Room for Renewal

Everything is harder for me these days. Every tiny little project is a big deal now. Moving from point A to point B is slow and painful. Ok. So I decided I didn’t like our dining room like it was any longer. I wished for a “reading room” and that seemed like the perfect room for it. We do not “entertain” anymore (way too many trips from point A to point B for me!) so why waste a good space?

Here is the dining room as it was a few weeks ago:

times they are a-changin'

You can see it’s crowded in there. I had plans to remove the buffet and put it in the living room and move the large bookcase to its spot in the dining room along that wall. But that isn’t going to happen. I’ve always despised the non-working fireplace at the end of this room, so I came up with this idea:

future reading room

I had two dark red corduroy curtains and I put them on two tension rods – top and bottom – and covered right over that wall with the fireplace. I was going to ask Paul to board up that wall but this was so much easier!

Then I tried moving the table (which I was originally going to get rid of completely) over to the nook where the fireplace was:

100_1196

I lived with that for a few days but nah, it didn’t work for me. So I moved the buffet over to the nook, and put the table against that long interior wall like so:

reading/dining room

Then I took all the pictures/mirror/etc off the walls:

dining/reading room changeover

I had Paul fill in the holes and repaint where he filled in the holes. I moved that mirror, which I found at a junk sale many decades ago for about $25, over to the entry area, like so:

dining/reading room changeover

Then I rearranged the pictures I wanted on that long empty wall and hung them up:

dining/reading room changeover

I toyed with the idea of putting up a long bookshelf along the top of that wall, and using my “paint” program, I made this photo:

room w/bookshelf drawn in...

I still haven’t decided on that idea yet. Maybe down the road… but not now. I would love to have crown molding all around the top of this room, but Paul hates to do that so I’m leaving well enough alone for now.

All the while, my trusty assistants were giving me good sound advice on what to put where…

dining/reading room changeover

And here is how things stand now:

changing a dining room into a dining/reading room - in progress

100_1359

You can see that the chandelier has to go. I plan to put a flush-mount light up there on the ceiling… so no one bumps into it walking around this room now.

My plan is to get one or two comfy reading chairs to put on the left side of the room, on either side of that little antique table in front of the window, one for Paul and one for me, so we can just hang out in there with our books, quietly, without any TV or radio going on, looking out the window at the trees and birds and dogs… nice and peaceful-like.

dining/reading room changeover

So that’s that. I have looked and looked online for some small sized cozy reading chairs. There is not a whole lot of room for anything more than a small size there, but I just know the right ones are out there somewhere, and I will find them.

(Update: The finished room can be seen on this page a little while later.)

Time to get up and do a couple of things here.

Cheers,

Bex

It’s in every one of us to be wise;

Find your heart, open up both your eyes.

We can all know every thing without ever knowing why.

It’s in every one of us, by and bye.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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14 Responses to Room for Renewal

  1. TopsyTurvy says:

    You did a great job, Bex! I really like the way you covered the fireplace area up with the curtains, and placing the buffet over there. Great job!

    Like

  2. Looks so comfortable and neat.

    Like

  3. Sandy in Chicago says:

    I love the change! It looks like a brand new room. I like open layouts where you don’t have to run an obstacle course. It looks very homey too. Nice job.

    Like

  4. Bonnie says:

    Wow what a difference! I wish our daughter would find some energy to get her place in order. Perhaps you can come help her? 😉

    Like

  5. Eric Mayer says:

    Yes that’s very nice. I certainly like the idea of a quiet, uncluttered reading room.

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  6. Smartiplants says:

    Your home is very traditional, cozy and lovely and I do love the changes you have made!

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  7. I’ve always liked your home for so many reasons to include the happy romp of dogs, the you and Paul, the bread & cookies you bake for him, and all he does for you – the trees and gardens and the seafaring man who returns to happy home and hearth… You live such a beautiful and charmed life it hardly seems possible you could improve it – but I love the move-arounds you’ve done with your dining room – charming alterations.

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  8. Bex says:

    YES Anna! That is just what I want too!

    That quote… are you sure that didn’t come from that movie about C.S. Lewis and his wife — oh, no maybe not… I think it was when his very sick wife was showing him how to come to bed after they were married, and when it came to sex, he hadn’t a clue, and she talks him through it:

    Joy: “What do you do when you go to bed?”

    Lewis: “I put on my pajamas and say my prayers and get under the covers.”

    Joy: “Well, then, that’s what I want you to do right now, except that when you get under the covers, I’ll be there.” (Anthony Hopkins as C.S. Lewis and Debra Winger as Joy Gresham in “Shadowlands.”)

    Oh that tugged at my heartstrings!

    My perfect room is an old English sitting room with 2 overstuffed chairs facing each other, an ottoman in the middle for all 4 feet, a big old stone fireplace with a roaring fire, dogs by the hearth, books in the shelves on either side of the fireplace, and flowery wallpaper like the English are so famous for.

    My fireplace will never be the one I wish for, and we have sworn off wallpaper as it’s too hard to remove, but now that I think about it, I may reconsider.

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  9. Annanotbob3 says:

    I meant to say before that this post made me think of one of my favourite lines in literature, from ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’ by Thomas Hardy: Gabriel Oak says all he wants is “At home by the fire, whenever I look up, there you will be. And whenever you look up, there I shall be.” So little and yet so much xxx

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  10. Bex says:

    Wow, Anna, love that chair – thanks! I will go to IKea now and investigate.

    I would kind of turn the reading chairs at an angle so you could see out the window while sitting there… not strictly facing into the room/wall – or even both facing each other into the center of the room – not sure, depends on the size of the chairs I come up with.

    Like

  11. Sandy From Iowa says:

    It will look so great when you get your chairs in there…nice tour you always give us.

    Like

  12. l'empress says:

    I like the buffet in its new spot. I have a small credenza, which I hope to be able to move someday. It would be just the right size for my TV set and maybe my DVDs inside. Of course, my plans never work out.

    Like

  13. It is fun to see what you are up to in your world Bex! Question, when you are sitting in your reading chairs, facing into the room if I am envisioning this correctly, how will you be able to look up from your books and out the windows, without turning around? What a warm and cozy space!

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  14. Annanotbob3 says:

    For someone who can’t get around much you sure get around a lot! Love what you’re doing – great improvement. I have a really comfy chair from Ikea here: http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/categories/series/07472/ that doesn’t take up much room but has good back/neck/head support. xxx

    Like

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