January 13, 2015 by Jean
Since I moved into my new addition, just in time to welcome the new year, I have been busy nesting. I am one of those “a place for everything and everything in its place” types, so this is a slow process for me. I put a lot of advance thought into what goes where and seldom change my mind or rearrange later. (Seriously! In redecorating my living room as part of this remodeling project, I not only bought all new furniture, but changed the arrangement of the furniture in that room for the first time since I placed it when I moved into the house 25 years ago.)
My first order of business was to get my new bedroom in order. On the first day, I quickly got my bed made up with its warm winter bedding, moved in nightstands and a bookcase, and put down scatter rugs. Moving books into the bookcase and my clothes into the closets and drawers has been a slower process; I need to think about the best location for each article of clothing and which books belong in this room. (Have I mentioned my borderline OCD tendencies?)
Simultaneous with getting the bedroom in order, I’ve also continued to get furniture in place in the living room. Here I bought a lot of furniture online (a wall system from Ikea and several occasional tables from Wayfair.com) and these have all needed to be assembled. The last of these assembly tasks was completed today. As the furniture has been moved into place, I’ve also added decorative objects to this room, moved in houseplants, and begun unpacking boxes from the basement with items (mostly books) to go into my new bookshelves and other storage spaces. (The photograph at the top of this post shows the living room as you enter from the new front foyer. Click on any photo to enlarge it.)
An important part of my nesting process is hanging artwork on the walls (as seen in this photo). Before my bed had even been moved into the new bedroom, I had already hung the two van Gogh reproductions that go over my bed. More artwork has been added since, both to this room and to other spaces. This has been a lot of fun. I not only have the artwork that was already hanging in this house before construction began; I also have favorite pieces moved from my Gettysburg home and office last spring, some old favorites that have been stored away for many years, and some new pieces that were recent gifts from friends. With artwork, I have to move a piece into a room and see if it works there. Originally, for example, I had planned to hang the beautiful abstract photograph from my friend Jan Powers called “Leaving” in the living room, where I thought its black frame would work well with the dark furniture in that room. But the colors in “Leaving” turned out to work much better in my bedroom, and a beautiful quiet print of Japanese maple leaves (which I bought from the artist at a sidewalk art show more than 30 years ago) took its anticipated space in the living room. I never would have guessed that the original pastel of garden flowers created by Kitty Grafflin and given to me after her death by her son and my good friend as a remembrance of her would look wonderful in my new bathroom, but it does, adding a touch of elegance there.
Yesterday, my contractor installed all the accessories for my new bathroom (towel rods, robe hook, toilet paper holder, a basket for the shower to hold toiletries, vanity mirror). I had already been moving towels and bed linens into the linen closet in this room, but the accessories made it possible to move in toiletries and cosmetics and make this my primary bathroom.
With the new bedroom and bathroom and the redecorated living room all in order, I can turn my nesting attention to rooms that were not under construction in any major way but that are being repurposed. Chief among these is my old bedroom, which is about to become my study. In the next week, I hope to get this room cleaned and painted. This will enable me to get my new wall of bookcases assembled and installed, get my big L-shaped desk into place and relocate my computer here, bring my desk chair and a rug for this room up from basement storage, and begin unpacking the many, many boxes of books that will find a home here. I think that when I have my new study functioning, I will finally feel as though I am settling into my retired life as I imagined it.
Part of me is eager to get my new nest all feathered and ready for use. But, after waiting all these months, I am also happy to take my time and savor the process.