Do you have an atelier? A creative space, design studio, home office, happy place, girl’s shed…whatever you call your man cave equivalent.? I call mine my atelier…pretty much because it sounds fancy and I like to think of myself as a designer/artist even if in an unconventional way.
I remember watching Under the Tuscan Sun years ago and hearing Dianne Lane’s character describe the process of making her new villa, Bromasole, feel like home. In the movie, she too is a writer, and her advise to “Pick one room and make it yours,” has always resonated with me. I watched as she moved the furniture around her new office with a spoon full of Nutella in her mouth, purposefully placing the desk near a window; a stack of blank post cards and pens left easily accessible near by, should the desire to write overtake her…which she knew it would.
In my home office, the two most important elements are color and light. French doors which lead to a patio provide plenty of sunshine. Shelf after shelf lined with books, knick knacks and photographs provide color and inspiration for me everyday. The thing about being a creative is we have a fear of the “rut.” Because of this we are constantly changing, moving and deleting things from our line of sight in hopes that fresh creativity will flow.
I sit at the desk below every day while working on my writing.
On the wall opposite my desk is a gallery of my most favorite memories: vintage fashion prints I purchased in Venice during the spring of 2003, my Kappa Kappa Gamma initiation letter, original poppy paintings Brian and I purchased in Florence, a framed hole-in-one ball and scorecard Brian shot 3 weeks before we were engaged. So many happy memories. You will also see I have a spot to hang my favorite carrier bags. Am I the only one who gets attached to these??? If I am ever in need of a bigger space, I will definitely insist on making one wall a cork board–I guess I’ve never left that part of my teenage years behind. A place to hang up pictures, magazine cut outs, fabric swatches, business cards etc…a cork board wall would provide a happy home to all the stuff that currently sits chaotically on my desk. (I cleaned it all up for the picture. Don’t worry, my desk doesn’t usually look this tidy.)
I know not everyone has room for their own personal home office, but I think it is important to have a designated area where you can create and keep your treasured things: a basket near your favorite chair with knitting supplies, or a flat storage container that holds scrap-booking stuff and can slide easily under the bed, or a special rack for your baking spices. It is important to cultivate the parts of ourselves that bring us joy and a bit of release.
-ciao for now-
photo credit: Patrizia Montanari