I have been contemplating the concept of creating a happy space. Not an esoteric, froufrou atmosphere in my head, but an actual space. That creates happiness. Or, at least a sense of well being. A smile spot 🙂
You see, sitting, working at my desk yesterday, I realised happiness is a repositioned desk. Okay, maybe a bit more, but let me explain and I will be curious to hear if you agree.
For the new year, for that sense of a fresh start, but also because I was working on my latest shop ‘Taking Time Too’, I took the time to (see what I did there?) reconfigure my office. As this shop requires a lot of vintage ephemera photography, which requires natural daylight and a solid set up, it meant a need to arrange a place this could be done in easily and regularly. My desk as the base of operations made sense, especially as this is my only stationary surface in the room, other than the ironing board (for my scarves). However, as the desk faced the wall it needed to move to face the light.
The office has a Juliet balcony with French glass doors. (See picture above. And, oh my, yes I can’t wait for the roses to bloom and waft in their fragrance.) That’s my window. My one source of natural light into the room. So, I LOVE my window, or doors as it were. As it is a set of doors, the desk couldn’t be put directly in front. So now it’s set back, but in front, and the doors can still be reached and opened to let the outside world in. I can now sit at my desk and look out to the street beyond, people watch whenever I feel like it and generally daydream (I mean, sink deep into necessary thought) when the mood strikes me.
With the days getting lighter (yes, yes, yes!), the room reaches its peak light mid day to afternoon, as it faces north-west. Prime photographing time. But the darker mornings are for fairy lights. A string of them work their way up the side wall and around a corner. With the newly settled desk, my back is no longer to them. Rather I know face them, almost, and find myself turning them on every morning to enjoy their happy little glow. To add to the ambience, as it is a limited light room, there is also a little lamp that lets off a soft glow in the opposite corner. Add in a candle for more glow, as well as scented atmosphere, and we are almost there.
To complete the space, I have added a napping bed. A lovely old fashioned one with wrought iron framework, small, cosy with multiple pillows and handmade lap blankets. It’s great book reading space too. (I believe in everything having more than one purpose.) And when I am working a my desk, the cats just love to claim it as their own.
So there I sit, at the desk, mood lighting abounding. A perfumed scent filling the air. The tactile pen to paper or fingertips to keyboard giving a sense of purpose. Some 1920s jazz playing lightly in the background. Cats in view curled up on the bed. My happy space. Totally contrived, totally worth it. And such a wonderfully decadent feeling to work or relax in.
The fact that I actually work at a trestle table of two boards, in a room of 1970s cracking linoleum and peeling flocked wall paper disappears into the background of the set mood. A happy space isn’t about things, but about ambience. About a mood that makes one wish to work, rest or play. Preferably engaging all 5 senses. So coffee to hand I have covered them all: sight, touch, smell, sound, and taste.
Over the years I have created many happy spaces. Mostly in my home office as this is a space I spend so much of my day in. But there have been and are others. For those who read my musings regularly, the Cafe du Canard in the duck enclosure is my outside happy space. As it develops, grows (literally) and becomes the secret garden it is planned to be, it can only become more so.
Whether working, relaxing, gardening, or planning it’s always best done in a happy space. A space that bolsters the mood, brings a smile of contentment to the brain and all around makes one appreciate what one has.