the reading room




Ok, so here we go, this is a bit of a difficult post to write but I must.  What once was the office is now the Reading Room. That hurts.

Over the past year and a half Larry's office gradually turned into a semi-hospital room.  We put in a bed, recliner, oxygen and various other things to make him comfortable.  Without realizing it, I began to hate that room because it was a place of misery for him.  I don't really even like talking or thinking about it.  When he passed away I knew I had to do something.  I couldn't even step a foot inside it because it had such a heavy feeling to it.  A dear friend came to my rescue and we painted it Benjamin Moore's Simply White like the rest of the house.  We shuffled a few things around and now it is light and airy and it's ok.  I want to call it the Reading Room but it will probably always remain The Office.  And that's ok too.

I hope you enjoy this tour, there are lots of juicy details.  This is a difficult room to photograph because only one small window with blazing early morning light. If I wait til that light mellows, it's too dark.  So this is the best I can do.  Also fyi, the only thing I purchased was the vintage brass floor lamp in the corner which came from an estate sale for $8.  I hope you enjoy...


















































Larry climbed Mt. Whitney 22 times.









*I thought about listing the prices I paid for everything in this room but it became overwhelming bc there is actually a lot of stuff here.  To be honest everything was dirt cheap or free.  It's all just junk but I kinda like it bc ea piece has a story.


**Please let me know in the comments if you prefer posts with more or less photos.  I try to err on the side of less prob bc I'm wired that way and also bc I don't want to bore or overwhelm you.  x

75 comments

  1. The room has so much character...lovely space. I like how you’ve mixed the books with porcelain pieces, shells, and small vintage objects.
    It feels very cozy yet airy and fresh.
    I’d like to have an afternoon tea in there and leaf through some of the books.
    I prefer more photos as I find them interesting and inspiring.
    Enjoy your week Janet!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wonderful, Janet. I admire your resilience. The sofa– shape, fabric, size) is wonderful and I don't remember seeing it before. Would you tell us about it?

    Lovely work.

    Cara

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the gallery wall behind the sofa. I always appreciate more photos, especially when the room has a lot of detail. Thanks for the post.

    ReplyDelete
  4. LOVED this post, the more pictures the better. Room has a comfortable, but stylish look.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love this peek into your quaint cottage! Personal touches are what makes a room, in my opinion, and your new reading nook is pure delight!

    Lisa Anne

    ReplyDelete
  6. A lovely room. I very much enjoy all your photographs. Your writing "voice" is also great. I hope you might consider writing a book. You have so much to share. Thank you. I send prayers.
    Ann Roy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with Ann--the photos are great but you are a wonderful writer, too, and should do a book....or several. Wishing you strength.

      Delete
  7. What a sweet room you've made.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh, you are so brave, Janet. Re-inventing yourself is so not easy. You surrounded a room whose story is painful and enveloped it with the serenity of the rest of your home. Some may have closed the door and chosen to not go in there for awhile, but you moved forward with your usual grace and elegance. I so much admire your tender attention to gentle and wholehearted living. I love your Reading Room/Office. May you find peace there. Thank you for sharing. xo karen

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dear Janet
    What an amazing room
    Love you and it

    ReplyDelete
  10. I ADORE the black shade on the floor lamp! I must figure out the name of that shape and see if I cannot find one for a lovely little lamp my Aunt recently gave me that is in need of a shade. Maybe another reader might know what that shape is called?

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a lovely room! I painted my whole house inside BM Simply White based on your house and I love it. I feel a warm good feeling looking at your new reading room.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is a lovely room. I like how you turned it into something beautiful filled with memories and loved things.

    I always enjoy photos, especially your photos. You have a great eye for detail and a great photo. Joyce

    ReplyDelete
  13. Beautiful room. Serine a purposeful. Reading and meditating provide great respite and then renewal. You are moving with much grace and strength. Your photos are very good and give a wonderful look in to your home and your great design and decorating abilities. Susan

    ReplyDelete
  14. Dear Janet,

    I know this was hard for you. The room is beautiful.

    Sincerely,
    Debra of SENC

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a beautiful and elegant room. I hope it was a bit healing for you to write about it. My oldest son passed away almost 10 years ago and his bedroom is now a light, beautiful space where I do my yoga. There's a comfy twin bed for napping or an overnight guest, a bookcase full of books and photos and lots of plants. We still call it Phil's room.

    ReplyDelete
  16. The more pictures the better! I love seeing every corner of your charming home.
    The navy walls in your office were pretty but your reading room is bright, cozy and peaceful. Every detail perfect.
    My 30 year old son died 20 years ago and I'm still rattled to my core. Your strength and words are very helpful. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh my, Janet...where to start. The room is lovely. I can only imagine how painful it must be to walk into that room, remembering. You have transformed the room into a beautiful oasis and I hope in time the painful memories will fade a bit for you, and happier memories will take center stage. I love lots of pictures; I look at every detail and love it all! Just like others have said I enjoy your writing very much, too. Is this too much pressure for you? Sounds like we want it all, doesn't it? You're so sweet to share with us, I will take whatever makes you comfortable. You could never bore or overwhelm me. xo

    ReplyDelete
  18. Janet, I always love seeing the photos. I know this room was a major step for you. You needed the rid yourself and home of that heavy feeling. Your sweet husband would want you to enjoy the home you made together. Blessings to you always, xoxo, Susie

    ReplyDelete
  19. What a pretty room! Put together so well. I love all the collected treasures with meaning!

    ReplyDelete
  20. It's a very pretty room. I really love your shelves and all the pretty objects you have on them.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I like more photos please, loved all the photos in this post. This has to have been a difficult room to redecorate but it looks really pretty and now hopefully you can be there without feeling the heaviness. Now you can remember the good times, like Larry doing that climb 22 times, that's amazing.
    Thank you for sharing this Janet hugs to you xxx

    ReplyDelete
  22. Dearest Janet, I don't think there is anything I can add - it has already been said so eloquently! I could not believe the transformation from the former office to your "Reading Room!" Just lovely & serene! I always had plans to turn our daughter's former bedroom into a "Lady's Retreat" but it hasn't happened yet! This gives me so much inspiration. And I lOVE all the photos. Have you ever burned sage in or outside of your cottage as a way of clearing? You can also burn salt & alcohol for cleansing. I know you practice yoga & many yoga teachers believe in this. You can easily find instructions on the net. We have done this several times in & around our home & feel that it does work. You are an amazing lady, Janet & I feel privileged to "know" you through your posts. Sending love & hugs, Katie from Hunt. Beach

    ReplyDelete
  23. It's a lovely, serene room. I love lots of pictures if they complement the story. But I like your words too :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. This room is so beautiful as well as inviting. I love the wall of botanical & animal prints...your attention to detail is amazing. The framed pig, the tiny branch with berries & the casual photos add to the inviting feel of the room. Is the little girl in the b&w photo your granddaughter...just lovely?

    I think it is healthy not to "freeze" the past at an unhappy time...moving forward is so difficult, but so much more healthy. Larry was apparently a good athlete...kudos to his accomplishments.

    The more pictures the better as far as I'm concerned, but I also love your writing. It does seem that we can hear your voice...a rare gift.

    Anita ~ the cabin on the creek
    ...all is grace!

    ReplyDelete
  25. You are a delight. I love everything you post. Your taste is impeccable!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Your blog is always that "balance"; be it words or photos. Whatever it is you feel the day needs in a post, so shall it be. And your readers will embrace the communication, because it comes from you. ADORE The Reading Room.

    ReplyDelete
  27. You did good Janet. The room is so relaxing. I can picture you having tea in there in the winter with girlfriends. Putting the joy back into the room. Love your pictures. I get so many ideas from them. I love a room with a story and a soul.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Was thrilled to find another post in my inbox this morning. I spent a great deal on your blog yesterday reading through the detoxing of your house as I needed some advise and always turns to your blog first. Also bought my first JI make-up! Love this room and lots of photos. It must have been very hard to do this though. Prayers from Down Under.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I am finding your recent posts so inspiring since I too lost someone very recently.

    I noticed the ceiling fan light combo is the same I had in my teenage self's bedroom. I always liked the fan and this serves as a reminder to not feel the need to update everything based upon new trends. Classic is always in style.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I can't say I prefer with photos or without ... I just love your posts however they show up.
    What a lovely reading room, chock-full of your own history and beauty!
    Thank you for sharing your life. You are ever inspiring at every turn ...

    Shelley

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hello there...I know changing that room was probably very difficult, but I'm sure that Larry would want all trace of that heaviness to be gone for you. You know I have always loved your home and style, but this room is my very fav. I'm very lucky now about what I keep...it needs to have a story or be so pretty that I can't leave it behind. Janet, I'm so happy that you are doing things that bring you a little peace...you deserve it, my friend. Still sending you hugs. xo

    ReplyDelete
  32. Your posts are always a delight and more photos would be a bonus.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Janet, there's nothing else I can say - it's all been said. I love the room and all its contents. I would enjoy more pictures if you choose. Your writing really is beautiful - elegant, thoughtful, just perfect. I so appreciate how you've transformed this room and written about it. You're very brave.

    ReplyDelete
  34. The room is lovely, and I hope the sadness eases with time. The gallery wall is perfect! I'm a "not too many" photos kind of person, but this is just right.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Dear Janet, More is always better when it comes to your posts. I absolutely love your decorating in this room. So inviting, homely and interesting. Please don't stop, you are such an inspiration to me. P.s. I have been lurking for years but can't help myself today. Also thinking about the citrus orchards near you, must mean you have lots of bees visiting your flowers. How lucky are you. XO

    ReplyDelete
  36. It looks lovely, so much light! I hope the dark memories fade, and you will come to enjoy being in the room remembering a happy home there with Larry. I love the curtain fabric.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I admire your eclectic style. I love the reading room with its interesting mix of art. The sprig of berries might be my favorite addition to your gallery. Keep the pictures coming, please.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I LOVE your photo's - they are always wonderful and delightful to see. I hope one day you will feel better about your Office/Reading room. I know that it may take some time, but it looks like a peaceful room right now, full of precious things collected over time... Thanks for a great blog !

    ReplyDelete
  39. We did everything we could to keep my stepfather at home while he was dying of cancer (god, I hate cancer so much). And he died at home, as he wanted, and the first thing I did (like the NEXT day) was to go out and buy my mother all new bedding. Sheets, pillowcases, comforter, all a beautiful paisley blue print that brightened up the room. I bundled up the old bedding and gave it to the local vet with a "Take it, please. ALL OF IT." And, sadly, several years later I found my mother dead in the same room, although her ending was peaceful and in her sleep. But the visuals of that room being the last place they took their final breath helped me let go of that house, even though I loved it and grew up there. Your room is beautiful. Full of light and literature. Read on!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I hope you can find some respite in this room, Janet. It seems so tranquil and light - a place to just be with your thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I thought of it as your little library when I first saw it here.
    and just like the rest of your cottage... it's full of light and love and charm. xo

    ReplyDelete
  42. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  43. This room is lovely and I can tell that it is filled with treasures and memories, both are so important to enjoy and cherish. You have made this a beautiful space in your home and I admire your grace and strength.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Your new Reading Room is lovely. I hope you will be able to eventually relax and find peace in the space. I love all the pictures--never boring. It's nice the way you focus in on certain areas, making it easier to see and appreciate all the kdetails.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Such a lovely place to sit and read, or relax. I read all the comments and found two comments in particular that I relate to as I have experienced the same identical thing! I love your blog for so many reasons, but lately it has been very therapeutic for me.I know my experiences are the same for many, but reading it here just has been comforting. Thank you! I love pictures, but love to read you as well. Do what you like my dear, we will be here!

    ReplyDelete
  46. I don’t often comment at the moment as I’m on holiday, wifi is intermittent and holidays are full-on, but just had to pop in to comment today because you have achieved so much here, physically and mentally. Well done, brave lady. I love this room and hope you enjoyed time in there when it begins to feel more peaceful for you to bear. And I love lots of photos!
    Hugs, Mary x.
    thepoutingpensioner.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  47. More pictures, please. I like to see all the beautiful details!

    ReplyDelete
  48. You had me at The Secret Garden -- my favorite book ever! It was my Mom's favorite and the day I was able to read it on my own was such a treat. I still remember where it was on the shelf in our library branch.

    I love the way you put things together so that anyone glancing in a room would think "but of course, everything here belongs". And how fortunate to have a good friend to help you transform the room and paint alongside you.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Before I popped on to your blog this morning, I was looking at a beautiful newly designed home well over 4,000 sq feet...every inch was perfection, the moldings, windows every.single.thing was beautiful and yet when I popped on your blog my first thought was ahhhh...now that is a home. I love your reading room and one of my very favorite parts? the little sprig of berries - now that is perfection! Have an awesome day Janet!!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Your posts are perfect with a wonderful balance of pondering and pictures. Thank you so much for sharing both. I hope this room is one you are able to fill with the light of love and can drive out the shadows of pain.

    ReplyDelete
  51. i love your new reading room. it's styled beautifully with all of your sweet janet touches. and i love all of the photos! i am glad that you painted it and refreshed it so that you can use it again. my sister lives in my mother's house - my mother was also very sick with cancer and passed two years ago in her bedroom in that house - and it took my sister two years before she did anything to that room. it was so depressing to just see that door closed for two years. she finally painted it, took out the carpets, etc. and made it part of the house again. i know how difficult that must have been for you, but i think it's important to remove that energy from the house like you did with your reading room. you seem to be doing really well janet. it is difficult, but you are doing all the right things to start enjoying your life again. thank you for sharing your days with us. you may think what you are sharing is trivial, but it's not. i think you are showing your readers how important the little things in life are. including the berries on the vine hanging on the wall! xo

    ReplyDelete
  52. Yes, lots of pics! The reading room is so calming. I too look forward to Seeing if there is a new post from you. This has become my favorite blog. And I read a lot of them! I agree with the comments pertaining to your writing. You have a gift. Enjoy that wonderful room you have transformed and I’m hoping it helps bring peace!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Good morning! I love that you mention each of the things in this room have a story. I have numerous things like that in my house as well. It's wonderful to look at a picture, a horseshoe - we were given that at a Bed & Breakfast once on our anniversary - and recall the memory that goes along with it. If you find it overwhelming to price everything all at once in this room, perhaps you could take a few items at a time, highlight them and the story that goes along - the short version I'm sure wouldn't bore anyone! Have a wonderful day!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Janet,
    You are so talented. The room is so pretty and the magic you do with what you call "junk" always amazes me---I think it gives the room such warmth and personality. For those of us on a budget (always) it's inspiration to make the treasures we own and the our finds shine in our own homes.
    You are a wonderful example of strength moving through such a loss.
    xo,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  55. As always, your words and photos are an inspiration. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  56. You have made something so sad into a thing of beauty. I get so much from your words and your pictures, easily my favorite blog. Also, will be trying to replicate your tart with plums from a local farm.
    Darby

    ReplyDelete
  57. I was just wondering about your blue room the other day. So many of us here have experienced loss, my heart feels for each person who has been through this.The truest thing I ever read about grief is that it doesn't shrink, we adjust and grow around it. The room is big enough to hold it all, the grief and the future. It is honest and beautiful, I love the worn edges and the way you collect what you love and honor it in your home.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I can so understand the difficulty in transforming this room and in writing this post. I am amazed that you were able to do it and so quickly. I give you so much credit. It looks just beautiful. I hope you're able to use the room and be okay with it - if not yet, then in time. "Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord" – from the Evening Collect in The Book of Common Prayer

    ReplyDelete
  59. a difficult post to write for sure yet likely it was even more difficult to roll up your sleeves and begin the process of bringing the room back into the light . . . now fresh and inviting
    clearly others will take heart from your brave example to tackle their own "difficult" challenges
    well done Janet

    ReplyDelete
  60. The room is simply elegant (as I expect from you) and I hope it will be a comforting place for you going forward. When my daughter moved out a year ago I turned the small spare bedroom into what I decided to call the Reading Room, complete with couch and gallery wall! It has also turned into the room where most of my granddaughter's toys are kept for when she visits, although nobody spends much time in there. I just find I have more space in my 1,250 sq ft condo than I need or want.

    ReplyDelete
  61. What a perfect way to transform this room. It mirrors the light, airy and eclectic look that you have achieved in the rest of your lovely home. I find myself poring over the pictures and studying each detail. The sprig of berries is a perfect addition to the gallery wall. Love that you displayed the Mt. Whitney permit. Such a great way to remember Larry at his best. Can't believe he climbed 22 times----Wow, just Wow!

    ReplyDelete
  62. What a great collection of artwork - very pretty. I enjoy both your photos and your writing, btw

    ReplyDelete
  63. Janet, after all that you have been through, I am happy to see that you transformed the office into a tranquil space for you to relax and pour over your decorating books. I love the bookcase and all of the treasures on it...especially the Mt. Whitney permit. (we still have a ticket stub from our first date. (a play)
    We have slowly gotten our house back to neutral paint colors with the exception of our red accent walls in the living room and the yellow in the kitchen. I could live without the red but Tony can't lol. He resisted painting the dining room but now he admits that he likes it. The kitchen will probably just have to remain yellow until we get around to remodeling unless I hire someone to do it. :o/

    I say post as many photos as you like!

    Linda
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  64. Beautiful post. "The Secret Garden"! one of my favorites. The room looks lovely and restful. Well done. Enjoy a mix of your writing and photos. It was nice to have a lot of photos for all the details to savor :) thank you. Be well xo

    ReplyDelete
  65. I remember the office... I loved the chair that went with the desk. And the map (there was a story to the map ...) The reading room is a beautiful transition. As are you xo

    ReplyDelete
  66. Lovely room. May you find it a place of peace and serenity as the saddest memories someday fade and only your treasured memories remain.

    ReplyDelete
  67. I love all the pictures - the more the better for me. I am helping my daughter do a montage of pictures (and things) on a wall, so really liked seeing how you put all the pictures together.
    I would also like to add that my husband was in hospice the same time as Larry was, and passed away on July 22. I know what you are going through. Every day is a new day.

    ReplyDelete
  68. It's a lovely room, thank you Janet for sharing. I have a painful room in my home which I renamed and repurposed...I think painting, as you did, would help also.
    Those blue pots on top of the bookcase are everything. It seems like just the right amount of photos so we can see it all.

    ReplyDelete
  69. I love the new "reading room"! Happy that you were up to tackling the job of repurposing the space into a place where you can read and reflect. I can only imagine that it must have been a very hard thing to do. I lost my Dad almost two years ago and we had hospice at home for him. Same thing with the room and hospital bed, tray table, oxygen... Wish my Mom would let me do a little refresh... not her time yet. :(

    ReplyDelete
  70. You did a wonderful job on the room. I can be afraid of white walls, but love the bright, airy look they offer. There is so much detail in your reading room. Well done!

    ReplyDelete
  71. I love how you repurposed this room. I love the wall of pictures too. It looks cosy and inviting. Well done. a difficult job but you did it.xx Ann

    ReplyDelete
  72. This is a very soothing room. I love the colors and how they harmonize together.
    Beautiful unique pieces. Each one tells a story.
    A good brave job.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Love the reading room. I hope that you will indeed spend time and read and lounge in it!

    ReplyDelete

kindness is never out of style.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Back to Top