Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A sun-filled space

Sun light pours into my south-facing solarium each morning. This room was built by my husband and myself about 10 years ago. The design was dictated by the materials we scored; they actually came first. The beams are 100+ year-old douglas fir and were salvaged from a corn crib. The windows are also salvaged. The walls are heavily textured with hand-troweled joint compound. This space is dramatic!

The room has a bit of an old-world ambiance thanks to the beams, tile floors, and textured walls.The cathedral ceiling rises to 18 feet. A loft, which I will show you at another time, provides a sleeping space. Despite the time elapsed since starting the project, the window and door casings are still not in place. And the wood has yet to be painted. Ah, someday it will be complete. Regardless, it is still a wonderful space, and I want to share it with you today.

The room is simply furnished. It is really all about the the beams, the windows and the garden views. An antique door leans in the corner behind the white wicker chair that serves as plant stand.

A view from the stairs looking down at the seating area.

The corner of the loft is visible to the left. A small wood-burning stove provides warmth in winter.

The south wall of windows, seen from the loft. A wildflower garden lies just beyond the windows.

The view from the hallway. The side table is actually 2 stacked boxes on top of bun feet. I like the texture of the wood and metal boxes, plus they offer storage options. It is embarassing to admit, and probably breaks all rules of good design, but yes, that is a futon in front of the window. It is very comfortable (thanks to having a mattress with springs), and is quite functional for overnight guests.

Looking up at the beams as the rise toward the ridge. So does the asparagus fern.

Close up of the stacked box table.

The exposed framing, as seen from below.

I hope the pictures give you a sense of the spaciousness felt in this room, despite the small footprint. This perception of space is almost a tangible thing. Lying down, looking up, one's thoughts just float skyward. It breeds creativity. The room is not that large, and it is tough to get the perspective right. Sometimes I look around the space and marvel that we actually designed and built it. I am not sure whether either one of us has the strength to do something so large now. Ten years time sure takes its toll on the body!

When I think of calm, I often picture this room-- in any light, in any season. Wishing you calm thoughs for the middle of the week.

Until next time...


  1. I'd never want to leave! I'm thinking coffee in the morning, a book and a cup of tea in the afternoon and a glass of wine at night. (Wow, I drink a lot don't I!)

  2. Karen, you have to make sure not to become dehydrated, right?! I look at houses/spaces the same way... coffee and a magazine here, tea and a book there, wine and conversation over here. Some things just seem to go together!

  3. What a room and what a view!
    I could while away a day here picking fresh flowers from the garden,it is so tempting to me through the window that i have to go outside,then inside i arrange them in a vase and lay down to rest on the sofa looking up at the beams daydreaming while the smell of fresh flowers helps me sweetly drift of into a peaceful sleep.
    Thank you for your comment on my post it is greatly appreciated,blessings to you.
    Love Kristina XxX

  4. Kristina, You just described my idea of a perfect day! This is how I aspire to spend each weekend. It is a dreamy spot to doze off, especially in winter when the sun just pours in. My cats and I all congregate around those sun spots. Thanks so much for stopping by and for your sweet thoughts! XOXO,

  5. Yes 'calm' is exactly it. So full of good energy and those ceilings just fill the room with such amazing light and air!

    Thanks for commenting on my recent drift wood post. So nice to have you over in my little blog corner.

    Happy end of the week.

    xx Charlotta

  6. Just when I think I've seen every nook and cranny of your beautiful cottage you bring us yet another room! It is wonderful Anne. And has all the more meaning that you and your husband built it. Your futon looks like the perfect place to cozy up with all those pillows. And the gardens...looks like you live in the middle of a meadow and forests of trees near by. Any creeks? A calm respite indeed. I just woke...fell asleep while watching Bright Star. Have you seen it?


Your thoughts are always greatly appreciated. Thank you for visiting!


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