Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Library - The Dream of Dreams

We have a big, useless, extra living room in the front of our house which, along with couches, holds our formal dining room (in five years, used maybe twice), and an old pirate-toothed broken-keyed piano that has been in the family for sixty years. The room always depressed me. I wished it was part of a bigger garage rather than a mish-mash homage to my poor decorating skills.

Two weeks ago, I ran into a cousin I hadn't seen since we were young children. Our local library has two computers in the kids section and two cute little boys were waiting patiently for their turn, as their pretty mother sat across from me. I was ninety percent sure it was her, so I just took a gamble and said, "I think I know you..."

After a lovely chat and some understatements on how our family is not that close (although in distance, many of us live in a twenty mile radius), she invites me and my boys to her home for a swim date, and also invited her equally lovely sister who has two young children as well.

What does this have to do with my extra-appendage living room? Well, it has more to do with what my cousin did with her home. She took a 1970's previously-yucky ranch home and turned it into the pages of Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware; and she did it all with reclaimed items from craig's List that she refinished herself. Even with two boys under five, she has a white couch that is still white. And the kids do actually sit on it!

It struck me that most of my decorating woes have come from the fact that I hate to spend money on decorator items because the costs add up so fast, and honestly, I really have no idea what I'm doing. Of my naturally occurring skills, decorating and gardening know-how fall pretty far down on the list, I am sorry to say. But when I came home from the visit, I became feverishly inspired by her can-do, do-it-yourself, reasonably priced attitude and decided to take on my house.

The big useless living room was getting a makeover.

My decorating guardian angel must have heard me, thrilled by my actual interest in determination at last. Not long afterwards, I was with my neighbor at a neat, upscale resale shop in town (Treasure Traders) when I was shown the rug. Rolled up in the back was a 9X9 foot round, hand tufted, wool rug - gorgeous and new, valued at 1500$ - for only 200$. My neighbor was nice enough to let me bring it home in her truck (the thing weighs a ton and still hung over the tailgate a few feet) and my husband was nice enough not to freakout with the surprise purchase that I didn't even consult him on.

All the junk I didn't like in the living room got pulled off the walls and removed from the nick-nack tables. We unfurled the gorgeous rug in the middle of the room as my kids ran circles around its perimeter. Then I began to understand. This lame living room, my rug told me, isn't a living room at all - it's your library.

 All my life I have dreamed of having miles of bookshelves, filled to the brim, and a place to sit in comfortable peace and read until my eyes blur. Now I have an actual vision.

And I am ready to 'Make it so'.

Star Trek TNG fans will get it. 


  1. Yeahhhhhhhh! The first time I saw Beauty and the Beast I knew I had to have a library of my own, too. Let your dream soar! Love you!

  2. I have ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS wanted a full blown library in my house, complete with fireplace, comfy overstuffed sofas and of course the wall to wall bookshelves. My current library has no fireplace and doubles/triples as an office and music room. I'm cheering you on in your decorating!

  3. Lindsay,

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