Remember when we began planning our anniversary party for this May? Our 10/14? We wanted it to have the energy and color of a Flaming Lips show. Then I found out I was pregnant, and everything was temporarily displaced, along with any plans I had to move to Colorado and finish my doctorate...
We will still be having our amazing anniversary bash, but I have to plan it on my lunch breaks now between figuring out what to do with our house.
We planned the baby, but had decided to wait soon after. Turns out we are really good at conceiving; I was pregnant within a week or two of shunning birth control. I love my kids, so this was a pleasant and lovely surprise, and I can always work on my doctorate...er...later...right?
Anyway, I wondered what kind of bedroom our baby might have that could be anywhere nearly as cool as Arthur's Yellow Submarine room. Meantime, I wondered where we would put the baby after she/he outgrows the pretty little vintage bassinet in our bedroom.
Our house is smallish. It was perfect when we were young (was there ever a time when we were 21 and our relationship was kind of new and buying a home was a thing of the future, our next step into the adult world?)
When we moved in, we'd come from a "party house" with our roommate Lee (who we miss every day; he left us a few years ago for another plane). Back then, a bedroom with two room for personal pursuits (music and writing) was enough. I used to teach piano lessons and practice violin in what's now Arthur's room and write on floppy disks in the back of the house. The basement was home to a tequila bar/smoking room we called John Lennon and the Pink Panther. It seems like an eternity ago. The house was so different; carpeted, with horrible faux wood paneling someone thought was the cat's pajamas years ago.
When Arthur came along, our lives and our rooms shifted into chaos. Music, art and writing became crammed together next to the laundry room and our basement turned into deep storage hell. When it took months for me to even be able to lift our new child, reorganizing went to the back burner.
In order to make room for babyroo2, we conceived a plan to turn the small space next to our bedroom I've been using as a boudoir into a bedroom for ourselves by knocking out the west wall between it and the added-on room at the back of the house (accessible only by the laundry room). Here is a terrible sketch of what it looks like now.
This is by no means to scale; I am terrible with geometry and visual design. The front of the house is the living room side.
Our bedroom is crammed into the former boudoir so we can reorganize and get everything ready to move. Soon we will knock out the space between the boudoir and the small back room, which will become our bedroom. The baby's room will be the room in front of it; unfortunately, our room will only be accessible via the laundry room or nursery. I wish I could think of a way to remedy this; I proposed building a hallway in the laundry room, but it's too cramped as is. It would be lovely in the remote future to build an exterior exit and a patio to the adult room, a little getaway from kids, a secret escape. I am so lucky my father-in-law has architectural and building experience to guide us...Justin actually grew up in a house his dad built right before the real estate crash of the 80s. He also built an impressive loft in his living room and a deck that wraps around the back of his house.
But back to our plans.
Eventually, we plan to refinish the basement, which means sealing, painting, drywalling, and stairing (the stairs are suckatronic). Basement walls are cement blocks painted with a decade of layers of graffiti. It was awesome when we were 25, but now, not so much. We want to reclaim that space for writing, art and music, but for now, it's a sad, leaky mess.
The rest of the house needs a makeover, too. The living room was painted a few years ago in a deep merlot with dark hardwood floors; what once exuded a Rokerij vibe now feels like a 1993 Seattle coffee house. We want to lighten everything up bring some color in. We have decided to paint the floors (we loved our results in Arthur's room and the back room), but must also repaint the walls (I am considering using putty and sanding to smooth out the ridges, a depressing reminder of the traileresque faux wood walls), paint all of the furniture, and recover the sofa and loveseat, all of which must be done in a couple of months before I get too big to help comfortably with the project. Part of the problem is our art; we have some really amazing original work that may look awkward with many big changes. I also don't want to follow any trends and have our house looking like the cookie cutter hipster-with-kids midtown home (we both love color-splashed mid-century modern and euro designs, but every other home we visit rocks it; it's the Pottery Barn of this decade). So what to do?
Anyone who knows of good design mags online, will you post the links? We have looked all over the usual places, Apartment Therapy, Anthology and Design Sponge and their ilk, but I am seeing a lot of designs that don't embrace the awesomeness of a Craftsman home (there are Craftsman homes on AT, but they aren't representative of what we want).
As for the baby's room, we are going to incorporate a Yoshimi theme and hope no one thinks it's odd that our big anniversary party is similarly inspired or at least, try not to care. Wayne Coyne's house rocks my socks off; it has certainly inspired us.
We still want the transcendental energy in our home along with a balance of ubermodern and vintage, like a future intergalactic Hindu temple full of Mad Men. Clearly, this is a little beyond the scope of our income and time, but hopefully, this conveys the vibe. Here are some images of inspiration from Fitzsimmons Architecture, who designed Wayne Coyne's place:
OKasian House, Fitzsimmons Architecture, Oklahoma City
OKasian House, Fitzsimmons Architecture, Oklahoma City
Suggestions and links, please and thank you!