Sometimes you just wanna move stuff around.
I haven’t had a proper dining room since we occupied the mansion back in my mid-teens. That experience as a whole didn’t go so well. Maybe this is where my ambivalence towards any kind of formal area, be it for seating or dining or really doing anything other than sleeping since you kind of need a bedroom for that (unless you’re my dad, then the living room futon does just fine), stems from. You wanna eat? Do it in the kitchen, while sitting on a counter or at the table, your choice. Or maybe you’d prefer the back porch? Or the couch? Or the bed… while reading a magazine and swatting the dog away from the bowl perched perilously on your lap? Fine by me. Just clean up after yourself.
However, I now have a dining room. A tablecloth-covered desk may be acting as a table and the two benches that used to anchor our bay windows are standing in place for chairs but it’s worked for one gathering so far.
The tablecloth is a piece of fabric my friend Kate brought back from a trip to Curaçao a few years ago and the curtains are hold-overs from the old place. I’m sure I’ll figure out a way to update them soon. Any ideas? Maybe I could turn the tablecloth into curtains. Hmmm….
My favorite part of this room is the new lamp. It blows my $4 floor lamp out of the water both in style and price and was worth every penny thanks to a local vintage boutique. I had been out with Chernara all day looking specifically for a floor lamp for the dining room and I happened to pop into Dovetail while waiting for an order of Thai food from a neighboring restaurant. I pass the shop everyday on my way to work and loved a recent write-up of a co-owner from Time Out but this was my first time visiting. It also happened to be a day where every single item in the store was half off, making me a very happy girl.
And of course I love all of the built-ins! Perfect for the books that used to line the floor of our old abode.
So…who’s coming over to sit at the grown-up table?
Psssst… Chicago! Check out Dovetail!
1452 West Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60642
The Mister and I have hundreds of books between us and three measly bookshelves; overflow goes on the floor, like here, here and here. I think we’re at around twenty piles scattered throughout the apartment and while they started out of necessity when we couldn’t decide on a new book shelf, we grew to like the look and kept on stacking.
These shelves are in a dark corner of the living room and were put up about a year ago with serious help from our friend Evan after I tried to unsuccessfully use a screwdriver in plaster walls. There are still some huge holes conveniently hidden by the books on the second and third shelf. I try to straighten them up every now and then and add and remove plants, little trinkets and knick-knacks at random. None of the books are categorized or alphabetized or organized in any way; makes it hard to find certain titles at times but we usually stumble upon books we forgot about in the process and that’s always fun.
The “censored” sign on the top of the shelf came from an unlikely place. I’m always looking for interesting and free ways to display unique items around the house and was thrilled last week when I re-discovered this slim volume given to us by my father-in-law in 2004. Expressions Magazine is a publication put out by East Carolina University and this issue features a lengthy interview with said father-in-law on the subject of censorship and post-colonial Anglophone studies.
I liked the simple censored text in the middle of the magazine a lot and felt it fit right in with our books, many of them most certainly on banned lists throughout this country…ha!
Off to read my novel: RL’s Dream by one of the best who ever did it, Mr Walter Mosley. I’ve been on a rereading kick with his books lately and am enjoying every bit of it.