The room I am sitting in has a red Persian rug, a brown leather couch, a green brocade wing back chair (plus ottoman), a green Morris chair (plus ottoman), a cane back rocking chair, an art deco blondish coffee table and a low oak table upon which rests our television set. The curtains (which are insulated blackout curtains) are peach colored and they match in color, purely by accident, a large photo we have of orangish sand and distant rock formations of somewhere in either Arizona or New Mexico. We also have an orangish antique Carrom board hanging at an angle on one wall, plus a vintage needlepoint on another. The needlepoint reads:
Give Me Time
Time for patience
For understanding too
Time to remember
Thoughtful deeds to do
Time to believe in
all fellow men
Time to perceive
The value of a friend.
The needlepoint has a clock flanked with flowers in the very middle between “…thoughtful deeds” and Time to believe…”, and there are backward and forward S shapes all around the edges. It is beautifully framed and is one of my favorite possessions.
There is another needlepoint on the far wall, plus a clock in an oak case, two pictures and a painting. There are also a couple of small tables, two lamps, a Mission Oak drop front desk plus oak desk chair, and an old round oak stool. It sounds like a lot of furniture for a relatively small room, but it all fits together nicely and gives the room a lived-in feeling. All the colors and textures work nicely together to convey warmth.
This room is right next to the kitchen and was the official diningroom before we arrived. We wanted our living room to be a television-free zone so we need a den, and this has been our den/tv room for the 21 years we’ve lived in this house. We have a big table in the living room that serves as a dining table for major events. We would need to be in there anyway since this room – our den – is on the smallish side.
When people come into this room, they often say, “Ah, it’s so cozy in here.” I agree. It’s a comfortable space in which to relax. It is also in close proximity to the kitchen, which is handy for a quick snack. There is a ceiling fan that keeps everything cool, plus a big bay window and two side windows that make it nice and light. We have a rectangular stained glass window that hangs in the bay window.
When my kids were at home, I used to see all my students in the living room. The den was part of our family space and was their domain for relaxing after school with a snack and a little tv time. But now I typically see my students in here because it’s pleasant and Ray will go upstairs if he needs family space. We have a door that can close if he is in the kitchen when I have a student. That way he gets the privacy he needs and we get the quiet we need for writing.
Because Ray and I have been antique dealers for a very long time, our home has an eclectic assortment of antique or collectible furniture and decor, all of which means something special to us. This room is no exception. I can look at every piece of furniture or needlepoint or lamp, table or picture and tell you where it came from and what the story is that goes with it. And if I can’t recall the story, then Ray can. That is just part of the deal when you buy and sell antiques. The story is almost as important as the function of the piece. In some cases, even more important.
I am happy to have such a nice space in which to write and work. I am surrounded with old and treasured possessions that help create an atmosphere that I find soothing. Plus, I have my beloved needlepoint with its reflection on time. I think this environment nurtures those who enter. I certainly hope it does since that has been my intention. It definitely nurtures me.