We moved Jeff’s big desk all the way to Brooklyn because he loved his desk, and we had just bought it. You can’t sell something you’ve had for less than a year, right? It had to go in the living room because our second “bedroom” is a windowless space with just enough room for a giant wardrobe, Jeff’s bike and a queen air mattress (as needed.)
But having Jeff’s office in the living room left no space for a table, so we ate at our kitchen island or on the couch, side by side, not facing each other. Meanwhile, Jeff was always complaining about the fact that I would walk through his “office” while he was working, and I was always complaining that he would shut the curtains , because it turns out Jeff doesn’t like working in front of windows. But what could we do? It’s not like we live in a capitalistic society where furniture and bicycles can be easily bought and sold. Wait, what was that last part?
Long story short, we solved a whole slew of problems at the same time (well, it took a few months, but still.) We sold our too-small bookshelves, the bike Jeff wasn’t really riding and the desk that was too big. We bought locally made, custom bookshelves (which were a steal!); a smaller desk that fits in the space where the bike used to live; and a table and chairs!
On weekends, we sit at the table all. day. long. We linger over pancakes, then we linger over wine. Once, we played Scrabble while facing each other like real humans. Jeff and I love nothing more than long conversations—it is the foundation of our entire relationship. We needed this table and these chairs. We needed a comfortable space without any screens.
I feel like life is full of things that seem non-negotiable or impossible, when in fact they just require a little creativity and commitment to a new idea. We hemmed and hawed over the cost of the new furniture (me especially), even though we were offsetting the expense by selling some old things. But this table was absolutely a quality of life issue, a relatively small thing that has made a big difference!
Here’s the before and after of our living room (since, obviously, the before and after of my happy soul is invisible):