Bedlam in Boston


Armed with a new set of Marimekko bedding from Crate & Barrel, I set about to do some serious spring cleaning, starting with the hardwood floors. It’s not enough to simply sweep or Swiffer the place – that only gets the lightweight dust-balls and the top layer of dirt. You’ve got to go deep and scrub, and it takes a lot of elbow grease and, had I been wiser, knee pads. In a curious concoction that I’ve found leaves the floors both shiny and clean, I use a combination of Pine Sol and wood furniture polish, greatly diluted in a bucket of hot water. The astringent harshness of the Pine Sol seems to be balanced by the oils of the furniture polish, and the hot water makes removing stubborn stains easier (and more pleasant to use on a cold day). It’s something I devised after throwing a party or two where the kitchen floor was sticky with spilled drinks, and it works better than any other pre-fabricated cleaner I’ve found.

Starting in the bedroom, I got on my hands and knees, wiping the entire floor down, slowly making my way along the hardwood, scrubbing out what in some places seemed like years of dust and debris. A few lucky pennies were my only pay-off, until I paused and looked back over the work. The sun poured in through the bay window, and the floor was awash in the glow and shine of it all. It’s amazing what a difference it made, how much brighter the whole space appeared, and I was reminded of the movie crews that spray down the streets with water before shooting an outdoor scene. With the floors all shiny and new, I set to work on putting the new bedding on. This is a Marimekko design, “Lumimarja Celery.” The color of the branches in it works well with the wall-mounted headboard (and thank God – I made that headboard, and I do not want to make another). Luckily, there was a pair of curtains I found that continued the branch theme, so I installed those as well. When the wind whips by, that bay window is revealed to be less than air-tight, so the curtains act as a more-formidable-than-expected buffer. They also look pretty.

It is one of my favorite places to be, at one of the best times of the day, and, in the city I adore, sometimes it is enough simply to be. To stand still. To lie down. To let the first sun of spring enter and enlighten. It makes me smile.

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