Sunday, February 17, 2008

Masterwork in progress - Bowie pool room

Our living room is a large and awkward shape--the previous owners of our house, who approved the floor plan, couldn't figure out what to do with it either. They bragged they had hired an interior designer to help, but her assistance seemed to consist of selling them overpriced antiques that were positioned in the room at weird angles. Our solution was to put our dining table in one end, with a china cabinet to complete that theme, and a large sofa and our stereo in the other end--a feeble party room look.

Our party guests hang out in the kitchen or den, so for many years, no creature other than our shephound Billie has sat on the off-white sofa, and Billie's big paws really hold mud. Although it's funny, I'm almost too embarrassed to blog that when the Salvation Army truck arrived to pick up our generous donation, the still well-stuffed, queen-size sleeper sofa, it was rejected due to the condition of the fabric: "Ma'am, we don't do furniture repair."

Last fall I came up with the idea of replacing the couch with a pool table. Fortuitously, my aunt and uncle were selling theirs, a certifiably antique 1970s pool table I remembered playing on with my brothers and cousins. Craig found a pool table repair center in our neighborhood, which you might think was a good thing...but since our neighborhood has depressed retail, the store manager had little to do besides making multiple daily calls to Craig with questions about model number (dunno, it is an ancient Sears Craftsman with the numbers rusted off) and condition (Craig had no idea where to even look for the table's bumpers, backings, and other esoterica). Craig chose an elegant burgundy felt to replace the original color, which I could have sworn used to be green...either my memory tricked me or 30 years sends green felt through a chemical change resulting in a sort of Moldy Gold.

The room still needs pub chairs and a pub table, which might be in next month's budget. With my usual sense of thrift, I have ordered a custom neon sign, deciding that it, being in the artwork category, is more of a priority than getting new furniture or replacing the carpet (not surprisingly, also dog-damaged). My other justification was that if I didn't get a cool sign, Craig was likely to come home with something in the neon category advertising professional sports or a malt beverage.

Craig has short stature but a tall personality, and his friends...at least the female ones...call him Big Daddy. The choice of red & orange is an attempt to minimize disruption with the room's other mismatched colors.


My expertly assembled slide show will give blog readers more insight into the room in process.

http://picasaweb.google.com/sarahbowieme/PubConstruction

To save you the time of clicking into the Picasa photo-share site to view captions, here is a summary:

Front-hall view of existing pool hall furniture.

CDs I don't want to get rid of (Craig copied all his CD music onto his iPOD and banished the originals to the attic), new cue rack and old bookcase with new mini-stereo. (Be warned that if you go out shopping for any device to play music that is larger than in iPOD, you will feel really old when you see how few models are still manufactured and how few stores carry them...but the good news is, you can now get a CD player with nice speakers for almost no money, soon they will be giving these obsolete things away.)

Blank wall where we will place a small wall table, 2 pub chairs and BIG DADDY's neon sign.

Illustration of how the pool/pub area shares the room with our dining table and piano (far right).

Furniture rearrangement meant we had to move Billie Holiday (artwork: Leisa Corbett) from her original home by the stereo to an artsy spot above the piano (still not far from the pub...after all, the real Billie started out as a lounge singer).

Closeup of Billie Holiday, amateurishly angled in an attempt to avoid glare.

"Reverie" (also by Leisa Corbett) gave up her spot above the piano and moved to the den--now she can watch TV with the rest of the family. (Flipness aside, I love looking at this painting and I like having it in the dean.)

I go into something of a reverie myself as I anxiously await the sign's delivery. I wonder if it will work without blowing a fuse...I hope we can hang it without knocking down wall plaster...it better not be too tacky or too industrial.

1 comment:

Natalia said...

I LOVE that painting "Reverie" - it really does evoke a dreamlike quality. Nice that she'll be able to watch tv with you, too.
You have done quite a lot on your blog, I am impressed! I am going to enjoy dropping in and checking out what is going on in your life - Long Live the Queen.