Monday, January 16, 2006

interior divine

We moved furniture this weekend.

Right, yeah, that's a whole lot of understatement right there. See, we had a cocktail party, and our apartment was not created with the idea of "a whole bunch of people mingling comfortably" in mind. So when the spectacularly wonderful and talented Elizabeth arrived for the weekend, we decided it was time for a change.

Prior to this weekend, of course, I had asked my mother for her advice. My mother moves furniture for fun and exercise; as a teenager, I would occasionally come home from school to find the dining-room set in the living room and the living-room set in the breakfast nook. And she wonders why Dad and I liked the office so much -- the furniture was built in.

For this endeavor, though, given that she doesn't know the place well and lives a thousand miles away, Mom's only real advice was, "Take the cushions off the couch first. It's much lighter that way." (She was so very very right. These cushions are insane.)

Unlike Mom, I don't actually move stuff around that often. Granted, a large part of that is due to the fact that the 600 square feet in which I reside is already subdivided into three rooms, and there are only so many arrangements that I thought would be remotely viable. The other part is due to the fact that I'm lazy; following up on the "If it ain't broke..." theory,if I can sit and I can see the TV, I'm good. Why change?

I think in the past my mom has worried that I'm not even really hers, given this former intense aversion to recreational redecorating.

Never let it be said that I don't observe and learn. I may not have seemed inclined to move large objects, but I've watched my mother do and direct others to do so many a time (and, yes, been corraled into action despite by best intentions). While I'm sure I spent many years apparently bored to tears by the process, it turns out I actually retained a bit of a knack for certain activities. For example, how to move a rug.

Elizabeth and Jim had rolled up the carpet and moved the pad underneath, and only then came to realize that, given the presence of the non-slip pad, it was going to be difficult to get the rug onto it and under the couch as desired.

Much debate ensued, which amused me, as I have long been privy to the foolproof rug-moving method employed by my mother. Align the center of the rug where you want it, and unroll from that point, leaning the edge up against the furniture. Then, two people pick up the piece of furniture while a third tucks the rug under.

I got several peculiar looks while I tried to explain this, and I'm convinced that both of my companions secretly thought I was bonkers. Still, they eventually agreed to try it.

The rug looks great.

Indeed, this weekend, I proved conclusively that my mother's genes are alive and well and, apparently, no longer dormant.

On Saturday, we essentially flipped the entire orientation of the living area so as to create what I could unhyperbolically describe as a whole truckload of extra space. It was like we suddenly had an entirely new apartment.

Anyway, the party set-up was not entirely conducive to long-term living, mainly because the couch blocked the sliding door and the new living area was not aligned for television viewing. Hence, on Sunday, after some downtime with the Gamecube, Elizabeth really went to town.

I'm convinced that my best friend should be an interior designer, if only as a side gig. She's far more daring and original than I. Plus she's damn cool.

I feared that, in such a small space, putting a lot of bookshelves on one wall would look bad, but I learned that, given varying heights and textures, it actually brings a lot of interest to the space. We can now actually use our dining table as -- surprise! -- a table, and yet we still have access to the storage closet under the stairs.

Most miraculous of all, we...have space. I'm still a little bit in shock as to how much space there seems to be in our house now. I keep wondering what furniture was secretly thrown out in order to make all this extra room. The sheer expanse of space feels downright decadent.

Even more exciting? There's all this brand-new open wall space for decoration! I need lamps, I need hangings, maybe a big framed mirror, more's amazing. Moving furniture gives me a reason, a moral imperative, to shop.

After years and years of disdainful atheism, they got me. I'm a convert to the Church of Moving Furniture.


La Vaca Se Fue said...

You are obsessed with your new blog.

And I'm fascinated by your ingredients list. I'd love the recipes...

Leigh said...

Uh, those pretty much are the recipes. I don't cook from books. :) I do what intuitively makes sense.

La Vaca Se Fue said...

Hmm. Wish I had that skill. Practice makes perfect, I guess.