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A Writing Room With Space For Life, Or, Saturday Morning at 8:36am

It’s almost finished! This is my writing/guest/exercise/conscious purchasing/life space.


A while back, I made my son’s old room look nice. That was satisfying in the moment, but ultimately not fully useful. So over the pandemic I’ve:

  1. Bought a new sofa bed for guests
  2. Bought a new sofa for me to write on, in solitude, with a view of undisciplined vegetation and frolicking butterflies. (Trick question; it’s the same sofa. Wasn’t even a question, but never mind.)
  3. Bought a treadmill
  4. Bought a throw blanket, pillow, woven basket, a table lamp and a lampshade in alignment with my stated values
  5. Collected and displayed life artifacts that bring joy in their remembering
  6. Hung meaningful art

Here’s the treadmill. And yes, I need art for that empty wall and I have a plan to be disclosed at a later date.

Here’s the bookshelf, filled with books from my father’s childhood, tiny photos by my friend Cara (her site), pottery and origami fish my son made in school, travel guides, photos of my kids, my sisters, my high school best friend, and my adult best friend’s children.

And my mom’s fold-down desk thingie. (In the first photo up top, this is to my right, unseen.) Atop, more photos, a menu, and Baccarat butterflies. I hope the lepidoptera flapping around outside my window appreciate the monument in their honor. Oh, also, the drawers are filled with wrapping supplies, as my mom would do before her dementia.

Art over the sofa. Plant trees, my friends. The one on the right was done by a student in my cousin-in-law’s botanical art school and I bought a copy from a Facebook post. 2021, it is different.

Outside, a neighbor’s magnolia. And scraggles of salvia and a solar fountain and butterflies when they are so inclined. Did you know that butterflies fly loop-de-loop in their chase? Like an orange roller coaster on the go?

Here are links/details for the purchasable components, should you be curious:

    1. Sofa (Pottery Barn Cameron Square Arm Sleeper, Full Size)
    2. Treadmill (NordicTrak T Series 6.5)
    3. Blanket (Goodee World, a fantastic Black-owned company with the most BEAUTIFUL goods. In fact, I should have entitled this post OMG MY NEW BLANKET.)
    4. Pink pillow (Etsy, women’s craft collective in Morocco)
    5. Very small brass and black table lamp (Etsy, small business)
    6. Large black and gold lampshade (Etsy, small business, custom ordered, comes in many colors/sizes. The quality is amazing.)
    7. Small basket (Exact basket no longer available so I’ve linked to similar ones. Jungalow (Black-owned brand x Target)
    8. Tree drawing (by a student at my cousin-in-law’s botanical art drawing school)

And here are a couple of much better photographed images than I and the light-blocked-by-soffit-and-plum-tree outside my windows can manage.

I admit, had I worked unconstrained, I’d have likely have embraced full Los Angeles, Jenni Kayne and Clad Home galore. More squish, more neutrals, more texture.

But that structured Pottery Barn sofa was the only one I could find small enough to allow space for a treadmill, but large enough that tall adult children might sleep in comfort. And I couldn’t bear not to use my mom’s desk, which meant why not keep the rocking chair bought when I was in boarding school, along with the white wood bookcase I willfully and erroneously painted lavender gray?

BTW I wanted a treadmill because I hate sunscreen. Cue subdued ta-da.

However, I did not want to drown in layers of life, dear though they might be. The art, the pillow, the black lamps, the baskets, and spectacular and chameleon-colored blanket modernize both aesthetic and self, as it were. All from Black-owned businesses, Etsy, people I know, or at least large companies with value statements.

Finally, this is what my sofa, where I work on my fiction, looks like post-use. The foot of that rickety C-table also fits under the sofa, so for Zoom calls I swing it around and lean back against the pillow. Ta-da! I also wind up dislodging a cushion on occasion. Who knew that writing required so much thrashing? I might have predicted shoelessness. (If anyone’s curious, I’ll give you an update on the novel-writing in September. In short: no route to publication yet; have begun second book; am learning more than I knew was possible.)

And with that, I’m off for August. Love you all to bits. If you find you’re not getting email post notifications, please let me know. The recent comment brouhaha may have sent me to your junk folders etc. I look forward to returning, and I hope your month brings you joy. Have a great weekend.


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22 Responses

  1. It looks fantastic, and big surprise, the bookcase looks perfect in that color now.
    I have those pink pillows in my living room, for summer seasonal change from the brownish neutral version.

    I’m currently redoing my art studio to be both for art and a “room of my own” which I currently need desperately. Some space to be private.

    Congratulations on such a great multi-functional space and good writing, good exercise, good everything. Oh, I bought a Pelaton for much the same reason and because I have about a 10 degree tolerance in either direction for cold and heat it seems…also dislike sunscreen.

    1. Thank you so much! I am very pleased you like the bookcase now, I guess I just needed to get everything else in line with the rug and then it would be OK. Enjoy your space. I am enjoying mine very much. Also, I listen to audiobooks on the treadmill which is wonderful.

  2. Thanks for the glimpse into your writing space. I’m moving into a new home soon, and I appreciate the inspiration for my own writing den. My new space is open to the rest of the house on one side, so I feel pressure to corral the chaos.

    1. My pleasure! Chaos is like that, it simply asks for corraling and we are bound to respond. Congrats on the new home.

  3. Greetings from Ecuador, Lisa.

    How great to have a space of your own for whatever purpose you designate to use it. I treasure mine. Nice sofa. They are not easy to find to fit a small space. I had one in Seattle and didn’t want to sell it. But, it didn’t fit in a suitcase, which is the only way to bring things into Ecuador.

    True, some expats ship a container full of goods to recreate North American life as it was in yesteryear, but, many of them decide to return to that familiar former life after a few years. I believe, more than not, the frustration of living in a country when you cannot speak the language is main reason. Since most of their new friends are expats, also in the same boat, and so it goes.

    Love the rug. Okay, it’s the decorator in me. Would there be a way to tuck some of those precious inches under the legs of your sofa? It would look even better.

    Enjoy your time in August.

    1. Ecuador! How wonderful! It is wonderful and fortunate to have a space of my own, even as I observe that I want my own space to house my children and photos of my family:). I know what you mean about the sofa. It’s just the wrong size rug–if I put it under the sofa it’s off center from the window wall, and it looks like I’ve made a mistake. It would be ideal to have a bigger rug, but, as they say, it is what it is;).

  4. Congratulations on your new space. I know you will find it absolutely divine. Enjoy!


  5. It’s great to see the sofa where the magic happens! You have created a space for inspiration and creativity to flourish and I look forward to seeing more of novel number two!

  6. I think we all need a room of our own. It took the pandemic for me to claim mine. Yours looks great and I do love the view out to your backyard.

  7. Sounds like much is and will be accomplished in this room of your own. My (was) new sofa’s cushions would squish out and it was driving me crazy until I took a wide strip of leftover remnant rug pad and placed it under the cushions. Et voilà! The cushions stay in place now, no more sliding out. I thanked myself for coming up with a no cost solution.

    Enjoy your break! We all deserve to relax in August.

    1. PS – the rug pad was the non-slip webby kind that you cut to fit under an area rug.

  8. Love your personal space/ guestroom. And the bookcase! It looks perfect. I seem to spend my life on a sofa and have been thinking about one of those c-shaped table thingies. I bought an exercise bike for the same reason and because it is far too hot for me far too much of the day. have a great August.

  9. Oh the room is amazing. We went with a wall bed and hindsight being what it is I wonder if a couch would have been better? Also thank you for sources – honestly until I saw your post I’d not have put Etsy & lighting together – love it. And the blanket. But really, the process, choices, everything. Also that book teaser!!! I’m here for your writing. Can’t wait. Enjoy August

  10. Oh, how I love your room! And oh, how I would love a treadmill. But they are HUGE, and I have no space. Have a wonderful break, Lisa.

  11. Great room. Always nice to have a space to escape to. One safety note regarding the treadmill: If possible, turning the treadmill around so the console faces the wall is a more ideal setup. It will prevent you from getting trapped between the wall and the running machine if the worst should happen and you fall while using it.

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