A Room of My Own

“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”-Virginia Woolf

This famous declaration by the British author applies to all creative pursuits, I think. Since I work full-time and pursue writing in my off-hours, the money’s not an issue.* Time is; I handle that by getting up at 5 a.m. I assume there’s a better solution but a wealthy patron has yet to step forward.

That leaves the room. I’ve sought a dedicated space of my own for years, simply because writing requires listening to your inner monologue. I find this impossible to do in my family room, when ESPN’s on, the dog’s barking, and someone needs advice on an essay topic.

So I finally decided to take advantage of the only perk I’ve found to my nearly empty nest – liberated floor space. I appropriated one of my kid’s bedrooms and transformed it into my lady’s lair.

Home Office Empty Nest Travel

I picked the Schumacher wallpaper first and used it as my inspiration for color and mood. Once I decided where to put a desk, I had my electrician install two pendants above the space to give me plenty of task lighting. Clicking through Joss and Main one day, I fell in love with the clean lines of the mid-century modern desk in natural cherry which just happens to be my favorite wood finish. I try to keep the clutter to a minimum by hiding what I can in the closet and pinning inspirational articles and photos on the bulletin board. One of my favorite items in the room is the plastic tote I use for a garbage can; I carry it down to the basement for shredding about once a week.

On the other side of the room, I stationed a Crate and Barrel sleeper chair and a half, for the return visits from the chicken who’s flown the coop. My grandmother had a floor lamp like this one back in the day; it’s a perfect spacesaver, as is the ottoman that doubles as a coffee table and triples as a storage unit – also from C&B. I chose unlined woven shades. I love the way they filter the daylight and I think they provide enough privacy when the room’s used by guests – the neighbors have not told me otherwise.

And, the room has a door. I have yet to invoke “Do Not Disturb”, but it’s nice to know it’s an option.


* Woolf’s famous 500 £ would be approximately $40,000 in today’s dollars – Journal of Feminist Scholarship 3 (Fall 2012)

18 thoughts on “A Room of My Own

  1. What a beautiful space you’ve created for yourself. I shocked myself recently by considering doing something similar in our son’s now-mostly-vacant room. it was almost as if I’d begun to get used to the idea of my babies being gone. Of course he’ll be home in the summers for the next few years, but he could sleep on a futon, right? Maybe if it folded out to be seven feet long…
    -Amy at http://www.momgoeson.wordpress.com

    • So funny! Boys (young men) are quite resilient when it comes to sleeping arrangements and make do as long as the hot meals continue. The appropriated room was my daughter’s and she completely supports the transformation. Do it! And when you get lonely, you can climb into your comfy chair and read “Ferdinand” out loud!

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