It was 1986 when this ‘place’ became my family’s home. We had looked for houses to buy for some time and blessedly, one day, my husband talked with someone at a vacant lot that led to our purchase and building of the house we have lived in since. It has been amazing the evolution that has taken place over the years in this structure. Even my favorite room has seen some considerable facelifts.
When the house was designed, I had many options and one of them was to include a window seat and bay window in a library. We had a teenage boy on a football team who we encouraged to invite his friends over on the weekends, so I needed somewhere to “go” that provided solace when I wasn’t in my sewing room. So those options were included and a beautiful structure was built in. Avid readers all, my husband, son and I, we had to have a lot of book space, so “L” shaped bookshelves lined either side of the French doors and up half way along the length of the long room. Every bit of space was filled in those shelves. I loved this space and used it so very much as those boys and girls grew up and away.
Even when our young granddaughter came to visit, the same setting existed, providing hours and hours of imagination-filled games and stories and daydreams between Jama and child. The room even served as a home office for five years in the midst of all the wonder/chaos. Business did not dampen the fun to be had with stuffed animals and child’s books even so!
Alas, time marched on, granddaughter grew up, Jama aged, business closed, I went to work, was laid off, went back to work, retired. It was time for a facelift. Hubby and I ran into an old friend who was in the carpentry business and we asked him to build us new book shelves. Hubby hired someone to tear out the window seat. We went antique shopping. I had acquired my great-grandmother’s antique piano. One thing led to another and wha-lah! We have a whole new look to our library and it’s simply mahvelous dahling!
In place of the window seat sit two very different chairs – one medium pea green leather mid-century (oh, my! I have a mid-century antique! “I” too am mid-century! Ha!) with a very high back. It is very narrow, just wide enough to sit it for someone who was average back then. It is very, very comfortable for conversation and reading for a while. The other chair is a gold cloth and wood chair, a bit overstuffed at present. It will be very comfortable for reading and conversation as soon as it has some of the stuffins removed from its seat. It, too, is probably a mid-century-ish chair. Betwixt the two is a contemporary round oak end table with a 1930-40’s lamp with glass bead fringe – an absolute favorite piece of mine. My husband stripped the contemporary chalking off a coffee table to reveal the most beautiful grain.
Of course we have the turkey feather-style upright piano that was my great-mother’s. It was too beaten down to have it fixed, so an acquaintance of mine gutted the keyboard and replaced it with an electronic keyboard, so I have the outside of the piano and the workings of a new, beautiful sounding piano on the inside. (He did this with a baby grand once and you couldn’t even tell, I might add! Ingenious idea, me thinks!) In the center of the room stands a drop-leaf table that extends from the original four foot square to a fabulous NINE feet with two extension leaves! I adore it for my sewing/quilting days when I need to cut out lengths of fabric. I have four accompanying chairs. We got the set for a song at an estate sale.
In each corner of the room are special prizes of themselves – sewing machines that belonged to my two grandmothers reside on either side of the French doors. One is a White in a square cabinet. That sewing machine is secured within its home, but sitting atop the box is a 1956 Spartan. My other grandmother’s machine is the familiar treddle style older model Singer and is open for viewing.
But the piece de resistance (sic) is the huge solid oak three piece bookcase center stage on the long wall of the library. Rising nearly to the ceiling and expanding equally three feet shy of each wall, this masterpiece will withstand most anything. It’s bolted to the wall, but will come with us wherever we go. The three tall cases sit atop three pedestals which include drawers hiding a myriad of greeting cards, old bibles, and who knows what. Not only is it beautiful, the shelves are adjustable!
I had found yardage of a dark forest green background with ferns in tans, creams tossed hither and yon. Falling in love with it, I made drapes for the bay window. It was nice, but they just seemed to drag down the look of the room. One day I was in a store looking for a change when I landed upon the most luscious of off white lace curtains. In my mind’s eye, I just knew they would work. I brought them home and oh my goodness me! Yes, indeed, they are perfect. The morning light filters through the lace in the loveliest of ways and the room is now absolutely perfect. Morning coffee, afternoon tea, evening devotions. It all works. My favorite room. God has blessed it and me.