I grew up in a grand house with a formal living room (well-appointed with white carpet, yellow sofa, yellow background painting with blackbirds concerned about some black berries, tasteful chairs and coffee table, cold fireplace; I went in there to practice piano and a Christmas), a den (with books and a TV which we really weren’t allowed to watch except on Sunday evenings–Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and half of Disney–although, if I finagled it right, I could ask my dad about my algebra homework right when Laugh-In was starting and I could watch the whole show before we got to my equations), family room (TV, wet bar, all the games, fireplace we did use sometimes, wonderful windows to the lush backyard), a formal dining room (for Sundays when Grandma came and adult parties). It occurred to me often as a child that we had too many rooms. The kitchen was too small, considering we usually ate in there, and it looked out at the driveway. The dining room had a door out to the garden that we never used. All five rooms together claimed a ton of space, and we used so little of it. I’d imagine collapsing the living and family rooms–maybe even the den into one single living space; the kitchen and dining room together could open gracefully to the garden.
So, in the RiverHouse, the same room can be the yoga studio, the banquet hall, the choral rehearsal or piano concert.
If it’s nice out, we eat breakfast outside; this morning, it’s cool, so I ate just inside the windows.
The same space where I set chairs for the concert or my mat to practice yoga is my “office.” I am writing right now from here: