Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Fresh Look

I was in Target a week or so ago browsing around and ended up in a wonderful aisle full of turquoise, white, and silver home furnishings and accessories. I loved this lamp from the second I set my eyes on it. I loved the shape of it, the shine of it, but mostly, the color of it.

I thought it would look really pretty with this lampshade.

The whole aisle was filled with such pretties to put in your home. I especially liked this side table made of mirrored surfaces. I was surprised since my home style is much more earthy and casual, quite different from these feminine and dressy pieces. Not only were these things unlike any I actually have in my house, I really don't need any lamps or furniture or home accessories. What with acquiring things from Suzanne's house and my mother's house, I have plenty!

Still, I felt a great reluctance at leaving Target empty-handed, and thought about these pretty items off and on for days. Finally I remembered a design website I used to read, House of Turquoise, and went back to it for "turquoise fix." Imagine my surprise to find the very same little mirrored table, turquoise walls and chairs, and the crisp white contrast in this home office featured on the website.

It was suddenly clear to me that I needed to redo my sewing room in these colors.

Now, I've been in the process of redoing my sewing room for a month or so. This hard-working little room is where I do the laundry, wrap presents, do assorted crafts, mend clothes, and quilt. I used to quilt quite a bit, but lately I haven't. In the last year or so I found that I felt guilty when I came into this room instead of energized and happy. Recently, I've thought a lot about why I'm not quilting and pondered whether it was time to move on and devote the space to what I am doing, which is digital photo work and blogging. But in the end I decided that I wasn't ready to give up my quilting space altogether. Maybe I would do some small fun quilts if I could do the piecing while I watched TV.

In any case, I want to be able to watch TV, play on my iPad, read, or just sit quietly in this room when Paul had the big TV on in the living room. As my friend Lorraine said, I needed a "get away" room.

I decided to lessen the focus on quilting and add a little TV watching/relaxing area. This took some doing, but after I decluttered, weeded, and rearranged I had a good configuration for all the current functions of this room.

I put the drop leaf on the cutting table down so the floor space opens up so the room feels more inviting as you enter it. (It's quite easy to pop the leaf back up when I want to use that surface.) The laundry is still behind the double doors on the right, with the cutting table surface close by for folding clothes. Shelves above the washer and dryer still hold boxes of fabric. I moved the extra sewing machine off the sewing table but kept it handily nearby so I can easily move it back to the sewing table when I want two machines working, one for piecing and one for quilting. I sacrificed some of the cutting table to set up a TV in a spot where it can be seen from the sewing machine and the easy chair. I also gave some of that surface to the green and white cubbies I moved out of Paul's room. I tucked a small but comfortable chair from my mother's house in the corner facing the TV and next to a reading lamp.

The photo below shows the cutting table and the sewing table, both given to me by Ben many years ago. In this picture the sewing machine is set up on the right side of the table so the there is space for the small piece I'm currently quilting to lay flat as I work on it. But if I was piecing, I'd have the machine on the left side of the table and an iron and an ironing/cutting mat on the right side so I could easily sew, cut, and press.

In the corner next to the little door into the lower attic I moved my beloved Elna press which I've had for years. The cabinet under it holds lots of fabric.

You can see how badly the room needs a paint job! And now, with the floor plan worked out and my new color scheme selected, I'm ready to go.

While I'm plenty busy cleaning out my mother's house and my first priority here at home is finishing up the downstairs dining room and hall, I may go ahead and buy some paint. You never know when we'll have a snow day and there will be time to get started on a big project! It was two years ago next month that Ben and I painted the living room during two major back-to-back snowstorms.

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