Hijacking the NTB

We had an addition put on our house this fall. They took the roof off our Victorian and turned our not-quite-walk-up attic into a third floor master suite. We did some rearranging of the second floor bedrooms during the process too. My one request during the whole ordeal (okay, I had more than one request, but the one thing I was truly adamant about) was that I get built-in bookshelves and a writing space.

 
Up until that point I wrote in our living room which, since there are people and puggles ‘living’ in it, is not a convenient place to write. I would also occasionally take Huey-the-Laptop and write in the dining room, or if it was nice out, write on the patio. Since most of my writing time occurs while other living things are sleeping, the living room was not the worst place to write – but it’s far from ideal.

So, bookshelves and a writing area. St. Matt agreed. The floor plans cooperated too; the front of the new bedroom has a dormer that’s 10 feet wide by 5 feet deep. It’s all windows and has an amazing view. If the blueprints were treasure maps (which St. Matt told me repeatedly they were not, despite all the X’s and dotted lines) then this would be the area pirates would be fighting over. St. Matt gave it to me. I set to work designing my desk – six feet long with room for a window seat on the end. He said sure. I added drawers and bins to my drawings. He said sure. I asked if we could make the surface out of one of the antique doors that had been removed during the process. He said sure. I asked if he was capable of building all this. He said sure. I got excited.

The contractors left and we moved into the addition on 12/23. St. Matt has been busy. I still have no desk. My bookshelves are framed and exciting, but the shelves aren’t in yet. (This has not, however, stopped me from piling books in them and having endless conversations about which books I’m going to select to come upstairs).

Have I been nag-y, pest-y, or whiney about this? Nope. I know, shocking isn’t it? Before you decide I’m lying, here’s why.

I have hijacked the room-that-will-be-a-nursery-if-we-ever-have-kids. Since that’s a long title, I’m just going to call it Nursery-to-be or NTB. Why this room? Because I had a brilliant idea while painting it post-construction.

Like most of my brilliant ideas, this one has an aspect of fortuitous accident. We were in Lowe’s (Home Depot?) AGAIN and St. Matt was doing something boring. So I did what I always do when I’m bored in a hardware store: go visit the paint guys. And that day someone was asking the paint guy about blackboard paint. I decided to eavesdrop. Having purchased his blackboard paint, the other customer left and I chimed in: “That’s pretty cool. If I didn’t hate blackboards with an unnatural degree of loathing, I’d get that.”

Paint Guy: “You hate blackboards?”
Me: “Yup, and I’m a teacher, go figure.”
PG: “So what do you use in your classroom?”
Me: “I have blackboards, I just won’t use them. I have the kiddos write the date and we stick stuff to them with magnets. I also have a Smartboard.”
PG: “Do you hate whiteboards too?”
Me: “Nope. Those I like.”
PG: “Well, they make Expo whiteboard paint too, you know.”
Me: mouth open.

We left with four containers of it.

St. Matt: What are you going to do with that?
Me: Paint, duh.
St. Matt: What are you going to paint?
Me: Don’t worry, I have a plan. (It should be pointed out these are the same words I used to reassure St.Matt when I dropped tweezers in the toilet, when I also did NOT actually have a plan. I wonder if he realizes when I say: Don’t worry, I have a plan, he should actually immediately become very, very worried).

Back to the NTB… In typical my typical insomnia productiveness, I painted it while St. Matt slept. Boy was he surprised in the morning! It has light green walls, a mini-mural in the closet, a blue clouded ceiling, and yes: the clouds climb down off the ceiling and become white boards on the walls. This is my childhood dream come true: walls I can write on without getting sent to the naughty chair.

These walls are where I storyboarded TBALMCSAP and this is now where I like to write, curled up on the bed in the NTB and facing my color-coded-by-character walls of awesomeness.
If we ever have a reason to use the NTB as an actual nursery, I’m in big trouble. Maybe we could put the not-yet-an-issue-baby in another bedroom. Or maybe, just maybe, St. Matt could finish my writing desk…

… And the still-in-the-distant-future-baby could sleep under that while I continue to hijack its room.

7 comments


  • *surreptitiously making notes on whiteboard paint*

    I have a GREAT idea! You guys could adopt ME and not have to worry about the maybe-baby! I’m clean, I write at night, and we could use the whiteboard walls together!! Yes? 😀

    St. S has *promised* me that ~one day~ I will have a “writer’s nook.” I am bookmarking this entry so that I can periodically point to it and remind him, and show him exactly what it should look like ~one day~.

    April 11, 2009
  • St.Matt wants to know if this post was an attempt to blackmail him into building the desk. I reassured him I’m quite content in the NTB.

    So, Emily, you want me to adopt you & you want to join my class? I think it might be time for you and St.S to move to PA… Think of the hijinks that would ensue 🙂

    April 11, 2009
  • Tiffany, I love your writing room!

    And don’t worry about that future baby-to-be. First of all, for the first two years as long as you use the non-toxic wipe board markers, baby won’t care. If anything, he/she will love all the beautiful colors and marks around the room.

    When the day finally comes that you can’t use the walls, your baby will LOVE them. And you don’t have to worry about him/her writing on the walls anywhere else.

    April 11, 2009
  • So, Stacy, you’re saying that I have at least two years after the not-yet-existing baby arrives? That gives St.Matt plenty of time to build my desk.

    Although, I can clearly picture 10 years from now and my poor child saying to me: “Mom, this is MY room! Can you please stop writing on MY walls?”

    April 11, 2009
  • I love this idea. I also love the idea you have a victorian. How cool is that?

    What an absolute joy to have a writing room like that. Your real one will be even better, though. Then you can nest permanently and paint part of those walls with whiteboard paint.

    April 11, 2009
  • What a great idea (the whiteboard thing)…alas, right now we are in a single story three bedroom (small) bedroom house with four of us. I dream of built in bookshelves and a sunny space to call my own. But for now, I wouldn’t trade the bumbling festival of love and chaos that is my life 24/7.

    April 11, 2009
  • Julie – I love my Victoria, it has so much character. I’d have a hard time with a cookie-cutter house (and I’ll post pics once it stops being muddy & we finish painting the trim)

    Alegra – Great to see you here – your home sounds full of fun, books, and love – I wouldn’t want it any other way either!

    April 11, 2009

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