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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

A Room of Her Own

A Room of Her Own

Virginia Woolf famously said, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

Of course, not every woman wants to write fiction, but a room of one’s own could come in handy for any number of occupations, from yoga to painting to simply curling up for the afternoon with a gripping book.

A few weeks ago, we shared some ideas for building a budget-friendly man cave. Now it’s the ladies’ turn.

The first thing to remember is that you don’t need a large, dedicated room or finished basement to give the woman in your life a place to get away. Use a little creativity to make the most of any available space in your home, whether it’s a guest room, attic, home office, garage … It’s OK to multipurpose a room. For instance, if your wife or girlfriend wants a place to meditate for an hour a day, a little organization could turn that sun porch where you keep all of your gardening equipment into the perfect spot.

Before you begin, give a little thought to what kind of space your sweetheart might enjoy. Does she like to spend her time knitting or scrapbooking? Would she like a multimedia theater to catch up on those Tivo recordings of her favorite show? How about a fitness center, complete with cardio equipment and free weights? Or has she always dreamed of a library with a cozy reading nook? Whatever it is, be sure to add personal touches to show that you know her and pay attention to her interests.

A thorough cleaning and a few coats of paint are the best place to start with any space. Incorporate her favorite colors, or try to think of what colors fit the intended use. Bold, bright colors are probably not the best for promoting relaxation, while muted tones may not be right for stimulating creativity. Though a major overhaul of the room is probably not necessary, if you’re handy, it might help to build some shelves or purchase some cubbies that can be set up to minimize clutter.

Next, think about what you need to add to the room. You don’t need to spend a fortune creating the perfect haven for your Valentine. It’s easy to find comfortable, inexpensive furniture at thrift shops, garage sales, or on sites like Craigslist or Freecycle. While second-hand items may not be pristine, there’s nothing wrong with embracing the shabby chic aesthetic. Besides, slipcovers are a great way to cover less-than-perfect upholstery.

The same goes for bookshelves, entertainment centers, desks, drafting tables, televisions, exercise equipment, art, or any other component you want to add to make her special space match her interests and tastes. You don’t need to purchase the best, or most expensive, items to show that you care.

Finish the room off with few detailed touches, such as wall art or knickknacks that reflect her interests or the intended use of the room, and useful items such as yoga blocks, whimsical bookends, an artist’s easel, or a new set of knitting needles, again, tailored to match the room’s purpose.

With a little time and attention, you can create the perfect getaway to show the woman in your life that you value her as an individual and want her to cultivate her interests. And really, isn’t that the best gift of all?

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.