Our home design solutions have always been reactionary. In the homestead we started with a raw space. Babies came as soon as we moved in, The birth of a child would mean we’d buy a new bed for the new person to sleep in. A newborn’s clothes would occupy one dresser drawer. As the infant became a toddler, it was three drawers. And when they started school, it was six drawers. We’d have more stuff – we’d buy or build something to put it in. If a neighbor was getting rid of something that we could use – we’d take it. We didn’t have much of a budget to buy furniture and we knew nothing about design. The first baby had a crib purchased by my parents. As soon as she could stand, she would do anything to escape it. It became a place to dump toys in and drape clothes on – a big repository of clutter. So we gave it away, baby proofed everything and put a futon on floor. The second baby never had a crib. She slept first in our bed then moved to the floor futon with her sister.
Our living space was not shaped by design or beauty, only by where to stash things. First, in our raw space, we needed bookshelves, so the ex-husband and his friend built a very ugly bookcase that is still there. The so-called linen closet is the top part of that bookcase. You have to struggle to stuff the linen in because it is not deep. It is so high up that you have to climb on the highest chair in the house to put laundry away. Sometimes we are too lazy and we toss pillow cases into it as if we were playing basketball. It has sliding doors that never worked well and one day one fell off. We thought the second door could fall off and hit someone in the head so we took it off altogether. That meant the so-called linen closet was exposed to the view of everyone in the living room. My mother who could not see very well once thought it was a poster.