Skip to content

Subscribe to campari&sofa and receive new posts via email

A room of one’s own

Posted in Home & Decor

Nigella Lawson study
Nigella Lawson

The surface of my desk is made of heavy ceramic tiles that remind me of the Mediterranean. In reality, it was meant as a garden table but its sunny disposition makes it the perfect desk, one that, as heavy as it is, has been trailing me for the last 20 years. If I look up from it, a framed poster that sofa girl discovered on-line reminds me that “Shopping counts as cardio”. At my feet, the dogs nap on the rug, lulled by the soft purring of the keyboard.

My overflowing bookcase
My overflowing bookcase

This room must have been a den at some point, maybe a tv room in a previous incarnation, as it’s off the sitting room, with French doors that open onto it and from which it draws natural light, but it has no windows to claim its own. When I am sitting here, it’s like being in a cocoon, away from the phone, from the rest of the house, and from the outside view. Sometimes I will drag my laptop to the kitchen but, invariably, the wildlife in the backyard, or the ocean view beyond it, will mess with the natural flow of my thoughts. The cocoon works better. Here I am surrounded by the stacks of books, read and unread, that I feel I should keep close; I am prodded by the four teddy bears I am too embarrassed to display anywhere else in the house; my ancestors pass judgement from the sepia photos hanging on the wall and a few gold discs and all access passes remind me of the path that brought me here.

Roald Dahl's workspace
Roald Dahl

I can work or write pretty much anywhere I can set up a laptop but this room feels truly mine. There were no compromises to be made – everything in here is me. But I am in the process of renovating it, shifting some furniture around, moving the day bed upstairs, making room for another bookcase (how is it that, e-readers notwithstanding, I have more books without a proper home?) and, while I was mulling how to rearrange things, I received an interesting story on the working spaces of some great artists.

Martin Amis work space
Martin Amis

Some have interesting traits in common: the sparseness of E.B White and Jane Austen; the messiness of Roald Dahl, Will Self, Marc Chagall and William Buckley; the symmetry of Miro’; the “Englishness” of Nigella Lawson and Rudyard Kipling.
The oriental touches of Yoko Ono and John Lennon are a sweet reminder of times gone by. In Colm Toibin’s space I recognize the cocoon syndrome and one of my favorite writers, Martin Amis, clearly likes to surround himself with what he holds dear (like a ratty leather chair).

John Lennon and Yoko Ono
John Lennon and Yoko Ono

Do they give an insight into the inner workings of their minds? You be the judge.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For the entire selection, see here

Many thanks to Bonnie for the inspiration

Bookcase photo copyright of C&S 

 

 

Share on Facebook

10 Comments

  1. The photo of John and Yoko is just dreamy but I’d plump for Nigella’s lair. My husband would start spinning in circles like a malfunctioning Virgo at the sight of all that clutter though. He’s never been convinced on the value of the floor as a shelf.
    I am interested to see when we move in to our place in the coming days/weeks what the compromised version will look like…

    July 19, 2014
    |Reply
    • That is the dreamiest study ever. But we can keep on dreaming. Any advice you need on the art of decor compromising, I am here….how did I end up with someone who will not tolerate anything even remotely contemporary still baffles me. I usually sneak IT home under the cloak of darkness or when he is not looking and then I regale him with tales on how IT fits with all the antiques. Good luck.

      July 21, 2014
      |Reply
  2. What a beautiful room, I wish I had one like it…

    July 19, 2014
    |Reply
    • Oh wait, it’s more than one! Now I feel much better – I thought all that gorgeousness was inside a single space!

      July 19, 2014
      |Reply
      • Isn’t it just amazing? Can only imagine the house it’s in.

        July 21, 2014
        |Reply
        • I love countries that don’t believe in curtains… I had such a good time watching people’s furniture arrangements in Holland! In a non-creepy sort of way (I hope)

          July 21, 2014
          |Reply
  3. Your neat bookcases are shaming me to clean and purge my own stacks. thanks for the inspiration! (I think 🙂 )

    July 17, 2014
    |Reply
    • That’s what I’ve been doing this week – and what a difficult job it was! 😉

      July 18, 2014
      |Reply
      • Must be in the air…what is it we are all re-organizing our work space?? sofagirl too

        July 18, 2014
        |Reply
    • Are they really so neat? Can you tell I am a neat trek? The books are organized by subject but, at least, not alphabetized. Not that neat…

      July 18, 2014
      |Reply

Got some thoughts? We would love to hear what you think

%d bloggers like this: