I was chatting with my friend last Friday and she gave me the exciting news that the next time I visited her, we would have a special place to sit and relax in. Oh yes, I’ve reserved my favorite bean bag! They are giving their place a makeover and adding a conservatory, a sort of sun room. Her husband is big on DIY and she has a green thumb – practically anything she touches grows. And she has a knack for making living spaces really cozy.
As she talked about going shopping for the glass for the conservatory, her plans for the array of flowers and the type of furniture she wanted, the conversation naturally turned to those days, decades ago, when we lived in the same city as neighbors.
Life was hectic and we never knew when we’d have to leave at short notice on a work trip. I always had an overnight bag packed and ready to grab and go. Yet, we did manage to relax. Not by getting away somewhere – but right at home.
My Mom and I lived in an apartment that had a largish space attached to it and this became our sanctuary. At first, we just used the space to dry our clothes as it was bathed in sunlight. We eventually added plants, thanks to my friend. As my Mom and I both went out to work, we needed a getaway – but those days we couldn’t afford the time or the money to take off to an exotic place and home was indeed, sweet home.
Then later, there was this series of books I read – I forget the name of the author now – but it had a female lead who shares a house with her boyfriend and to maintain their privacy, they convert the space between their houses into a conservatory. The idea fascinated me. And I thought, why not convert our own underutilized large space into a “conservatory”?. It would be a happy place where we could unwind in, and a fabulous retreat even in the middle of the week.
When we had guests, it was an additional sitting room which was very convenient as it gave us the extra space we needed. When kids came over – which was often – it transformed into a wonderful children’s play room. What a pleasant place it was!
Gradually, we added some conservatory furniture to sit back and relax in to sit back and relax and enjoy our little garden, pretending we were in a huge lawn. The best part of it was – we had this haven to retreat to even in rainy or cold weather without having to step outside!
I fondly remember the books we read, the music and the conversations we enjoyed in our conservatory. Those summer weekends when we pretended to be posh and had “high tea”, cherishing the fruits of our labor. This lovely room always lifted our spirits and became our favorite place where we could de-stress. My friend and I spent some fun times lazing here. My Mom had her own spot where loved to meditate early in the morning and in the evening.
Today, I realize that thanks to our conservatory, we were stress-free in spite of our busy lives.
Almost everyone I meet and talk to these days is looking for a getaway where they can escape the chaos and stress of everyday life. Not surprising, what with being tied to technology – most people are on call around the clock and barely get a few minutes of peace even at home. Especially if they have growing children, who can’t wait for them to get home. I was so lucky I had an oasis right at home back then.
In fact, as I daydream of glorious summer days with my friend, I am planning to convert our large balcony, the one the pigeons share with us, into a conservatory of sorts. Yesterday I had it thoroughly cleaned out. Just the thought of transforming it lifts my spirits. I have one little plant there already. It will be our own private take a break place, where we can relax together. Can’t wait to get going on it! I already have a couple of owl cutouts – someone said the pigeons are afraid of owls. Who knew?
Home – no airline tickets to vacation here!
Do you have a conservatory at home? Say yes and make me jealous.
If you said no, where do you go and relax?