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A Tea Room of My Own

All ready to serve the morning’s tea.
All ready to serve the morning’s tea.

In 2005 we relocated to South Carolina and started shopping for a house. We saw a style we loved, and found a contractor to custom-build it on our land.

DH and I each made a list of the must-haves in our new house. On his list were a balcony and lots of land. On my list were separate bathrooms – and my own private tea room. (Yes, we got all our “musts!”)

The model we chose had an option for a “bonus room” – what used to be called a study or den: an extra room off the living room with a door but no closet.

I had also wanted a library, so we combined the two into a library/tea room. It seemed a natural to put tea and books together.

We visited frequently during construction. One day I walked into the partially-built house – essentially just the foundation and the frame – and realized that for the first time I was standing in my very own tea room.

Shelves overflowing with tea and tea ware.
Shelves overflowing with tea and tea ware.

Shortly after we moved in we built cherry wood bookshelves around half the room. These hold books as well as tea and tea “things.” A local shop has beautiful sea grass baskets in a wide assortment of sizes and shapes. About a dozen of these are now filled with teas, tablecloths, and various other items. A large floor basket is stuffed with tea cozies.

Windows on three sides look out on our front, side, and back yards – well, actually our woods. Ottomans at two of the windows serve as window seats. Thermal draperies in a sage and burgundy cabbage rose pattern, along with the bookcases lining the walls, keep the room cool in summer and toasty warm in winter.

A sofa, a few serving tables, a teapot “tuffet,” stacking wooden storage boxes embellished with hand-painted cabbage roses – the smallest of which holds oolongs, white teas, and the occasional kitty — and a chair that converts to a library step complete the furnishings.

The kitties like to sit atop these boxes and keep us company. Today we’re hosting Tiffy.
The kitties like to sit atop these boxes and keep us company. Today we’re hosting Tiffy.

In the six years we’ve been here, my collection of tea “things” has expanded beyond the tea room to fill a couple of floor cabinets and a wall cabinet in the adjacent living room. One of these days I’ll give away a few books to make room for more tea ware. Maybe.

My tea room is a refuge for solitary teas, for sharing “girlfriend” tea, and for weekend mornings to enjoy tea with my dear husband. Where we can look out at birds, squirrels, rabbits, deer, our fruit trees and our flower gardens. Or curl up with a book. On a pleasant spring or autumn day we might go outside on the balcony with our afternoon cups, but mornings are reserved at our own private tea room.

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12 responses to “A Tea Room of My Own”

  1. […] a related article on this blog: “A Tea Room of My Own” by Janis […]

  2. […] shop. I have several of these in my tea room/library already, as you can see in the second photo here, and can always use another. And then he could fill the basket […]

  3. […] dining room or even the living room or family room. Some of us are even so fortunate as to have a whole room devoted to tea. The main idea here is to decorate in a way that appeals to you. It could be […]

  4. […] weekend mornings when we’d be relaxing in our tea room, there would be Ashley, clawing his way up to the table to drink tea. My oolong, my husband’s […]

  5. […] – they’re so big you could saddle ‘em and ride ‘em. So during the summer we sip our tea indoors, surrounded by kitties, our contact with the outdoors limited to gazing out the windows from the […]

  6. […] they are not actively engaged in the tea steeping process. You could find yourself needing a whole tea room to hold them all, not to mention the teacups, saucers, cream and sugar sets, etc. Yes, your […]

  7. […] was sure I had a bamboo whisk somewhere in my tea room, but apparently not. So I used a small silicone whisk instead. And I don’t have a chawan, the […]

  8. […] the magnificent sky show as the sun is setting. While the balcony isn’t a dedicated space like the one we have at our home in the USA, it serves as my de facto tea room whenever I’m in Bucuresti. Three new […]

  9. […] I’ve become a teapot collector, and Janis Badarau certainly has more on display in the special tea room in her house than I own, but the fever has definitely caught hold. So much so that when offered a […]

  10. […] A Tea Room of My Own, by Janis Badarau […]

  11. This sounds like heaven!

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