I’ll bet that when you got married you thought you’d share everything. While it’s fine to have that attitude, the reality of it is that people often need their own personal space. I don’t mean emotionally, that is for another article, I’m talking about physical, separate space. In good marriages, this often presents as a den for the guy, a sewing room for the woman, just as an example.
It can be as simple as remodeling the extra bedroom into a family room, with a computer on one end and the sewing machine on the other, if you only have one spare room. The laundry room can be converted into a separate space for writing, or the garage can be turned into a workshop.
Whatever your separate interests are, you can accommodate each other with a little imagination and a little elbow grease. If your home is very small,( like ours) or you live in an apartment, personal space can be as simple as creating a nook where there wasn’t one before, or simply scheduling time to be alone.
People need time to think and reflect, to look inward, or just to tinker around. It keeps our minds fresh and gives us perspective. Here are just a few suggestions on how to create personal space:
Create a “nook” in the corner of the bedroom by moving in a favorite chair, desk, or bookshelf and reading lamp. Fill the area with favorite pictures or the knick knacks that you wouldn’t display in the room you use for entertaining. A bookcase works well for this; it can hold books on one shelf and memories on another. We have a very small house and I work at home. My “office” is one end of the dining room table. No one in the family is allowed to be looking through my “desk” (the china cabinet) and we have to move the computer during the holidays for family dinners, but the rest of the year, it’s mine all mine.
If you plan on converting one room into two personal spaces, do what you did as kids if you shared a bedroom with your siblings-one side has her favorite stuff, one side has yours. You can both use it at the same time-you won’t bother each other if one is on the computer and one is reading, but it might work out better if you take turns.
Of course the best solution is to have two separate rooms. You can turn the garage into a private office-just use a corner of it-if neither of you is interested in having a workshop. A corner of the garage makes a great sewing room, a quiet reading room, or crafts outlet. The attic and basement are two more spaces largely left untouched. If these two places are used for storage, clean them out and throw stuff away, or donate it to a local charity. With a little imagination you can turn either of these places into a personal, private place to think, dream, and create.