I am nearly done! What started out as just a gift of a television turned into an entire room makeover and a much bigger job than I had imagined. As soon as we purchased the new flat screen I took the room apart and cleaned. The old television had not been moved in years and was a frightening tangle of complicated sound components, speakers and electronic gadgetry. Over the years we had added gaming systems and sub-woofers. We also have had a varying collection of cats, all of which left a bit of themselves behind the big old TV unit as fur and odd, miscellaneous toys. Yuck. I moved out the unit and cleaned. Then I went around the room and cleaned more. I washed, vacuumed, dusted and polished every article in the room. That's when the furniture began to arrive. Flat screen TVs need to stand on something, and so I searched high and low for a cabinet the right height. Next I needed a table behind the sofa since my husband likes the convenience. The one I had before was never seen but this one would be very visible and couldn't stand propped up on old paint cans. My living room now was filled with stuff in big boxes and bags, and in the middle was Christmas and all the lovely toys that come with the holiday. I was imagining not only a great newly-arranged living room, but I found myself dreaming more and more about just sitting down. At the end of the redecorating rainbow was a cozy chair, a hot cup of tea and a romantic novel. I’d put my feet up and lay back and all of the work would have been worth it. I'd have a living room I loved.
Eventually the furniture was moved and built and the gallery of my book covers was hung. It’s not the Louvre, but it’s home. Once all of that was done, I put together my tea corner.
The corner table set for tea
From all over the house I gathered my beloved tea supplies. Over time I have collected cups and infusers and tins and teaspoons. Some I purchased on afternoon trips to antique malls and thrift shops, many more are gifts from treasured friends. It wasn’t until I had rounded up all of my things that I realized I had far more than would fit on my new corner table. I scratched my head for days. I didn’t want to add more stuff to the living room. I had more than I needed as it was. I could add shelves beneath the tea table, I thought, but that would mean every time I wanted something I’d have to pull up the tablecloth and dig for it. What I needed was something I could pull out and put away when I didn’t want it. The idea of a simple tea cart was born.
In my research I found some magnificent tea trolleys, lovely old English walnut carts with huge wooden wheels and drapes of doilies. Maybe someday in my countryside cottage, but not here in my little living room. After plenty of searches I decided instead on a plain wire cart. It's small, portable, affordable and tucks away in a corner.
A simple wire cart
Of course it can’t be just wire baskets filled with tea cups, so I frilled it up. I added some doilies and cloth napkins. In a collection of antique milk-glass loaf pans I sorted out all of my tea bags. I discovered that with a few “S” hooks I could hang cups and infuser balls and store all my tins. I added a little chalkboard. When I roll out the cart it says, “Tea Time” and it suits my needs perfectly.
The table is set for serving. The lamp is glowing and my old and forgotten Mrs. Tea machine has been rediscovered. After a busy day of running and writing and cleaning and laundry I roll out my little tea cart while the water heats in the pot. On a tall ottoman in the middle of my living room I pour tea. The room is draped and warm and a good lemon tea smells delightful. As the sun sets outside the French doors I can settle back, put up my feet and let my cozy and romantic surroundings take over my imagination. I can think about my next novel, close my eyes and doze or simply savor my tea. Mostly I can fulfill my dream which after all is just simply sitting down.
Next week I'll post the final touches.
Please come again!