A new creative space

I made a new friend last fall when I attended a workshop at The Haven on Gabriola Island in BC. Her name is Patricia. I was drawn to her, not just because she is a generous, kind and funny woman who is a lot of fun, but also because of the fact that she retired early, as I will be doing soon.  We had a conversation about how, when she recently married and moved into her new husbands home, she felt displaced and as though she didn’t quite belong. She lived there in body but not in soul. Her solution was to take over the guest bedroom and re-make it into her own personal creative space. She didn’t take anyone else’s aesthetics but hers into consideration. It is totally and completely, 100% Patricia’s room.  I absolutely love this idea. It has consumed me for months.

I have a sewing room. Like Patricia, I live there in body but not in soul. In the back of my mind it has remained Michael’s bedroom. It was a cobbled-together room, a place where I practiced my “make do” philosophy as hard as I could. I used the sideboard that was my mother-in-law’s as my sewing table because my husband, bless his heart, couldn’t bear to part with it. There was, quite literally, no place for it to go in the house except into the sewing room.  In order to use it, I have to put the foot pedal inside one of the cupboards and sit with my foot stuck inside to run the machine. I actually grew to like the old thing, but it was only a stop-gap for a real sewing table: it is too low and my back gets sore when I sew for any length of time. But frugal is as frugal does, and I made do.

And then I bought a treadmill.  I’ve always wanted a treadmill, but there was never any place for it to go, so guess what…yup! I put it in my sewing room. It was a terrific solution, but as far as a creative spaces go, the room fell kind of short.

And now that we are moving to a new house with none of our history in it,  I have been consumed with the thought of creating my own personalized space with no restrictions other than size. My creative space in the new house is a tiny 9′ x 10′ and faces east.

I  don’t want to “make do” any more.  I want to outfit the room with the proper equipment that I need to be creative in it: a good sound system.  A good sewing machine and a serger. A place for my laptop. Room to twirl a cane, a veil, or myself. I want it to be bright and airy. I want a bit of floor space in the middle of the room to set up my yoga mat or do my bellydance practice.

There is a window on the east wall which I am going to have opened up to install sliding glass doors. I love that these doors will take up most of the wall! Kelly will build a small deck  so that I can step outside, and it will also be our “shade” deck for hot summer days.  On the second wall, I am going to remove the closet doors and turn the closet space into a writing/office space…my computer desk will fit in there perfectly, and I can install lighting and put up funky wallpaper and shelving. I want to devote the third wall to a bi-level counter space – the tall portion for a cutting/crafting surface and the short portion for the sewing machine(s). I will put shelving above and below the counters for storage and a peg board where I can hang my tools.  The fourth wall will hold a large mirror and a ballet barre, and somewhere in this room I want to put the perfect chair for reading.

Maybe I’m asking a lot from such a tiny space, but I believe it can be done and I can’t wait to start creating my creative space!

 

About Nita

I retired early and moved to a new community. I blog about my adventures as I explore a new lifestyle. I write about quilting, knitting and needlework, about learning to sew my own garments, adventures in the kitchen and in the garden, dancing, hiking, yoga...life is my playground!
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6 Responses to A new creative space

  1. Coral says:

    I love your idea of designing a space just for you, just how you want it. I have different types of drawers, packs of paper leaning up against plastic boxes holding filing, other stuff in the cupboard. It definitely does not look like a cover shoot for Where Women Create. But it has drawers I bought with my husband. And filing that is part of the life we have together. And behind me is his home made desk with his star wars models and his gaming computer. Its kind of an us space, rather than my ideal art space. Trust me – I have a perfect picture of my dream studio in my dream house. And the star feature would be a sink so I wouldn’t have to walk all the way to the laundry to wash out my brushes 🙂 Can’t wait to see what your new studio looks like.

  2. Ann-Mari says:

    To have a room full of creativity sounds wonderful. I use the kitchentable!

  3. Jill C. says:

    We all need space to be creative no matter how small. Natural light in a creative space is a blessing!

  4. sewfrench says:

    Sounds wonderful! I can attest, there is nothing like having a space that speaks to you!

  5. Janine says:

    I think it’s going to be lovely to have somewhere you can transform into a custom made space for what you want to do in it 🙂

  6. liz hietkamp says:

    this sounds like a lovely space!! i love that you plan to open up the windows to doors. How creative!

I'd love to hear your thoughts!