Thirty-four years ago my ex-husband and I moved into this home with 5 children - 2 that were only 38 days old. It wasn't my choice to move here but we had to move and I was too pregnant with twins to care. We had 3 bedrooms and a large open room downstairs with the possibility of creating another bedroom. For the first couple of months the boys slept in their cradles in our bedroom; my oldest daughter had her own room and the two younger girls shared. Once the bedroom was finished downstairs the two younger girls moved down and the boys got cribs in the now open bedroom.
All 4 bedrooms have been occupied for well over 20 years - the boys coming home for the summer, one of the girls moving back for a few months while reassessing life - it seemed like there was always someone else here.... until about 8 years ago.
My now-husband and I moved out of the bigger bedroom because it's windows face the highway and there was so much traffic noise all night long. We moved our things into the smaller bedroom that the boys had shared for so many years. We thought why not - all we need is a place for our clothes and our bed. That's when the Master Bedroom became MY Room.
I call it the Family Room although no family ever really hang out in there. But for years I haven't felt very comfortable. We bought a futon so we'd have something the kids could sleep on when they stayed overnight - which was NEVER comfortable. In the winter I would have to put towels in-between the inside window & the storm window which helped with the draft but didn't stop it. Those windows face the Northeast and that is where the coldest winds come from.
I'm happy to say that I finally have a space that I am quite happy with. A week ago we bought a fold out bed from IKEA that is surprisingly comfortable. Even Daisy loves it. She and I sit in our room every morning having our coffee (well, not Daisy), watching the news and doing some reading. Sheba (the cat) sometimes joins us. We had new windows installed last November so it is no longer cold in there. I also bought a smaller desk for my sewing machine and a glass display case for my dolls that had been packed up for too many years.
So this is what I see when entering my room
There are graduation pictures of my 5 children and my step-son, 3 wedding photos, 5 grandchildren and my daughter's whole family. You can't see it very well but on the book case is a figurine I bought for my mother when I was in the 5th grade - I still love it. Also I found a really cool photo of my Grandfather when he was working for the Star Tribune as a photo engraver. The orange haired Ann & Andy dolls I made for my parents - their names are Ruth & Pat embroidered on their clothing. My mother still had them sitting on her couch the day she died.
Next is my beautiful new couch (with the most wonderful best friend ever). The winter painting is a scene in Norway painted by my Grandfather back in about 1944 - it seems when all the boys were at war, Grandpa was at home painting a lot! And my dolls who really need stands which will be my next purchase.
This is the opposite wall with the doorway - this wall are photos of those family members who served in the military, my mom & dad as young people, my grandma with her sisters, a couple photos of my grandma and grandpa and both a wedding photo and a recent photo of my mom and dad. I love looking at this wall. In the very back is a photo of my dad and his twin sister when they were about 4 - that one will have to be moved. On the other wall is a drawing of the house my grandmother grew up in - in Norway. My trusty TV and yes, that is a VCR - all my yoga tapes are still on tape! This is the room I use for exercising, with my equipment & yoga mat in the basket on the floor.
And what I look at from my couch. That painting of the church is another scene in Norway painted by my grandfather. I have 5 paintings which works out perfectly since I have 5 kids. Tom built that beautiful hutch in between the two closet doors and you can see Ruth & Pat a bit better. That is my sewing equipment cart with photos of my grandkids on top.
This is a very old magazine rack that I want to refinish with chalk paint. I need Tom to do a bit of repair work on it first - apparently I had planned to refinish it sometime in the past because it has been sanded, but it's been in the back shed for as long as we've had the shed (1997). Fredie/Bobbi/Anyone else with good color sense - what color would work for it in this room?
And one last photo - my new clock in the dining room that is actually working (I had to return 2 clocks - I loved the design of those clocks but when the replacement clock doesn't work either it's time to try something else).
The most amazing thing to me is that I have honestly never ever cared about the space I've lived in. I had no choice in moving here, never ever liked it here, and when my ex left my children fussed about having to move. It never felt like my house - it was the kids' house and I just took care of it. But I am really getting into making it feel more like my own. I have been clearing out the clutter and replacing it with things I enjoy. My space is probably still more cluttered than others like - but it's clutter that I love to look at. My Grandpa's paintings, my children and grandchildren, my history all there for me to look at, every day.
I'm going to take a break now and concentrate on the holidays - but I have more ideas in mind for next year!