Big Room, Little Room, Winter Room, Summer Room

We have all done it, moved from one humble abode to the next. There is no question that whenever you move houses you often do it with a hope and a prayer (unless you are exceedingly organized) hoping that you called it right and your furniture will transition easily into your new home.

That is the premise I always have worked with as we moved from home to home, country to country....a hope and a prayer. After 30 years, I managed to get it somewhat barely a whisper at times, but I got it...until now.

So...I MIGHT have a decorating dilemma but then again I might not. Let's see what you think.


Home sweet home... Auckland, New Zealand 

The photo above was our living room in our home in Auckland, New Zealand. We purchased the couch, chairs, ottoman and bookcase to scale for 13' high ceilings. We filled the room, as we often do, to accommodate crowds of all sizes. With a family of six and then some you never can have enough places for people to lounge. 

And then we packed up and moved to England...where the bookcase made it into the new living room by nearly a whisper to accommodate the ceiling height of 8'. 

Home sweet home...Surrey, England

And then we packed up again and moved to Chateau Mango in Vietnam where we had a bit more breathing space, back to 13' ceilings.

Home sweet home Chateau Mango, Vietnam


And then...we packed up again and moved the room to Tahilla Farm....where the Little Room sits. Ok, I will be honest and admit that I knew from the get go that the bookcase would NEVER EVER fit into our 7' ceiling 'keeping room'*.  Not even a slight whisper was going to make that happen. It is currently in storage waiting for a barn renovation...(hint, hint Mr. H)

Bookcase aside, I was a bit overwhelmed when the furniture was placed in the room. It looked ENORMOUS compared to what was in there before...which was basically nothing. I felt like Goldilocks having a romp between rooms...this one is too big, this one is too little and this one...

I should mention that where that orange pillow sits slightly askew is my favorite spot to sit. Has been through all the houses and countries. Once the furniture went in I didn't know if I could ever sit in that spot again. It just didn't feel right...Goldilocks felt displaced.

But then a funny thing happened...often with coffee in hand I passed the kitchen, the family room, the reading nook...and plopped myself in that spot to ponder life. It feels cozy and warm and comforting...and that is when I decided to call it the Winter Room. What else can you call a room stuffed with furniture?

Home sweet home, Tahilla Farm in New Hampshire

The keeping room hearth


I know that one day soon, the hearth will be roaring and lights will be glistening, feet will be up on the ottoman...and I will be thinking about....wall color and upholstery because a creative mind never rests. It's time...and Mr. H has declared that two rooms filled with beige furniture is one room too many. So...I have things to consider...or rather you have something to consider. What would you do with this room? Wall color, upholstery? solids, patterns? It's way beyond my comprehension at the moment...but I would love to know your thoughts!

Before you carry on with that is a little insight into the family room alongside the kitchen...I call it the Summer Room. ;)


The kitchen/family room

And there you have it...our expat world merging into one. Australia, New Zealand, England, Vietnam...all our lives settled into a new/old farmhouse in New England. I should  mention that our original intention was to allow space for the big bookcase to the left of the fireplace above. Our architect rightly pointed out that it would be a shame to miss the southern light and view from the window built into the current bookcase...and he was so right.

And lastly...most important of all, I want to send a shout out to Mr. H for today is our 30th wedding anniversary. In typical Henriques style...he is in Cambodia and I am in Vietnam...we never seem to win when it comes to momentous occasions! We have postponed the celebration for a later date but today is the day when we tied the knot all those years ago. I would still follow him to the moon and back and around the world a few times!

Happy Anniversary Mr. H! 

Mr. and Mrs. H...30 years ago today.

So...what say you? 
The winter room...leave as is or give it a refresh? 
I am all eyes, your comments, as always, 
are so very much appreciated! 

Have a good one!

Jeanne xx

PS..wondering what a keeping room is? 
*The keeping room dates back to colonial times. It was often a multi-use room attached to the kitchen or part of it, compete with a fireplace or two for warmth and cooking. The historic section of our home dates back to 1790...hence the 'keeping room'.

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