I really need to find something to fill my time.

Hello!  I'm back!  We took off for greener pastures cooler, less humid beaches over the 4th.  There was plenty of family time, Red Sox watching (aka Mark's family time), relaxing on the beach reading trashy magazines and fluffy books*, lobster eating, and wine drinking on the big front porch -- perfection as only Cape Cod can manage.  I also brought back an awesome souvenir:  pink eye!  Oh my god, I recognize that I am among the least patient people ever to walk the earth, but this is absurdly, insanely annoying.  Crazymaking, really, since it evidently ranks somewhere between ebola and the plague in terms of contagion, so I am stuck sitting in my house, wondering how in the hell a grown woman without children managed to contract freaking PINK EYE.  (Delta Airlines and your sketchy little commuter jet, I'm looking at you.)

Anyway, my raging case of cabin fever brings me to this:  I have reached the point where I am in need of Things To Do.  Leaving the law firm was absolutely the best decision, and I was so emotionally damaged by that point that I really did need several months to just recover.  Eventually I stopped tensing in a full-body panic every time I heard the gentle vibration of a blackberry, and I started to enjoy myself.  I did all of those projects I had been putting off because I never had enough time.  I organized everything, cleaning out room after room and closet after closet.  I cooked a lot, taught myself to sew (poorly), refinished some small pieces of furniture (badly), and finally decorated our bedroom after two years of living with white walls.  I spent a lot of time figuring out how to clean the house myself without it being a massive undertaking.  (I really miss my cleaning lady.  So very, very much.)

However, there is only so much organizing and reorganizing one little house needs, and I recently realized I am spending waaaay too much time online.  Seriously, I actually read through the complete archives of a blog I had read casually for a while but previously hadn't been one of my daily reads, and it was like a delightful book I just couldn't put down.  I was actually disappointed along the way, because there were so many entries where I was like, "Yes!  ME TOOOO!" but then I remembered that it would be weird to comment on something that happened four years ago, so maybe I should go outside and talk to the real people.  See?  Crazymaking.  (PSA, my one friend who actually reads this on occasion:  If you're not reading Jonna, you should.  Go.  You can thank me later.  Or maybe not, when you too realize that it is 1 am and you are still awake reading old blog entries.  HA.)

In short, I am itchy for things to do, and I have set my sights on the laundry room.  I am totally inspired by this laundry nook, and I think this would be workable for us.  However, the question is how far to take the project.  Our laundry area is in our basement family room, which is the next zone of the house that is RIPE for a reno.  This is what we're working with:
There are a couple of tricky issues here.  First, I hate hate hate hate HAAATE that you can see into the family room from the front door.  I hate this, because as much as I have made the foyer presentable, the eye is drawn to the family room, with its exercise bikes, filthy carpet (stained beyond repair from Mark's many projects that involve muddy boots in the house), Mark's general detritus, and oh, have I mentioned that the room is a shrine to all things Red Sox?  Yeah.  So, tricky.  I would like to do the following:
  1. Put up a wall with a single French door just beyond the stairs, separating the foyer from the family room
  2. Replace the carpet, preferably with padding thick enough so that you can't feel the tack strips (thank you, insanely cheap former owner, for that special treat!)
  3. Step up the seating -- I am totally fine with the Red Sox theme and giant, ugly tv (though the first person to utter the term "man cave" will get a punch in the "man cave" from yours truly).  What I am not fine with is the fact that there is not a single tv in our house with seating for more than two people.  We have a (largely unused) tv in the bedroom, and we do most of our viewing in our kitchen sitting room, which has a loveseat.  The basement has two giant man chair recliners (cup holders included!).  Mine is an unpopular opinion (ahem, Mark), but I would like to 86 the man chairs in favor of a comfy, yet space efficient, sectional sofa.  It would be nice to not have to ask our guests to watch tv on our kitchen bar stools is what I'm saying.
  4.  LAUNDRY.  I spend a lot of time there, so I would love for it to be prettier than the fluorescent-lit pipe closet we have now.
If you notice in the floor plan above, along the right wall of the family room is the laundry room and a similarly shaped space, which is where we have the HVAC and water heater.  Both spaces have bi-fold doors, but while the laundry has solid doors, the HVAC closet has louvered doors.  This inconsistency is glaring to me.  I also LOATHE having doors in front of the laundry, as they get in the way of the front loading machines and they block the back door.  It brings me back to the YHL laundry nook -- what if we just got rid of the laundry doors altogether?  I love the idea of knocking out that wall that closes off the current laundry closet, and just installing some pretty storage concealing items, blinds or otherwise.

So, the question:  Obviously the ugly HVAC needs to remain concealed, but assuming we can close off the family room from the foyer, would it be weird to have an exposed laundry room in the family room, even if it were as cute as the inspiration?  What do you think?

*Speaking of fluffy books, can we talk about Maine?  I loved Commencement, so I was really excited to read the latest from J. Courtney Sullivan.  And I really enjoyed reading it; I was amazed by the author's ability to get in the head of each character and really make their personalities, flaws, and emotions translate for the reader.  I thought there was so much potential for the story, too -- so many ways for it to develop.  And then it just ... ended.  Abruptly.  Though the book provides plenty of conflict, there is no climax that would spur a resolution.  Perhaps that was the author's point, given that the family and its dysfunction were portrayed pretty realistically, and in a real family, things are rarely concluded neatly.  However, as a reader, it felt unfinished and therefore was unsatisfying.

Next up:  A friend recommended The Hunger Games.  Yea or nay?


Kimmeh said...

Few thoughts 1) Laurie loved the Hunger Games and highly recommended it. I have not read it so don't know... I just finished Freakonomics (fun) and The Help (which I really loved... but that might be the southern in me). 2) commenting on 4 year old posts at 2 in the morning - WHO WOULD DO THAT???!!! I note this is not yet a year old post. :) 3) I love the French doors/exposed laundry room idea. I note that your latest post has something about hitting a pipe which doing such renovations... so assume you took my advice (which I may not yet have given) and went for it... but be weary about potentially hitting a pipe!!

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