Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Getting there

Things are in process over here. New floors are laid and—as I am realizing I tend to be when confronting the new—I was underwhelmed, because the patterns on the planks flowed so seamlessly together, the joined edges invisible, that it looks like one continuous floor, which was not at all what I imagined. Perhaps I should have done more research, and chosen a plank style that was more varied, but now it's done, and it's a visually clean look and easy to care for, so I shall accustom my eye in time. Both my children have tried to assure me that I am holding on to an old aesthetic, and this seamless look is the new style for floors. At least they're enthused.

Then last Friday the couches came, and that was a drama in itself. The longer couch could not fit in the elevator because of a tiny bar near the top from which the maintenance people hang the protective padding during furniture moves. The delivery guys then suggested carrying it up the stairwell, and they succeeded in getting it up to the fifth floor, where we live, even though they are not supposed to carry furniture up more than three floors. Alas, they could not get it from the stairwell into the corridor as the ceiling at that spot is low. Every time they tried slanting the couch through the doorway, no matter the angle, the leading end hit the ceiling before it could be stood straight up. And so the poor delivery guys had to carry the thing back down the five flights of stairs. 

Our best remaining option was to call an operation known as The Sofa Guy, which specializes in dismantling furniture that won't fit in New York City elevators, and putting said furniture back together once inside the apartments. The Sofa Guy crew arrived two hours later. While we waited for them, my husband was obliged to sit with the wrapped-up couch in the basement, where the first delivery crew had been forced to deposit it. The Sofa Guys definitely knew what they were about, because within a half an hour they had unbolted one arm of the couch, moved it into the elevator and brought it up, then reassembled the whole thing impeccably in our living room. We had to pay quite a bit extra for that service, and were also poorer from giving some consideration to the first delivery crew, who though unsuccessful in their endeavor, had tried mightily.

Once all that was behind us, I realized that I had misjudged the scale of the couches, not the length, but the depth. They take up a bit more space than I had anticipated, so now I am trying to figure out how to decorate around them to help balance their bulk. I will say they are handsome and exceedingly comfortable, so there is that. The picture here shows the current arrangement of our living room. I am making peace with the fact that while I know how to edit a manuscript and write a book, I am not a skilled or intuitive interior decorator, and I need to be okay with that. 

My husband bought that pretty new blue ceramic pot for the plant, the best evidence yet that he's engaged in this process. I plan to change out the old cushions with lighter colored, less red-toned ones, and the curtains for something in the ivory family. Since there is no way to center the TV in front of the window, a less dominant curtain color might be help the eye not focus too much on the lack of symmetry. I might also get a new TV console at some point, but I am trying not to hyperventilate about all that, and allow myself to take things a step at a time. After all, I still have work to do. In fact, I have decided not the move forward with the kitchen re-do until I have a completed first draft of the book. Apartment renovation is disruptive and loud, though so far, our contractor has been great.

I had another interview with my book subject on Sunday, and she begged me for a sneak peek of the manuscript. I agreed to send her Chapter 3. I actually added another scene to that chapter right after I sent it, which is why I never like to show anything till I have a full draft. I'm always going back and revising, layering, adding, streamlining, but the good news is she loved the chapter, which she told me in a text with many exclamation marks as she was running through an airport on her way to Cincinnati. She is always traveling somewhere, this one. She is in another city practically every couple of days. I watch her social media posts and feel dizzy. I'm going to hit seventy thousand words today. Fifteen thousand more to get to our contracted word count. We will definitely make it. Perhaps more. 


  1. When we moved to Tucson the first thing we did was buy a couch that was way too big for the space. In fact, it made it impossible to get in to the space. Fortunately, they took it back and we got something smaller. We do not have the decorating eye, just don't have it. Plus, when something is different, that's all I can see - it's different. Give it some time, your eye will adapt and soon it'll be like it was always there. The couches look great from here, good for napping.

  2. Looks good from here. I'm anticipating future photos of you and your family all together again in your lovely like-new living room.

    You've reminded me that after the work I had done on my condominium in 2012 was finished I, too, was "underwhelmed" by the unfamiliar newness and something in me didn't feel I deserved it. It wasn't long before the "home" feeling came back.

    Your sofa story reminds me of a company called Death Wish Piano Movers. I first heard of them when I was living west of Boston in the winter of 1973-1974. Their company name came up in the context of pianos being moved to the upper floors of multi-story buildings in the Boston area. Much to my surprise, they still exist! I see now that they were in their first few years of business back when I was living near Boston. Their name is memorable. Whenever anyone talks about moving a piano, I still think of them. Since their business opened in 1971, they have become experts in moving all sorts of things that might seem nearly impossible to move.


    Happy to hear this update about the current book you are working on.

  3. What a niche business, sofa guys. Brilliant idea! It seems sometimes that few things ever go as smoothly as expected. I’m excited to hear about your progress and hope to read your latest collaboration. I so enjoyed “Heart of Fire”. Congratulations to Dani!

  4. Looks wonderful, cosy! - I have a rule about sailing single handed, If I can not, it does not happen. I can lift every bit of furniture in this house by myself and a good thing too as Dennis can no longer.I will be putting this house back together for weeks after having new windows installed. I feel you!

    1. That's impressive! We have three pieces that the two of us can not lift together. One needs to move an inch and we can not shift it.

  5. I really like the business concept of The Sofa Guys and could think of a number of critical scenarios that could do with that approach. And not just relating to furniture and large musical instruments.

  6. Whoa! This is A LOT!
    You will definitely get used to the new floor and couches. I think they look good and of course the blue pot is lovely. I can't believe all you went through to get that couch in there! A similar thing happened here a few months ago when we moved a bed upstairs. Mr. Moon had to take apart the frame to get it up that windy staircase. Living in New York is not like living in Lloyd but there are similarities!
    Good for you on the book and I agree- wait to do the kitchen renovation until you're done. You really don't need both of those things going on at once.

  7. I think it looks lovely and cozy there and very comfy. Soon it will feel like it's always been there and that it is truly home. I like how everyone tried to do their best and that there's an actual The Sofa Guy crew who comes out and makes it all fit.

    The book progress sounds good too. You have lots going on there. It's good that you took the time to write this post and share your latest here on the blog. Thank you for that. Take care there. May it all go well.

  8. Those are very handsome couches and I like the look. We got a 'rustic' maple floor and it has a lot of pattern to it. A good thing as it has absorbed dog drool, sandals with rocks stuck into the soles, dripping Christmas trees and more. But our neighbours went with the seamless look and I like that too. And I take my shoes off at their door.
    I would go with light colour curtains - makes the whole room seem bigger. Unless you have a cat with dark fur, that is.
    I really like the look.
    Your word count awes me. I have been rewriting a one page cover letter for a month now.

  9. I love the pop of color the red curtains provide. But hey, you must do what you like, of course. Very elegant couches, look buttery soft. I had no idea there was a service that could 'break down' your couch and reassemble. NYC, eh? Sounds as if you are almost at the finish line with your book - yay!

  10. Who really likes change? Especially when it's expensive.

    I'd love to see a photo of the floors without the rug. We have to redo our rental property's floors

    I love the couches. We need a new couch but will wait until the cat is dead, or murdered. Whichever comes first:)

    I think you're wise to wait on the kitchen reno until you're done your first draft. Your apartment is where you work. It would be so disruptive while trying to work.

    As for the Sofa Guy, what a great idea for a business in a city with so many apartments!

  11. Wow -- "The Sofa Guy"! I had no idea such a business existed. I think the room looks great so far and I'm sure some of your misgivings stem from not yet being accustomed to the changes. Glad the book is going so well!