One of the things I love most about my little cottage is the light that fills the dining room in the morning. However, when I moved in, the walls were painted dark red, which was dramatic in the evening, but made the room feel like a dungeon in the daytime.
Even back then, I envisioned the room’s potential to become a “morning room”…a place to sit and have my morning coffee and read and write in my journal. Part of that transition involved getting rid of the red walls, which I did pretty quickly. Up went the primer, and then a pale, almost non-color green: Scallion White.
For my morning spot, I visualized a comfy chair placed in such a way that it would allow me to look out the window and daydream—a bit of a challenge since the dining room is also a “pass-through” room connecting the living room and kitchen, with a wide archway connecting it with the living room. A truly cozy corner would be difficult to achieve.
This is what the corner looked like before I finally made up my mind that I would have my morning spot. You can see the edge of the living room arch to the left and the edge of the library cabinet to the right. Not a lot of room, but workable.
Here’s the corner outfitted with a wicker chair that I inherited from friends who were moving and a folding side table that used to live on my porch in NC. The “footstool” is actually a little East Indian table that I got from an import warehouse sale. Good start, but not there yet. At least I know that a chair and side table will fit.
Okay…now for accessories. A little basket outfitted with pens, pencils, a letter opener, reading glasses, a few blank/greeting cards, and magazine articles torn out for later reading…a big basket full of gardening books…my garden journal…new artwork…and yet another orchid that I hope will re-bloom. Much better, but when I tried out my new morning spot, I found that the corner still didn’t feel very cozy.
Finally, I had an “aha!” moment one day while rooting around in my basement. I suddenly looked at a pair of louvered bi-fold doors that I’d used as a decorative element in my NC bedroom and thought, “I could use these to screen off the corner a bit so that it feels a little more private.” (And they were already green!) So I trudged up the stairs with the doors and…perfection!
The screen gives my morning room corner the feeling of privacy and separation that it needs, and when I’m entertaining and need to open the space up, the doors can easily be folded and tucked away…the best of both worlds! The addition of the screen has also made the dining room feel less like a pass-through space.
I’m still figuring out what I want/need in my little reading corner, but it’s already become a favorite spot. I recently added a throw for chilly days and switched out the little footstool for a wicker ottoman that I grabbed from the living room—much more comfy. Now I can sit for hours (in a perfect world) and read and write and think…and dream up my next project!