Before we moved I tried to persuade B to dispose of some of our furniture, which in my opinion would obviously not work in the new house. Nothing expensive or meaningful: things we had agreed we would replace anyway and/or bargains collected from charity shops. It seemed silly to go the trouble of transporting them but B said no, we should take the lot and if it wasn’t needed we would dispose of it later. How wise he was and how wrong I was: so much of what we have works really well here – to my delight and astonishment and to the benefit of B’s bank balance.
A few days ago I set out to create an eating space. Instead we’ve ended up with an integrated living space which I had never imagined before we arrived. The sitting/dining areas open onto each other. We’d envisaged using both spaces as a single large sitting room – we have another reception room which could then become a dining room. But that second room needs structural work and redecorating so won’t be ready just yet, and – what I’ve created works perfectly. I love it!
I needed a cabinet from another part of the house for my plan. Because of the ‘interesting’ layout of this house, it meant taking it outside, all around the outside of the house and up the outside stairs. The top came away; the back fell off. B had to make repairs. The nails got lost in the gravel. The wind was blowing; rain threatening; it was all a bit of a drag. But worth it. Once it was in position, I unearthed some lamps – previously used in other rooms in Old Spinney – and I heaved the heavy old dining table into a new position – for the third and hopefully the final time. I have combined pieces that were originally from five different rooms and suddenly, we have a lovely inviting, integrated living space and it’s cost us nothing but a little imagination and a little grit in shifting things around. Simple, and frugal. I’m all about making do.
I use the table all the time, not just to eat off. It’s become my workstation, and here I can gaze out at the view (for inspiration of course). I’ve set up places to hide away the paperwork, stationery and other necessities which formerly lived in the guest room that had doubled as my study. I have said consistently that I don’t want a room of my own in this new home and that wish seems to be evolving naturally and easily. Interestingly, although he is setting up his own study, B intends to make it a space that we both use and eventually it will be renamed “the library”. How very grand! It will be a while before that room is finished but there’s no rush.
Already we spend far more time together: doing our own thing but sharing the same space. B feels the magic of this place. The first evening after we’d made these changes was dark and blustery. The lamps were softly brightening a few corners; most clutter was out of sight; the wood burner gave out a warm glow. “It’s like a different world,” he said, looking around and then outward to the landscape beyond our comfy home. And so it is.