A Room With a Personality

Monday, March 22, 2010

My local newspaper carries Marni Jameson's "At Home" column every Thursday, and I usually read it. Well, I always read it. I don't need decorating tips very often, but I enjoy her writing style.

In the March 18 column (titled "Putting the you in your home design"), Marni interviewed a design psychologist about how our design choices match our personalities. As I read, I started thinking about my favorite room in the house: my office. Not only do I spend most of my day there, but it is a room that I don't have to share with anyone, so the space planning and design choices are entirely mine.

My office has no windows, so some people wonder how I can work there. Actually, I prefer it. According to Marni's column, that's because I'm an introvert. Design psychologist Toby Israel explained that extroverts like large windows, while introverts feel exposed without window coverings. I don't mind a room with a view, but it takes up valuable wall space. A window or another bookcase? No contest.

"Someone who operates on reason and logic . . . will lean toward utilitarian, minimalist environments. Someone who runs on feelings (actors and writers) wants comfortable surroundings that evoke emotion." Got me again. The logical side of me wants practical, while the creative side wants comfort and lots and lots and lots of books.

The picture shows the logical side. My desk is totally practical. It is L-shaped so I can spread out my research materials on one section, allowing me to compose on the computer and swing a mere quarter-turn to check my facts. All my most important resources are close at hand in the hutch. The cork board with goals, outlines, and inspiration is within sight; and my supplies are only a few feet away.

(Facebook only picks up my blog text, so if you are reading this on Facebook and want to see the picture, go to http://kathrynpagecamp.blogspot.com/.)

As for comfort, I have my easy chair for reading and a footstool so I can put my feet up. I did, however, specifically pick a chair that doesn't recline since I don't want to fall asleep there.

What the picture doesn't show is the two walls with bookcases. But they are there, and most of the shelf space is filled.

Marni's column also mentioned that favorite childhood places can be design inspirations. Although I hadn't realized it before, parts of my office are reminiscent of our enclosed back porch, where I used to curl up on an old couch, surrounded by books, and lose myself in a novel. My current chair is not a couch, but it is a comfortable place to read, and I am still surrounded by books.

So my office has a personality--mine.

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