I have been on overdrive lately nesting my house… I HAVE to have a hygge feeling when I am in it. My biggest obsession is creating a complete sanctuary in my bedroom and bathroom. I need a space to isolate and think about who I am, where I am and where I want to go with my life and my kids. It is my space, to journal, to read, to binge on inappropriate kid shows (You know the ones… utterly and completely inappropriate for the kids and can only be watched after they head to bed, in the half hour before you pass out!) and, of course, blogging. I want this space to be so much of a sanctuary, that I have banned jumping on my bed and I have a door knocker on the door.
Three years ago, we added a master bedroom and bathroom. Brody was living in a closet, albeit a small closet with a window, but a closet none the less. Steve Comolli helped us through it. He was great and we loved all his subs. I loved the my new bedroom space. It was a blank slate for my favorite colors, especially Benjamin Moore, Beach Glass, which I have managed to paint most of the rooms in my house. I had fun picking the tiles and vanity, marble and shower surround. Being on a budget, I didn’t even look for any upgrades, which was fine. I am good with tight money.
Now that I am no longer sharing this space, it feels empty and I’m not just talking physically. I feel like there is no soul in the space. It feels cold to me and the colors I love no longer make me happy and serene. I now need a place that literally wraps itself around me when I get into it. There are no “details” that make my space cozy, just the basics of the basics. They are utilitarian rooms, places to get stuff done and a place to collapse in bed. I saved using all those details (and built ins) for the spaces where they would be seen, namely the downstairs. It is amazing how when it is so quiet in a room, the lack starts to stand out.
Many people in my life are fully aware of me being independent and thinking that I can do many projects myself, even if I tend to imagine things far ahead of my skills. I have done some. I built my own patio. I built Conor’s headboard. I built a desk out of a salvaged door… I replaced my computer screen… Truthfully, none of these things came out perfectly… but I did them. It is a frustrating to me to have someone do the work for me. I want to learn how to do it all. Most of the time, I also have confidence in the “pros” at Lowe’s who, as a last ditch effort, can help me through a project. I always want to try and do the creating, not just the dreaming. It’s my vision and I want to see it through from beginning to end. I guess it is a bit of a metaphor for my own life.
My bathroom is the first step in the creation of a sanctuary for me. I sit on the floor of the shower until the water turns cold, snuggled in a ball in the corner with the water beating down on me. Sometimes, I forget to wash my hair until the water is icy and then I have to endure the cold, but it’s worth it. I love to even shower with the lights completely off, although I can’t see and have to feel around for the soap. I can think there. I can reflect. I can melt away into my heart beat and stillness. The kids know that when mom is taking a shower… back off! It helps that there is a lock on my bedroom and one on the bathroom door. The banging on the bedroom door is almost imperceptible. I often play soft new age music, which the kids joke about when it comes on in the car thanks to Bluetooth. My Mom used to put it on after her most strenuous treatments. David Lanz was her favorite and I can always see why. I can float away to it, to another space and time, adding my own fantasized love stories… I am a romantic at heart… Aren’t we all girls, even though we won’t totally admit it because we are sooooo strong…
Stepping out of the shower is a smack in the face. My bathroom is blank and it feels so cold. I used to love it, but now I hate it.
I have had my heart set on a board and batten treatment on my bathroom wall since I saw it on Pinterest (the most dangerous place in the whole wide world). Please see the glorious inspiration below. Wow! It looked so simple. My first thought was “I got this!”. With only a couple of steps I would have completed an amazing project that would add so much character to my space.
Looks easy enough, right?
Aaron Deletti , who works for our contractor, was over working on another project in my house that I would never have been able to do myself… I was so excited to share what I was going to do… all by myself… What did he do? He laughed. Yup. I decided to pursue on. Aaron, being the good sport that he is, said he would help me lay it out on the wall and give me a list of lumber that I would need. He would put up the first piece, the horizontal piece, so that he could make sure it was level and then I would be good to go, he said with a laugh.
Fast forward, I bought the lumber and found a time for Aaron to come over and put up that first simple piece of wood. I think Aaron knew that I was way over my head but he humored me. Once the first piece was up, I realized that I was WAY over my head. This was not a small project. Aaron was a good sport and showed me, step by step, how to do the project and truthfully, the bathroom would have been a complete disaster if he hadn’t stepped in and pretty much done all the work. His number is 774-573-8524 if you want him to actually do the project… I don’t think he will ever do another side-by-side with anyone again!
Check out what we/he did… Success, my space is my retreat to melt into when I need it.
Success. It looks much more comforting and less cold, but I needed to add some touches to increase the hygge. Remember the tenants of hygge: living things, things that bring back special memories, candles and items that bring comfort and warmth.
I set out on my journey, which wasn’t hard since I had those special memories locked up in boxes in the basement. The beach is one of my most favorite places in the whole wide world… even more so than my shower. Maybe because I spent so much time with my Mom there. It feels like home and the ocean sounds always make me feel happy. Happiness is what I need in my life right now. So any memories that I can conjure up help! Thus the star fish that I have had stashed in the basement for so many years, waiting for another project that never materialized.
Next stop, the toilet… why are toilets so ugly, huh? This one particularly bugs me because it is so off centered. But I had to spiff it up and soften the edges. I know, we are all chuckling here. Succulents are something that my Dad loves. His house is full of them and every time I see a succulent at Lowe’s I think of him.
Jen Trendel made these fabulous treatments for me. I love everything about them. They are a little bit girly, which I love in my space!
Finally the vanity… I needed to dress it up. It has always been so utilitarian and dull. A place to get the “stuff” done: flossing, brushing, makeup. The place to transform and put on my happy face, that shell that I am so good at wearing. I don’t want my spaces to be about covering up anymore. They need to be about comforting me as I make my transformation into, well… myself, my authentic self. I have always loved orchids. This one got a great place and the color makes me think of sunny weather. (Truthfully, all the plants in this space are fake… I CANNOT keep a houseplant to save my life…)
My mother always smelled the same. She smelled of Obsession perfume. It was part of my earliest memories. I can remember her coming home from work, late at night, and smelling her. In the morning, I could never remember her kisses or her pulling up the covers, but I can remember her smell. It lingered in the room long after I woke up. This crystal tray was something she found at a flea market. I had always tucked it away because I thought it was too frilly! Last but not least, the sand and shells. I think that they speak for themselves. My extra addition was a heart shape rock that I found while walking with my kids. I thought it was a good omen and now I look at it and think about the love that, someday, I hope to feel from another, as well as the special love that my kids gave me that day and all days.
Voila! I am in love with my new space. It is everything that I dreamed of and more. I think that I have found a spot where I can feel comfort and sanctuary as I work on all the hard things in my life. It isn’t just utilitarian and it is a symbol of me finding a dream and seeing it through to completion. I am on a big mission, to identify my own dreams and see them through to fruition and finding an area where I can decompress is a glorious thing for me. Aaah! On to the next room.