Home: My New Best Friend: Smarty Pants

In a stylish study, there’s room for lounging and learning

Ashli, bless her stylishly gifted heart, was not put off by the feats of fancy I had conjured for what is essentially a very small room in a not so big home. A study, she said, should stimulate one’s imagination. “I think of the word ‘study,’ and it can mean so many different things,” Ashli said. “You can study a language, a landscape or a person. It’s not necessarily about doing. It can be about sitting and being.”

She also wasn’t put off by the smallness of the space. I live in a converted office building, and while the square footage is not great, the ceilings are very high. “We can make a big impact visually by thinking vertically,” Ashli said, as she whipped up a plan that would include 14-foot-high bookcases, a jewel color for the wall and artwork hung gallery-style from eye-level to the tip of my ceiling.

I loved it all. I wanted it to happen instantly. But alas, like those old Paul Masson wine commercials with Orson Welles, my study — like a bottle of fine wine — will take some time. That’s okay. More consultations with Ashli mean more time with my new best friend. And while this fall I’ll be conjugating verbs in Portuguese, I’m thinking next fall, I might take an evening class at the Moore College of Art & Design. I’ve always wanted to take a life drawing class, so maybe I’ll do that. The one thing I won’t be studying is interior design. I’m leaving that to the pros, like Ashli.