When my youngest (son) left home to start a new life with his sweet wife, I had mixed emotions. Would I experience the ‘empty nest’ syndrome? Would I miss him? Would I hate to enter his ‘space’ that was left empty? The answer is yes to all of the above.
The loft space about our garage was designed as a studio apartment when we were building our house on the river. Our son was in architectural design school at the time, and giving him full rein on the design, he subsequently outfitted it with all the technical connections for internet, phone, and satellite TV. He chose the paint color (Benjamin Moore Blue Stream) and allowed me to ‘assist’ with the accessories while he lived with us. Duvets, throws, pillows and an area rug completed the look. His favorite hockey team was/is the Montreal Canadians, so the loft took on a ‘red/white/blue’ theme easily enough. Sadly I didn’t photograph the finished product.
I was left with a clean slate when he moved out. Working in the empty loft I had an epiphany of sorts. What a great place to write! The loft would be perfect for a ‘writer’s retreat’. With a river view; a private 2nd story deck and self-contained apartment space; a writer could hide out for days/weeks/months. I moved my iPod dock/station out with my sewing machine and began the transformation.
The entire loft was repainted with a neutral Benjamin Moore Stone Hearth. Fabric from Fabricville (@ 14.95/metre) in red/white/taupe now frames the patio door, the dormer, and the bathroom window. (The entire window covering project, including my Elite discount finished at $75.00).
Keeping with the seaside nautical theme, I used rope cording (Fabricville @ 1.99 metre) for the tie-backs and hot glued dried starfish (from Sanibel Island) that were leftovers from my son’s wedding.
The furnishings, dishes, towels etc. were scavenged from different areas of my house that were now longer in use. Recycle, recyle, recyle. The jewels were ‘found’ treasures from beaches and shores around my island.
After several weeks my DIY project was finished. During one of many pensive moments, I sat on the beach and wrote an “Ode to the Loft.” Clearly, the whole experience was bitter/sweet.
Empty now with the soft hues of boy blue
Curtains moving with the draft of a previous spirit
Hollow echoes from the footsteps on the wood floor
The familiar scent, once discernible is no more.
An oasis from the very beginning
Lovingly designed by a creative mind
The view of the white capped river and
Seagulls landing inquisitively on the deck behind.
Standing like a sentry, waiting, and waiting
For the movement of a new physical form
To sit and connect with the vibe therein
Giving life and breath to its walls again.
Come stay with me awhile, and I will share
My peace, my tranquility, my breath of fresh air
The writer will leave reluctantly, but renewed
The Loft will have done its job, fair and square.