It is hard to capture this space I created the way I see it and experience it. Here is my attempt.
After being in this space for some time, I have made adjustments to make it workable. I have moved my computer where I can avoid the glare of the afternoon sun only to be foiled by a different season's sun. So I broke down and got curtains. I had resisted, because the entire point is to see the world outside, since the main house doesn't have great windows or views. The curtains I found offer diffused light to come in and the ability to see trees, clouds, blossoms, birds, and the weather outside. Being able to have ample natural light has been important not only to do art, but also when we lose power.
When we lost power for three days in Fall of 2019, our house didn't (and still hasn't) much natural light. It was nice to go out to the cottage and be able to read or journal with natural light for most of the day. The light the cottage gets provides passive heat as well.
This video I filmed shows this space from morning to night time and how it feels. Even with curtains you can see the outdoors into the garden and still get rays of light. The rays of light have been muted and diffused.
I divided the room with a divider that adds another layer of diffused light. I can still see people coming to the space while having glare protection. While sitting in the reading nook I noticed that the divider gave the illusion of being a larger space. I can fool myself and pretend that there is not just an office studio on the other side of the divider, but more rooms down a long hallway.
Lighting is so key in any space. I have lights for Zoom calls and video recording. I have task lights doing art, taking notes, writing letters, or seeing the keyboard at night. Then I have hue lights for the ceiling and the reading nook. The nook lights are not only for journaling and reading, but to provide more ambient light. Hue lights give you the ability to control the color of the space, but allows you to have dimmed light that you find in high end hotels. There are apps that allow you to turn hue lights into party lights. Then I have another light on my desk that provides ambient colored light. Then to add the final touch of magic, I put up fairy lights. Some of the fairy lights blink and it can turn the space into a disco.
Fairy lights are magical.
As you can see, this space is a multi-functional space. It is an office, an art studio, and a place to chill, read, listen to music, journaling, exercise, dance, and meditation. The space is like a tile puzzle. I can shift things around to match the activity I want to do. I have a table easel I can pull out if I want to paint, or I can store it away and give myself some surface space. If life ever gets to be normal again, I can shift things around to have guests seated and have a small party.
It is a space that has made the past couple of years bearable. I have gone through at least 2 major wildfire smoke seasons, waking up to red skies, a three day power outage, a global pandemic and shelter-in-place, George Floyd protests, and being very sick at the very beginning of January 2020. There have been great memories in here as well.
I remember when the drywall wasn't even up, setting up a table, chair, and phone to make calls for work. I participated in a distanced shamanic journey on an evening of a full moon. I have had friends over, made art, finished a bulk mail project, danced to music, read great books and listened to beautiful music. In May 2020 military planes flew over the cottage to honor our nation's health care workers. In the Spring of 2020, the entire area would howl at 8pm every night during Shelter-in-Place. There were many Zoom calls with friends and colleagues for fun and productivity.
It went through several phases until it is finally how I like it. I am going to be adding some house plants. The only other purchase is a HEPA 13 air filtration system so the family can hang in here for most of the day when we have wildfire smoke season and make it safe for guests to come when we are all vaccinated.
This will not be the last post about this space for sure.