Home-ing in

After the heartbreaking “eviction” from our previous home (OK, I MAY be over-dramatizing that a bit), Jeffrey and I have decided we can no longer risk falling in love with a space we don’t own. To that end, we have hesitated putting too much of ourselves into our new space, focusing on making it functional in a practical way as opposed to completely re-inventing the space and investing scads of money and time to make it perfect for us.

However, trying to fight one’s nature is tougher than it seems, and as we’ve spent more time in the new house we have found ourselves liking it more and more and wanting to tweak it here and there to make it a bit more “us”.  We just can’t seem to exist in a space for any length of time without feeling the need to convert it from “a house to a home.”

Our biggest obstacle is the oddly spaced, miniscule living room area, which clearly was not intended to accommodate anyone with even the smallest of social lives or having the least amount of company.   Up until now, we have had this awful configuration that, while technically functional, completely blocked off the space in an abrupt and awkward way and was so unwelcoming that it was practically uncomfortable to sit in with any of our guests.  We felt crammed into a pocket of the room and did not enjoy spending any time there. We accepted that this was the best configuration we could come up with and have spent weeks searching every local furniture store for small furniture to replace what we have to help give us more breathing room.

This past Sunday, we hit the last of the furniture places (that we’re aware of) and finally threw in the towel: this area just does not carry furniture for small spaces. We returned home, dejected and desperate, but decided we had to do something; so, we completely dismantled and cleared out the living room and just started playing with the space, trying to think outside of the box. Much to our (very pleasant) surprise, it only took 3 different configurations before we discovered a set up that worked PERFECTLY, completely opened the space and turned it from a creepy, cold  space to a warm, welcoming sitting area.

To say we love it is an understatement. I can’t stop walking through the room and looking at our masterpiece, patting ourselves on the back for, once again, making something from nothing. We have literally transformed the space and changed the entire flow and feel of the house.  A week ago I was determined we would move after a year because I simply could not live without a living room. Now, I am eagerly planning a housewarming party (3 months after we moved in) to enjoy the space I once loathed.

I attempted to illustrate the layout change, but was using a basic paint program and was not drawing to scale so it’s not the best visual.  Still, I think you can get the gist of what we did.

Old layout:

New Layout:

I can’t believe how much joy I get in organizing a living space, especially when it really enhances a room and maximizes space. I should get my own cable show!

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4 Responses to Home-ing in

  1. Will says:

    Yes! Now you no longer walk into the space and are hit with the big, blank back of the sofa. You are now invited into the whole room with the view straight to the fireplace. Excellent!

  2. Will J says:

    Glad to see that you are feeling better and your creative nature is reasserting itself.

    So much of design is setting people free from proscribed solutions and expectations. You did this by asking yourself “How do we live? What do we want this to be?” As a artist and a gay man, you are perhaps more comfortable working in the realm of these questions, their uncertainty and the issues that they bring up.

    Will J

    PS If you are interested in pursuing this as a sideline, consider offering your services as a space planner. That way, you are true to yourself by working with what clients have.

  3. anne marie in philly says:

    ever thought about becoming an interior decorator? honey, you have the feng shui down pat!

    • Sassybear says:

      It’s funny you say that, AM; I just said to Jeffrey last night that I have never given any credence to the concept of Feng Shui, but moving that room around literally changed the entire atmosphere of the house and our emotions about it and I may just have to begrudgingly concede that there’s something more to it than I would have believed. And, yes, I have given a lot of consideration to interior design. I am of the “work with what you have” frame of mind as opposed to the “spend what you have to make it better” frame of mind, so I would want to go into people’s homes and show them how to make the most of what they have (which I have done many, many times for friends and family alike.) I don’t want to invest time and money I don’t have to go to school for it, so I’d have to get people to hire me based on my natural passion, skills and talents, knowing I wasn’t formally educated or trained.

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