When I planned the renovation and move to this smaller house, I assumed that Paul would be in college. There is a large attic bedroom with its own bath, which I gave to Elizabeth, who has filled it with her stuff. It has a motel style heating and air conditioning unit, which can be left off when she is not home.
John has three rooms downstairs. I originally wanted him to have two of the rooms and leave the third for Paul, but he didn't like that idea. John has a sitting room with his TV and a bedroom, both crammed with his stuff. And then there is a room that is partly Paul's room, but it also has John's partial kitchen. John makes his breakfast and lunch there, and his endless cups of icewater. Paul has a bed tucked in a corner and a bookcase and a good-sized closet with shelves. That has worked fine while Paul has been in college--I like having Paul a little more integrated into the family rather than shut away in his room all the time, and he doesn't have a lot of stuff.
But it doesn't seem fair if Paul is going to be living at home for him not to have his own room. The trouble is, this is an oddly laid out house, and there just isn't another room. If he switched with Elizabeth there just wouldn't be room for Elizabeth's stuff. The main floor is open; my bedroom is the only room with doors, and even it is also the passageway to the screened porch. John isn't going to be willing to give up any of his space. I've been laying awake at night trying to figure out how to make Paul a room by finishing half of the unfinished basement area, but it has huge insulation-wrapped HVAC ducts and a washer and dryer that can't really go anywhere else. If it didn't include the washer and dryer his room would be 8 feet by 9 feet, and would need to have two 3 foot doors (because of access needed to the other part of the basement). It would have ductwork, some of it with only 74 inches clearance from the floor, and rusty pipes. It would have a basement window, in a window well. John wouldn't be happy having to move the stuff he has stored there, but that I am willing to fight.
I need to let go of this and go back to sleep. Paul didn't come home yesterday--he said packing up took longer than expected and he will come home today. I need to wait for him to come home and talk about the issue together, not try to solve it myself. I don't know how he trades off privancy versus the walls not closing in on him. I wish we could at least move the washer and dryer, but the problem is dryer venting.