Circling the Centre

How do  you create a functional space in an oddly shaped room of four doors, a window, an alcove and fireplace, and complicated further by the need to account for flow of traffic yet retain a solid wall at your back?

I’ve struggled with this room since I moved in 12 months ago.

I like to see my To Do list – not the list itself but the things on it. It increases the likelihood of things getting done. This room is well suited for that because it’s a hub; on one axis is the kitchen and bathroom, on the other, back verandah and hallway to my bedroom and front door.

I call it the Centre Room.

Get used to it

Sometimes we have no choice but to get comfortable with a new arrangement. My backyard has been a dust bowl (until last night’s rain). The yard is edged by assorted weeds I no longer mow lest I lose what little ground cover there is. The weather has been dry (until last night’s rain) and, with me on a limited budget, there’s no point trying to create a green oasis. So, I get used to the car being dirty (even when it’s rained). I let people think I’m a farmer.

Or strive for an ideal

Sometimes there are options and we don’t have to settle. In my own home, shared with only a few spiders and some unmentionable bugs, I can suit myself.

It was time to admit ‘This Isn’t Working!’ and then deliberately follow that with an equally desperate ‘Why Isn’t It Working?’  So, a couple of weekends ago, I spent the day rearranging furniture, again.

I think I’ve finally cracked the problem by ignoring straight lines.

The Circle House

This is turning into a house of circles. Another has appeared, in part, in front of the longest solid section of wall in the Centre Room. It’s not quite a semi-circle, and only as curvy as straight-line furniture will allow when artfully arranged. But it was the concept that broke the impasse.

The table, desk and shelves create a haven in front of the solid wall, broken only in two places to allow for movement to and fro.

And the sewing table is the sewing table again!

Actually, that was the trigger. Compare the pair (as they say in the TV ad that has nothing to do with furniture) … years sewing on a beautiful oak table I’d bought in 1983 at a second-hand store for $50 versus brand new blown-mould plastic trestle table, half the size, from the hardware store for $44 earlier this year. Which would you choose?

The oak is out from under the computer’s standing desk and now sits fully functional in all its pin-pricked glory.

The room’s not quite finished. I need some warm light to type by. The harsh fluorescent that pulsates overhead is great for sewing and other such activities, but writing should be a cosy affair.

And a visitor’s chair … something comfortable …

Is it working?

It seems to be. I’ve finished a couple of sewing projects, managed a couple of blog posts (in spite of the glare), and got the scanner set up ready to plough my way through years of family photos. I’ve even organised a spot for an old TV screen that will play DVDs while I work.

Angel has a home looking down on it all and Lady looks resplendent in her tapestry wrap while waiting for the next sewing project.

Do you require The Right Space in which to be creative?

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