“I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society. When visitors came in larger and unexpected numbers there was but the third chair for them all, but they generally economized the room by standing up. It is surprising how many great men and women a small house will contain”
from Walden (1854) by Henry David Thoreau.
More than a week ago, I wrote about designing book covers (Read here), and at the end of the article, I refereed to my room and promised to write and suggest some tips about designing your room, I got a few email asking for the article, bust watching Football kept me away, now, the World Cup is over (I was cheering for Argentina, but it wasn’t to be), I got some hours of spare time, so here is how I planned and designed my room:
As I mentioned in the previous article; designing a book cover is not much different from designing your room, or as a matter of fact; in designing anything that exist in nature, there are a few elements you have to consider; Space, Objects, Layout, Theme, Colors, and Time.
Having a deep passion for cinema, I wanted my room to become like an inside of a theater, the reason for that is because I use the room mostly to watch film and write, and in order for one to feel comfortable in an environment, one must reshape that environment to one’s liking and taste, only then can one become creative and feel comfortable.
One of the question that I’m always asked as to why I choose the color Red as the primarily color for the room? I chose is for the simple reason that it is my favorite color, and also; by its nature, Red is an active color, it attract the eye, move and animate one, but to balance the Red, the second color that I have used it Black, almost every object that I choose to decorate the room has a tone of black to it; from the DVD/Book Shelves, to the wood on the door, tables, furniture and even the frame of the posters on the wall, Black is the secondary color.
I like to think that I have divided the room into Seven different parts, each function independently from other in term of its suggestive layout, rather an abstract notion to explain, but I will try my best to point out the reason I divided the room into Seven parts:
1. Passion for Cinema: When you walk into the room, the first think you encounter is a collection of Film Posters on the wall (Read about my selection of Posters here), there are a total of 38 Film Posters, they are my favorite films from my favorite directors, I have designed some of the posters myself, others I have collected, some were given as a gift by friends (thanks Ruben), and I have printed most of them. The frame are made of wood, all in the same style; black. In a way, one side of the room is almost like a small wall on a museum to be looked at.
“Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.”
― from Walden (1854) by Henry David Thoreau.
2. DVD and Book Collection: On the other side of the wall, hang floating shelves, therefore taking very little space, for now; space are filling up, which mean in the future, I might have to add more shelves at the bottom of it. So far; it hold more than 720 DVD cases (total of 3330 DVDs in them), and more than 200 book. Although I primarily collect DVDs from Criterion, Master of Cinema, and other known publishing label, I also have large quantity of Film that I brought back from the States with only the disk and no cases, a reason that I decided to display the DVDs by directors and countries, for example; I have the complete works of Hitchcocks both on DVDs and Blu-rays, for the blu-rays they are in their own cases, but for the DVDs, I have combined many film into one case, therefore saving space, same is true for Soviet cinema; I managed to display one hundreds years of Soviet films into at total of 96 DVDs cases, there are total of 645 DVDs in those 96 cases.
3. Bed: Although I only sleep in this room during Winter time, I still managed to find a space to put in a bed. It is no rocket science in putting a bed into a room, but the reason I mention is the place I chose to display it; I put the bed beside a window that is hit directly by the sunlight around 11AM, which mean; no matter how lazy I might get on wintertime, the sun will not let me sleep past 11AM. Which bring me to the two windows in the room; One is facing South and the other North, during daytime; the sun light the room through both window, one in the morning, the other toward evening, there is no need to light the room during daytime.
4. Table: The table in the room was also designed personally, it is also made of wood, black in color, it is on the corner of the room, beside the shelves and directly facing the door, which mean whomever come into the room, the first thing is eye contact between us. I keep a few thing of the table; my Macbook which I use to write, edit, and explore the web, which take most of my time when I’m using the table. When tired and need a few moments of break to take away my attention from work; I have three different music box, simply open then, and listen to the music (Bach, Beethoven and Henri Mancini), there is also Newton’s Cradle that never stop to amaze me with its perfect balanced movements back and forth. There a few small statue from the East that protect my simple shrine to Tolstoy and Chekhov, an incense holders, in which I burn natural incense to the masters, the room smell great. Now; as much as I love to collect antiques, I try my best to display only the essential around me, on my table, other objects are there no only for the same of display, but one way or another; to motive or have a function..
5. Watching Film: A flat TV is what I use to watch films, I despise projectors for its distortions of colors. I usually watch films at night, with the shades down and light off, the screen is the only thing you will see. There are two sofas facing the TV; depending on my mood or how tired I’m, I like to feel relaxed watching films and shift positions; from sitting to stretching my legs, a reason I rarely ever liked watching films sitting on a chair, for you have to go through that torture of sitting in a small chair when in a theater, but in your room; comfort comes first. Now; after I watch each film, I like to write about it in my film diary, I simply walk to my table, open my Macbook and write a small review.
6. Walking and Exercise: If you ever worked in the same position for a while, you will probably know the desire to walk and exercise a little, and leave your position. I never allow myself to work on my table for more than 2 hours at a time, when that happen; I simply take a walk in the room, stretching a little, but even then, I either; listen to an audio book, or some piece of music, depending on the mood I’m in. Kicking some small Football in the ground, or lifting some small weight won’t harm your blood circulation. Now; another thing I do when I’m writing or editing is the need to think, and for some reason, I think better when I walk. The space in front of the Film Posters by the door, back and forth is more than 25 feet in length, back and forth walk is allowed, ah; but never walk in a circle, you will get dizzy :).
7. Memorabilia, Antique and Decoration: Depending on your passion, you will end up with many object for decorating your room; beside Film, Literature and Music, my other passion is for Football and collecting antiques. One corner of the room is dedicated for my passion for football, FC Barcelona being my favorite team, that corner is a shrine to that club; A signed poster of Lionel Messi and a singed jersey of Andres Iniesta decorate the place, and when it come to football matches, I’m a little superstitious, if you look closely; three figures surround Messi, each is a force of protection and beauty to the little genius. I have also a photomontage hanging on the wall that display my favorite moment of any Barca match; the 2009 match when Iniesta scored in the last second of the match to knock out Chelsea and send Barca to the final of the Champion League that year. Because of little space I have left; most of the antiques that I have collected is now on display at the top of the shelves; as you probably could tell, I have a deep passion for collecting vases from the ancient Greek.
I forgot to mention three more thing that every room need; light, switches and heating/cooling, all three are needed in the room, but they can become a pain and take space, I tried to avoid them as much as possible or hide them; the lights are inside the roof, they take no space on their own, there is no away of hiding some of the switches, a reason that I painted on top of them, at least to fool the eye from attracting the switches for a while, and the cooling system is also incorporated into the roof.