January 8, 2009

A chair of my own

I have a thing about space. I have to like it, to use it. I have a hard time working in an ugly building, singing in a church that doesn't look just right, or writing at a cluttered and disorganized desk. In fact, I have a hard time writing when the house is disorganized at all. It drives Will crazy that I use up half my writing time doing dishes and picking up toys, but it's just part of how I work. When I started writing my book last spring, I set myself up at my pretty little desk in our bedroom. It's simple, dark wood, straight lines, no drawers just a small platform that slides out for a keyboard (or for papers if you are like me and haven't owned a separate keyboards since.... well since ever, I'm from the age of laptops baby) I picked up a few funky teal cut glass vases at a thrift store for dried hydrangea's (my perennial favorite) and my pens and set to work. Then my laptop's screen died and I had to drag Will's giant old Sony monitor up from the basement (while he pointed out over and over how many times I had tried to get rid of it over the years, of course, of we didn't have it I could make the excuse to go out and buy a nicer looking screen, but that's another issue) So then my desk was less pretty, due to the giant ugly monitor, but still tidy enough to write. But I still had chair issues. As in, I didn't have one.

For a long time I was dragging one of our dining room chairs in to work because a) they are comfortable and b) they match my desk as well as my table, and yes, that was a factor. Will tried to get me to sit in one of the ugly oak chairs that he accidentally inherited from our elderly neighbors (read, he has a hard time telling them no, which has resulted in two funky, but when recovered, useful, armchairs, four very ugly, very uncomfortable oak dining chairs and boxes of books and toys found at the recycling center; fun times) but it was, as I said, very ugly and very uncomfortable.

I was searching for THE chair. I had been inspired by a photograph in an old Domino of an all white studio apartment where the modern-ish desk was paired up with an elegant and compact Louis the somethingth style chair painted white and upholstered in fun fabric. The magazine, as they always do, claimed the chair had been purchased for some trivial amount of money, $3 at a yard sale or something. Well, Charlottesville yard sales do not have $3 Louis the somethingth chairs. Antique stores have them, but not in my budget. So I kept dragging a chair from the dining room in and out of the bedroom every day at nap time.

I'm still looking for THE chair, but in the meantime, I found this one. Our local Salvation Army has either nothing, or lots of cool things that Will would kill me if I brought home. Last week they has a beautiful piano and a thirteen foot tall mahogany kitchen queen. Sigh. The chair was a whole $5, and while it might not be perfect-the back isn't padded and is a little high and the wicker is a little too 1990's instead of 1790's- with a little paint and fabric, it'll be good enough to get me though the rest of the book. It's also pretty darn comfortable.

Now that Christmas is over and we are (fingers crossed) though with the evil stomach bug that has hit us over and over for the past two weeks, it's time to refinish the chair and give my desk a little makeover. So behold the before picture, and stay tuned for the after.

Now I just have to decide on a paint color....