Wednesday, 28 October 2009

One room - dual purpose

A delightful farmhouse in rural Norfolk. A lovely family - mum, dad and young daughter.

Mum & dad (she works for herself, he is a farmer) attempting to share a study space next to the kitchen. Let's just say that neither is naturally the tidiest person in the world, and as the room is internal (no natural light), it was a depressing place to spend time in, to say the least.

We needed a separate space for mum. (Dad can keep the downstairs room, and ask me if he needs help with it!) Two guest bedrooms dedicated to that purpose. One is frequently used; the other only occasionally for "big events" (Christmas etc.). For the rest of the year, it was a double bed, other abandoned furniture, and a dumping-ground. Not a large room, but big enough; lots of natural light, and beautiful views over the fields.

So the bed found a home with a friend. The rest of the furniture was used elsewhere in the house. The clutter (of which there wasn't actually very much) was cleared to more appropriate places. Empty space and off we go.

Two very nice bookshelves were already available in the downstairs study, so these were purloined for mum's new room. The same range was happily still available from John Lewis, so the new desk, over-desk shelving and filing unit were purchased to match. We spent a happy session assembling it all - with the help of one of the family Norfolk terriers, who decided that the new filing drawer was clearly provided for him to sleep in - and, hey presto: a beautiful study.

Those extra guests were accommodated with a futon, which for most of the year is folded up as a settee, for reading or gazing at the lovely view.

Finally, we extracted every item from downstairs that belonged to mum, and carefully created the filing system in the new office. De-junking as we went, we ended up with files labelled in a way that made sense to the user - so much so that I received a joyful phone call when dad needed the car registration document, and was totally dumbfounded when mum was, over the phone, able to direct him immediately to its precise location. Result!

NB: All this happened in 2006. Three years down the line, it's still a working haven, and the filing still gets done!

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