When my boyfriend and I first discussed moving in together, we knew we wanted two bedrooms. We wanted a place for guests to have privacy -- but we also wanted an escape plan. Particularly for me. I had been living with two friends for the last five years, but the layout of our apartment gave me a lot of alone time. I had come to require it, and furthermore, I've always loved having a room of my own.
As a teenager I adored my bedroom. I hung mobiles I made in art class, draped scarves over lamps, burned candles to my parents' chagrin, propped dried flowers on bookshelves, and wallpapered my walls with Led Zeppelin posters and Christie Brinkley Cover Girl ads. I had shrines devoted to musicians I loved, put lipstick kisses on my mirror as I experimented with makeup, and listened to 7-inch records, which were really big before iPods.
My room has always been my sanctuary, and when I finally crossed over into adulthood--at least the cohabitation part--at age 31, I still needed that sanctuary. Only now it's no longer my bedroom--if men can have Man Caves then I have most definitely turned my guest room into a Girl Cave.
While our shared space is a lot of natural woods and whites, representing a neither masculine nor feminine aesthetic but rather something I refer to as "'70s minimalism" (open, light, airy but with warm tones), My Girl Cave has become the repository of dried flowers, flea market paintings of flamenco dancers and cute tigers, jewelry and hats as wall art and, yes, even a little pink.
Sometimes--usually when basketball is on--I go into my little utopia, close the door, and find complete zen in folding and putting away the clothes that came out of the closet in a flurry that morning. It's like a grown-up version of playing with my dollhouse.
I firmly believe every woman who cohabits needs a Girl Cave. It may be a whole room or it may be a closet that can fit a chair. We need a place that we can decorate exclusively to our liking, and go to daydream or listen to music. Basically we all deserve a refuge where we can be 16 again.