When we first moved here, it was clear that the little front room was meant to be a dining room. But with our dining room set, that's a tight fit. Still, we managed to cram the whole set in there. The room has a lovely window looking out on the front yard, even though our neglected bushes partly obscure the view. We're normally not big furniture people. But we lived a few years in Greensboro, North Carolina. I think only 1-2 friends might know their North Carolina geography well enough to know that Greensboro and High Point are next door neighbors. And maaaaybe you know that High Point is the Furniture Mecca. People come from far and wide to buy their furniture straight out of Thomasville and Virginia House and Heartland. Since we lived there, we figured we better get something. So we bought a beautiful solid oak dining room set. And the big oak table with 6 chairs and a matching hutch - which was perfect for our huge 1920's home in North Carolina. But when you put people in there too, it's way too much for our little Pflugerville dining room.
So we moved the dining room set to the other room and decided to make it a piano/music room. When we lived in Wichita Falls, it was common to have Michael and Ron playing guitar while Katie and I sang along. Michael had left for college, but we still set up the guitars and moved the piano into the little front room. We found a small but comfy inexpensive sofa (at Garden Ridge, no less!) and put it in there too. It was a nice place for me to go have a cup of tea while kids played Mario Kart on the big screen upstairs and Ron watched hockey on the T.V. downstairs. It's all just a little too much for me. But I didn't want to retreat to my room, absolutely away from everyone, so the little front room sufficed.
Katie used that room a lot to practice piano over the years and work on different vocal pieces. I loved listening to her. Having that room separate enabled her to really get into it without a lot of distractions. But now she's off in New York for a while and the piano was gathering dust. I decided that if she came back and wanted a piano, she should get a good one. She told me she was really thinking about a little keyboard to take up to her dorm in NYC. They have headphones now, and she could play away without bothering anyone. Michael was gone and guitars were just sitting there untuned. Clearly, the little room no longer needed to be a Music Room.
As I'm writing about my little front room, I'm thinking about how much I have in common with it. I start out my life in one direction, only to make sweeping changes and head another way. When life changed, I adapted. And that's what my little room is doing too.
I've been searching for what to do now that I'm transitioning out of a full-time mother role. And I haven't really figured it out yet. But I will. Life works like that.
I pondered and pondered about what my little front room could be. This seemed a little easier to work on than working on My Life. I finally decided that I like it as a little sitting room. I'll fill it with art that I like. Maybe art about being a mother. Maybe. A stereo with soft music could help drown out most of the television noise. That would be nice. But it still needed something. And what do I do if I can't think of what needs to happen to a room - marathon HGTV! HGTV never fails me!
Let me back up to say I had always wanted a fireplace in our house. I'm irritated with jealousy when I get out of my car and I smell my neighbors' fireplaces. It wouldn't have been that much for the original owner to put one in - but alas, he did not. That's where HGTV comes in. They started showing different fireplaces people were using outdoors. Gas and gel were the fuel choices for the newer cooler models. Then I saw them install a gel fireplace IN someone's house! I had to have it!
I went online and looked up gel fueled fireplaces. Not only did they have the sleek models I was seeing on TV, but they also had more traditional looking fireplaces. With no breaking down walls and creating chimneys, I could simply have a crackling REAL fire after all. So the week of Thanksgiving, Ron helped me choose and order a gel fueled fireplace. And a week later it was here.
In just a couple of hours Josh and Ron had it assembled. The gel fuel had arrive a few days before so we were ready. It looks so real. The "logs" are made of cement but they look real. And it actually warms up my little room. I took this really plain picture of it, right away. Initially the flames burned high about the logs. But just as with a real fireplace, the fire starts to die down a little - and so did this!
Still, you can see what it looks like.
My next pictures will be with all the Christmas decorations on or hanging off of it!
I love my new fireplace and what my little room has turned into now! There's room for the Christmas tree in there too. My little room is finally cozy and well on the way to being my perfect little spot in the house - just the place for me to think about what I want to do with my life.