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  • Chelom Leavitt

Chelom: Planning the Cottage (Hobbit House)

Jill, Caitlin (our daughter), grandson Teddy, and I planning the Hobbit House

As you might imagine, we've spent a lot of time talking about how to furnish the castle. However, It might take longer to plan out the small spaces in the cottage than it does larger spaces of the castle. Planning small spaces takes a clever insight and a thoughtful knowledge of how the space will be used. My dear friend Jill is such a planner. Yesterday we poured over the blueprints of the cottage. It is small and we have a big family even with our married kids gone. So how to use this space most efficiently as well as create a charming environment is a tough task. I refer to the cottage as the Hobbit House mainly because nothing makes sense to me, and it is a series of up and down rooms that are small and do not flow in a logical pattern. It’s like someone wanted to accommodate more people and so they added on a room. Maybe the grounds keeper’s wife had a child so instead of the little snug kitchen and bedroom, they need a nursery? Maybe his wife wanted to have the ladies visit and have a place for tea, so they added a sitting area? What ever happened, there was definitely no master plan, which in my mind makes it all the more charming. However, ‘charming’ will only emerge if we carefully plan and are meticulous about the rooms’ purposes and décor.

I may sound like I’m a bit of a traditionalist when I say it was the grounds keeper’s wife that prompted the additions and improvements. In my experience, that is the case. Women make a place a home. My mom filled our house with music and good smells of cooking and baking. I do the same.

The Hobbit House and castle have been neglected. It will take the heavy hands of many craftsmen and tradesmen, whether they are men or women. But in the end, this castle and cottage need to be made a home. That is just what we will do.

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