Friday, December 15, 2006

House Dreams

Lately I have been letting my imagination run wild. I've been pretty much house bound for over a month, and by slowing down I've had time to observe how we use the house, and have come up with some ideas to make it even better.

Pretty much since we moved in I have thought that the master bedroom is too big. It is 12' x 24' and when we first toured the house they had their bed and a baby grand in it. I've often thought that we should move our bed and dresser into the office, and make the master bedroom a family room. The one thing that concerned me was that the front living room would then become an unused room.

I still think it makes sense. The office is 12' x 11' and would hold the bed, nightstands, and dresser. It would be a tight fit, but cozy. The room gets less light than the master, but does have a south facing window. It's also on the quieter side of the house. I would want to rip out the carpet; Papa said the wood floors underneath are in pretty good shape. We could move all of the arts and crafts stuff out of the half bathroom and redo it. It wouldn't be hard or even that expensive; it used to be a small closet! We could put in a nicer toilet and a prettier pedestal sink and medicine cabinet, add a different light fixture, tile the floor, and paint. There is even room for a small cabinet. If we got really ambitious we could put up beadboard like we did in the front bathroom.

Of course, since I am dreaming big we don't even keep the current bedroom furniture! I really want an organic mattress along with a platform bookcase bed. If we got one with underbed drawers we could eliminate the need for a dresser in the room; we share a dresser already and it isn't completely full. The big question would be queen mattress or king mattress; it is cozier sleeping in a queen, however we moved up to a king when T-Guy was co-sleeping most of the night. Without nightstands the room would look fine with a king-sized bed in it.

If we made the office our bedroom it would be easy to convert it to a guest room if anyone wanted to stay over. We'd just have to put on fresh linens and give the bathroom a quick cleaning!

I love the space of the master bedroom. During the day it is perhaps the brightest room in the house. It has French doors that open onto a wooden deck in the backyard. With the curtains open I can watch the boys play outside. Of course, it is awkward to entertain out there when people have to traipse through the bedroom. There is an arched window over the French doors, and 2 double-hung windows. On one side is the original closet, which is small suggsting that the room wasn't originally the master bedroom. The previous owners of the house extended the bedroom in a seamless addition that also added a master bathroom complete with small walk-in closet.

It is the warmest room in the house since it is the best insulated. On the very hottest days it is the coolest room as well, as the windows face north and east, and it has 2 ceiling fans. As a downside, the addition means that it doesn't have hardwood floors and is currently carpeted.

Since I'm dreaming, I'd lay hardwood floors, or at the very least something like wool carpeting over the existing pad, which is actually a very high quality pad. We could move the TV in here, or leave it out front. Of course, moving it opens up the living room to all sorts of new ideas, but I'll save those for later.

The piano is in this room. If we moved it to the south wall we could put the TV on the west wall, and arrange the room into 2 spaces. The desk and book shelves would be on one side, and the piano and TV on the other. I'd stick with the design of our desk (L-shaped and arranged so that the boys can sit on one side and I can sit on the other, but make it longer to divide the room and make more room for crafts and jigsaw puzzles. I'd want a good quality organic futon couch and chair for the flexibility they provide as beds as well as seating, and a sturdy coffee table, glass-topped with storage below.

One concern has always been that the big closet and master bathroom are off the master bedroom. As the boys get older I don't think that it matters that it is the "master" bathroom; it's the room with the shower and they are going to prefer that to the tub at some point (I prefer the tub!). I don't really care what room my clothing hangs in; I don't have that much of it, and getting dressed takes less than a minute each morning. Sometimes you just have to adjust your thinking.

There is the chance that we'd love the family room so much that we'd stop using the living room, which would be a shame. It's a beautiful room, with a tall barrel ceiling and a lovely fireplace. The thing is, it is set up poorly because there was only one wall that the TV could go on. The focus ends up being on the TV and not the fireplace. It is still a cozy room to curl up in and read, or crochet, or perhaps knit....

For a couple of years now I've wanted to put a door where the far window is in the living room, along with steps to the side yard. It's a big side yard area, and would make a fantastic enclosed garden or brick and sand patio. It's shady and has a secret garden quality to it.

The living room needs window coverings, but nothing makes sense with the couch on the wall in front of the windows. I want something that doesn't obscure the window trim.

The thing is, probably a year from now nothing will have changed. We remodeled the house to a place we are content with and I doubt we'll spend any money to change it. As I told a friend today, the other spaces in the house aren't lacking, the master bedroom is just too big. If any changes are made, they'll be the inexpensive, reversible kind. But I can still plan, and dream....

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