i have a sudden urge to renovate something. i want somebody to put me in the middle of a bare room, with peeling wallpaper and uprooted carpets and spiderwebs, and tell me to revamp it into something new. i'd like to take something derelict and in a state of decay and revive it, to make it homely and pretty, with good ceilings and ambient lighting. there's something very personal and satisfying about transforming a space from a state of lessness to a work of wonder. in the many hours one spends stripping, painting, sanding, varnishing and pasting, watching such a space become something from nothing is, for all its toil and handiwork, nothing short of a success.
i imagine it to be a quiet place for reading, where books are stacked on mighty shelves, from the classics to the post-modern; and the hardwood floors absorb the heat of the hearth, low ceilings press upon our gatherings, which are held together by a trophy cabinet, a tapestry and a pinball machine.
all this room needs is a little tenderness, a couple of pictures on the walls, some furniture haggled for at a car boot sale, some huge cushions and a fireplace - and hey presto.