Writing Room Makeover, Part I

It took me a long time to talk my husband into buying a house. By the time we met he’d been on his own for 15 years, and all of that time he’d lived his bachelor life in one apartment or another. He got used to not having to fix anything, or having a landlord pay to have someone fix things. Dare I say – he got lazy. Which is understandable. Now that we’ve owned a house for half a year I can say with certainty that there are advantages to living under someone else’s roof – namely, the aforementioned lack of responsibility for fixing (and paying for fixing) whatever goes wrong.

But as a writer, an introvert, and someone who was raised to be respectful of others’ boundaries while finding it increasingly difficult to believe others’ parents did the same, I loathed apartment living. Being in a duplex rather than a sprawling complex could have meant we had it better than most, but I mean, I hated it. But while I could dedicate much of this post to explaining, in vivid detail, just what I and my husband went through sharing living quarters with (mostly) inconsiderate strangers, one of my New Year’s resolutions has been to dwell less on the unchangeable past and to keep the shortcomings of others from affecting me. (Difficult to do in an election year, that.)

Instead I will focus on what I can change and allow to affect me – the room I chose in our new house that will serve as the first room I’ve ever had solely dedicated to indulging my creative pursuits. I finally have my own space! A space free of clutter because we now have an attic. A space I can hole up in all day and not worry about being distracted by upstairs neighbors using the hardwood floors for drum practice or trying to stomp their way to China. I finally have my space.

However, that space is hideous.

Exhibit A:

Believe me, that carpet looks much better in photos than it looked in person. And don’t even get me started on how it felt underfoot. I’m still wondering why they bothered with carpet at all. And though the walls might appear on camera to be a fairly innocuous creamy yellow, rest assured that in reality they are a color rarely seen outside a sick infant’s diaper. And like everything else in the house, what I assume was once white, such as window casings, baseboards, and even the door had turned a dingy, dirty, ivory-yellow – and that was where the paint wasn’t flaking off in huge chunks, revealing red (red?) splotches. Whether the discoloration was from years of neglect or lack of cleaning, who knows? Living in this house for six months has showed us repeatedly that the previous owner wasn’t about to win any awards for housekeeping. It’s been tough getting things clean. But it’s happening, and anyway, that’s a story for another blog. We’re just focusing on this room now, the room I chose to become my “writing room”, and how I’m going to transform it from the dusty, grungy pit you see here into a bright, clean, and most of all quiet space in which I can write my masterpieces.

Wish me luck, and come back next week for Part 2, where I’ll reveal the makeover!

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