Can you believe that there is still part of the Big Ugly House that I haven't shared with you? Some parts are just too ugly for words, and most of those I skipped. But, a motivated 15 year old daughter is a wondrous thing and when she is an organizing whirlwind, well, just stand back.
Let me introduce you to what we fondly refer to as 'The Folly'. (You know, folly as in eccentric British lord building misbegotten ancient ruins on his estate. We read a lot of British literature around here.) And folly fits. This was part of an addition to the house, probably in the 1920's when a small garage was attached on the side. There is pretty much nothing redeeming about the design of this addition. The folly is the room above the garage and it connect to the main house through a doorway in the living room. (We're nearly 100% sure that to add the garage they took down a wrap-around porch from the house.) Other than its ugliness, the other problem with this room is that it is not insulated. The floor of the room is cement, it is over an unheated garage, and it has three sides exposed with only one interior wall. It is freezing cold in the winter and over-like in the summer. This explains why over the past 12 years, it stopped being J.'s imagined study and instead become the place to throw whatever we didn't know what to do with. It had gotten to the point where we kind of wished lightning would strike just that room and do away with everything in it for us.
Enter the energetic 15 year old who has been longing for her own room. Less than a week ago, she latched onto the idea of moving into the folly. J. and I both said that it would have to be cleaned out first, thinking that was a task of such magnitude that we could put off making an actual parenting decision for a while. We should know our daughter better. Sensing weakness in parental resolve, she tackled the folly. Over the course of two days she sorted, organized, and cleaned the room. It was an amazing transformation and I really think she could make good money hiring herself out to do this in other people's homes. Yesterday, she enlisted her brothers and sisters to move all her possessions into the folly and she slept there last night. (P. and H. took little time in spreading out in their now emptier room upstairs.) She claims she wasn't too cold, but the worst of winter hasn't hit yet, so we'll see. It will be the equivalent of sleeping on a sleeping porch and I think I'm going show her how to use a hot water bottle tonight.
So, do you want a tour? Here's the door into the folly from the living room. You can see by the piles of stuff outside A.'s new room that there is still a little sorting to do with everything she removed.
Entering the door and heading up the short flight of stairs. Yes, it's ugly... the picture doesn't really do it justice.
Notice the reflective siding on the ceiling of the stairway. This is what covered the entire ceiling of my old kitchen. Babies loved to sit in their high chairs and stare at themselves in the ceiling.
Past the stairs and looking down the hallway into the room.
The side of the room where A. put the stuff she didn't know what to do with. I know it looks like a jumble, but trust me, this is amazingly organized in comparison.
It comes complete with it's own (ugly) fireplace. It hasn't been cleaned in ages and I'm not sure of its structural condition. She won't be making use of it.
Her bed in the corner near the one, wimpy radiator. Notice the beautiful plaid curtains which came with the house and how well they match (NOT) the paint on the fireplace. You can't see it, but the paint scheme continues on the molding around the ceiling.
This is the former half bath that we took out ages ago. It is so cold that the pipes would constantly freeze and it wasn't worth it. Now it is housing the boxes of genealogy stuff that came from J.'s mom's house.
We'll see how long the excitement of having her own space overrides the inclement weather she will have to endure. It is nice to have it more sorted out.