Monday, January 20, 2014

A Room of Their Own

“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.” – Joseph Campbell

When I shared my favorite space in my own home last week, I had also asked my favorite bloggers to share theirs with me. I was intrigued; I know quite a bit about these women from their writing and yet, when it comes to the real, physical world, I know almost nothing at all. If my room makes me happy, what does their happy look like?

Today, I am honored and grateful that they had agreed to share a glimpse into their lives with me, especially the part to which I am not usually privy. I love seeing this side of them, not just because it satiates my voyeuristic tendencies as I’m always curious about how people live in their homes, but because it allows me to look beyond their words to see the person they are. After all, aren’t we our truest selves in our homes? So thank you dear friends for sharing your lovely little corner of your world with us.

And here they are, in their own words.



photo (100)

This is my kitchen nook and my favorite space. This picture is from the morning. It's beautiful and gets the morning light. I like to sit here and drink my coffee in the morning while enjoying the sun. (See the picture of the sunrise.) 

My table always has a vase with flowers brought to me by my boyfriend. It has placemats from my childhood and my kids' childhoods. The two from mine are the turtle and one that says "Cathy's Place". Then I have one that's a map of the US states with all their capitals which I used to help the kids with when they were going to be tested on it. And then there's a numbers placemats from when they were very small.



I actually don't have a favorite spot in my house because it is generally overrun by clutter. But just a week ago I paid my 9-year-old $1.25 to clean up my desk area, and this is what he did with it. I love my wood desk and when I look out my windows all I see is green. To think that 10 months out of the year I don't notice any of this because my desk is littered with books and papers! My son also took the liberty of taping some of his origami gifts to me up on my wall. I have this thing about sticking little pieces of paper on the wall until I took a second look and thought, "That's beautiful, and that leaves a little bit of him in my room." As long as I can keep this space looking the way it does now, it will serve as my personal oasis in which to think, read, and write.




There's a space in the corner of my living room, tucked away from the open space where we do all of our living. I almost missed the built-in bookshelf the first time I walked through our little half of a house rental. Right before I walked out of the room it caught my eye, and I was in love. It is my favorite part of the house. The children's books are upstairs, scattered through the playroom and their bedroom. The built in shelves contain some of our collection, a hodgepodge of college texts and great novels and inspiration and classics and poetry.

My husband and I have accumulated many books over the years, and they spill onto the floor and into other bookshelves in our living room. But the built-in is my favorite. It's where I color coded the spines to look like a rainbow {my husband laughed at first, correctly guessing it was an idea from Pinterest!}. It makes me smile. When the living room floor is covered in games, chess or cards or papers being drawn upon, when the couch cushions are strewn across the room or gathered into a fort, when the TV is tuned into another animated movie... the bookshelf makes me smile. I can get lost in the titles, the colors, the stories. I can find myself in that built-in, glancing through titles is like looking back at a photo album for me - I can remember dates and times and phases of my life. Our life through books. The corner built in bookshelf is my calm place, my peaceful place, my favorite place in our home. 

D.A. Wolf:

 My Cozy Corner

Dusty Little Chairs

My home is small, arty, and admittedly messy. It's welcoming to kids, teenagers, and young adults, and equally, to the man I love. Would I like it to be cleaner? You bet. Could it do with a serious dusting? Um... that, too. Would I like more space for storage - especially in the kitchen? Naturally. Who doesn't need more storage?

But it's just fine the way it is, and those who require "everything in its place" would be more than disheartened, raising a disapproving brow. 

Children? They love it here. I can usually dig up paper and crayons, God knows I don't worry about more mess, and I have an affinity for collecting diminutive chairs - a habit I adopted from my mother - so "little people" always have somewhere to sit.

But my favorite spot is one corner of the den that has transformed into my home office. It's where I work throughout the day and evening, and also where my Guy and I occasionally eat dinner. The walls are lined with bookshelves on both sides of the room, and above them are works of art - some done by friends. In essence, I'm surrounded by words and images. What could be better?
If you look closely, you may see dictionaries and textbooks, novels and poetry, family photographs and shoes.

Yes, I did say shoes - one pair of low slides in bronze, and a single steel high-heeled pump. Both are sculpture, lovingly made by a local artist.

My printer, office supplies, and files are all within reach, and as I tap-tap-tap on my laptop at a table covered by a red cloth, it's a space that suits me. I suppose this says a great deal about what I value - learning and creativity, comfort and coziness, a sense of family - and yes, cool shoes.





This is a reading corner in my bedroom.  My husband and I salivated over this chaise lounge for months at a local antique store, but unfortunately it was simply out of our price range.  When we returned to the store six months later it was still there, the price had dropped dramatically, and we knew it was meant to be ours.  Now it sits in a sunny, previously-vacant corner of our room, and we fight over who gets to lounge there, reading a book.  It's the place I immediately gravitate to for a mid-day respite, cup of tea in hand, when my three-year-old goes down for her nap.  I also love the little table lamp that goes alongside it, which houses a tiny framed baby picture of me, a daily reminder of my journey through this life. 



Here’s my attic, the room of my own, where I do yoga and write. And sometimes nap.



When we were house hunting last spring, I fell in love with the house that would become ours when I first laid eyes on the kitchen. Bright but warm, spacious and inviting, it's no surprise to me that it's become the proverbial hearth of our home. The kids sit at the island doing homework or drawing pictures while I whip up dinner. I cherish the memories we've already made here and look forward to those yet to come.


This is where I write, read and reflect. It is a space where I seek refuge from noise. My husband has nicknamed it my "gohklu", an Indian word that means nook. I derive comfort in this small little corner of our home.

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I have to say, every picture here suits the person who shared them, and did you also sense a pattern here? The space we choose for ourselves says so much about us.  From a group of bloggers/writers and mothers, it’s not hard to see what’s important to us: words and relationships—the one we have with our family as well as the one we have with ourselves. Both of which require space to grow and evolve.

Another important thing to note is that this room has no prescribed dimensions. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a room at all. For it to work, it needs only to contain ourselves and our thoughts, and be meaningful to us in some way. As Kahlil Gibran had once said, “Let there be space in your togetherness.” Whether it’s a place of gathering or escape, I fervently believe that, to cultivate happiness, everyone needs a room of their own. A place we can honor the part of ourselves we treasure the most.

Do you have a room or space of your own? If so, what does it look like? And what does it say about you? If not, I hope you are inspired to create one. As you can see, even the tiniest corner can bring you the biggest comfort if it means something to you.