What’s the point of a formal lounge anyhow?

One of my favourite rooms in my house is my formal lounge. It’s a beautiful room where the afternoon sun steams in and makes the wall colour change from shades of cream to light stone. It has one of the best quality leather lounge suites (which we spent a small fortune on) with a stunning Nguni skin on the floor and doors which open out onto the pool area. 

Fabulous paintings by South African artists hang on the wall and on the main wall, a collage of family photographs is spread out. There are some really special ones too, including my grandparents wedding photograph of them in their Salvation Army uniforms (I kid you not!). There’s even one of my granny’s standard 3 school photo. My head floods with special memories when I stare at all those photographs.

The sad irony is that it’s the one room that I never use. In fact, in the last 8 years of living in our house, not once have we made use of this lounge. Never! It’s crazy!

We built our house off-plan and at that stage, majority of our friends were in the same life stage and doing the same thing. Building or renovating their houses. We all made sure we included a formal lounge. In fact, paging through copies of décor magazines, it just seemed like the “right thing” to have.

Years down the line, I am not sure that I understand the need for a formal lounge.

We rarely get visitors and even the ones that do come around I’ve always considered never “that important” that they need to be entertained in such a formal room. In fact, if our families do visit, they would never be “allowed” to use the lounge because they are not “important enough”. (and no, it’s got nothing to do with the fact that they do not use coasters)

What the hell does it all really mean? It hurts me to realize that one of the best rooms in my house, I don’t even share with the most important and special people in my life? That is wrong. Surely that’s not the way I should be treating my friends and loved ones? Isn’t everyone that comes to visit worth only the best I can give them? Would I not want to make everyone that comes to visit feel as important as possible?

So my formal lounge gathers dust. My maid religiously cleans it every week. And I have the sneaky suspicion that Annie and Emma (my dogs) sleep on the Nguni in the sun during the day. Buggers!

What a waste…

I think on Sunday, I will go read my book in the formal lounge. I’ll kick off my shoes, put my feet up and take my afternoon nap in the sun, surrounded by all those wonderful photographs. Sounds like a plan!

And the next time we have visitors, even if it is family *gasp*, that’s where we’ll be sitting! For a few minutes anyhow…

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