IF you’ve been reading these posts lately, you may have noticed breadcrumb clues that we are new to our neighborhood and this house.
Place has been invoking in me a sense of before and after, then and now, and… what do we do with this space?
When I gazed out the window and saw headlights slipping past, they were only two car lengths away. At our old house, our front windows were a football field from the road.
Here, the recycling blew across the neighbor’s lawn, and my egg-hunt cleanup was witnessed…because here we have neighbors nearby.
Here, I have curtains in the front windows, because the neighbors across the street could watch me eat dinner from their dinner table.
I’m pleased with the move–which was less about a house than other goals–but still feeling unsettled in the house.
Today’s debate is with the “stupid space,” the name my husband gave the area between the front door and the kitchen. It’s a tricky space because it’s not exactly a room. The front is dominated by double wide windows with about 2 feet on either side. One end is open to the front/living/piano room (which still has its own set of issues). The room backs up to the staircase, meaning it’s not a wall so much as an angled railing. And the fourth side features the door to the kitchen, smack dab in the middle of the wall. And since that is the only way from one half of the house to the other, it’s a high traffic area. What to do with this prime/not-so-prime real estate?
Currently we’re using what was maybe once a porch as our dining room. It’s heated and enclosed, but it’s a narrow space. Now when you picture our table, picture a wide old farm house table. I mean I could seat hordes of vikings at this table; it’s big. But in the room where it is, we have to literally climb over one another to get a glass of water in the middle of dinner.
Add to that, the current ‘dining room’ has become a repository for winter coats, school backpacks, and the assorted detritus that collects at entrances. It’s like the space wants to be a mudroom. My family collectively refuses to hang their coats on the coatrack in the unheated sunporch just past the ‘dining room’ because their shoes and coats are too cold. I wish I could say dinners are cozy, but they’re really just crowded.
So we’re eyeballing the stupid space as a potential solution. Could it be a dining room so the other narrow space can fulfill its destiny as a stuff-collecting-room?
I’m a firm believer in you have to live in a space to get the feel of it. I enjoy rearranging furniture periodically to get a new feel in a space. We’ve been living in it for months. This isn’t the right arrangement. My husband purports: put it where you want it the first time because it’s going to stay there.
The debate has been lively.
And we’re about to be snowed in for days…just the right amount of time to empty and move and rearrange these spaces. So I’d like to imagine the right solution quickly.
We’d all like to feel more comfortable, like we belong in this new space.