Sunday, October 2, 2011


This was a productive weekend. We stopped bitching about how we feel crowded in our house, and started to do something about it. Bryce has been building bookshelves, built-ins, to go on either side of our fireplace. This will hopefully solve some of our storage issues for books (we have about a zillion, which is wonderful but they cover every possible surface), and use some space that isn't being effectively utilized. But, in order to put the bookcases there, other things had to move. Which started a flurry of furniture-sliding, rug-rolling, and piling-crap-onto-the-dining-room-table-ing. It was awesome.

We tried about four different configurations. What we ended up with involved rethinking the way we see our first floor. Our house has no entryway. You walk in and BAM! You're in the living room. We sort of faked an entryway before, by putting the couch as a divider and creating a sort of hallway. We had a desk and the wine fridge in a little recessed area by the (tiny) coat closet and a letter-holder-key-hook thing hanging on the wall above it. And what happened is stuff piled up on the desk, it wasn't an entirely usable space, and we weren't fooling anyone. Still no foyer in our house. So we moved all that stuff--the desk went to the upstairs nook that was empty, waiting for the trestle table with benches and basket storage underneath that Bryce was planning to build (it is lovely to have married a handyman with flair and talent!). The trestle table that was going to be a crafting-coloring-homework station for phantom futurechildren. But, we needed the built-in bookshelves more, and more immediately, so the trestle project got tabled (ha, ha) but the nook remained empty. Which is a colossal waste of space. So, the desk went up there, my school crap and laptop went there, and hopefully my files will go up there too, neatly and in a system that works (haven't quite figured that out yet). It's ironic, because when I first moved in, the nook was where my desk and office was originally. And it moved because I am a hot mess piler. But, this is a sacrifice I must make. We don't have enough space in this house for me to hide my piling in a room that's better suited for storage. I need to reform my ways and practice some of what I teach all day in the resource room...organization and time management. So I'm back in the nook.

Which is great, but leads to other spaces that we have that are being "saved." Like my little room upstairs. This is a guest room that was my first total stamp on our house. I totally redid it, with input from Bryce but the concept was all mine. Coastal, cozy, and airy despite the fact that it's the tiniest room ever. The room, even though it is one of my favorites in the house, almost never gets used. Because it's supposed to be the baby's room. All of my picture books went in there, in a window seat Bryce built years ago. Then all my Maine picture books went in there on display. Then the drawers of the nightstand and little dresser started filling with pregnancy books and organizers. And, unfortunately, drawered they stay. I used to go in there for meditation. I used to go in there and read to my belly, to encourage my slow grower to keep up the good work. Lately, it's just a smidge painful to go in there. I can see where the crib goes, and how I'd keep the little dresser for baby clothes and put baskets in the built-in bookshelf for baby stuff. But it's still empty. It's not even truly waiting for someone who's getting ready to make his/her home in there. But, in the vein of our rearranging/ reorganizing/space-utilizing frenzy, I think we will have to tackle that room too. I can't afford to have a museum room that's kinda-sorta a shrine to the baby we don't have yet. I can picture me in there, feeding my FutureBaby, rocking my FutureBaby in my glider, putting my FutureBaby down for a nap. But I should actually use the room now. Maybe if I use the room now we'll actually need it sooner. (Odd logic, but not the first time my mind has worked in mysterious ways. And actually, that's Bryce's theory. Once we start using that space regularly and appropriate it to something else, require it for something else, we'll need it for FutureBaby(ies). I wish it were that easy!)

Our new "entryway"
The new reading nook
So anyway, back to the living room. We moved the desk upstairs, and the wine fridge to a temporary home in the living room (it will go in the storage room that's now my hot mess piled office, once we're I'm done with that project). We put another table that Bryce built, his first, next to the door and made THAT the depository/entryway place. We'll put a basket underneath with organizers for mail, stamps, bills, coupons, etc. and keep the letter organizer on top. My school bag(s) go underneath. The table fit perfectly. We decided not to separate the room, but to use the whole space as the living room. Bryce's leather Morris chair, which is the seat everyone gravitates towards when they come over, moved to the recessed area as a little reading nook that was still close enough to the couch area so that if we had a lot of people over (ha, ha) the person in that chair could still be connected. The couch (really a loveseat) is on the wall with the windows. The ottoman is faking a loveseat on the opposite wall. The coffee table is between the two. The coffee-colored armchair is floating at the top. It's open, airy, roomy, and cozy. All of a sudden our living room doesn't seem so small and crowded.
Fake "loveseat"

Imagine the built-ins flanking the fireplace.
The best part about the rearrangment is that last night, as we were sitting and reading and drinking a yummy California Zinfandel, Bryce said he loved the new space. That now there's room for playing and running around. That finally, he can see children fitting into our house (or at least child, singular). I can see it, too. I can see the toys and space for bins for the toys. I can see the exersaucer and the floor mat. And Bryce made the point feels like we're nesting, like we're getting physically ready for what it's taking us so long to achieve. Our house has been a stressor--and while we realize that rearranging one room does not account for the chaos and pure "stuff" that comes with a tiny child, at least we are further ahead of the game than we were. It cost us nothing to make this shift this weekend. All it took was the time to totally rearrange everything and see things in a different way.

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