Making room for special interests

 Many people take comfort in having some sort of hobby, whether it be a favourite pastime such as doing crossword or jigsaw puzzles, using their hands and imaginations to tackle sewing or quilting projects, doing woodwork, or picking up paint and a brush. Whatever special interest takes up our spare time, dedicating an actual room in our home to this activity makes it that much more all-consuming and allows us to translate a passion into part of everyday life.

"Perhaps you really want to dedicate yourself to something that may have started off as a hobby, so if you have the means and physical space in your house, making your home adapt to your interests just makes sense. Special-interest rooms make the whole home experience all the more enjoyable. I've seen people put in ballet rooms with the barres and mirrors because their kids are in ballet. "You get to indulge yourself in something that is very personalized."

While families have tended to be on the move in years past, spending their money on restaurants and forms of entertainment like going out to see big-screen flicks, Padvaiskas said that special-interest rooms are on the rise because people are more inclined to now put their time and money into creating commercial-quality spaces at home.

"It all comes back to nesting," she explained.

"It used to be a big thing to go out to the movies, but when you have the capabilities that we have nowadays for a home theatre experience that rivals going to a theatre, people are spending the money to make that space at home. They're soundproofing and doing dark walls and putting in the lighting as well as the seating and popcorn machine. You're watching the movie in a dedicated room that is designed exactly like a miniature version of a theatre.

"I've seen steam rooms in master bathrooms, complete workshops in basements and garages, and full laundry rooms with a dedicated space for laundry and crafts and a TV. "Those are truly special-interest rooms."

There's no denying that a special interest room is an awesome luxury. It offers a personalized space whose sole purpose is the pursuit of creative expression.

"It's about this journey of self discovery that we're all on, and doing things at home other than work," Padvaiskas said.

"You get to dedicate a space in your home (to something) that isn't work and tap into the creative side. It's the yin and yang of life."

© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette                                                                                                              Photograph by: Handout photo , Rebecca Mitchell Interiors

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