A Wordy Tour of My Writing Room

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I’m not a photographer. I’m a writer. So instead of a visual tour, you’re getting the verbose version.

First, some background. My writing room occupies what I used to call my second bedroom. I rarely have guests and the room was seldom used; it was just a bed, a chair, and ugly flat tan paint. I knew I could put the space to better use, and when I had the realization that I wanted to write again, I knew I needed a dedicated space. Out with the spare bedroom, in with the writing room.

One quick note: I never call this room my office. The office is where I go to work Monday through Friday for a paycheck. My writing room is where I come to play.

Welcome.

Standing in the doorway, the first thing you’ll notice is the wall color. The room is white. The rest of my house is colorful, but I wanted this room to be a place I could come sans distractions or outside influences and let my imagination run wild. The paint is Sherwin Williams “Whitetail,” as in the underside of a deer’s tail, but I think it looks more like the inside of an almond. At first, I was disappointed; it wasn’t as white as I had imagined. Thankfully, after living with it, I can now say with confidence that I love it. It’s white enough to be minimal and clean and fresh, but not so white that it feels sterile.

We’ll travel counterclockwise around the room. The first thing you come to, on the same wall as the door, is a framed bit of cloth. It’s pink, blue, green, and white, with a heart in the center. Of everything in the room, this is the thing I’m most emotionally attached to. It’s a square from a quilt my mom made me when I was a child. The quilt had been used to destruction and was banished to a closet when I moved here. During a decluttering frenzy, I discovered it. The ribbon edges were far too frayed to be of use anymore, so I cut my favorite square out and framed it. It’s an embodiment of comfort, familial support, and my wild younger self.

Moving on, in the first corner of the room is a floor lamp. It’s black with three branches coming off. Off each branch hangs a roughly woven ball of vines, with a fabric lamp hanging inside. The light that it casts is soft, diffuse, and warm. I bought this lamp when I first moved out and it lived in my living room for years. I never used it, and thankfully it survived my minimalist years, because it works perfectly in this room. And now I do, in fact, put it to use.

Along the back wall is a dark gray futon. I was nervous about buying a futon because I wanted the room to look nice, and futons conjure images of cheap, beer-soaked dorm rooms. I was pleased to discover that futons have come a long way. Mine is a sleek, minimalist couch when folded up, but still provides a place for my very-occasional guests to sleep. I have two pillows and a blanket on it, the typical design triumvirate (have you heard that things work best in threes, or am I making that up?). The first pillow is white with a black question mark on it; I found it at Marshall’s and had to have it. Punctuation décor! The second, my mom got me for Christmas. It’s gray with a black dog and the words “Move Over, The Dog Sleeps Here.” It’s appropriate, because my dog loves the squishy gray, black, and white blanket that I crocheted for the room. The yarn is so thick, larger than the width of my thumb, that I couldn’t find a hook big enough and had to crochet by hand. It’s heavy, cozy, and oh so comforting.

Above the futon are two watercolor prints in simple black frames: green bunches of non-descript herbs on a white background. They were bonus prints when I ordered four fern leaf prints for my living room. I had no place for them, so I gave them to my mom. She couldn’t find a place either, but she held on to them. When this room shifted from bedroom to writing room, I asked for them back. They are gorgeous and fit in seamlessly.

Rounding the second corner of the room and on the wall opposite the door is a small window. This window is perfection in rectangular form. I struggled with how to handle the window for months after I had finished the rest of the room. Window treatments have always been a decorating blind spot for me (so many options!), so I left up the cheap folded paper shade that had hung in the window for five years. One day, on a trip to Lowe’s for who knows what (probably houseplants), I came across window clings. The cling I chose has a linear box pattern, with small rectangles stacked on top of each other. Each rectangle has its own geometric pattern filling it up, and the result is as perfect a window treatment as I could have imagined. I still get to have the room flooded with sunlight but have privacy from my neighbor, whose bedroom window is directly across from mine. From the inside, the shapes outside are diffuse and blurred, but from the outside the view in is completely obscured. I know because I creeped on my own house once when I was mowing; I couldn’t make out anything inside.

In the third corner of the room, between the wall and my open closet door, is my dog’s basket of toys. That has nothing to do with writing, but it’s a convenient place to keep it.

The first thing on the final wall is my closet, which has all the things you typically put in a spare closet- Christmas décor, extra barstools for my kitchen, my two nice dresses that I have so few occasions to wear they don’t need to be hanging in my bedroom clothes closet, etc.

Finally, we come to the heart of the room: my desk and chair. The chair is a actually a dining chair, but hey, a good chair is a good chair. It’s a greenish gray color with a rounded back and orangish oak legs. On the back hangs a mustard yellow throw, a souvenir of a fun day out with my mom. The desk is the color of freshly cut wood, sandy and gorgeous. It’s not actually wood, and I keep intending to get a piece of plexiglass for the top so it doesn’t start to peel. It has two drawers, filled with pens, notepads, the key codes for my software, and all the other various and sundry things that go in drawers. The legs are simple black metal. To my right is a piece of gray and white tile left over from a patio table that my mom made me. On it is a travel diffuser, a wonderful gift from a friend, and some essential orange oil. I love starting it up while I’m writing; the orange is energizing and exciting. Directly in front of me is, of course, my computer, keyboard, and mouse. It’s an all-in-one computer, which eliminates a bulky tower. Since all I do is word processing and using my money management software, I don’t need all the firepower of a tower computer. To my left is a stack of books on writing, which I intend to eventually put on a yet-to-be-built shelf in the corner.

Above my desk is a black and white poster in a black frame. It has all sorts of motivational sayings and tips geared toward writers, and I absolutely love it.

We’re back at the door. So that’s it, that’s my writing room. And at over 1300 words, I think that was better than a picture, don’t you?

Overflowing with love,

Cate

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