I was oblivious to what lay ahead when I arrived at Sally’s 4/3 Ranch-style home. The garden was pristine, with a dichondra lawn. So mid-century! She was the first on her block to have the beds lined in annuals and hanging baskets flanking the front door. This yard had been lovingly maintained.
As Sally and I toured the rest of the house, she spoke lovingly of her boys and husband Bud. I learned she met Bud in college, had received her Masters in Fine Arts and had minored in dance, with dreams to join a company. At night she would sit with Bud in front of the BIG SCREEN and knit blankets for the local shelter. She pulled a plastic bag from under the sofa to show me. I saw how they had turned her middle son’s room into an office for Bud and her youngest son’s room into a gym for Bud. Sally got her oldest son’s room.
On the drive home I thought about Sally and how talented she is, as a gardener, baker, knitter, seamstress, artist and dancer. I thought about her passion to be creative and what joy it brought her, yet day-to-day she would hide her self-expression in the shadows, amongst the clutter of the “junk room,” in the broom closet, or under the sofa to gladly attend to her family’s needs. My next thought was that this is not a project JUST about this deserving woman’s battered kitchen. Frankly anything I did to that interior would be an improvement. This is “My Brilliant Idea” project!
I painted the room a beautiful soft pink/salmon and the moldings and French doors a pristine white. I set her easel near the window and added a stool. On the main wall I put a built-in daybed with bolsters on three sides and a ridiculous number of accent pillows. I set a distressed mint green end table with aqua lamp next to a comfy down club chair in a “Sister Parrish” cotton floral.
Sally was over-the-moon excited about the idea and Bud footed the bill, as well he should. A Room of Her Own was a big success for this altruistic, would-be ballerina and for me, it was an idea I applied four more times over the years—for a writer, a collector, an editor and a die-hard crafter.