In Victorian times, being able to provide a woman with “a room of her own” was a sign of wealth. In addition to the regular family living spaces, the lady of the house had a small space – sometimes an alcove off the bedroom (in one of those lovely castle-type turret towers) or a glorified closet off the kitchen, or a corner of the porch – where she could lose herself in a few moments of peace. She might keep her books, her needlepoint or sketch pad in there. And she might have a small bottle of brandy hidden in there somewhere, with which to lace her blueberry tea. Who are we to judge? Victorian times were hard!
Fast forward to the next century and the tradition continues, somewhat. Did your grandma or mom have a sewing or craft room that you were not allowed to enter? Turns out she didn’t just want to keep you out of her things. She was protecting her space. Her right to privacy. That sacred little room might be where she indulged her innermost thoughts and daydreams. She might have even shed a few private tears in there.
One thing that real estate brokers are noting through this pandemic is a trend of people moving out of the city and into the country. Everyone is looking for more space, to distance themselves from others and provide a layer of protection from the virus – but also for the mental health benefits. Something inside of us is pushing for isolation, peace and quiet. We are taking more walks in nature, spending more time in the kitchen, reading more. This situation is forcing us to spend more time alone with ourselves. Look around your home. Do you have a room of your own where you can retreat from the world, explore your artistic side, lose yourself in a good book or just sit and be alone with your thoughts?
We spend so much time connected to others through technology these days that we forget the benefits of alone time. If you have a small space that you can convert into a room of your own, now is your chance to transform it. Get rid of the clutter, separating things into piles of keep-recycle-trash. Give your space a fresh coat of paint or just move a favourite chair, lamp, or piece of art in there. It’s even better ‘head space’ if your room has a view. No one is going to judge if you turn your walk-in closet into your own private den. Just tell them it’s for your mental health.
Men have been doing this for years with their man-caves. The garage, workshop or basement is where they go to be alone with their thoughts and we are not supposed to mess with that sanctuary. Well, everyone needs a space to call their own. Decorate it and fill it with your special things and enjoy.