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!