One Day I Will Rule the World

World Domination, Babies and Middle Eastern Dance

April 11, 2012

Renewal

You know how sometimes one thing leads to another around the house?

Well, because we bought a chandelier a month ago, we had to rearrange all our furniture this weekend.

Here’s the result.

I can’t show you much of a before picture because I apparently don’t do before pictures. I just jump right in.

Anyhow, there were many more factors than just the chandelier and there had been a long leadup of mildly pondering how to make our livingroom seem lighter. But the chandelier led to us orienting the table and chairs the other way in the dining room. And that led to us discussing moving the couch to the other wall. And also to discussing moving the sideboard into the dining room. And we had also been talking about moving the armoire out of the computer nook to open it up in there. And we’d been discussing needing a lighter rug and slipcovers for a long time – but that just kept getting postponed because even when you’re not being picky, it’s impossible to find a good cheap area rug.

But then we found one on Easter Weekend. So Easter Sunday we got up and we cleaned out the dining room and the livingroom and rearranged the furniture according to all the plans we’d been discussing. Then Ian ran to Home Depot to pick up the rug we wanted and while he was gone, I continued cleaning.

As I was cleaning, I picked up a pile of vintage pillowcases that had been sitting around the livingroom since some thrift-store trip and went to put them away. But my eye fell on my couch cushions and I thought, “well these are totally the right width. I wonder…” And next thing I knew all my couch cushions were in vintage pillowcases, my couch was draped in white sheets, my armchairs were draped in striped and floral sheets and my heavy red curtains had been replaced with a little battenberg lace panel.

The ultimate goal with all the rearranging had been to make the livingroom feel more open to the dining room. We originally had the couch with its back to the dining room, to delineate a boundary between the spaces, but it made everything feel very blocky and closed off. When we had people over, whether we gathered in the living room or in the kitchen, extra chairs pulled up would invariably block the narrow path around the couch to go between the livingroom or dining room.

Now it feels totally possible for the dining space to expand into the living room or the living space to expand into the dining room, depending on what the gathering calls for. Or even for half the party to be in each area, without feeling cut off from each other.

 

 

When Ian came home and we had laid out the carpet and got everything arranged, we sat down to relax with some coffee. I pointed out the view down the couch to the front of the house. We have this lamp that’s been bothering me because it didn’t feel like the linen-looking shade went with the vintage glass stand. I had fully intended to re-cover the lampshade eventually with something a little more pure white or something. “But look,” I said…

Now that our livingroom and that corner in particular is all cottagey with its white linens and bowl of pinecones and sunhat, suddenly the linen-looking shade seems like a perfect fit with the glass.

A little while later, Ian walked by and set his coffee cup down on the side-table and then he turned to me saying, “Oh my, speaking of cottagey.”

Sigh. I know, right? Looking around my living room these days I have this back-of-my-mind fantasy that we’re at a cottage for the summer.

Like, here’s the view across from my couch, with my pashminas and totes. When I’m chilling on the couch, I look at that wall and imagine that at any moment, I’ll probably grab my tote and a pashmina and run down to the beach. I should probably keep a sun-hat and flip-flops there too so I’d be absolutely prepared.

The kids are absolutely loving how much space they feel like they have. When the trunk is sitting in its coffee-table spot, they run around and around it or around the armchairs. When the trunk is pushed to the side, they’re all over the livingroom. And with its inviting white sheets, the couch is suddenly THE place to jump and climb. Hannah was up and down and all over it Easter Sunday.

Here’s the series of Hannah-On-The-Couch pics that I took.

Ethan & Rachel came home from an Easter with their paternal grandparents on Monday. With Ethan looking about two inches taller and more young-man-like than before. Ian came home at the end of the day and saw Ethan and said, “Holy Crap, I think you grew like a foot while you were gone” and Ethan laughed at him like he was being ridiculous. So I said, “well, remember how just in the last few weeks we were comparing your height to mine and I was amazed that you were already up to my shoulder? Come here and see how tall you are against me now.” He obliged and I was astonished to see that he had gone from shoulder-height to level with my mouth. So I don’t know if that growth could all have been over the weekend, but it was certainly in the last few weeks.

One of his friends called for him over the weekend and his friend’s voice had changed since I last talked to him.

There’s the computer nook looking less crowded with the armoire out of it. Though it’s still crowded with that massive, growing pre-teen boy.

Anyhow, poor kids, they get important adult talks not when their minds are ready, but when their bodies mature and their parents think, “Holy shit, I’m dropping the ball on important adult talks because I get stuck thinking they’ll be babies forever.” So that evening, I put Ethan through some quizzing about his peers’ behaviour.

He laughed at my questions and said, “Yeah mum, a bunch of twelve and thirteen year old kids are doing drugs and having sex” and Ian and I remembered our own peers’ behaviour at that age and blanched. But I’m glad he thinks it’s laughable.

And this was how my first afternoon of working from home with the new layout went.

I had some technical writing work to do, so I parked myself on the couch to work. Hannah came and lay down at the other end of the couch and she lay there chatting at me while I worked. I’ll be honest, on a lot of days, that would have irritated me, but on Monday it felt just perfect.

While she was lying on the couch, she turned to the side and petted the crochet edging on the pillow a bit and said, “Mom, can you make me a blanket that’s white and like this part of the couch? Lacy like this, but all over?”

I repeated this story later to Ian, who knows how I am about the quotidien of our lives being as tasteful as possible and he laughed, “Well I’m surprised you don’t have it half-done already.”

Sadly, I do still have work to do, but I admit, it sounds like a fun project. It’s pretty high on my list of things I want to do.

Here’s one of my favourite views. Sorry about my feet being in so many pictures, I seriously can’t resist turning every sit-down into a giant lounge-around now.

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2 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. Alison

     /  2012-04-11

    Sighs. So lovely.

    Reply
  2. Lauren

     /  2012-04-14

    I LOVE that pillow with the buttons. And also everything else, obviously.

    Reply

Leave a Reply to Alison