Monday, September 13, 2010

Furniture Wars

I am the proud owner of seven pairs of reading glasses, all of slightly different strengths. I collected them all this morning for a good cleaning and scratch assessment, and was surprised when I kept finding more here and there. Pocketbook, next to the computer, next to the tester/calendar area, coffee table, kitchen table, counter, bedside, dresser and yes, in the bathroom (that is quite possibly the most IMPORTANT place to leave glasses because once you've gotten "comfortable" nothing is more frustrating than taking out the book (we have John's 4-ply bathroom reader-a trivia selection of 1000 or so pages-fabulous for short stays) and finding you've forgotten your glasses. If you're like me, you can't see a darn thing without them. I can read signs on the thruway (good thing) without optical aids, but put it 18 inches or closer to me and I am blind as a bat. I cannot even eat my dinner comfortably without my glasses, because it is frightening to me to not be able to recognize detail on my food. I all appears to be a blurry palette of colors-no detail at all. Not appetizing when you think that possibly those sesame seeds are not what they appear to be? I am neurotic about food to begin with-adding sight restrictions is just more than I can work with. Today I woke up with renewed energy and inspiration. We spent our rainy and blustery Sunday window shopping for new living room furniture. As our current furniture is a mish mosh of what we liked, what we had and what we settled for, and keeping in mind that most of it is coming to the end of its shelf-life (either by choice or by design), we stepped into the world of living room furniture at Huck Finn's Warehouse and Old Brick Warehouse. In the process of finding these two meccas of furniture (according to their effective television marketing campaigns) we also stumbled upon an odd assortment of Architectural castoffs that are quite interesting (this is how I get into trouble-seeing a single piece that catches my eye and then decorating an entire room around that). Anyway, we browsed through there and then moved on to our original mission of living room window shopping. We are going to do this right. We are not actually BUYING any of this furniture until we finish the floor and all the construction projects in the living room. Only then will I bring in the new stuff. I think this is how most people do this sort of thing, although it is quite new to me. I generally do it backwards which is how I end up with damaged and destroyed stuff that I really liked when we started the project, but not so much when the project is finished. I think if we try it this way we will see how that works out for the long term of things. I may possibly be simply a fickle furniture person, whose tastes changed too often for real commitment in design. We'll see. I'm already worried about what I'll do with the furniture if I get "sick of it" and it isn't even picked out yet! You see what I mean? Anyway, what we ended up with in both our minds when we finished scoping out two full warehouses full of lovely furniture is a U-Shaped sectional-in red. Now I know this sounds incredibly daring to those who know me because modern style furniture has never been my trend. I lean more towards mismatched (what design experts call eclectic-really just unmatched and weird) pieces that are interesting in and of themselves, but make our living room sometimes feel a little TOO warm and inviting-more like a comfortable dorm room than a designed living room for adults. I may be too hard on myself, because sometimes I truly love what our house looks like, and this makes me worry about bringing in a large and modern designed couch that will not allow for much change. Not allow for change? How will I handle this? It's kind of scary. Any time in my life when things were not going well (no need to detail here-just a point I'm trying to make) I always worked it out by changing around furniture. It is a family secret that we all share. We've Rowlands have been known to swap furniture inter-state. We can't help ourselves. It is the worlds best way to get rid of that feeling of bored or trapped-simply move around the furniture. The place gets a thorough cleaning (who KNEW what could live under the sofa?) and also takes on a feeling of newness, just by switching out pieces and rearranging their location. It should be prescribed by physicians for January depression because nothing gets you out of your doldrums more than tearing apart a room and having a new room at the end of the day. It also can challenge your children into really staying on their toes. I'm reminded of Walter's story of coming home late at night after a night out with his buddies, trying to pass quietly through what he thought was the old furniture arrangement, and flipping over the back of the sofa in its new position-therefore eliminating his quiet entrance and busting him in his late night activities. Sorry Walter, but this story had to be shared simply because of its merits. Had I not changed around the furniture, I would not have known my son was doing things he shouldn't be doing late at night. Anyway, my point here (in case you've lost it) is that purchasing a large sectional with essentially one way of arrangement is very scary to me. And yet, I am intrigued. If I didn't have to constantly re-arrange furniture in an attempt to fix maybe what was wrong in the first place-too much furniture, not the right furniture, maybe I would have constructive time for other activities? It's a thought. I will have to ponder this a while longer, and also make sure we get that floor in soon. I may end up with another eclectic piece just tring to fix THAT problem. In the meantime, I will try our current sofa in a different place. Watch out kids.

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