Introducing – the new Reading-Being Room!

The (almost) final reveal of the new Reading-Being Room is here.

View of the room before much changed except that I moved a big old chest of drawers that was in front of the windows into the breakfast room and put in its place an antique table which, you will see, has now exited this new space and is in the living room now. So this was what we began with – the old dining room:

times they are a-changin'

Along the way things got moved, areas got cleaned out (under the white bookshelves/cabinets), dogs helped where they were able (mainly moral support), and this was where we were:

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

Then one day I had a thought – Paul was cleaning out an area in the basement. We had a lot of stuff that his parents gave us when they were moved from independent living to a nursing facility, and among those items were some off-white extremely soft bed blankets – and there were two of them, twin sizes, which I immediately pictured as curtains. And curtains they became.


Earlier, I had tried covering up the fireplace wall with a pair of red corduroy curtains held up by two tension rods, but that was way too dark and depressing for us, so I took those down and this is what we had then, after I temporarily put up a beige sheet to cover that fireplace:

changing from dining to reading room

Wall decor was rearranged:

changing from dining to reading room

Then I had an idea – I moved the buffet, which was now emptied of all its contents (which all went into the cabinets under the bookshelves) and moved it into the living room where it replaced our old and less-loved TV credenza:

watching "Benidorm"

Then I moved those dark small bookcases that used to be under the living room windows out into the new Reading Room, making this room seem a lot less cluttered. I also cleaned out the large bookcase and moved tons of DVDs into another area:

fuzzy sofa

Into the Reading Room went those little bookcases:

reading room

We snipped some forsythia stems and they have started blooming inside, giving us the appearance that spring is on its way:

forsythia starting to bloom

I also revealed the fireplace once again and will tend to that area at a later time.

Then the big day arrived. March the 11th, the day the two new IKEA chairs that I’d ordered were to be delivered. And didn’t I worry and fret over those two chairs? Oh yes. The web site said “Assembly required” and the thought of Paul and me possibly breaking up over the job of assembling two chairs, never mind “recliner” chairs, was daunting. I lost a lot of sleep over this one… believe me. But in the end, all that worry was for naught… they came all assembled except for the feet!

new chairs (IKEA)

The new chairs, with feet, but still not in their spots yet:

new chairs (IKEA)

They push back easily into recliners – and yes, they are comfy! The best part – I can sit in this chair for long periods without excruciating pain in my back/legs etc. This makes it all worth it!

new chairs (IKEA)

And with the help of our ever-present assistants, the chairs got moved into their new spots against the inside wall, so we can sit there and enjoy the view out the front in peace and quiet:



And this is it, my new Reading-Being Room – a place to read and a place to just “be” for us. It’s taking a bit of time to get used to the idea of a room to just “be” – without tv going or dogs running around, or computers buzzing away… but I am very happy with how this room turned out. I like the rug that’s in there for now so will keep it for now.

My biggest regret is that my friend Emily (Mz. Em) isn’t here to see how it all came together because I had shared ideas with her all along and she was anxious to see the final result. (I hope, Em, if you are watching from above, you will come sit on my shoulder when I’m reading in my new room and keep me company sometimes… I’ll listen for you…)

During all this rearranging of furniture and cleaning out of clutter, the living room got a minor update, as well. Here’s a much improved view of the living room now that there isn’t so much going on:

just lounging around

And that chapter is closing. Just a few more small things to do in there. But now we’ve got the cleaning-out-bug and Paul has been at work in the basement getting rid of so much old stuff, the trash men are dizzy with it all! I am being ruthless, too, in getting rid of things, something Paul has been hoping for, for many years now. As a very dear and wise friend said to me recently, “Less is more, less is more, less is more, less is more!”

Final before & after:

times they are a-changin' morning in the reading room

Left=Before – Right=After


Bex & Co.

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.

~ John Denver & The Muppets ~

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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16 Responses to Introducing – the new Reading-Being Room!

  1. Smartiplants says:

    Wonderful! Great changes and I think you are really going to enjoy it!


  2. Sandy Freel says:

    I love the colors you have went with…nice and relaxing you can jazz up the room with colors as pillows/artwork.
    I could spend hours in there just relaxing…


  3. Wonderful arrangement. Looks New England cozy!


  4. nina says:

    Oh, Bex, it’s a huge improvement! I love the cleaner look, the whole concept of the chairs facing the garden — all of it is superb. Can’t believe you did this basically on your own! I say A+!


  5. Annanotbob3 says:

    It looks lovely, Bex – so welcoming and cosy. I wish you many happy hours just being! xxx


  6. Bex says:

    And Eric, sorry about your internet disappearing now and then…that must be awful. Check this URL for the photos of my room, they are arranged from recent to older:


  7. Bex says:

    Oh yes, Margaret, we do have that problem – with the chandelier. Paul keeps hitting his head on it. I have found a ceiling flush-mount fixture online but I just need to save up $$ for it. It only drops down a total of 5″ so that should be better. This is it:

    TT – I guess I omitted the part of the story about the table. I couldn’t just trash it – it’s almost like new but it was the first furniture we bought after we were married so it has sentimental value. But, several of the chairs have rungs on the bottom parts where a little puppy, whose name shall remain secret, did a bit of chewing so I would imagine no one would want this set. It’s a Hitchcock table and 6 chairs and has stenciling on the top.

    Since we don’t entertain any longer, we never use our dining room and eat all our meals in the “breakfast room” which is at the end of the kitchen. We have a good sized table there if we ever get one or two other people to feed. So…. the table, with legs taken off, is wrapped up in a big blanket and, along with all the chairs, is living in the basement stored away… in the hopes that someday we can find a home for it/them. But we just weren’t using it any longer.


  8. Margaret from Alberta says:

    Your new reading room looks so cosy and inviting. When I rearranged furniture a while back, taller people had to keep dodging the chandelier, which was no longer centred over a table. My solution was to lengthen the electrical cord from the ceiling, wind it through a length of chain links, put a second hook in the ceiling and centre the chandelier over the bookcase on the side of the room in front of the window. Doesn’t look like you have that problem, though. Happy reading and relaxing!


  9. Eric Mayer says:

    I am in some sort of Internet twilight land today. Mostly no access but occasionally a site pops up. Suddenly I was able to reach your journal with all the lovely descriptions but — alas — no pictures. Perhaps tomorrow it will be fixed. In the meantime I love the idea of a quiet room in which to read and to be. Amen to that!


  10. TopsyTurvy says:

    That was quite the work in progress, Bex. It looks great! But I’ve got to ask – and maybe I missed it? Where did the dining room table go? Where are you guys eating, now?


  11. I am over-the-moon thrilled for you. I LOVE the changes you’ve made. Everything looks d�cor perfect as well as comfortable, which is not an easy feat. I simply love the changes you’ve made – all so sensible and functional and pleasing to the eye. Bravo!


  12. WendyNC says:

    Well done and good for you! Very pleasant and welcoming. So when are we all getting together at your place? 🙂


  13. Bonnie says:

    You did a wonderful job! Send me some forsythia branches will you? 🙂 Another thing I miss.


  14. Sandy Freel says:

    WOW….what a nice looking relaxing room now….
    You done a great job with the new look and chairs.
    I am very sure Em is very close by and giving it a thumbs up.


  15. What a welcoming, cozy, and beautiful room you have created Bex! And I love where the chairs ended up, so you can watch the world outside the window, and you will be sitting in a warmer part of the room during the winter months (external walls are usually colder!).



  16. l'empress says:

    Now that’s what I’d call a living room — a place to keep my books and a chair for my back.


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