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  • Writer's pictureCharles Cherney

43: Paris Room

We have lived in a worker's cottage in Cambridge outside Inman Square since 2001. In 2014, we gut renovated the partially below grade lower level. The back room, which includes a map of Paris on the wall, we call the Paris Room. Below is a picture of a portion of it. The couch is a pull-out, so it works well when we have a house guest. The glass desk is where I sat today while working from home on this frigid Tuesday in January. Outside those Back Bay shutters seen here is a view onto our back deck and yard. Nice!

This room also includes a TV - hidden in a cabinet, so you only need to see it when it is on. I watched the first NFL championship game down here on Sunday. And on my break time today, I watched Dekalog 4, a fantastic short film by Krzysztof Kieślowski.

Once upon a time, I had thousands of books. These days, I have greatly reduced the load and the majority of treasured titles live on in this room, resting on built-in bookshelves either side of the desk. Hard to imagine this room without books.That's my mystery book collection seen here.

As I write this, I am listening to jazz a FIP from France on the Sonos speaker set up in the corner. If I close my eyes, I might just be in Paris.

Love this room. Love the exposed beams; the art work on the walls; the oriental rug my wife brought back from Morocco on the quarter-sawn oak floor; the aforementioned books; the oversized picture window; the wood countertops our daughter picked out; the Philippe Starck chairs. It is a treat to spend time in this beautiful space.

During the epic winter of 2015, we nearly lost the Paris Room. I came down to watch a late Bruins hockey game from Calgary around 10 pm on a very cold and snowed-in night. I was sitting on the couch pictured here when it started to rain over my head. It turns out that the ice maker line for the refrigerator in the kitchen above had given way and started leaking. Fortunately, I was able to jump off the couch and turn off the water - and save the room. Had this leak happened while we were sleeping or away from home, the room would have been lost to uninterrupted hours of water damage. Knowing that could have happened, I find I appreciate the reality of this space even more.

So grateful for this room. Lucky to live here.


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