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Friday, April 28, 2017

A Room Of One’s Own – Part I

Posted by Tim Stobbs on March 7, 2013

Do you have a spot in your house that is just for you?  If not, perhaps you heard of the idea of a man’s cave or a retreat.  A space to get away from others and enjoy a little solitude.  In architecture or interior design circles this can be referred to as a room of one’s own, which I suspect is a nod towards the essay by Virginia Woolf.  Yet regardless of the source the idea is valid that some people need a space to get away from the rest of their family once in a while.

I’m one of those people.  To say I’m introverted is putting it mildly, while I’m not a hermit, I do really do much better if I get some alone time periodically.  Yet in most open concept houses this really doesn’t happen that much.  Also I’ve got the problem of I come home to a house full of kids which mainly are not mine (recall my wife runs a daycare from our house).  While the main floor bedroom sort of works for that I have to share that space with the daycare so it really isn’t available when I first get home.

So I decided to buck up and invest in making a room of one’s own for myself.  I had some savings in which to do this project from Christmas (~$500) and then proceeded to do a lot of thinking on what I wanted.  In the end I decided I could call it a study.  Not an home office, but a study.  What’s the difference? As I read somewhere a study doesn’t have a file cabinet.  I already have a office space to pay bills, the study is about relaxing, dreaming, reading and writing.  I mentioned this project to someone and I sort of like their title: an intellectual man cave.

Some key elements of the space:

  • It should have some book storage, since I love books and it will double as sound insulator.
  • I want a desk space to do some writing.
  • I want a few chairs to sit and read (along with that a footstool and a small table to put a coffee while reading)
  • It doesn’t have to be big.
  • It has to be a good looking room (by my standards).

While it’s hard to write about what I’m thinking about I found some pictures online for inspiration, which should give you an idea of what I’m thinking about. Click on any of them to make them a bit bigger.  Next time I’ll show you the space that I’ll be using.

Image Image [2] Image [3] Image [4] Image [5]



15 Responses to “A Room Of One’s Own – Part I”
  1. Elizabeth says:

    I love the built in floor to celling bookshelves! I am so going to have a study in my house I retire in (when I won’t have to share it with kids!)

  2. GCAI says:

    If you can recreate any of the rooms pictured for $500 you have an outstanding 2nd (retirement :-) career in interior design!
    I’ll be the first to hire you.

  3. Jacq says:

    My office at home looks a bit like those pictures. Floor to ceiling bookshelves flanking a wood burning fireplace though. The only problem is that it doesn’t have a door and the house wouldn’t flow right if it did, so all pets and children just congregate with me anyway… :-P

  4. Tim Stobbs says:


    Thanks! It won’t look exactly like the pictures, but it has turned out fairly good. I find it ironic that my ‘engineer’ mind likes to solve all kinds of problems…even interior design. I blame my mother. I’ve seen her do so many houses over the years that I actually enjoy doing up a room.


  5. Jon_snow says:

    Yeah, this isn’t going to happen in my 900 sq ft condo. :( I would love to have a space like those pictured above. Beautiful.

    My ten acre island acerage is my sanctuary. I have an electrical panel so I can plug in my music and recharge my ipad or laptop. It is truly a wonderful place and escape from the city life, which I am starting to loathe.

  6. Those are some nice pictures. I’m like you and need somewhere quiet to think and work. I have a small office where I go to and it seems to work for now.

  7. Tara says:

    I have a loft in the upper space (we have 12 ft ceilings) of my spare bedroom in my 1,100 sq ft condo. I can go up there to hide and read in peace. It’s kind of like having a treehouse. :-)

  8. Tim Stobbs says:

    @jon_snow – Oh you don’t have to do a entire room, could you manage a bookcase with nice chair, reading lamp and side table? Very few people can afford to do an entire room like the pictures.

    @Tara – Sounds neat. I never had a treehouse as a kid, but always wanted one (downside to growing up in SK).


  9. GCAI says:

    depending on where you’re at

    might give you some interesting ideas.

    as an aside this site has some incredibly clever people posting to it with all sorts of nifty DIY projects.

    I grew up in SK too but I remember some bigger trees and they were still there last summer when I passing through.

  10. Nothing like an old fashion smoking room, when I buy my own place I am going to make sure i’ve got one of these!

  11. mochimac says:

    That looks really nice. My space would end up being an office, less of a library. HUGE wooden desk, lots of space to put the things I use and access frequently, and no junk around it (makes me feel claustrophobic)

    This is currently not my situation, as I am in an overstuffed room filled with furniture that doesn’t fit.

    (I have bruises on my knees from knocking into them)

  12. Susan says:

    My husband has a nice dimly lit man cave with a sofa and an ottoman (it doesn’t get used as a footstool though – he charges his computer/electronic stuff on it). All of his guitars, his banjo and mandolin live there – he really uses and loves that space.

    I’ve yet to find my retreat. I’m also an introvert. I do have a space but I avoid it – I can’t quite figure out why, but it doesn’t feel inviting. The filing cabinet is in there so maybe that’s why I avoid it. You’ve inspired me to figure it out.

  13. Filipe Silva says:

    I am jealous. I want a room like that! It seems like it would be very relaxing. A throwback to the olden days when people more commonly read for pleasure.

    Currently I just have an office with a computer and 1 book shelf. Not so glamorous.

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