Monday, May 10, 2010

A room of one's own

I strongly agree with Virginia Woolf that every woman (and every man, no doubt) needs a room of one's own. Hubby has his study, and in our last abode and this I have claimed the spare room as a space that I can both decorate and find alone time in. I don't remember ever actually agreeing to anything, but if I shut the door when I'm in this room, I am given uninterrupted privacy. As this is a privilege we don't even grant one another when in the shower, it is good to know there is somewhere I can go and feel safe and alone.

It is time for a redecoration. Last year's claim to independence was to create a boudoir - with large, plush cushions, draped jewellery and lingerie, reds, purples and white. Our current spare-room was originally intended as a play room, that doubled as the home for my girly goods, but has become only useful as a bedroom, and is girlier than the girliest room I had as a child - it makes me woozy to spend time there.

The plan: simplify. Reduce the number of colours, strip the visible contents of the room. Focus on functionality - which means having less things to knock over when dancing, comfort for singular or group lazing, access to art materials and books that I actually read. It is time to put away the pagan paraphernalia that no longer brings me solace, and replace it with the real-world things that do - gardening books, feminist histories, modern literature, fresh flowers.

I encourage every woman to find a room, or at least a corner, of one's own. A space that no-one else gets a say in the look of, and which no-one else is allowed to disturb you in. It sounds indulgent, but looking after your sanity is not an extravagance.

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