We have a room in our house with 7 small windows. The room has 4 doors.
One door connects it to a bedroom. Another door opens to the stairway leading to the backyard. One small door is a utility closet. The last door isn't really a door. It is an entryway into the kitchen.
The room also has a built-in cupboard for an ironing board, and another cupboard that holds the electrical box for the house. The room is unlike any other rom in our house. It has wood paneling on the walls, and a lower ceiling.
It also has a large door to the attic that drops down from the ceiling. Because the room has attic and basement access, it often becomes a dumping ground. We pile up totes and tools, that need to be taken up one staircase or down another. The junk sits around for weeks until someone finally remembers to take it down and put it away.
One third of the room is taken up by an opening in the floor and a railing atop a narrow staircase to the basement. At the bottom of the stairs, you can either go into the garage, or to the room which contains the washer and dryer.
Because the stairs take up so much of the floor space, the number of windows and the fact that the room is quite small, we lived in the house for 8 years before we figured out what to do with the room.
We tried making it an office, but the desk seemed too big and cumbersome in such a small room. We also tried making it a sitting room, but the room was too small to actual feel inviting enough to sit in for any reason.
After we tore out the carpeting revealing the original hard wood floors, we painted the room an autumn orange with dark brown trim. The room started to feel a bit like an English Pub. But with all the windows, it was too bright to be an entertainment room.
We tried curtains, but it was just too much fabric everywhere. The windows are short, but paired up, they are quite wide. The windows wrap around the room, allowing LOTS of morning sun since most of them face the east. (Especially since a backyard neighbor cut down two huge oak trees last year, which gave us tons of shade on the back of our house, our entire back yard and house are now exposed to tons of sunlight).
Frustratingly, since the sun is only in the morning, the daylight does almost nothing to my potted plants. I bring them in during the winter and they fare poorly in the room.
Despite the fact that there are tons of windows, it always feels sort of dim, like the light is getting in, but its just not hitting the plants in any substantial way because they aren't positioned correctly along the walls, and never will be due to the position of the doors/stairway/cupboards/etc.
The plants make the room feel so cluttered and full, but it is the only room in the house that is bright enough to keep the plants alive in the winter.
The lighting at night is terrible. One dome light in the ceiling and another hanging pendant lamp we have recently added do little to make the room bright enough to read or engage in any activities.
One day, I had an idea. We could make the room a breakfast nook.
Our dining room is quite tiny.
Our kitchen even smaller.
We could create a coffee station, and add a book shelf for my cookbooks.
If we found just the right tall table and chairs, and the right rug, this might become our favorite room in the house.
After some searching, we found the right table and some dark wood mini blinds to match the trim and the dark stain on the floors. The blinds work to block out the harsh morning sun, while still allowing us to control the sun the rest of the time.
Now, on the weekends, I enjoy my coffee and biscotti perched at the tall table while I read email and check Facebook.
I have to be quiet not to wake my husband sleeping on the other side of the door to the bedroom.
The windows look out over 7 backyards and an ally that runs between my house and the neighbor to the south. The windows face the sunrise and the electrical poles. Squirrels jump and skip along the lines, and along the top of our fence and pergola. Sometimes a squirrel will land on the window sill and look in at me, as I look out at him.
Birds perch on the black cables running between the houses. Neighbors work in their little backyard flowerbeds and gardens. Kids sometimes jump on the trampoline that was delivered to the backyard right behind ours on Christmas.
The old man in the house to the southeast loads up his riding mower onto a trailer and takes it somewhere to mow bigger yards than he has.
I can just barely see the traffic on main street, several blocks over, between a couple of houses. Mostly, the backyards are quiet. No one is outside.
This room is now where I spend most of my days if I am making art or using my computer, the table is the perfect height to utilize the light from the windows and it doesn't feel like a cave any more.
This weekend, we are going to put the plants back on the screen porch and the winter clothes totes will finally get put back in the attic. The room will feel a little less cluttered.
Just in time for me to start using the screen porch for drinking my coffee and using my computer.....
This is my 'slice of life' blog.
My Art Teacher Blog:
This Little Class of Mine