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Catch-All Rooms

Updated: Dec 18, 2020

Do you have a catch-all room? Part home office, part guest bedroom, and part storage for this and that? My client, Jane, had such a room. Tired of wasting this bit of valuable real estate, she enlisted my help to convert it into a functional space. After asking Jane a few key lifestyle questions and interpreting her ultimate wish list, I suggested we turn it into a yoga room. Prompted by the thought of creating such a sanctuary for her daily practice, Jane cleared the room of furniture immediately.

Once emptied, the space was large enough for arm-reaching, leg-stretching, and muscle-toning poses. A daybed for restorative naps and a tiny, comfy chair and table also fit. But the mix of other furniture was deported to her son’s college dormitory. In its place, my hands-on carpenter built a wall of shelves for Jane’s television, yoga DVDs, music, and favorite books. No iPads, laptops, or bill-paying allowed.

We kept Jane’s pale, dusty grey-blue carpet and used it for design inspiration. Dusty blue with tans and browns could be soothing and sophisticated. Dusty blue with sage green could also emanate a calm environment. But Jane had nixed both ideas … she had been keeping a deep, dark secret. Her favorite color was pink! Light pink, medium pink, hot pink, magenta. Not the most conducive color for an introspective exercise routine.

Ever optimistic, I knew I’d think of something … and I did. What’s more soul-searching than a multi-pink sunset beyond the horizon of a calm blue sea? Jane loved the concept – even after I’d explained that only one of her four walls would be painted pink. The other three would match the grey-blue carpet. The same blue would carry onto the ceiling making the entire space appear harmonious and boundless. I left the fourth wall to my talented muralist, giving him minimal direction, “A magnificent sunset. Paint the whole wall. Use shades of pink”.

To curtail the possibility of creating a fluffy, girly, pink room, I specified dark walnut stains for the wall-shelving and the window’s wood blinds. Instant “grounding” and masculinity. Final touches to this yoga-on-the-beach-at-sunset design included a cane daybed and side table, nubby, unbleached cotton bed linens, and a collection of sea shells. These neutral tones and no-fuss textures reinforced the natural and earthy ambiance.

As intended, Jane’s catchall room was transformed into a useful and appreciated space. A haven where she could fine-tune downward dog, cobra, and warrior poses - and give a whole new meaning to sun salutations.

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