Wednesday, 13 June 2007


We've lived in our house for nearly ten years now. Three winters ago, we endured a major renovation to fix all the usual problem areas in a 90 year old house - the bathroom, laundry and kitchen, plus a repaint, replumb, rewire and fixing up some damp.

It's a great house to live in now, especially as we acquired a separate toilet (with three children, the luxury of this can not be underestimated). Our house not too small, not too big, and comfortable. We thought about moving last year, but we all love living in our house and the area (although we're not thrilled with our street, but you can't have everything). One day we may need to move upstairs into the ceiling to accommodate growing teenagers, but not yet.

However, there's always been one room that hasn't really worked. This is our biggest room, off the kitchen, and the legacy of the previous owners' renovation, with lovely wooden-framed floor to ceiling windows. It's the 'family room', but for ages it hasn't worked like that, as it wasn't a particularly inviting room. As a family, we weren't spending much time in this room together.

That's been changing over the last year. It started with moving the dining table into the middle of the room, which filled the space more, taking away the feeling of emptiness.

Then we moved our old club lounge suite into the room to create a sitting area. Late last year, we finally got a decent pair of sofas for the 'good room', and we thought we'd recover the old couch as a place to flop down on to read a book in the family room. But once we moved it, we found the old faded (threadbare in places) club lounge really works in this bigger room, and it doesn't need to recovering after all. The faded greeny geometic pattern works really well, especially with the different light in this room.

This past weekend, we bought a lovely new rug for our good room; like many renovators, we always knew what we wanted in terms of rugs, but we've had to wait until the spending spree on a new oven, light fittings and a fuse box was sufficiently behind us.

This meant another move of older furnishings into the family room. The existing rug from the sitting room is now reunited with its old friend the club lounge. It's made such a difference to the family room, the finishing touch with a much needed punch of scarlet colour (it's a Persian style wool rug). I've also changed the lamps around, moving a softer lamp into the hallway, and a brighter lamp into the family room.

Interesting how moving around a few pieces can change the whole feel of your home. We're all spending more time here now; playing music, eating, drawing, homework, reading and blogging (my computer is out in the family room too).

And just to show that we're recycling furnishings further, the rug that used to be in the family room was a smaller, shag pile browny-green number, which The Little Guy refers to as the 'grass blanket'. Our rabbit must have taken him for his word, because he (the rabbit) has been pulling huge chunks of the pile out, creating unsightly bald patches. But even the grass blanket has an extended life - we've moved it into the study, where we can hide the bald bits. (Just don't tell Smokey the rabbit where it is!)

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