Of Books and Bathrooms

Did you know the White House has 132 rooms? When I heard that I veered off into an orgy of home decorating daydreams. What would I do with oodles of extra rooms? After a Christmas season with visiting grandchildren in sleeping bags on the floor, having a few additional bedrooms is appealling. But since I’m giving my imagination free rein I know the first new room would have to become a library.


I can picture it clearly: walls lined with floor-to-ceiling bookcases accessed by a rolling ladder, a large fireplace fronted by cream-coloured leather recliners and a low circular coffee table to hold my day’s selection of books and a carafe of coffee. There will be a bank of french doors opening to my daytime view of the woods, with luxurious velvet draperies to cozy the mood in the evenings. Of course there won’t be a clock — time restraints don’t exist in my daydream. It will be a generous room with a music nook for the grand piano and cupboards to discreetly contain my mess of music.


It’s a grand dream, but as I think more about those 132 rooms and 35 bathrooms on six levels with eight staircases and three elevators, a nightmare begins to emerge. I could easily get lost trying to find a bathroom at 2:00 a.m.!