Today's episode from CrazyStable Wins the Lottery: the metamorphosis of the "Blue Room" to the master bedroom. I'm going to be brave now, and show you the Blue Room, the biggest of the five curious chambers that constitute the third floor of our house:
Yes, this is the room that has always functioned as our "attic" or junk room, its current centerpiece the Child's crib (she is now 12--stowing furniture for over a decade is one of the insidious perks of roaming around in a 16-room house). And this is almost precisely the condition in which we found it upon moving in almost 21 years ago. We're particularly fond of the psychedelic murals left behind by some trippy boarding-house tenant in the Peter Max era. They clearly had bigger plans, as evidenced by this recessed panel on the closet door; perhaps a road trip with the Dead interrupted their sojourn here. Note also the handsome enamel "flophouse sconce" at left. When we toured the house in its last incarnation as a Chinese immigrant haven, a young man had a Buddhist altar in the room decorated with little kumquat trees.
Now, the plan is...to make this the master bedroom, which now occupies one of the two big front rooms on the second floor. The second floor is "the apartment," our chief living space, with kitchen, living room, both master and child's bedrooms, and bath. (The first floor is half occupied by our rental unit and half by...two other rooms whose identities are complex and ambiguous.) But our second-floor living room is surprisingly small for a house so grandly proportioned on the outside, and my fever dream is to knock out the wall between the living and bedrooms (replacing it with columns) to make one big living room (which would then have the nonworking but pretty fireplace that is now in the bedroom), and to move our bedroom up here. Did you get that? Because I was talking very, very fast. In two decades in this very big and complicated house, I have learned to describe all my plans very very fast before potential contractors lose interest.
The Blue Room seems to be in pretty sound condition, needing only heavy cosmetics and an air conditioner to make it tolerable. It may not be an inspiring abode in its current state, but I've always loved attic bedrooms--ever since reading and re-reading A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett as a girl. The noble, plucky but persecuted heroine, Sara, is exiled to a dismal and freezing garret amid the chimney pots of London; but one night, she arrives tired from her scullery duties to discover that a sympathetic neighbor, the mysterious Indian Gentleman, and his servant, Ram Dass, have transformed her little room to cozy digs with a crackling fire, colorful rug and quilt, and welcoming armchair. Here is Tasha Tudor's vision of the delightful scene.
I want to do a Ram Dass on the Blue Room. It might look something like this (which happens to be the attic bedroom in a rental cottage in, I swear, Tasmania--thanks be to Google).