Thursday, December 28, 2006

When Is a Dining Room Not a Dining Room?

That's easy – when there's a grand piano in the middle of it! Not long ago my daughter, Erica, placed a gleaming grand piano where most people would have a dining room table. This makes sense because she's a professional accompanist and needs a piano for her work. But it is different to say the least.

It got me thinking. What else do people do to change a room into a unique expression of the owner? I mean, if you call it a "living room"…what do you do in the rest of the house? I've known people who took a bedroom and turned it into a luxurious walk-in closet. A formal dining room that was never used became a poker room and home to a regular gathering of old friends. Even a living room morphed into a media room with the addition of a massive wall-hung state-of-the-art TV and a comfortable sofa.

And then there are the collectors. One man had a "turtle room" to house his collection of turtles. I've seen rooms and whole basements devoted to trains, dolls, chairs, owls, turtles, giraffes, hippos, butterflies, and dragons. There are Superman, Spiderman, and Elvis collectors with rooms that are more like shrines. Barbie takes over spare bedrooms and turns them into pink palaces.

One family had a room in their Victorian farmhouse that was furnished with tree limbs, high shelves, and cozy beds for their cats – real ones. There was no room for a human to sit, but the "cat room" was heaven for three felines.

There's a grand piano in my daughter's dining room. What have you done with a space in your home that makes it uniquely yours?


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