Moving Day.. from my Summer Study to the Winter Studio in the Loft

Celia over on her lovely blog has this very sweet idea. She suggests that we post shots of our favourite things in our kitchens. I am going to do this again next month after I have had the autumn tidy up. But today I thought I would send a tiny challenge out to you all to show us one or two favourite things in your writing  spaces. Maybe your writing space is the kitchen, or a corner, or in the sun on the verandah, the couch. Where do you sit when you write that blog we love to read?

Here are my writing spaces.

The Summer Study. This is a small  shady cool  room with only one little window.  You will remember that I do not have air conditioning and the summer study is cool and dark. I can only show you a few corners as I have abandoned my summer space now that winter is coming. 

Now I know you guys! You are all readers and you are all craning to see what books are in there – so let me tell you another terrible secret. I have only been living with John for a little over four years and now the house has books stacked in corners, falling off shelves, tripping over each other beside the bed, jammed into unlikely spaces like commuters in a cheap  jet. And yes I DO often buy a book because I like its cover and it is on the sale table. I read them all. But I have a special bookshelf for the good books. The Twicers. The ones I will and do read more than once. So this dusty bookshelf is a mere glimpse.

And another laugh for you. Yes, I did indeed have an afro when I was 16. Here I am pictured with the fellow I was to marry 25 years later

And yes I deliberately took that shot in low light so it would be blurry!! I always look especially good when blurry.  OK. You have had your laugh. Now let us go up the ladder to the Loft.

Here is a corner of my Winter Studio in the Loft. It is big, light and airy. And yes that phone is in working order. We don’t have electric phones. Too many lightening strikes. Weirder and weirder.

When I came back from Europe to live out here on the Plains, the first change that I made to the house was to add the big verandah where we eat all summer. This changed the entrances and exits and turned the kitchen around. After we had finished the kitchen           ( mostly), I asked a very nice builder man to take out the ceiling in the big room and turn the attic into a loft. I had to draw pictures because he just looked at me as though I had offered  him his own red work truck in a soup. Evidently this was one of those things that triggers the ‘You can’t do that!’ response.

One of the spaces this created was my Winter Studio. With three big skylights and huge windows to the North and the South this is a perfect warm, light, writing space for the winter. We used recycled timber for the floors and it is finished with copper from the gutters of an old roof and all the trim and shelves are either old barn timber or lovely maple that Johns brother milled.  These book shelves are on wheels so when it all gets terrible I can pull the entire box of  shelves out from the wall and go hide in behind them. Or use them as  high benches.

We do not have central heating either so the house is heated with a big cast iron fire. We gather fallen trees  all summer and heat ourselves with them all winter. We don’t cut down trees. You know those ambulance chasers? Well, we are tornado chasers.  We take two trucks and the chainsaws and offer to help people clean up their fallen trees! We once had a guy drive up in his golf cart over to where we were working and call out ‘If you can find my cherry tree you can have it, I don’t know where that dang thing got blowed to.’ Later he came back and said he had found his tree behind the tavern.! Off we toddled.

Also in Johns work there is a lot of construction timber wasted, if it is chemical free he brings that home and into the fire it goes. So the fire makes lots of heat,  and the heat rises straight into my Loft.

How do I get up into my loft, I hear you ask.  Well I took the old  attic ladder which is on an intensely gorgeous old pulley system and I had my guy fit it into the ceiling of an empty wardrobe. So it is hidden.  I climb up the ladder to get up here.  Which I need to tell you is quite a feat with a bowl of salad and a cup of coffee.I am on the look out for a real fire pole, which I will find, as they are closing fire stations as well as Post Offices. No, not for pole dancing! So I can slide down if I am in a hurry. Pick your mind up out of the gutter!!

Now imagine that you are sitting at my desk. Look to your left. You will be looking across a completely open space, you can look down into the lounge and the dining room (you won’t though because I would have to tidy up and I haven’t) and across the great divide to Esmeralda.  She is a very old dressmakers dummy that I found when I was shopping in my MotherInLaw’s attic. (The attic and her barn are my favourite places to shop!)  On the right you will see two of the three skylights I had the little man put in before he took the floor out. These light the big room  below. Light and Space are important to me.

Now, if you feel like it and no pressure you understand.  But.  Do you have a shot of your space? Add a wee link to mine if you do, so that I can zoom over. Where do you write?


83 Comments on “Moving Day.. from my Summer Study to the Winter Studio in the Loft

  1. That’s beautiful! I have a great view of the pond FROM my writing space, but my office is a WIP all its own…If I made it as pretty as yours, I might not get out to the garden or kitchen as often.
    Now, my reading space…that’s maybe worth sharing….
    Wonderful idea – thanks for thinking of it!

  2. I want, want, want your loft studio. Except for that ladder access, it sounds perfect. The colors. The light. The atmosphere. So inviting. Thank you for sharing your lovely space with us.

    I write in a room that, prior to our purchasing the house in 1984, was a sewing room. Then it became a nursery/toy room for our three children. And now it’s my office, with a clothes hamper tucked next to my desk. Seems a strange place for that, but it works for my family. However, last week I opened my office door one morning to a sweaty stench. I quickly pulled the hamper from the room and tossed the teenage son’s stinky socks into the laundry.

    That’s my writing space story. Not nearly as lovely as yours, but it works for what I have in my house.

    • SNAP! That is so funny. That is exactly why I did not take a wide shot of my summer study. It also is the depository for laundry as you go through it to the big bathroom. And though there is a lovely whicker hamper, some people have trouble getting the clothes into the basket.. mm.. c

    • That is Johns. I will tell him and send him over he will be stunned! You have good eyes! Thank you! c

  3. My writing space is our messy bedroom in front of the computer and if I took a pic of it and posted it my wife would die!
    Hum…photo to come!…just kidding!
    Now that fire pole, I thought…cool idea! Or maybe a slide that pops down out of the ceiling! Call that little man back, he might die from the idea! Then YOU mentioned the other thought. I wouldn’t have gone there if you hadn’t. But I have read it is good exercise! Just read, no photos or actual viewing…don’t go there! 🙂

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  5. Thanks for sharing, these photos are great. I’m particularly fond of the photo of you and the fro. That’s amazing! Your loft is gorgeous, as well. Wish I had one. 🙂

  6. Wow – I don´t know where to start, it was all so lovely! I love what you did with the house….so many gorgeous spots to stay a while. I confess to having had a big curly perm in the early 80s…not sure why I bothered as I now have super wavy hair! Is that John then in the photo…or is it another story?! And if it is John…we need that story too! What a great idea to take these shots. When I get back from my trip will do the same…it´s lovely to see where people sit and feel inspired. So…Esmerelda. She´s a stunner isn´t she?! I love that you went “shopping” in your Mother in Law´s attic…I do the same every time I come back from London and my parents´house. Wonder what I´ll come back with this trip?

    • Oh dear. i have to confess.. it is NOT A PERM!.. that is my REAL HAIR! and yes that is John. it is a very sweet story..Takes years to tell!

  7. WOW! I want your house! I love the hidden attic access and the lovely old wood and the stacks and stack of books…. When I grown up, I want a house just like yours!
    My house is right now unapologetically designed entirely for and around small children. We have books around, but also many, many toys. A few green things growing here and there. More toys. A couple of walls filled entirely with the kiddos artistic explorations, soft surfaces that invite super-hero type crashes, and walls that bear the marks of several thousand encounters with stuff-kids-carry-around and my aging vacuum cleaner hose. I write in the middle of all that. I do, in fact, have a desk and an office. But one of my wee ones can only sleep in the blackest dark with a fan on for white noise, so that’s his space in the afternoons. Come to think of it, that might have to change soon! Thanks for this glimpse of your lovely home!

    • I had a house like that once too.. the best thing about my Loft space, which is not that hidden as i can stand up here and ‘oversee all that goes on below!!’ is that i can shut that wardrobe door and when small children are visiting they cannot get up here at all! Much as I like small children. i don’t want then TOUCHING MY STUFF! c

  8. Oh C, what a treasure of a home you have! I absolutely love it all and I would get lost among your wonderful possessions for hours on end if I ever had to come and visit! I can feel the warmth and love in your home from your piccies, thank you for sharing such a special post of where you write.
    I write in what used to be our en-suite bedroom before we built on. Absolutely nothing like what you have have and looking around now, seems to be quite characterless in comparison to the beauty you are surrounded with. It does however house all my wonderful arts, crafts, gift wrapping goodies and favourite books and dictionaries.
    have a super week.
    🙂 Mandy

    • Oh I love dictionaries too . Once i even found an old one UNDER a house. I still have it somewhere, back in NZ I guess. But every country I live in I find old dictionaries and tote them about. These weight restrictions on luggage nowadays make carting my books about so much more difficult!! c

  9. This is wonderful post, I loved it. Especially the last photograph, fascinated me. I wished to be near to your home and it would be so nice to have a cup of tea in your lovely place, maybe in your veranda. Be sure, I can imagine… Thank you, this is a nice idea, I can make a post something like that, I wish you to have a nice Winter days, Blessing and Happiness, with my love, nia

    • Thank you nia, it is a perfect spot for a cup of tea.. we could have a celi bloggers gathering! imagine! looking forward to your pics, your writing book was magnificent the other day by the way.. c

  10. they both look like lovely creative spaces – both peaceful and inspiring. I want that dummy! haha maybe once I have a mother-in-law 😉

      • Yup, playing at being deaf and dumb, and you are right, now that we have started that we HAVE to find the answer! c

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  12. I love your space! But I don’t know that I’d care for the ladder thing… unless there’s a bathroom upstairs.

    As for wood, if you were only a little closer…..

    • You have wood?.. ah well.. the ladder is easy, the trick is not to take the whole bottle of wine up here with you!!.. c

  13. Pingback: One of My Writing Spaces « Creativity's Workshop

  14. All very very lovely. What fabulous work with the copper and maple! Those colors, textures and details give such tremendous warmth to the space. It all seems extremely apropos. Inspired and inspiring. Oh–that’s you, isn’t it, all over!

    • Kathryn You are also an inspiring person . You have a wonderful handle of language and a very impressive vocab!! I learn stuff every time i visit you.. c

  15. Hi Cecilia. As always really enjoyed reading your post and having a glimpse into your world. Fabulous rooms! If I had studios like that I would never leave them. Love your tailors dummy and the hair do! I can see you revisiting that style! lol! Thanks for sharing.
    Florence x

  16. I laughed at the pole. And the cherry tree. Hilarious. I love your spaces… very homely, individually and creatively done and they seem so comfy. May I also add, I truly hate when people give me that ‘you can’t do that’ attitude/response about something I very well know can be accomplished! I feel like ‘really, won’t you even TRY? Just try, first!’ Aah. Beautiful spaces.

  17. This is a wonderful idea! I love that you shared your writing space….and should I say, spaces as how refreshing to change seasonally your location; like beginning anew. I’d be excited to head up to the loft and then look forward to the Summer Study. I’ve not blogged in a few days..maybe this will be my kick start back with a post on my space!!!

  18. Loving your loft, and I have that phone in my studio too! It’s working, but the jack in the wall needs changing out! Who ya gonna call?
    ~ Lynda

    • You know I had a telephone man out here for something else, who knows, and he had stuff in his van that fixed one of these old phones.. get out there and wave one of those guys down, they will do anything for cookies! c

  19. I write in the dark corner of the basement where I don’t have to deal with the suns harmful influence. Ok maybe I don’t but it’s not nearly as interesting as your space. What is interesting is the kitchen that I have to work with. LOL.

  20. Do you take in boarders, ceciliag? I come with my own pencils and I don’t take up a whole lot of room. Oh, and I’m pretty quiet, too. I love your loft.

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  22. My writing work space is a functional one and not something to be photographed: the things of beauty are inside my head and on my kitchen counter. My painting desk is a little more attractive and has a view — I need the light and like the view but rarely look at it when I am working. And when I am “working” a lot, my room is a horror because all of my energy is going to cooking and painting and writing and music. No photos for me, please.

    • Good for you Sharyn, wonderful that you are flat out working and using your space. my kitchen is like that.. it is always in the process of being tidied up! and never makes it.. c

  23. Hi, I dropped in from a link on Ted’s post, what a wonderful idea, and a wonderful working space too. I write mostly curled up on the corner of the settee but I’ll see if I can make an interesting post out of it and add a link to you and Ted when I do.
    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  24. I love your spaces, C, thank you for sharing! I write very prosaically from behind a desk in my office at work in stolen moments, or from my corner of the couch on my laptop in front of the tv (I usually hate what the family are watching, so I tune out). Not nearly as much style as you, but it works 🙂

    • Well that is the advantage of a lap top, you can be in the room and in your own little world at the same time!! c

  25. Thanks! I have dreams of a writing studio complete with lots of windows with a great view, a toasty woodstove and fans for the summer… a place all for myself that I don’t have to share but want to occasionally… but since that is not in the near future, I write in part of the living room that everyone walks through, where the phone is, where people knock on the door, and there is no door. I even share the computer. Sigh! But write I must, and I am thankful that I can…

  26. Thank for the glimpse of your writing world…very cozy , almost comforting space…I sidle up to the wood stove in my kitchen…I think I will post my space tomorrow…I may take up for your challenge, \

    Enjoy your day.


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  28. Pingback: Where I Write « The Complete Cook Book

  29. Okay, I hadn’t read this post after all, so am glad I zoomed over here to see it. Love your studio spaces. I and we have so many books in our home that we could open a library. My work space is primarily for business, but has also functioned as a drawing and painting studio area. It’s a disaster at the moment as I was rebuilding my business website, and it’s lately been a bit of a catch all area, too. But I have windows to our woods and deck surrounding two sides of my desk where my desktop computer is with it’s 24 inch screen (for layout), and a laptop on a table next to that. Sometimes I write on the laptop and sometimes on the main computer. Not as elegant of a space as yours by any means. Love the shot of you with your afro, and John. What a wonderful story that must be of how you ended up together again 25 years later.

    • No John was born here. It is a very sweet story, i will write it for you tomorrow. Actually it is very short too. c

  30. I’ve never seen your writing spaces, thanks for giving us the link to come see. I love the items you found when shopping the barn and attic. 🙂

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