Ahhhh. Who doesn’t love a good character home? You know, the charming, early 20th-century variety (which seems to be as ancient as we get here in Calgary), with cute verandas and cute original hardwood flooring and cute sloping ceilings? The kind with tiny rooms and no light fixtures and heaving foundations and deteriorating insulation? So charming. As you may have guessed, I live in one of these character homes. And, flaws aside, it actually is pretty cute. It is also really small. It was the perfect size before we had two kids, but now that my 99th percentile-sized daughters are here, it is, to put it mildly, cramped. Moving has occurred to us, but this gritty SE neighbourhood has sunk its talons into my sentimental heart, and I’m just not ready for a suburban cookie-cutter. So we’re here for now, and I spend my days dreaming of how to create space out of not-space.
And that’s what brings me to my topic today: how I got a room of my own. My own little office has been a fantasy for a long time. I say fantasy because our house contains approximately two bedrooms and one bathroom. And before we put the girls in a bedroom together, we were sleeping in the hall outside the bathroom while the little gaffer had our master bedroom. But the fantasy turned into a raging desire after spending day after day listening to Todd describe his cubicle at work (it’s quiet! It’s calm! He can drink coffee! No one touches his computer! Yup, we dream big around here), until one day, while flipping through my favourite eye candy (AKA: the Ikea catalogue), I decided that enough was enough. I wanted and needed a room of my own. It was time to divide the master bedroom.
In their infinite wisdom, whoever designed this house decided to make every room tiny. Except the master bedroom. The one room in the house where we don’t actually need space has space in abundance. If only we could host dinner parties in here, or add a coat closet or a kitchen sink or another toilet or something, it would be useful. But polite society tends to frown on dinner parties in the bedroom (or at least they have another name for them), so another solution was necessary.
I decided to start from a position of strength and informed Todd that I WANT AN OFFICE. IN OUR BEDROOM. DON’T CHALLENGE ME. He kinda blinked at me, and said “uhhh… I wasn’t arguing with you. Go ahead.” My plan started off with installing sliding glass doors and drywall and other complicated ideas. But as I am both impulse-prone and impatient, that was too complicated. So I settled with a trip to Ikea for curtain rods, bookshelves, and a desk. And with a little assistance from my not-impulse-prone, not-impatient husband, ended up with this:
It may be modest, but it’s mine. I’d like to pretend that my children never come in here, but that would be a lie. And I don’t get to use it as often as I’d like, because my wee broad naps in here. But that doesn’t matter. It is MY OWN ROOM, and just the fact that it exists makes me gleefully happy on a daily basis. It’s like I suddenly acquired another room in my brain, which is no small thing when you have my brain. And suddenly, my “charming” character house feels truly charming.
Next step: convincing Todd that we need a skylight in the hallway. I’d better start from a position of strength…