The Love Shack

This post is long overdue. You see, friends, I have been working on a Secret Project of Joy (in addition to conspiring to send my daughter away to military camp, aka Preschool). My Secret Project of Joy is transforming our garage guest room, the “Love Shack” as we like to call it, into a place I can actually work.

The first step was covering up the orange paint.

I am anything but a designer. Like most people, I enjoy being surrounded by beauty. When I get tired of standing in front of the mirror, I am left to find beauty in my environment. Husband and I picked out this great tile to go in the Love Shack, a terra cotta with blue designs on it (click here to see it up close). (By the way, I don’t recommend this tile unless you enjoy scraping bar codes off the floor. Some genius decided to put the bar codes on the TOP of each tile. As we are a lazy/busy family, there are still tiles with bar codes on them. In fact, the only ones without bar codes are a gift of my mother’s hard work. Thanks, Mom.)

As I was saying…I tried to match the terra cotta tile. And do an accent wall. Thankfully, I can’t find any photos of the old Love Shack, because although people were nice enough about it, it was Ugly. A few months ago I went out there to write, and as I sat on the bed, looking around (not writing), I couldn’t help but notice the pleasing sandy color I’d chosen was orange. Orange!

So on Mother’s Day, I painted the heck out of those walls, to a nice soft Informal Ivory. Now it’s Very Boring, which is better than orange, and I can always kick up the color a bit with the trim. And paint some poems on the walls, maybe some birds and stars. It’s MY ROOM. Yeah, guests sometimes sleep in it, so I don’t want to put anything disturbing on the walls, like these prints we got to enjoy when staying in a hotel room in Nasca, Peru:

Sweet dreams!

Don't let the bed bugs (er, horses) bite!

We weren’t sure which one we liked more, but we think the execution scene really sets the mood for peaceful slumber.

It’s clean and cozy, there’s a full bathroom, and even better: I can get work done in there. I’ve got lots of plans for the room, and the only challenge to my writing will be that I need to sit still and write, not putter about fixing up the place. In the meantime, it’s  a workable writer’s studio. I like to call it my “sink paceuary” (taken from “peace sanctuary” when I was doing the Hypnobirthing CD – don’t laugh).

Finally moved my story board from the bedroom wall to the Love Shack.

“All I could do was to offer you an opinion upon one minor point — a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction,” Virginia Woolf so famously said. Actually, I’d forgotten about the money part until I looked it up, and I now wish I had left the quote to memory. Anyway. I at least have the room of my own. It’s enough.

ETA: I was inspired to write about the Love Shack after doing Erin Bow’s interview. Her fantastic digs (located in a pole dancing studio!) make the Love Shack look tame by comparison.

Baby, Let’s Paint the Town Coral Expression

One afternoon a long time ago, Z could not go down for her nap and I could not be around her for one extra second. Luckily for us both, my in-laws were visiting and they happily played with her (dark circles under her eyes and all) so I could get in the car and drive away.

But I had nowhere to go. Mexico, while extremely tempting, was a bit far. As I drove down Main Street I toyed with the idea of treating myself to an ice cream cone. After all, if anyone deserved ice cream to soothe fraught nerves that day, I certainly did. Then I remembered how it was almost as hard to button my jeans as it was to get Z down for a nap. I closed my eyes (while stopped at a stop light, don’t worry) and tried to calm myself with a vision of a great, empty room. (Yes, I’m getting to the “list” part of this entry in a second. Hang on, you impatient minxes.) The room was painted a soothing color…ahh…Rhythmic Blue.

Home Depot beckoned from the horizon (much closer than Mexico), so I went in and browsed the paint swatches. The paint department is a calming place, full of dreams, possibilities, and stir sticks. I took home about fifty colorful pieces of card stock that day. Since then, I’ve returned a few times. I usually stick to the Behr brand, but not for any particular reason. I always exit the store with at least twenty cards clutched in my hand, and I usually come home to find I have duplicates.

Paint Colors I Would Use In My Home (If I Had My Way)

  • Daredevil
  • Bon Voyage
  • Liberty
  • Romantic Isle
  • Rain Drop
  • RHYTHMIC BLUE
  • Purple Essence (or Foxgloves) (or Twilight Pearl)
  • Ballerina Gown
  • Neptune Blue
  • Beach Towel
  • Magic Spell
  • Crowning
  • Lemon Pound Cake
  • Wild Mushroom
  • Pumpkin Toast
  • Aztec Brick
  • Anemone
  • Surfer

My house, with the exception of Z’s room (Celery Sprig), still sports white walls. I’ll get to them someday. Soon. Also, my house doesn’t have this many rooms. Either I’ll have to paint the floors, trim, and kitchen and bathroom fixtures as well, or the colors will have to take turns.