That point where you’ve turned a corner on getting settled…

5 minute read

January 26, 2018, 2:27 PM

Slowly but surely, this house is coming together.  Old furniture is in place.  New furniture is acquired and in place.  Various other little flub-dubs have been purchased and placed.  And I have a dust mop.  You know that you’re mature when you’re excited about buying a dust mop.

But in any case, it’s starting to look like Elyse and I live there.  My bedroom, for instance, is more or less complete:

My bedroom, with bed, nightstands, lamps, and curtains.
My bedroom, with bed, nightstands, lamps, and curtains.

Same setting, viewed from the mezzanine.
Same setting, viewed from the mezzanine.

I am particularly proud of the curtains.  When I first saw the house back in July, there were 84-inch gray curtains on the windows.  Those curtains touched the floor, which I didn’t like.  When I went shopping for curtains, all that I could find were 63-inch curtains, and 84-inch curtains.  63-inch curtains would cut right at the bottom of the window, and 84-inch would have touched the floor again.  I found 72-inch curtains, which were the perfect length, plus they matched the comforter on the bed.  They’re also blackout curtains, which means that if I really wanted to, I could keep the sunlight out, but the double window directly above, across from the mezzanine, as well as the skylight in the mezzanine, makes that an exercise in futility.  But that’s okay, because I just wanted something to complete the setting, and for that, it works perfectly.  Along with Elyse’s room, it’s the only room with any sort of curtains.  I’m not planning on painting my bedroom, so all that’s left to do in here is wallhangings, and perhaps also an area rug.

Meanwhile, Elyse and I accomplished this in the back bedroom over the course of about two nights:

The home library is complete.
The home library is complete.

This worked out more or less perfectly.  When I was mentally furnishing the house while everything was still going through, I knew that I wanted the bookshelves upstairs, but I didn’t quite know how I wanted them to be placed.  Then on moving day, the movers plopped them against the east wall, side by side.  It was perfect, and so I left them that way.  All that I had to do was relevel them and load them.  The strategy here was to have books ring the outside, and then put trinkets on the inside.  The shelves containing books look perfect, but the shelves with trinkets look a little crowded.  I think I’m going to put some things on top of the shelves, in order to add some character to the top, as well as make things look a little less crowded down below.

I’m still not entirely sure what the purpose of the back bedroom is, though.  There are currently no furnishings in it other than the bookshelves, and no area rug.  Elyse and I both have our bedrooms, the mezzanine is my office/den, and the living room is the living room.  The impetus for finishing the back bedroom was so that we could blow up the air mattress for an overnight guest so that we didn’t have to put them in the living room.  The air mattress fits in there perfectly, so that certainly works.  That said, I need to keep the space open so that I can blow up the air mattress for guests without having to completely dismantle the room whenever guests come over, but I suppose that we’ll see what happens with it.  Seeing that nature abhors a vacuum, I don’t want it to become a junk room, so we’ll see.

Then I also bid farewell to my old torchiere lamps:

The lamps, at the Habitat for Humanity store in Silver Spring

I never thought that I would get rid of these, but they really had no place anywhere in the house.  I have more ceiling lighting here, and I also couldn’t mentally place them anywhere that would work.  So, having outlived their usefulness, they’re gone.  I remember how excited I was to get them back in 2004 when I redecorated my old bedroom at my parents’ house, but what 22-year-old me thought was perfect is what 36-year-old me says no longer has any place.  So I donated them to Habitat for Humanity, at the ReStore location off of Cherry Hill Road in Silver Spring.

That worked out surprisingly well, because as luck would have it, we came across something that was incredibly useful.  The original plan that day was to drop off the lamps at Habitat, and then head over to IKEA, armed with a $25 off of $250 coupon, in order to purchase an armchair for the living room.  But Elyse wanted to look at the Habitat store while we were there, and I didn’t.  Considering that she’d eaten before we left the house and I hadn’t, that worked out well enough.  I went across the street to get lunch while she looked at the Habitat store.  Then I got a text message from Elyse while I was eating, that the Habitat store had an Ektorp armchair in tan on the salesfloor.  Ektorp was one of the styles that I had in mind from the outset, along with a Strandmon wing chair.  Once I finished eating, I came over and realized that it was in new condition, and the price was unbeatable.  But would it fit my car?  A quick measurement of my car’s back opening revealed that it was 36″ x 28″.  We took the legs off the chair, and it went right in.  Score!  I ended up paying $74 for a $319 chair.  I could handle that.  And it looks perfect in the living room:

The Ektorp armchair harmonizes perfectly with my Friheten couch.
The Ektorp armchair harmonizes perfectly with my Friheten couch.

And as you can see, part of the living room is still in an incomplete state.  The problem is that the dining part of the living room has been partly cannibalized for use in the kitchen so that I can use the breakfast bar:

Those chairs are the wrong height for the breakfast bar, but they work as an interim solution until I get real counter-height chairs.  Those are on their way, and it’s going to be these:

I ended up getting two of these from Zadia Wood Center in Rockville, and will stain them to match the cabinets.  They’ll be here in six to eight weeks.  Then the dining set will come together.

So all in all, this house is slowly but surely becoming a home.

Categories: Furniture