My boss was clearing out a room last week as part of a major renovation of his veterinary clinic, and wondered – aloud – what to do with a large chest of drawers that had to be moved out. I responded – with, I must say, too much enthusiasm combined with too little forethought – “I’ll take it!!!”
That’s what I’ve been doing. That day, I filled every bit of empty space in my car with more than a dozen wooden drawers. The next day, I did it again. And yet again yesterday. Thirty-two wooden drawers are now stacked in my laundry room, blocking the doors to two closets and narrowing the passageway to less than 18 inches. I have not yet brought the heavy wooden bureau that holds these drawers home. For one thing, it won’t fit in my car. For another, I need help moving it. Last and most important (and the stuff my nightmares are made of!), it won’t fit in my house!
My best calculations tell me this piece of furniture, fully assembled, is approximately sixty-five inches wide, forty-eight inches high and twenty-five inches deep. It is solid wood. It is heavy. Massive. Too big for my house. It is wonderful!
Every drawer is solid wood, with channels on the sides that fit precisely over lattice strips, to slide open and closed without the wobble, tilt or lean that many lesser drawers are known for. Four columns of eight drawers each; the bottom row of drawers are nearly nine inches deep, the other all just under five inches deep. The bureau is painted – at this time a mild beige, though I’m thinking bright watermelon red or fire engine red or a very subtle, earthy gray…or black chalkboard paint, that would allow me to make pictures in colored chalks to suit my mood or to welcome guests or to write the menu or just notes to myself (note the enthusiasm, in the midst of this horror story!) – but the drawers are simply stained. Two drawers have chipped corners; one has a slight water stain in the bottom. Otherwise it is flawless, though huge.
This piece, of course, belongs in the kitchen. Where every salt cellar, cloth napkin and emergency candle will have a home. Where dog food and dog toys can be out of sight but easily accessible. Where crayons and art supplies can wait for my grand-children to visit. Where puzzles and games can be easily found when company comes. Where baskets for correspondence and baskets for bills can be pulled out, dealt with, and tucked back away. Where every single day I will rejoice at having so much drawer-space.
In order to fit it in my small kitchen, however, I have to dismantle my little square, tile topped table and, for now, store it in the attic. I will have to move out two lower cabinets, the counter-top, two rows of bookshelves that hang above them and two framed photographs and a clock hanging on the wall. Which involves finding – on short notice – new locations for everything that is now housed inside the cabinets (mixing bowls, food processor, measuring cups, colanders…),on the counter-top (at this time, 16 various-sized glass jars with flours, grains and dried beans in them, a cookie jar filled with dog biscuits, a cast-iron piggy bank and a framed photo of my grand-daughter)and on the shelves.
My mind races. Do I re-think the Living Room, now, in order to pull one of those bookshelves out and put in into the kitchen to hold the books and canisters? Should I make this just slightly more complicated than it already is and take this time to re-locate one cabinet and the refrigerator? And how about the new flooring, as long as I’ve got everything torn up?
This may be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done…or one of the smartest. I’ll let you know.