Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The Big Room

Anna requested a bit of a tour of our house and so I am obliging with some very amateur photographs.
I actually took these photos about three weeks ago.  The fires roaring, the cloudy grey skies, and the monopoly game left on the table give these pictures a very useful time stamp.  This was the point of our lockdown when it was still chilly enough to warrant a fire, and when we were having a grand time playing monopoly for hours on end.

Though this is the "formal" room of our house it has found a place as an all-purpose room for all of us.  The real estate brochure described it as a "great room" but I think that's too modern a term for how it functions and feels.

We call it "the big room".  This is where we read, visit, draw, paint with watercolours, and work.  The dining table is my home office during normal times, though with Gabby still living at home and working remotely, it's really become her home office.

I've been doing the absolute minimum of admin work, in fits and starts throughout the house: on the stairs, in the second floor nook, on the kitchen counter.  The lockdown has left me with a permanently distracted mind, and for some reason entering phase one of easing the lockdown has increased my distraction and anxiety.

I just have a general feeling that I have no idea what is happening.  Of course this is baseless, at any moment I can turn on the news or read a newspaper.  I think it is the uncertainty of our future which is driving me slightly off-kilter, always one for plans I find myself now unable to really make any.

Making plans is a great illusion anyway, the truth is none of us ever really knows what the future holds for us.

When we moved in last November we planned our furniture placement to a certain extent.  We knew that this was the room for the dining table, and the piano, and our living room furniture.  We had some antiques hidden in a basement storage room that we hoped would fit in here.  We had everything placed in the big room on moving day and we just started arranging.
I think if you buy what you love things just come together in an interior space.  It may not look like a design magazine but it can be a true expression of a family's style.
Most of our furniture is old "brown" furniture, just the kind of thing no one wants anymore.  I'm a big fan of taking old chairs and other odd bits of furniture and having them refurbished, like the blue and white upholstered chair below.  This was in the house my mother-in-law grew up in, it always pleased her so much to see it in our house.
Joan's family chair.

Some of our brown furniture is from Poppa Max's family home in Austria, including the chest below, which functions as both a bar and my home office storage.  The chairs hold a hodgepodge of art supplies and photo albums at any given time.
The day we moved in we had help from our best friends Laura and David: they brought sandwiches and helped us make sense of all of the furniture, as it stood in what seemed a giant pile of brown things and various patterned fabrics.  David has one of those mathematical minds and Laura has a knack for looking at a thing and knowing where and how it should be, sort of an abundance of common sense.  They just knew how to place the rugs and chairs, the table and the piano.
The big room has eleven foot ceilings, it gives such a sense of space.  We removed all of the window coverings, and with the repaired walls and fresh paint things opened up nicely.

Old jug.


MrBP's favourite chair.

Empty bottle of champagne.
Best room for drinks!
Across the hall is the family room, which also functions as our guest room thanks to the pull-out sofa.  There are two doors leading into this room which can be shut in the evenings if we're watching a loud film.
You can see that Scout generally prefers the family room rug:
Giant fur ball Scout.
I have some ideas for posts whirling around: one on my current uniform and another post all about getting into "fighting shape".
My comment form is still broken but please email me if you'd like to comment or have a chat.