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15 October 2006
  The Last Place You Think Of
Do you ever watch any of HGTV's decorating series? Although the designers re-do a remarkably varied assortment of rooms—basements, living rooms, kitchens, dining rooms, children's rooms, baths, even garages—the majority of the rooms fashioned seem to be master bedrooms. And the story seems to always be the same: Matt and Shari, or Joan Steffend, or Candice Olsen, etc, walk into this beautifully decorated home and oooh and ahhh over the living and eating areas while they get an idea of the homeowners' likes and dislikes.

Then the homeowners rather embarrassedly escort them into the master bedroom, which is often incredibly bare, with a bed, a couple of bureaus, a full closet, and nothing else. While they appointed the public areas of their homes, and even the kids' bedrooms, with cool stuff, they completely ignored their own room.

That was us. On move-in day we put the furniture where we though we might like it and left it there, then erected bookshelves, china cabinets, and all that in the other rooms. I had some vague ideas for the bedroom, including replacing the two short bookcases in the room with taller, 15" wide Billy units from Ikea, but that was about it.

Today we went to Ikea because we hadn't been for a while, and because James wanted to see if their Christmas stuff was out yet. (Yes, I said James was looking for Christmas stuff. No, he doesn't have a fever. <g> Ikea has these light kits of dangling stars and he wanted one for the porch.) We had lunch and wandered through the store, and finally decided to look through their "scratch and dent" room.

And there were two display Billy bookcases on sale, a 15" unit and a 23. I hadn't thought to get a narrow one and a wide one, but heck...and they were the right color, too, a darkish brown that would go with my old bedroom furniture. They had some slight scratches, mostly in areas that would be hidden by books, or fixed with judicious application of furniture crayons. And they were already assembled, too!

So we brought them home, and since it was only three o'clock, proceeded to rearrange the bedroom. Previously as you entered the room, the two small bookcases were on your left, my old dresser and bureau were on the right. The bed was where it was going to stay, between the windows, flanked by the nightstand I had stained and varnished myself years ago on one side and one of my mom's old end-tables on the other which James uses for an nightstand. On the opposite wall between closet and bathroom doors was our chifforobe which holds the bathroom towels, the other sets of sheets, cleaning supplies and cloths, etc.

We emptied the bookcases and put one downstairs and I had James put the other into the spare bedroom. I'm thinking about keeping it there or putting it into my craft room. Then there was a lot of vacuuming and carrying and moving and all that.

The end result is that now you walk into the room and my dresser is on the immediate left, and then the 15" Billy closer to the window. The books I keep there are my favorites: Madeleine L'Engle, Gladys Taber, the Harry Potter books, Mary Stewart's Merlin trilogy, and Kate Seredy's The Open Gate. I dotted the shelves with a couple of stuffed animals and Mom's old radio which gets shortwave. Someday I'm going to rummage through my old Radio Times issues and see if I can find the frequencies for the BBC. I'd love to see if Radio 4 comes in, since they still do radio shows!

I have also finally unpacked the mirror that goes with the dresser and polished it up as well. We can hang it on the wall later if we like, but right now I just have it set at the back of the dresser. I'm so short I can still see all of myself in it!

On the opposite wall where the chifforobe was is the bureau and the 23" Billy. They fit just fine in that wall between the closet and bathroom doors. James put his favorite books on the bottom shelves and books to be read on the top two shelves, and the shelves are dotted with dragon figures and model airplanes.

I used to keep my two pairs of shoes by the bathroom door next to the chifforobe. They are the same style but I alternate them every day to make them last longer. They now fit between my dresser and the bookcase; I can grab them in the morning when I go back for my glasses.

The chifforobe is now where my dresser was on the right wall as you enter, with enough space between it and the far wall to fit the hamper in. There is now a big empty space between that piece of furniture and the door. Right now I have one of my grandmother's old kitchen chairs there. When we save up some money I will get one of the little Tullsta armchairs from Ikea, and perhaps a little plant stand or table. It will be a place where you can sit down and put on your shoes or finish getting dressed.

James looked around and said, "The room looks bigger." Probably because of that space. But the Tullsta is small and won't take up much more room than a chair.

It's not finished, of course. I have the bureau scarves in the washer. (These are actually towels that my mom embroidered when she was a teenager. I like to use them.) Then we can start on "the accessories," as Matt and Shari say. This will be the artwork that was in our room in the old house—my cross-stitch of the 23rd Psalm, etc. and then I am finally going to put some photos of friends or family into the collage frames I bought so long ago from Michael's—there wasn't room for them in the old place.

James says he doesn't mind, so I will probably put my old crucifix over the bed, too.

Now I'm starting to wonder if it would be too frivolous to buy a new comforter for the bed. The old one is still good, but it shrank a bit a couple of washings ago and got some oil stains on it from the old washer. If I want a fall-themed comforter, now is the time to buy one! But nice ones (not brand names, but ones that don't pill the first time you put them in the washer!) are so expensive.

Oh, well, there's time to think. I'd like the pictures and things back up, though, before Thanksgiving, since we're having our first family company then!