April, 2004 Contest: Where in your home do you retreat when you need time alone?

We have another tie! Contest Winners:

Jodi Jacukowicz of Oak Harbor, WA and Julie Roland of Edgewood, WA

Jodi Jacukowicz

As a mother of two young boys and having a military husband, often there is no where else I can retreat but within my own home. We recently purchased our first home. It so happens that it had the beginnings for the perfect retreat right outside my own front door. At our entry we have beautiful over-sized eaves with cedar sofitts. Right off of that is a beautiful enclosed pergola that gives a sense of intimate space.

It was bare when we got here, but with the addition of a bistro table, hanging fuscia, wind-chimes and evergreen climbers adorning the lattice, it has become the perfect oasis. When the day has just been too much, or I want to escape into a good book, I step outside my front door and I can begin to relax. Enjoying a cup of coffee or tea and the fresh air, rain or shine, I can escape into my parental paradise.

As I melt away the cabin fever, enjoying the smells of star jasmine and sounds of gentle chimes in the breeze I begin to feel like I am on vacation. Until the sounds of duty call and I jump back into being mommy again. For a moment my private retreat felt so far away, it is nice to know that moment is waiting for me again, right outside my own front door.
Julie Roland

When I need time alone I go to the master bedroom that my husband of 18 years and I share. We have three sons ages 15,10 and 7. As you can imagine there isn’t alot of girl stuff in our home, but in our bedroom my husband has consented to a romantic retreat.

The walls are a warm creamy color, the shade of buttermilk. The furniture belonged to my grandparents and was purchased by them soon after they were married in 1924. The buttery painted finish is lovingly worn and chipped from more than 70 years of use. Some of the furnitures charm comes from the delicate turned legs, lovely wooden rose appliques, and beautiful silver pulls that have aged to a dark rich patina.

The paint on one of the vanity drawers is particularly worn because that’s where my grandmother kept her powder and lipstick. She would sit on the dainty matching bench in the morning to apply her makeup and in the evening to gently brush her hair before bed. Sometimes when I look in the mirror I try to imagine what life must have been like for her in the early years of her marriage.

In our room is another cherished piece of furniture, not nearly as old as the others, but loved equally as much. It’s the rocking chair that my husband and I purchased while anticipating the birth of our first child. We rocked all three of our babies in that chair with its creaking sound and richly stained wood and we look forward, someday, to rocking our grandbabies there as well.

Another item that’s dear to my heart is the beautiful wrought iron lamp that also belonged to my grandparents. Sitting atop the lamp is its original paper shade with a golden framed, floral spray design on it. The shade casts a warm romantic glow that rivals soft candlelight.

Although my romantic retreat is not yet complete, I have many inspired ideas to continue the transformation of my room using both found objects and meaningful pieces I have received from family and friends over the years. The time I spend alone there is at once relaxing, peaceful and rejuvenating. It allows me a place to reflect on the past, ponder the present, and dream about the future!