The room we have come to refer to as ‘The Snug’, sandwiched between the lounge at the front and the kitchen extension at the back, has long been problematic. For a long while it belonged exclusively to our builders whose use of it as an obstacle-strewn, sawdust filled space rendered it out of bounds for the best part of a year. Whilst they busily (or not so…..depending on which builder it was) worked we busily muddled our heads trying to figure out its purpose. A den? A playroom? A gentlemans club-style lounge complete with roaring fire and bar cart? All ideas appealed at one stage or another with the idea of a playroom bring the predominant favourite (sadly the chimney isn’t safe to use anyway…..). The reality however is that in lacking natural light it doesn’t tend to be a room O gravitates towards in which to play, particularly when there are so many more nicer, brighter spaces to play in. Instead it seems to have found a halfway house between wannabe den (as yet sans TV) and toy storage …with the actual playing of said toys taking place anywhere else (other than the lounge which is strictly off limits to all things plastic).
For now we have tried to decorate it not as a child’s room but more as a family one. Painted in a soft grey to provide warmth and furnished with a sofa and chairs to encourage lounging it thereby hopes to attract adults as well as children into its depths. Posters on the wall depict fairy tales but do so in a quirkily adult way, a wall-mounted printers tray is filled with retro toy cars – a blast from the past as well as providing O with entertainment whenever he wishes to play with them – and some kind of ethnic wooden board game (of its exact origins I am ignorant) hangs above the built in cupboard which currently houses craft materials, puzzles and a Fireman Sam village. A grid of mirrors attempt to bounce the little light there is around the room but in all honesty there’s no getting away from the fact it’s a cocoon-like room rather than an open and airy one and right now there’s little reason to retreat to it ….sofa or not….for anything other than the retrieval of sections of Ponty Pandy.
However The Grand Plan…to build a library wall of shelving… will, I think, define it once and for all. Lined with books and with a TV mounted amongst them it will finally give the room both a purpose (the lack of natural light acting as an advantage in this case) and an aesthetic ‘feature’ of its own. A sofa and chairs huddled around the TV will certainly be a spot the young male of the house will gravitate towards for all (animated) things super-hero related and on weekends will become the perfect place for family viewing complete with bowls of popcorn. The eventual recovering of the sofa and possibly also the chairs in a robust but beautiful caramel leather (she dreams wistfully) will begin to draw together the colour scheme which at present is what one might politely call a hotchpotch and less politely call a bloody mess. Alas both the shelving and the reupholstery are not 2014 jobs and so until we can afford both money and time to plan, design and organise their completion we shall just have to live with it as is.
That all said recently we have begun toying with the idea of giving the room yet another function to contend with…the role of ‘office’. Ideally we’d like to free up our box room upstairs and doing so will require the decamping of all kinds of paraphernalia including the obligatory monitor and keyboard but also two filing cabinets worth of paperwork, a cupboard of stationary plus the many other odds and sods that have found their way upstairs including the camera, sat nav, umpteen chargers, foreign currency, adapters and the like. Rehousing the lot will require a few magic shrinking spells as there is no way we can find anywhere in the house which would naturally absorb the amount of stuff the box room currently swallows. But then that’s probably not a bad thing, all things considered. Still. Some jiggery pokery is required.
This week I took it upon myself to play with the layout to see if the accommodation of a computer station is indeed possible. Whilst it might make the room even more ‘snug’ with the addition of another set of related furniture l think it may just be possible. By switching the sofa to the opposite wall and positioning a pair of chairs and a side table a metre or so away from another it frees up a narrow pathway leading to a now empty alcove in which a small desk might be placed. Better still, in my opinion, would be to opt not just for one wall of shelving but to go, somewhat elaborately, for two …thus almost enveloping the room in books and file storage and providing the room with a real purpose and identity….a library. Admittedly if we ventured (expensively) down this route the current available space for a monitor within said alcove would reduce but with some clever carpentry I’m fairly sure it could be done.
I can keep dreaming my library dreams …..as there’s no risk of this happening anytime soon….