NOTE: If you’re just here for the politics, you’ll probably want to skip this one. But if your also read Living Freedom for arts & home improvement, I’d appreciate your thoughts.
This winter, The Wandering Monk and I are tackling the remaining interior home improvement projects. As many as we can, anyhow. With luck, in the next two years everything but the flooring will finally be done.
This winter’s projects aren’t big, but they’ll make a big difference.
There’s one I may or may not do. It’s been on my mind for a couple of years. One day I think, “Yeah, let’s do that!” The next day I think, “But OMG, that could be a disaster!”
I asked the Monk his opinion on it a few months ago and he said unequivocally, “Nope, don’t do it.” Then when he was here earlier this month, he seemed to think it might not be such a bad idea.
At the moment I’m about 90% in favor again. But tomorrow is another day. So, Dear Commentariat, I’m asking your thoughts.
This is the living room at Mo Saoirse Hermitage. Please pardon the construction materials stashed around it, especially the stray doors.:
It’s a nice room. I’ve always liked it. At 23’2″ x 13’2″ it’s a pleasant size and proportion. It has two archways that open onto small nooks about 8′ x 10′. It also has a pair of wide openings into the kitchen, which in turn opens onto the sunroom.
Overall, we’re talking a huge open space for a small house — 43′ from the east wall (top wall in the floorplan below, back wall in that photo) of the living room to the west wall of the sunroom, approximately 21′ from the north wall of the living room through those nooks to the south side of the house.
The back part of the house — which if I’d have been smart, I’d have torn down when I bought the place — is much smaller and a bit cramped. It had two bedrooms back when, but one got sacrificed to deconstruction. It had 1-3/4 bathrooms (albeit the full bath was derelict, with holes in the floor, disconnected plumbing, and dead mice and spiders in the bathtub); one bath remains, but it’s nice.
Still, I’ve now got just a one-bedroom house with a way-wide-open front and cramped behind.
So I’m thinking of doing this to the living room. The orange highlighted area would be new:
In short, I’m thinking about slicing the living room in half to create a second bedroom.
It would make a terribly small and much darker (but call it cozy or intimate) living room. But oh, what a fabulous, light-filled bedroom!
To give you a better visualization, here are three pix. In the first, I’ve placed a shoji screen approximately where the new wall would be:
Everything to the right of the shoji would be living room:
Everything to the left of the shoji would be bedroom:
At present, the two small nooks beyond the arches seem separate from the living room. But the nook off the proposed bedroom, which has a wider arch, seems nicely to become part of the new room. I envision a bedroom with a separate office/art area.
The nook that would remain off the new, smaller living room is harder to envision as part of the room. And unfortunately there’s no way to widen the arch without causing minor problems like the front of the house falling off.* Still, with clever painting, the right placement of furniture, and harmonized flooring, what’s now the arched entryway could be visually integrated into the much narrower living room.
- Fabulous big bedroom
- Place for guests to sleep
- Ability to keep office/art work areas out of sight
- Second bedroom ads value to the house
- Potential for adding a 1/2 bath to that space someday
- I finally get to use those nice glass doors that have been sitting in the living room being a nuisance for several years
- Cozier living room and much easier to heat LR, kitchen, sunroom “unit”
- Living room becomes small and darker
- Living room is now smaller than the kitchen and much smaller than the kitchen/sunroom together
- If the Monk and I add that wall and it turns out to have been a horrible mistake, it’s one I’ll have to live with forever
There are other small considerations. But those are the basics.
After two or three years of waffling like a cornered politician, it’s time to decide. The Monk and I will be finishing the laundry/sewing room in January. But after that, it’s do or
die don’t do on this plan.
So, Commentariat geniuses, lend me your brilliance. Please.
Posting will be “lite” tomorrow and New Years day, so that’ll give anyone interested (including me!) time to mull the Big Decision.
To the non-interested, thanks for making it this far.
* Considering some of the “issues” I’ve run into with the former Ye Olde Wreck in the 5.5 years I’ve owned, loved, and frequently despaired of it, the front falling off actually might qualify as a minor difficulty. But I’d still rather not add “replace front of house” to any to-do lists.