So, we bought a house, a couple of decades ago. It had three bedrooms, which seems a lot, since there’s only my husband and myself. We seldom had overnight guests, and when we did there was a pull-out sofa bed.
What did we do with the two extra rooms? Media center? Exercise room? Yoga studio?
No. One became my study. I needed a place to write my stories, articles, blogs, books, and draft my novel. Someplace where I wouldn’t be disturbed (or could be as disturbed as I like).
Then, of course, so my husband shouldn’t be left out, the other spare room became a study, too. It wasn’t a “man cave,” since neither one of us believes in those things. But it was a place where he could store his curios and fossils, watch TV or do research on the computer, hang his favorite artworks, house his books and DVDs, and just generally kick back.
Then along came the tornado that destroyed our house. It gave me the opportunity to start all over with my study, make it into my refuge as well as my writing space, and decorate it from the ground up – literally.
I’ve included a few pictures of my study for illustration purposes. It’s not really as orange as it looks in the photos, more the clay-like color of used bricks. The carpet is a deep tan. The ceiling, blinds, and windowsills are white. The furniture is a collection of different colored woods, including both new and used pieces. Several of them have electrical outlets and USB ports to accommodate my collection of electronic spaghetti.
Here’s a few highlights of my study:
- a desk and desk chair, of course, facing a window
- a bookcase, of course
- a Mac desktop computer
- a two-drawer wooden file cabinet that serves as a printer stand
- my Cornell diploma and an EdPress award
- a comfy chair in a color called spice, just a shade or two deeper than the walls
- several pieces of art, including a piece of calligraphy by Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi and a drawing by Debbie Ohi with a quote from Neil Gaiman
- a Venice carnival-style cat mask
- a TV and a stand for it, which will also hold my Mr. Coffee machine
- a cat tree by the window (the window sills are also wide enough for them)
- assorted plush animals, knick-knacks, and such travel souvenirs as survived the tornado
- a lamp and a tissue box made to look like old books
- a concrete armadillo, which serves as my doorstop
I don’t have as many books as I used to, which I know to some is a sacrilege, but now I have them on my e-readers. I still have print copies of The Annotated Alice, The Annotated Gilbert & Sullivan, and several signed mystery and science fiction novels. My CD collection is likewise gone, replaced by iTunes on my computer and my iPod. I have a few DVDs that are special to me, which will reside in my TV stand, along with more plush animals and knick-knacks.
My study is far from finished. I still don’t know how to disguise or hide the powerstrips. Some of the artwork needed restoring, and much of it still needs hanging. My bookshelf is new (to me) and needs to be filled. Somewhere in the basement, I have a decorative wall-hanging brass shelf that I haven’t quite figured out where to put.
At any rate, it’s still a work in progress, but rapidly taking shape. It’s warm and cozy, relatively quiet (after the neighbors get their houses built, I mean). And it feels good to have, as Virginia Woolf said, “a room of one’s own.”