The Perfect Study

I’m moving again.

Yes, I know I moved recently. Luckily this time I’m only moving steps away. After trying to finish The Color of Light in the prettiest room in the house, (the room where everyone convinced me I could do my best writing), I learned a valuable lesson.

Pay attention to your instincts, or the perfect study, at least perfect for you, may elude you.

The Perfect StudyAlthough I was skeptical I did love the room where I landed after our move to Florida. It has the prettiest view, shown here, a wall of windows with plantation shutters and all the room anybody could ever need. But there were problems:

The room has a built-in cherry media center that is far too nice to remove.

The room is beside the pool which limits pool time for others.

The room is separated from the kitchen by thin double doors. Temptation to stop working and chat is always near.

The room can never truly be anything other than what it was created by the architect and home builder to be, a media room or den.

There is only one place for a desk, under the windows with my back to the door. Can I possibly express how much I hate working with my back to the door?

So this weekend, despite every inclination to just ignore the problems and continue grumbling about them, Proman (short for project manager, aka my husband) and I packed up four rooms.

Yes, this move involves four rooms. Sigh.

After considerable research, which consisted of going into different rooms in the house and asking Proman to make tea in the kitchen and sing off key, the verdict was clear. The front bedroom, which has not only a door on the room but a pocket door leading into the great room, won the contest. I couldn’t hear a thing, despite the kitchen being just around the corner.

The perfect study.

The Perfect StudyThe front bedroom was our guestroom. So beginning yesterday everything in that room had to be packed and/or disassembled. Of course my old study had to be packed up, too. Then the room that was my sewing room had to be packed away (you’re getting the picture?) so that it could become the new guestroom. And finally a third of the master bedroom had to be cleared so that I could move my sewing machine and everything else that will fit there.

This weekend we packed and hauled. Tomorrow our painter arrives, and he’ll help us move remaining furniture before he paints my new study a pale yellow. I am nothing if not predictable, but I have written most of my books in rooms with pale yellow walls. Yellow makes me happy and gives me energy. What more can I ask for?

The result, when everything is unpacked and working again will be wonderful. I’m giving up an extraordinary view for a window looking over our neighbor’s air-conditioner. I’m giving up space. Danielle Steele used to claim that she wrote her novels in her laundry room. I’ve seen the exterior of her house and I’m betting that’s some laundry room. Still, I can relate. I won’t share my study with the washer and dryer, but I can’t wait to move out of my luxury quarters into my snug little writing nest. I’ll have room for everything I need and few distractions. I won’t have my back to the door. I’ll have sunny yellow walls.

Proman will have the run of the house without worrying about noise, and a happy husband is so much fun to live with.

I will be happy, too.

Do you have a special place in your home for your own projects? What works for you?


  1. Joni on January 20, 2015 at 5:59 am

    Our shared office space is a front bedroom with a view to the outside. However my sewing space is a room in the basement that is ALL mine!! I created it and it’s exactly how I want it to be!!!

  2. Martha on January 20, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Good morning Emilie and thank you for a wonderful Tuesday morning read. I’m exhausted though! My little woman cave is the smallest of our bedrooms and houses not only my computer and desk and file cabinet, but my grandmother’s old Singer treadle (still sews but I don’t), my ironing board and two large bookcases. My view is treetops only.

  3. Marna on January 20, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Sounds like you have the place for writing figured out, but you’ve lost your sewing room? Tough to find room for everything!

  4. Emilie Richards on January 21, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Our bedroom is so long that we used to have Proman’s study at the end. Most of my sewing stuff fits nicely, so I don’t think this will stop me from quilting, but I will have to store some fabric in odd little nooks elsewhere. Maybe I’ll actually clear out some of my fabric stash and get rid of whatever I know I’ll never use. We can hope.

  5. Lynn Ross on January 23, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    Yellow is my favorite color, also. It stands for intellect, wisdom, intuition and creativity. 🙂

Leave a Comment