I have a newfound love for my dining room since it has become a catch-all space for my work, graduate classes, and other projects. As someone who lives alone, my dining room went largely unused, but once quarantine became a reality, the previously neglected space quickly became the place where I spend the majority of my week. My dining room has become an office, classroom, and even makeshift art studio over the last few weeks. The large bay windows and monochrome color scheme have been a consistently calming environment as I’ve navigated the strange, confusing, and stressful time of life during a pandemic.

ahwh1

Is there a particular story about how this spot came to be arranged/decorated the way it is? Are there any particular pieces that have significant history to you or your family?

After living with roommates for years, I made the switch to living alone last spring. The dining set was the first of the furniture that I bought for my solo apartment, and I put it together myself! There was a sense of validation from building something on my own as I was stepping into a more independent lifestyle.

ahwh3

Have there been particularly inspiring or moving moments in this corner of your home? Or, is there a particular feeling you get when you are in this space in your house?

I am fortunate to have been able to continue to work full-time from home and keep up with my graduate studies remotely while under a stay-at-home order in Minnesota, but the transition was a difficult one. I am very much a creature of habit, and the significant changes to my routine had me grasping for a sense of stability for weeks. When I started out, I cleared off my dining-table-turned-desk each day as if I was anticipating a return to the office the following day. I constantly had the unsettled sensation of living out of a suitcase. Eventually I started leaving out my laptop, then my daily planner, and so on until I had a permanent desk. A space to keep all of my work and class materials organized day after day while adjusting to new habits has been a much-needed constant. If everything else feels haphazard and chaotic, at least I know where I left my favorite pen!

A designated work space also has helped me set boundaries with my time and energy while spending so much time at home. I was finding myself mentally drained and tempted to work more than necessary because I never felt like I left my office. Now I know when I sit down at my “desk” it’s time to focus and when I get up at the end of the day I can shift my mind to other things. The cues of coming and going from one space have been immensely helpful in reclaiming a rhythm to my days.

ahwh2