The Musicave

It all started with the rug. Alex found it on a Nextdoor type of app. We didn’t need a rug, but she wanted to soften up the concrete floor of our unfinished basement and this one appeared to be in good shape and basically free.

She had already hung white fabric walls and a mini-chandelier in the space to try to make it more like a room than a bunch of two by fours and some insulation.

The rug pulled it all together. Its boho-chicness brought to mind an intimate acoustic concert space with a barefoot musician singing amongst flickering candles. We decided then and there to create a music room.

A leather couch someone was giving away, a repurposed neo-classical fireplace mantel, an old upright piano, and we felt like we were channeling the Chateau Marmont in its rock-era heyday.

To cap it all off, we were at a Ballard’s Outlet and they had a bunch of random letters like X and Z that they never sold at the regular store. We spent a good half hour rummaging through these misfit letters.

There was no M, so we turned a W upside down. There were not enough identical sizes, colors, textures or fonts. But we came up with our sign. It read MUSICAVE (yes, with one C, and the E is a funky cheetah print- the most Rock & Roll of all the letters).

We proudly showed off the basement to the first friend who came over. He saw the sign and said “Music Avenue?”

“Sure, that too,” I replied.






Naming a Room

Some rooms in a home are just better suited for specific seasons. Our library has become our go-to winter spot. Though, I’m still not sure if it should be called a library, study, den, or drawing room?

Drawing room is definitely too snooty. Its reclaimed cherry wood has an inherent warmth… and mystery: we’re not sure where it was reclaimed from. The books add their own density and warmth of stories told. And Alex centered the room with a furry white rug that you just want to put your toes in, or knead if you’re a cat (which Alex calls “making muffins”).

When we bought the house, I thought it was a nice room but I didn’t see us spending much time in there. Of course, I don’t have the vision my wife does, nor the decorating touch.

Being just off the main entrance, we didn’t want to make it an office with a desk and all the mess that entails. Back in the day, I suppose a room like this may have been used as a smoking room, but we don’t smoke. And a TV didn’t seem appropriate.

So on cold afternoons, we grab the book or magazine we’d been meaning to read, close the glass doors with just enough space to let the cats in, turn on the gas fireplace and kick up our feet. The room gets toasty like an oven, and the cats inevitably end up on the rug making muffins.

Maybe it’s the muffin room?