Friday, August 2, 2013

A Room of Her Own

Well, my own, actually, and a new study, to be precise. We've been in this house 13 years and my study was one of only two rooms that hadn't been repainted (the other is Joe's bathroom, and it's not next on his list).  It was a mint green that I didn't mind at first but had grown to dislike very much, and then I had an inspiration for an entirely different look.

My mother joined the U.S. Army near the end of World War II, straight out of nurses' training. She was sent first to the Philippines, where she was dancing at the officers' club on Leyte when they got the news about the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Soon after that she was posted to Yokohama, where she worked in what had been the Swedish consulate before being transformed into an army hospital.
    This lavender and gold (it looks more lavender in real life) kimono is a souvenir of her time in Japan - I grew up hearing stories of her time there, and her adventures with the handsome officers she dated, one of whom bought her this gorgeous lavender and gold kimono, which might be considered an antique now. At any rate, it's certainly vintage.
    When she got home, she gave it to my grandmother, who was disappointed that it didn't have an obi and folded it away into a cedar chest. Grandma died and Mom recovered the kimono but didn't quite know what to do with it, so she too put it away, until about a year ago she gave it to me. My study faces north and the wall the kimono hangs on doesn't get direct light; it seemed only right that it should finally come out of hiding and be appreciated.

I want to keep things very simple. There's just the one big window, and Joe found a roll-up rice paper shade for it. We already had the light wood table I'm using for a desk, a 2-drawer file cabinet, and this rather battered but serviceable coffee table. Since I've just given up my day job, I brought home my two small bookcases (there's a corner of one in the photo of the kimono) from the office, as well as these batik prayer flags that hung across the wall behind my desk there.

What I want to achieve is a feeling of simplicity, peace, and serenity, and not to clutter it up with too much stuff, as is so often my wont. So far so good.

1 comment:

  1. Although this is the smallest room in the house--about 10x10 feet-- it took 6months to redo. Looks great though, and it inspired me to redo my study, which is what I'm doing now. It only took 2 weeks to empty the room and find places for all the j--k. and other valuables--that bathroom can wait.
    Joe, the husband.