What’s in a Name?

My goal is to post an article once a week, something I am currently failing at.  I am not quite ready to post pictures of the progress in the office/study yet so I am left a bit short on updates.  However, have no fear, if my geekness has not yet been proven than this post should cover that.  For full disclosure I will admit that I am currently addicted to Downton Abbey, which in all likelihood is driving my current fascination with room names and the subject of this post.

While admiring the office molding a couple of weeks ago, something I find myself doing too often, I had a profound thought. Am I really building an office? I had entered into this activity with the full intent to build a home office, a place where I would do all of my paperwork, a place where the bills would be paid and the mail would be sorted.  But now the name conjured up a vision of cubicles, sterile white walls, fluorescent lighting, and just about everything I do not have.  So I found myself left with the terms Library, Drawing Room or Study floating in my head. Each had its merit, each had its drawbacks.  Library was a good solid name, after all I am building all this so I can display my vast collection of books, but the room is also where our desk is and where I do work for my job. Not exactly the standard “Library” activities.  Next was drawing room. A drawing room is where people would withdraw after eating.  Although I love the idea of a drawing room, and would likewise love telling people I have one, the room could never serve the stated purpose, and no I am not putting a couch in it.  A chair or two yes, but not a couch!  I was left with Study.  To me this was the perfect balance, a study is where you read, do research and do work, but can also go and get away from it all.  It was settled, the Office Project was now the Construction of the Study.

This left me with a new dilemma, what do I call my other rooms?  Now that I had brought back a vintage name the possibilities were endless.  As soon as we had purchased our house we made a conscious decision to put the TV in the 1960’s front formal living room.  This decision had two advantages, (1) it meant that we would use the fireplace located in that room more often as it was the room we would be spending most of our time in, and (2) the “den” was free to become the Study.  So what did I call this front room now?  Den, Parlor, family room, Drawing Room, Sitting Room, Lounge, Front Room, Reception room, or is it still just a living room?  Growing up I had learned two names for every room in our house as both sets of grandparents had different names for the rooms than my parents did.  Parlor was always used to describe the front room, and the more I thought about it how we use the front room actually matches the original use of a parlor.  It was a place where you would speak with guests when they came over, or where people would go after eating dinner.

So that solved it without spending a dime I now had a Study and a Parlor.  The only issue was going to be convincing the wife to use the lexicon.  Something I must report I am still working on to limited success…

Now I just have to figure out what the difference is between a dressing room and a walk in closet?

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