Friday, July 4, 2008

Rate My Space.....

Living Rooms - Most Recent Living Rooms - Rate My Space - HGTV

So, have you seen the TV show or been to the website yet? I just discovered the show last evening when I finally sat down to rest after a very long day and then this morning, over coffee, I visited the website....along with several other thousand folks apparently. That site was s .... l ..... o ..... w ..... and then eventually, it kicked me off....

Despite the fact that the website was slow, it was a interesting visit. There are rooms of every shape and size and decorating style. There are folks who give advice and folks who want advice; all in all, it is a cool place. I'm even thinking of taking some photos of our long and narrow living room and asking for some advice.....(as if I need another website to demand more of my attention!).

You see, I've spent the last week doing some re-arranging of our downstairs rooms; the long and narrow living room has been the bain of my decorating attempts since the day we moved in. We had lots of friends down here helping us in exchange for a barbecue in the evening; to move things along, I had used a software program to map out where all the furniture was going to go.....should have been easy right? Well, David and I had not done a perfect job of measuring out the room on one of our visits down here and as a result, we were a few inches off on the placement of doors and windows in our design plan.

So, what's a few inches? A whole heck of a lot when it comes to placing over sized modern furniture in a long, narrow, 100 year old living room! I had to stop the moving in of furniture and tell the guys to go grab and drink and take a break. Then we women stood in that living room and brainstormed as to how it all would fit in. Eventually we came up with a "plan" that even I knew would be a temporary fix....the guys however, were starting to riot cuz they wanted to get that huge piano in the house ..."darn it!".

A month or so later and I still hadn't gotten that room right, so I called in my stepmother Janice the Interior Designer. She came riding to the rescue and we spent two days painting the walls a warm yellowish color....and then, we pretty much put the furniture back in the same place but tilted it just a bit this way or that way...brought in an antique bureau that I had placed in the dining room and then Jan did her thing with accessorizing; she eventually returned to her own home leaving me a list of things to buy to finish off the room. I learned the importance of that part of decorating during those two days....believe me, accessorizing can be the most important thing in decorating an awkward room.

Since returning from South Carolina inspired by our touring of some of the old homes in Charleston - I decided to be brave and do what I'd wanted to do all along....create a conversation zone in that room. You see, without a separate "family room" and "living room", this long narrow room had to function as both but it really only functioned well as a T.V. room. Guests to our home all gathered around our kitchen table because there was no conversation area in the living room. While I have no real issue with that as I love the kitchen and consider it to be the real heart of this house, I disliked feeling that there was no choice in the matter.

Our living room was set up for five people to watch TV together, but if you tried to have guests in there to hold a conversation in lieu of watching a show, those who sat in the side chairs had to get a crook in the neck to speak to those who sat on the couch! So we all gathered in the kitchen instead.

Its been in the back of my mind all along that for most of the year, there are only three of us in this house.....even with Nikki living at home, she works evenings and is out most of those evenings when she isn't working. The reality is that the couch gets the most use in that room. So why did I have to have those side chairs facing the TV all the time?

So, this week I moved those side chairs to either side of the T.V. and facing the couch and scooted that couch forward (20 feet from the TV is just too far away, isn't it? Okay, it was more like 13 feet but that's still too far for these old eyes!). And I took the drop leaf antique table that belonged to David's grandmother and set it up behind the couch for card playing, puzzle working, and other family activities that we USED to do all the time but haven't in this house. We moved the piano out to the dining room where the side table we just can't find was supposed to go to avoid the feeling of too much furniture (and I love it there, when Dallas plays in that room the sound is glorious and flows through the entire house!).

And ironically, when Nikki and her friend, Gerard the Professional Painter/Musician came home that afternoon, they initially didn't like the room.....however, fifteen minutes later, the three of us were using that conversation zone for the first time.....and they changed their minds, admitting that it was the accessorizing that was lacking in the new arrangement. You see, on every previous visit, the three of us had guessed the kitchen table..and here we were, using the living room for something other than to watch T.V.!

But, now I'm stuck.

It is the accessorizing, stupid! I can't get it right just yet. I know some of it is because I have two boys underfoot who want to talk with me, get me to watch just one more UTube video, go to the beach or just simply talk about something that is on their minds.....I need quiet and space to be creative......and those two things are in short supply this week!

So, who might see my long, narrow, living/family room on Rate My Space.......

Happy Fourth of July!

1 comment:

  1. Your house sounds wonderful. You should post it. My username on Rate my Space is marykay. I just started my blog and found yours and am impressed! It's been fun to participate since I uploaded my photos last November!


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