differently, place the trunk behind it for balance, and boom––new master with lots of breathing room. And now my sad little lonely office is my reading, meditation and record playing room. Deb’s Treehouse, boys allowed.
I am tickled pink. And the bonus is that when I have my bouts of insomnia, I can slip behind our bedroom’s blackout curtains, turn on a reading lamp and read by the light of the 3am moon without disturbing my sleeping husband one wit.
And the best news. Didn’t cost a dime.
And wow, it’s like having a new house. I keep going up there to stare at it, so delighted am I with my own handiwork. Hmmm, maybe I’ll have to put that rope up after all?
Barbara: I can tell you this, dear readers: I have visited the hallowed space. It is museum-worthy. Not in the hoity, uptight way. But in the way that a well-anointed gallery perfectly captures a time, an era, one iconic room from one person’s life: Madame McGrath and her lovely, cozy, welcoming, bright and happy home.
I love my home, but I’m not so nurturing of it at the moment. Too busy/distracted to even …care (sorry, House!). But I love the fact that it doesn’t seem to judge me. Would that I didn’t waste any of its precious space. Deb, I smell a little inspired furniture moving in my future!