Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Wandering Laptop

Diningroom study with a pile of papers on the chair and notebooks on the table. 
Is your study a spudy, a bedroomudy, a loungeudy, or even a balconudy? Or do you, like me, just have a wandering laptop that travels with piles of papers that invade every room of the house?

When I had bought my apartment but not yet moved in, I spent an inordinate amount of time roughly drawing the floor plan and filling it with sketches of furniture to decide how I would live in my new space.

I soon realized that I was drawing the furniture smaller and smaller in order to fit more in. By the end I could have had a hotel dining room and lounge in my 3m by 7m living room - but only if the guests were Barbie and friends. But what magnificent ceiling height they would have had. I could have built stairs and added an extra mezzanine floor.

Laptop in the Lounge. Spot the pile of papers. 
Back to reality and 15 years later, I have never found the optimum layout and usage for this apartment. In my old place one extra metre of width in the living room allowed for a study area as well as a dining area and sitting area. Here the positions of the doors and windows just make it awkward. If you could throw out all your furniture and start again, you could buy or have made to measure the perfect set-up for the space, niches, and quirks available. But I, like most people, can't afford to do this.

The bottom line is that in a flat with a defined footprint you can't have everything. I can't have an open balcony in which to enjoy some outside space and also enclose it for a study. I can’t rent out my spare bedroom and also have it as my study. I can’t chop off some of the living room for a study area without compromising on dining and sitting space. I can’t have a tranquil bedroom only for sleeping, dressing and reading and use a corner of it for the computer. And the computer in the bedroom would entail the dressing table becoming the desk. So it ends up being a choice between a grown up bedroom with a dressing table or a teenage bedroom with a desk on which to do my homework. I'm 53. I refuse to have a teenager's bedroom. 

Dressing table or work station. Not both. 

If I lived in a house I’d consider an attic conversion or a garden extension. Sometimes I go looking for building inspiration and see all sorts of wonderful solutions for that extra, elusive room. Designs where the windows are positioned for your convenience and comfort. Designs that accommodate all the niches and quirks of your particular abode. Irresistible property candy. In my next life.

Meanwhile I sit with my laptop on my knees and dream of the day all my papers and bills will be out of the living room and my nomadic computer will have a designated place to call home.

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  1. My laptop resides on a space on my kitchen counter. Unless it's on my lap, the dining table or goes with me to other rooms. I have space but everywhere ends up untidy with my paperwork and knitting etc. Sigh! I do keep it out of the bedroom as it's not a good idea for an insomniac to invite office-y stuff into her place of supposed sleep! I do hope you find a nice little space to house your paperwork and laptop though. xx