Eight Personal Spaces That You’ll Love

Virginia Wolf wrote the novel A Room of One’s Own. Tracy Chapman sang Save a Place for Me. John Ashbery penned the poem This Room. What they knew is that we all need an area that’s ours and ours alone.

Whether you live with a roommate, spouse, or with your family, having a space you can call yours is important. Carving out an area—whether that’s a corner, nook, or full room—helps provide some privacy and breathing room. Even if you have great relationships, everyone needs some personal space.

At Phelan’s, we’ve been helping people in Cedar Rapids—people just like you—for nearly eight decades. We’ll assess your needs, make suggestions about decorating, and customize your new space. We work with budgets both large and small and on projects of all sizes. Our only goal is to improve your life. Our experienced decorators will help with all your home and office décor needs.

Our friendly staff takes the guesswork and stress out of decorating. Tell our designer your goals and your budget and we’ll help you make your dream a reality.

Following are eight ideas for creating an oasis in your home or apartment. These decorating examples are just the tip of the iceberg. We’re innovative thinkers and can imagine many more possibilities for your home décor.

The “Eyes” Have It

If you have just a bit of space to play with, consider a dedicated makeup area. You’ll have a quiet spot to get ready for work or for a big night out on the town. We love this fluffy, frilly, feminine seat paired with a large regency desk and mirror below. But you can emulate this idea on a smaller scale.

makeup vanity cedar rapids

Pick a chair that provides comfort and style. Select a desk or armoire with drawers and enough flat surface for all your supplies. Prop or mount a mirror that suits your taste. And then choose lighting that illuminates your “work area” . . . which in this case is your face.

You can affordably personalize your makeup area in many ways: add photographs, beautiful vintage perfume bottles, fresh flowers, special lighting, silver brushes, or soft candles. The important thing is to make the area soothing and beautiful to your eyes, a place you look forward to visiting each and every day.

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, it’s a Man Cave

Now that you’ve created your own beauty oasis, consider what the man in your life might like. Whether it’s your son or spouse, think about his interests and hobbies. For example, does he love hunting, making craft beer, photography, playing poker, or collecting stamps? Once you’ve narrowed down his preferences, our designers can help create a space that suits him to a tee.

You don’t need a large area to create a special space. Let’s say, for example, your husband loves comic books. One inexpensive idea would be to have his favorites framed and place them on the wall of his dedicated room, as shown to the left. 

interior designers cedar rapids

Maybe his personal space can be as simple as a large couch or some comfy recliners. Perhaps he’d like a ping pong table in the basement. Or maybe he adores fishing and he’d really like to showcase his gear, as this picture below shows. Whatever his passion, make sure his man cave reflects his personality.

home decor cedar rapids

You Ought to Be in Pictures

Do you love to watch movies? Fully equipped dedicated home theaters can be an expensive proposition. If you want all the bells and whistles, we can help. But if you’d like to work on a budget, we’ll make sure we protect your pocketbook.

At Phelan’s, we work with a wonderful group of furniture manufacturers. We offer a large variety of sofas, chairs, and seating for a beautiful movie theater room. You’ll also love our lighting options and many accessories, like pillows, throws, and wall art.


When you’re watching a movie, you want comfortable seating, ambient lighting, and plush textures. We like the soft buttery leather seating (below), attractive wall sconces, and geometric throw pillows that add a punch of color and visual interest.

It’s Happy Hour

Who says you need a built-in bar to enjoy a cocktail at home? At Phelan’s, our creative team will help you create an entertainment area to beat the band. You don’t need a lot of space to create a unique personal space.

Collage Phelan's

We have great options so your happy hour supplies can be stowed away, but be broken out at any time. Our sideboard cabinet from Canal Dover offers plenty of storage. Pair that sideboard with Thomasville drink table and a couple Amisco teal stools and you have a beautiful setup.

A New Chapter

Sometimes having a snug, personal space to read is just what the doctor ordered. Let your imagination be your guide. For reading areas, you want soft fabrics that absorb sound and provide pleasurable sensory experiences.


Consider plush throw rugs, curtains, throw pillows, and soothing art. You’ll need a bright task light for reading, but should consider soft lighting for the entire area. You may also want a side table to store books and your coffee or tea cup. There’s always room for a reading nook, whether it’s in a corner of the living room, in the basement, or in your bedroom. Both of these options are great reading nooks. The reading nook on the right is from Hooker Furniture and is by Cynthia Rowley.

living room furniture cedar rapids

What are your Office Hours?

A majority of Americans own a laptop computer. Portable and lightweight, these machines can be used anywhere. Yet there’s something special about having your own home office space. You don’t need a separate room for an office. But you’ll probably want a few basic staples, including:

-A desk or flat surface

-Bright task lighting

-A comfortable chair or other seating

-Storage space or filing cabinets

-White or cork board

We’ll work with your budget and space constraints to make sure you get just what you need.

For extra storage, you can always buy a shelving unit like the one pictured by Cynthia Rowley. And if you don’t have a view from your office, we’ll provide creative ideas for decorating your wall space, including framed photos, organizational tools, or even paint colors as showed in the picture below.

desks cedar rapids

Once you have the basics, you can personalize the space to reflect your personality. Plants, scented candles, children’s artwork, beautiful stationery, fabrics, books, or tea lights are just a few of the accessories that can make your home office a more delightful place.

A Lobby for Your Hobby

Woodworking, scrapbooking, painting, knitting, sewing, brewing, or building models are just a few of the hobbies many people enjoy. While an entire room devoted to your pastime would be lovely, it’s not always practical. So one way to carve out a space is to be creative with new organizational approaches.

Most hobbies require a roomy flat work surface, task lighting, and a height appropriate chair. But from there, the sky’s the limit. A few examples:

For small parts or supplies, you can put containers within the drawers to keep everything looking nice from the outside.

storage basket cedar rapids

For paper and writing supplies, you can stack modular units atop each other. Elegant and easy. If it is easier for organization purposes, you can always add baskets like the ones below to your shelving.

shelving unit cedar rapids

One idea we love for space saving is a Murphy desk. Remember the Murphy beds that pulled down out of the wall? This is the same, but it’s a desk. When not in use, it folds up and instantly creates more livable space.

We hope you’ve enjoyed some of the ideas we’ve shared for creating your own personal space. At Phelan’s, we’ve decorated and improved many hundreds of homes and commercial spaces. Our decorating professionals take advantage of ongoing professional development, tours, and educational classes. They’re constantly learning so they can offer you fresh and innovative design ideas.

Contact Phelan’s today. We’ll help you create a space you can truly call your own.