A Room Of One’s Own – Part I

Do you have a spot in your house that is just for you?  If not, perhaps you heard of the idea of a man’s cave or a retreat.  A space to get away from others and enjoy a little solitude.  In architecture or interior design circles this can be referred to as a room of one’s own, which I suspect is a nod towards the essay by Virginia Woolf.  Yet regardless of the source the idea is valid that some people need a space to get away from the rest of their family once in a while.

I’m one of those people.  To say I’m introverted is putting it mildly, while I’m not a hermit, I do really do much better if I get some alone time periodically.  Yet in most open concept houses this really doesn’t happen that much.  Also I’ve got the problem of I come home to a house full of kids which mainly are not mine (recall my wife runs a daycare from our house).  While the main floor bedroom sort of works for that I have to share that space with the daycare so it really isn’t available when I first get home.

So I decided to buck up and invest in making a room of one’s own for myself.  I had some savings in which to do this project from Christmas (~$500) and then proceeded to do a lot of thinking on what I wanted.  In the end I decided I could call it a study.  Not an home office, but a study.  What’s the difference? As I read somewhere a study doesn’t have a file cabinet.  I already have a office space to pay bills, the study is about relaxing, dreaming, reading and writing.  I mentioned this project to someone and I sort of like their title: an intellectual man cave.

Some key elements of the space:

  • It should have some book storage, since I love books and it will double as sound insulator.
  • I want a desk space to do some writing.
  • I want a few chairs to sit and read (along with that a footstool and a small table to put a coffee while reading)
  • It doesn’t have to be big.
  • It has to be a good looking room (by my standards).

While it’s hard to write about what I’m thinking about I found some pictures online for inspiration, which should give you an idea of what I’m thinking about. Click on any of them to make them a bit bigger.  Next time I’ll show you the space that I’ll be using.

Image Image [2] Image [3] Image [4] Image [5]


15 thoughts on “A Room Of One’s Own – Part I”

  1. I love the built in floor to celling bookshelves! I am so going to have a study in my house I retire in (when I won’t have to share it with kids!)

  2. @Tim
    If you can recreate any of the rooms pictured for $500 you have an outstanding 2nd (retirement 🙂 career in interior design!
    I’ll be the first to hire you.

  3. My office at home looks a bit like those pictures. Floor to ceiling bookshelves flanking a wood burning fireplace though. The only problem is that it doesn’t have a door and the house wouldn’t flow right if it did, so all pets and children just congregate with me anyway… 😛

  4. @GCAI,

    Thanks! It won’t look exactly like the pictures, but it has turned out fairly good. I find it ironic that my ‘engineer’ mind likes to solve all kinds of problems…even interior design. I blame my mother. I’ve seen her do so many houses over the years that I actually enjoy doing up a room.


  5. Yeah, this isn’t going to happen in my 900 sq ft condo. 🙁 I would love to have a space like those pictured above. Beautiful.

    My ten acre island acerage is my sanctuary. I have an electrical panel so I can plug in my music and recharge my ipad or laptop. It is truly a wonderful place and escape from the city life, which I am starting to loathe.

  6. I have a loft in the upper space (we have 12 ft ceilings) of my spare bedroom in my 1,100 sq ft condo. I can go up there to hide and read in peace. It’s kind of like having a treehouse. 🙂

  7. @jon_snow – Oh you don’t have to do a entire room, could you manage a bookcase with nice chair, reading lamp and side table? Very few people can afford to do an entire room like the pictures.

    @Tara – Sounds neat. I never had a treehouse as a kid, but always wanted one (downside to growing up in SK).


  8. That looks really nice. My space would end up being an office, less of a library. HUGE wooden desk, lots of space to put the things I use and access frequently, and no junk around it (makes me feel claustrophobic)

    This is currently not my situation, as I am in an overstuffed room filled with furniture that doesn’t fit.

    (I have bruises on my knees from knocking into them)

  9. My husband has a nice dimly lit man cave with a sofa and an ottoman (it doesn’t get used as a footstool though – he charges his computer/electronic stuff on it). All of his guitars, his banjo and mandolin live there – he really uses and loves that space.

    I’ve yet to find my retreat. I’m also an introvert. I do have a space but I avoid it – I can’t quite figure out why, but it doesn’t feel inviting. The filing cabinet is in there so maybe that’s why I avoid it. You’ve inspired me to figure it out.

  10. I am jealous. I want a room like that! It seems like it would be very relaxing. A throwback to the olden days when people more commonly read for pleasure.

    Currently I just have an office with a computer and 1 book shelf. Not so glamorous.

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