A Writers Retreat On A Budget

I’m lucky enough to stay home all day with the kiddos and write. But my office is currently in my bedroom. Hubby and the kids leave for school and work and head down the hall to my bedroom. Sure, I have some really productive days. But I have more days that are filled with distractions like laundry, keeping the dog busy (she can’t throw her Frisbee herself), trips to the kitchen for more coffee…you get the picture.


Now we’re also lucky enough to have a huge storage shed in our backyard. Up until recently it was filled to the rafters with junk. But a couple of trips to the dump have taken care of most of that. It’s a few steps from the deck. It has four walls, a roof and a door. It is… perfect. Okay, not move-in perfect. The fluorescent lights burned out long ago. It would need insulation if I’m going to use it year-round. A new paint job on the outside. A massive cleaning job on the inside — I refuse to share my new workspace with spiders! And, not that I’ll see it from where I am working, some pretty new landscaping in front.

Here’s what it looks like right now (okay, a few years ago and a LOT more moss on the roof at present) There really IS a window, btw. On the left hand wall:


So I’m reading up on tutorials on how to install insulation and drywall. I am woman, hear me roar, right? 😉 No reason why I can’t do this on my own. Throw a rug down on the cement floor, drag my desk and printer table in, cover the walls with the kids’ artwork (it’s not a proper workspace without it) and voila! New home office.

Now, to make this the perfect writing retreat, it has to set the mood before you even step inside. I’d love a pathway from the deck right up to the front door. Flagstone or something that won’t interfere with mowing the lawn on either side of it. And flowering shrubs. Something to break up the monotony of the (mildewed) siding. I wonder if hubby will let me paint it pink. Pretty please? Light pink, with brighter pink flowering bushes in the front. A scattering of wildflowers on the ground in front of that. How gorgeous would that be???

As I wait for the weather to warm up (and dry out), I am spending a lot of time on Pinterest, getting ideas. To say I’m excited is a bit of an understatement. I’ve even been to Lowes to check out prices on batting and drywall, see if I can find some decorative trim for the outside and just generally get in the DIY spirit. Too. Much. Fun.


Okay, if my writing retreat looked like this, I would probably never leave.



Kinda stark, but functional, right?



How super cute is this? With a front porch? Too impractical for my home office, but lovely to look at.


Hadn’t thought of a birdfeeder, but somehow that seems necessary now, don’t you think? We get some stunning Stellar Jays that visit us in the spring. Now if I could attract butterflies and hummingbirds too…?


Can’t do the gravel, but I definitely need a path leading up to my workspace. My daily commute. Leaving my personal world behind as I begin to focus on my work day. I like that.

Have any of you made this type of dream a reality? I would LOVE to see photos of your own writing retreat. I’ll post pictures as I get my own space up and functional.

Spring fever — I HAZ IT! 😀

About Jennifer DeCuir

I write small town contemporary romance for Crimson Romance. Busy mom of two, I live for (or is it on?) coffee and chocolate.
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8 Responses to A Writers Retreat On A Budget

  1. Jessica says:

    Love it! And I’d be happy to helpany, if you need any

  2. What a great idea. I write at my kitchen table–which has turned into my office. However, it’s right next to the kitchen and the great room is right behind me. I can’t write when there are dishes in the sink. I would love a real honest-to-goodness writer’s cave. Have fun making your space. If I were closer, I would come help. 🙂

  3. What a great idea! I love it! I’m turning green thinking about it.

  4. Lola Karns says:

    What a fun idea!

  5. Kathleen Shaputis says:

    My “office” is in the corner of the den/library/junk room. I do have a window looking out on the front yard and Junior’s memorial garden. But it’s not a private writing room of my dreams. Can’t wait to hear the updates as spring arrives.

  6. Lis Blees says:

    What a fun idea!! I have lots of tools, in case you are missing any and need to borrow. And if you have a project that needs extra hands, the hubby and I could come by and have a wine + building afternoon with you and your hubby 🙂 Sounds like a fun spring weekend afternoon to me!

  7. S Blanco says:

    Awesome idea and great inspiration. I’m useless at DIY so not any help, but will be cheering you on. Can’t wait to see the transformation! Love the idea of a path specifically to the office.

  8. K3Cottage says:

    By creating your own writing retreat whether that be alone or with other writers you ll be able to kick-start your creativity and get some writing done.

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