How precious is space that is yours alone?
I never thought much about it growing up. I had my own room and it was fine. I liked it. In college I scored a coveted “single/double” for almost an entire year, which I appreciated a little more, having spent my Freshman year living with an assigned roommate. After college, I periodically had apartments to myself and then spent 4 months on the road on my own. Space to myself was pretty much a given.
Oh the things we take for granted until we no longer have them!
As most of us in New York City are very aware, an entire room to oneself – especially if you are married and with kids – is a rare commodity. I may have mentioned before that in our family we are fortunate to have an apartment in which both kids have their own rooms. Joshua’s home office is in our bedroom and he has an office to himself in another property we own. So we’re lucky.
But I am ever more aware of the lack of a room just for me. I have watched with pride and some envy as Maya has decorated her room – choosing cool wall hangings and colors and taking much more care with her space than I ever did with mine growing up. As such I find myself daydreaming about how a room of my own would look and what I would have in it. (Full disclosure; I usually place this room in a brownstone that we own but that currently has tenants. This is the building in which Joshua has his office and we hope to someday have the entire place as our residence, so my daydreaming contains a hint of a chance of reality.)
My room will have oak hardwood floors and a wall of built in bookshelves (also oak). The opposing wall will be exposed brick and will feature my favorite photos highlighted with carefully positioned track lights. One half of the room will hold an oak desk with my computer and papers, and separately an upholstered chair with a side table and bright reading lamp. Heavy, lush throw rugs will cover most of the floor. The other end of the room will house my sewing machine, my yarn, my material and all the gear that goes with it. There will be a table for cutting patterns and fabric – high enough so that no bending is necessary. I envision lots of built-ins to accommodate everything.
Before I decorate the room I want to spend time in it – get a feel for it and for where I want things to be. The furniture will be comfortable and for once I won’t just get the cheapest thing I can find that is sort of what I want. I’d rather wait and find the perfect desk, the perfect chair; even if it costs more, it will last forever.
And there will be color! Highly polished wood and bright carpets. Shelves that show off the colors of my yarn and fabric stash. Lights to brighten the room on even the cloudiest of days. Enlarged photos of my favorite macro shots – bright flowers and fruits, maybe a sunset or two.
Let’s not forget music. I’ll have an iPod dock with surround sound speakers so that when I close the door I can relax to Chopin or rock with the White Stripes.
Doesn’t it sound heavenly? I’ve become one of those people who looks at home magazines and marvels over creative uses of space.
If you are lucky enough to have a room to yourself, remember to appreciate it. If you don’t, you can dream along with me.