The Slow Change Of Nogglestead

In putting up our Christmas trees this weekend, I rearranged the lower level ever-so-slightly.

Whoa, Brian J., we don’t like change! you might say, which explains why you’re here–you’re a lot like me.

Because, let’s face it, we have not made a lot of changes to the furniture arrangements at Nogglestead, mostly because the furniture only fits in the rooms certain ways.

For example, our living room: It’s a long room. When we first moved in, we bisected the room with the sofa and had the television in the corner by the DirecTV connection. So our seating was set around that set, and we had a toybox for the then-toddlers toys. Eventually, we painted, de-centralized the television (about the time we gave the children access to the lower level so they could watch television down there–sometime when they were in school all day and would not disturb my beautiful wife whilst she worked in her office nearby.

At some point, we put the sofa against a long wall and de-emphasized the television. The boys outgrew their toybox, which went to the garage. We added some shelves, moved a recliner into the parlor, and added a console stereo last year. We turn the sofa again during the Christmas season as we move things around to make room for the Christmas tree, but the living room aside from Christmas has had the same layout for, what, six or seven years?

The parlor has a piano, a large desk, and a grandfather clock in what was a small formal dining room. We have added record storage shelving, and we have swapped out the chair in the corner with a recliner for reading, but we have doors in two walls which preclude putting the desk or the piano there, and the desk fits under the windows but the piano would not, so it’s not like we can rearrange it.

Likewise our bedroom: Really, there’s only one wall where the head of the bed could go unless we wanted the head of the bed looking out the bedroom door, so it’s the headboard on the north wall and the dressers on the south. We can’t do much with it.

The other bedrooms we have changed around. They started as the boys’ separate bedrooms; then, we moved the boys into a single bedroom with bunk beds for a year or so, setting up a proper guest bedroom which did not serve any guests; and then the boys moved back into separate bedrooms, but the opposites of where they started. So the furniture has moved around a bit in there, and the oldest boy, who moved into the guest bedroom with all of its furniture intact plus his bureau, shifts the furniture around in there from time to time.

In our lower level, we have a static situation like the living room. The DirecTV hookup is on the west wall beside the fireplace, so the television and all the electronics gear has to go there. To be honest, the layout is pretty similar to the previous home owners’ from what I recall when we toured Nogglestead before it was Nogglestead. We placed the television angled into the room, which allows for bookshelves and some low bookshelves to hold videos and book cases on the wall. You can see it in this picture from the 2010 Noggle Library post:

Books to read in Brian's office
Click for full size

The previous owners had a couple of chairs angled to face the television; when we first moved in, we had recliners but no sofa for our lower level. We had those chairs and dining room table chairs to watch the last Super Bowl the Packers won. When we got a pull-out couch and attached chaise longue, we angled it as well. Which was early in 2010, clearly.

Well, when my wife was traveling earlier this month, I thought about shaking it up downstairs but did not act on it. Before putting up the downstairs tree this year, I took apart the sofa (separated the sleeper part from the chaise part) to vacuum under it. And when I put it back together, I rotated it 45 degrees so it’s facing the fireplace!

I will pause a moment while your vertigo settles.

So now I can sit on the sofa before the fireplace to read instead of sitting in the recliner by the wet bar. I can turn my head to see the television; I can turn my head and see the Christmas tree. I have to pull a lamp with an extension cord to the back of the sofa if I want to read as the posts do not have outlets, but I was already doing that to browse picture books during football games.

The boys were very excited about it and called it their Chill Pad. You know, in their living memory, most of Nogglestead has looked exactly like it has.

I am sure that our need for a lot of book cases dictates some of this; walls that are unbroken by doors and windows tend to have them, and that leaves only a little possibility for reconfiguration (and makes recarpeting a nightmare–which is why the carpets of Nogglestead are almost smooth).

So looking around, I think: Well, nothing. It doesn’t seem like we can really move much around unless we go all Kindle or something. I mean, my office has two unbroken walls: One with the bookshelves, and the other with my large desk’s hutch. The desk is against the wall where the network cable comes in; if I swapped the walls, I’d have to not only take apart and move the heavy desk components, but I’d have to pull extra network cable.

So, for the most part, Nogglestead will continue to look like it does, perhaps until we move on from Nogglestead.

As I look back, our basic layout of Honormoor in Casinoport was pretty static through seven years; we only moved stuff around in our bedroom a couple of times, and I redid my office when I became a home-based worker and painted it before buying this large desk. We moved a bit in Old Trees, but only because we had to reallocate rooms when the second boy came along.

Some people like to rearrange their rooms every year or so–my beautiful wife claims to be among these, but whether it’s because I’m lazy, because the densely-packed furniture along the walls, especially the bookcases, precludes it, or because I lack imagination in reorganizing, it is a momentous occasion indeed when I even turn a sofa forty-five degrees.

Perhaps I will remember to mention it on this blog, gentle reader, the next time we do something like this. But it’s probably best to assume if you don’t see another such long-winded account of such a trivium in the future, it’s not because I have forgotten–it’s because I haven’t moved anything.

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