You know the articles that there have been in the past few weeks about people being ‘over-housed’? There are, apparently, 25 million spare bedrooms in the country. I have to say that some of them are in this house. And I’m sorry if you think we’re ‘hoarding’ our housing, and I’m also sorry if you are short of space where you live; but I don’t think that the two situations are directly linked. And we’re not moving anyway.
But it’s true that we’ve got rather more space than we regularly use, and that’s a pity. There are four living rooms, and we use two or three. You might think that even that is a lot for two people, but we’re the spreading sort. So the drawing room and the study are used all the time and the dining room is used all summer and only heated in the winter if there are enough people here to make it worth the bother. And the Sage puts stuff in the other room, which is not a brilliant idea because it ends up with boxes and trayfuls all over the place and it is unusable much of the time.
Now, we are planning to redecorate the drawing room, and while we’re about it, we can do some other work there. When we moved here 25 years ago, we bought a Multiyork sofa and two chairs, and 14 years ago we bought new loose covers for them. However, the third time I had the cushion covers dry cleaned, the colour ran and they were ruined. So I put the old covers back on, and did some repairs as they wore out. I’ve been looking into getting new loose covers, but the cost is huge for 25-year-old soft furnishings and it would make more sense to buy new ones. But it does go against the grain, the chairs themselves are in very good condition and haven’t even started to sag or wear. Anyway, I’ve gone through all the covers I’ve got and I’ve found that I can put together the sofa and a big square footstool in one material and a chair and a footstool in another, which would only leave one redundant chair, and we’ve got loads of armchairs, a shortage of furniture is never our problem. However, the two materials do not go together and can’t be put in the same room.
That was all the preamble to my good idea, sorry it’s taken so long.
The unused room, which is so unused that it doesn’t even have a name, will be turned out and have a new life as the dining room, the present dining room, which leads into it, will be another sitting room – I love that room, it’s wasted as a dining room because it’s got a beautiful inglenook and you hardly notice it. Then we can move into those two rooms (instead of the study, which is full of my stuff) while the drawing room is done up, and then we can sit in comfort, each in our own space, and never have to meet again in the evening except at meals. Which is, you have to agree, leads to happiness between two long-married people who work together and need to have something to talk about at dinner time and for bedtime to be a joyful reunion.
What is good about this too, is that it will give us somewhere to put my pianola when it eventually returns. End of July, my left foot.
But the best part is, the Sage and I have another project (this is going to take weeks, nothing is ever simple in this house). What I love is that we adore each other’s madcap projects and enter into the spirit of things at once. It’s all completely unnecessary, of course, but it’ll be fun.