better homes than yours · blogging · Kids · Renovation

Day 78: My Perch (house tour, continued)

I think it’s time we moved upstairs.

Our next room isn’t really a room, but it’s one of my favourite spots in the house. When you look up the stairs from the dining room, this is what you see:

This is what I call my perch. What you can’t see from this angle is my desk (more of a shelf right now, really). When we were designing the house, I asked the architect to make the landing extra-large to accommodate a nice reading chair. How could I pass up so much natural light? After a little more thought I decided we’d put my desk there, too. The architect pooh-poohed the idea, saying she didn’t think I’d be happy in a cramped corner like that. But one person’s cramped is another person’s cozy, so I stood my ground.

Incidentally, all the plants are courtesy of my dad, who has a gift when it comes to houseplants. Me, I can hardly keep a few plants alive. My dad, on the other hand, lovingly cares for and nurtures more than a few dozen (I’ve never counted, but if I had to estimate I’d say it’s actually more like a hundred or more.)

Our guests tend to gravitate to this spot. It’s a lovely, bright place to sit and have a chat. It’s also a convenient stop, halfway down the stairs, where Mr. December sits down to put on his socks every morning. And it’s where I sit to read emails, pay bills, answer phone calls, and write this blog. All I have to do is turn one chair around, and… voilà!

This setup is temporary, and has been for a while. My initial plan here was to build in a flip-down desk that could be hidden when it wasn’t in use; the space above it would have cabinets for storing all my files (in binders. I prefer them to file folders.) But now I’m not so sure about that plan. Maybe there’s something different I could do with this space? I’m open to suggestions.

One important feature of my office space is the views. I do have a lovely view of the trees and the backyard, which is handy for keeping an eye on the children when they’re playing out there. But my perch, as I’ve taken to calling it, also allows me to see the front door (and the porch beyond, thanks to the large window), The upstairs hallway and attic stair, the living and dining rooms, and even the kitchen. It’s the perfect place to keep tabs on everyone but be a little removed from the action. Here are a few of the views from my chair:

I have to admit, I’ve been second guessing my choice of office location every since COVID caused all six of us to be at home all the time. Now that I don’t have a quiet house from 9:00 to 3:00 every day, I find it hard to do anything that involves serious thinking or intense concentration. There are definitely times I’d like a room with a door. But then I authorize my kids to open the front door without my having to get up, or I catch them eating in the living room (not allowed in our house,) and having to put up with a little noise and a lot of chaos feels worth it.

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