Remember how El Chupacabra built me my very own office out of sweat and blood and a shed kit from Costco?
In fact, I’m sitting in it right now – basking in the glory of a perfectly silent space that is all my own. And I’ve gotta say, it’s a big improvement over my previous writing stations; perched on my bed next to an ever-present, always massive pile of laundry waiting to be folded and put away, or sitting cross-legged on the sofa with the loud swish swooshing of the dishwasher to remind there are other things I could be doing that aren’t writing. Things like cleaning or cooking or plucking my eyebrows.
But no more.
The days of putting off words that are begging to be written and thoughts that are aching to escape are behind me. When I walk through my office door, there’s only one thing to do, because under this precious roof I have only one purpose.
This is where I write.
That’s it and that’s all.
But before I could really start writing in here, I needed a place to sit. I had this beautiful blank slate, a creative space to fill to my hearts desire… and zero dollars to fill it with. For the most part, I would have to make due with what we had on hand, so I set about the house stealing furniture, blankets, baskets, art, and office supplies until the tiny house in my backyard felt like a tiny 2nd home.
I wanted color, I wanted whimsey, and I wanted it to be free. And I knew the easiest way to pull that off would be to go “Shabby Chic”. (Which we all know is just a nice way of saying “Shitty Cheap”.)
So I started by jacking this little desk I snagged at a garage sale for like 10 bucks two years ago and painting it.
It was perfect paired with this kickass vintage chair and gray chevron upholstery. (A gift from my incredibly thoughtful sister-in-law!)
But a writer also needs a cozy corner…NEEDS... So I took an Ikea cane chair and a fuzzy wool throw right out of the living room as if no one would notice they were missing.
Kids: “Wasn’t there a chair here?”
Me: “…Uh….I don’t think so.”
And for a side table, I used these two stumps I had from last winter, when I made my husband and son pick them up off the side of the road after a tree near our house was hit by lightning and took out some power lines and the city had to cut it down. I chiseled the bark off of one and left other intact and I love the color and texture and insects they bring to the room. (This is a work in progress – I have bigger plans for these guys. Check back in 11 years or so.)
For a bookshelf, I took the unused hutch from the sideboard in our dining room (which has been sitting in our garage for 3 years), flipped it over, stuck a board across the top and painted the whole thing with leftover semigloss paint from the office trim. Boom. Free.
It used to be black.
When I was priming and painting it, I had serious reservations about how it would turn out, but after a third coat and with the addition of a couple of itty bitty crystal knobs, I think it works.
But whatever. It was free.
Topped with one of my Grandmother’s oil paintings, a repurposed picture frame,
and office doodads in adorable jars?
Love is in the details.
On the shelves you’ll find things I like from people I adore. Custom paper clips and a big jar of pencils (also a gift from the sis-in-law!), my favorite old and new books, a couple of photo albums (remember those?!). And the best? Art and notes and poems and pics from my kids; things I have gathered and saved for the day when I could look up from my own work and be inspired by theirs.
I think, in the end, the inside of my little office is exactly what I needed it to be:
Quietly reflective and personally inspiring.
And basically free.
Knives isn’t really feeling it, but screw him.
I LOVE IT.
My little retreat. My still refuge. My home not far from home.
I call it Sanctuary.
And I pray God dwells here, too.
Bless this Hizzy fo Shizzy, indeed.