Monday, May 03, 2010

Furniture changes

For the longest time we've had a dining table, with a few inches cut off from the legs, in our living room surrounded by our secitonal sofa. A conventional coffee table is way too low to put a computer on, and I spend most of my at-home time sitting on the sofa with my computer in front of me. The sofa is more comfortable than an office chair, and it lets me have my computer in the same place I can watch TV or listen to music, which suits me: for me, I want my computer to be ubiquitous (which is why I'm so ready for an implanted computer). But it does lead to an unconventional sofa and table arrangement. (Though I recently saw some interesting coffee tables designed to account for this: the surface pivots up to a higher level when needed, for writing or using a computer. Still, we'd have it up virtually all the time!)

It recently occurred to me that having one big table for both of us causes a lot of inflexibility. Anywhere I set my stuff up is always going to be a little off where it would be comfortable whenever Siobhan needs to move the table to be closer or farther away, depending on what she's doing. It also positions my computer screen so that it tends to be in the way of her view, and the contortions to avoid that are more difficult with a single table. So we went to Big Lots to look at smaller tables we could have independently and thus move independently. We ended up getting a pair of the pictured glass desks, which are working out very well. I had a brainstorm setting mine up in trying to figure out where to put my remote control holder: I drilled a hole in it, then put one of the desk's screws through it, so the holder is slung at an angle on the side of the desk, out of the way and taking up no desk space, yet completely at hand, and impossible to topple over.

Yesterday was our first roleplaying game gathering since the desks were assembled, and it led to another change. I need my computer on hand when roleplaying, and with the old table, that meant it was right in front of me, and thus in between me and at least some of the players. I never really liked the sense of being cut off from them (I never even used to use GM's screens, and this is far more obscuring). Now that my whole computer setup is on a single desk, it was easy to move that around to the end of the sofa, and put a much smaller, lower table in front of me (which I barely even used!) for my books, which gave me a clear view of the other players, and them of me. We even pulled out the table entirely and replaced it with tray tables, which left a nice clear space that made it easier for people to get to the sofa and move around (and gave Socks a center-of-attention to stand in). I was very pleased with how it worked out without the table.

Tonight on the way home we're stopping at a furniture store to order a new sectional sofa. We've been intending to do this for a while; last year we got some repairs on our current sofa, but they were only intended to buy time since we couldn't afford to replace the sofa last year. The new one will be a Flexsteel, and from all accounts, far sturdier and likely to last longer even under the weight and strain of how I use them. It'll be another sectional like the pictured arrangement, with a curved center "nest" seat and two seats on either side, though not in this color and fabric. It'll about fit the same in the living room as what we have now, and we'll keep it at an angle that'll give both of us a clear view on the TV and fit with these new desks.

It'll cost more than I originally anticipated since we're going to a high-end line in hopes it'll last a good long time. But they have a zero-interest financing plan that will let us space out the payment, and I've already worked out how to make sure it'll be paid off without a penny of interest, so there's no disadvantage. This should leave us a little money in the budget to repair (or if we can't, to replace) the lounge chairs that (for some reason) end up doubling as our guest chairs. (We've got a lot of sofa space, but most people always seem to prefer the chairs.)

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