Create a Room of Your Own


January is when many of us recover from the hectic pace of the holidays, recalibrate and renew our pledge to self-improvement. There’s just one hitch. It’s hard to focus on making positive changes when you can’t hear yourself think above the din of a typical household.

If this sounds familiar then consider adding one more resolution to your list this year: take time and make space for yourself in 2014. Create a room of your own.

We’re talking about designating a private place in your home where you alone can relax, recharge and put a smile on your face.

By sheer coincidence, we discovered that today, January 25, is A Room of One’s Own Day according to We couldn’t make this stuff up if we tried. Turns out a husband-wife wellness team was inspired by a Virginia Woolf essay of the same name. To celebrate the day, they encourage us to find a private space to read, create, paint, contemplate or simply enjoy a quiet moment. It’s funny, but the wellness duo also suggests sitting back and gobbling up loads of cake. We offer a more heart-healthy solution and suggest you celebrate the day by seriously thinking about creating a special space for yourself this year.

First, think about how you want to use your room or space. Do you want a man cave, craft center, woodworking shop, exercise room or art studio? Perhaps you dream of an uncluttered calm spot to meditate and do yoga. Or a sound-proofed room so you can play the electric guitar as loudly as you want. Maybe just a quiet, clear desk where you can write the next Great American Novel, undisturbed.

Next, do a recon mission of your home to identify some potential spaces. You might reclaim and remodel an unfinished attic or basement, an underutilized guest bedroom, or some square footage over the garage. Your special space could also be an outdoor retreat, so don’t forget to look in the backyard for viable options. Your outdoor room might be in a corner of the garden, under a pergola or even up in a tree. Treehouses have really gained in sophistication and popularity over the years. Case in point, the television network Animal Planet produces the series “Treehouse Masters” to showcase the construction of these unique, custom living spaces. If you feel you lack viable interior or exterior options to create a room of your own, then consider building an addition if you have the means.

If you don’t want a new room for yourself, but you crave some quiet time in the space you already have, then think about creating a special place for your kids. A secret room built behind a pivoting bookcase or wardrobe entrance might keep them entertained for years. Just make sure these creative spaces are all safely built to code.

For more ideas, check out the Northern Colorado Home Improvement Show, open today and tomorrow at the Ranch. Whether you do it yourself or hire a pro, we encourage you to make a room of your own a reality this year. And while you’re at it, go ahead and eat a big piece of cake to celebrate. You deserve it.

This content first appeared in Dwight Sailer and Bryan Soth’s January 25, 2014, Building Solutions column  in the Fort Collins Coloradoan newspaper.