My Happy Place

My Happy Place

For years I’ve tried to create a special place in our spare room/home office, a place where I would love to work, create, or just sit and think – a happy place, if you will.

I’ve gotten rid of furniture, hung pretty artwork, rearranged desk, tables, chairs and bookcases and still, it’s a gloomy sort of room and not one that I want to spend time in beyond paying a bill or scanning something on the printer.

One day I was going through a big pile of reusable shopping accumulating on a little table in our living room, just next to the front door. I don’t know about you, but I have more than enough of these bags and decided to get rid of a bunch. Once I got to the bottom of the pile I realized a darling little table had been hiding under all those bags.

I have had the table for decades – since my 20s. It was a hand-me-down from my parents who divorced in the 1980s.  While talking to my mother on the phone last week, I mentioned the table to her and asked her how she came to own it. She told me it was gift from my father for her birthday many years ago. Knowing this makes the table more of a treasure to me and I knew I wanted to use it for something better than a place to dump grocery bags.

One day I got an idea. I dragged the table outside to the front porch and put it between two adirondack chairs we’ve had for about a dozen years. Instantly I knew this was the table’s new spot and that I’d be making the front porch my Happy Place!

My Happy Place

The first thing I did was add some things to the top of the table. I recently started planting succulents for indoor use and noticed these plants fare much better outdoors. I gathered together all the suffering succulents around my home and brought them outside. And I even bought a few more which Tori, my stepdaughter, helped me re-pot.

My Happy Place

Next I went around the house and collected small tchotchkes, knick-knacks and doo-dads to add to the plants. I thought it would be fun to add a little extra personality.

My Happy Place

This cement urn has been on our front porch for a long time and had a couple of sad looking succulents in it already.

My Happy Place

I added a few more plants and some fresh cactus soil then I livened it up a bit with some little things like seashells, a tiny thatched house, and a very small hollowed out egg our chicken laid.

My Happy Place

I grabbed the white Buddha statue I bought in San Francisco’s Chinatown, a fancy French candle given to me by a dear friend and a votive candle holder that looks like a house and placed them all on the table.

My Happy Place

In the drawer I have a lighter to light my candles, some mosquito spray (I quickly learned that mosquitos are a problem when sitting outside in the early evening), and my affirmation cards.

My Happy Place

When I find myself getting tired or frustrated or just want a break, I stop what I’m doing and go to my Happy Place on the porch. My Happy Place

Once in awhile I will bring my laptop with me and catch up on emails or edit photos, but mostly I drink coffee or tea – sans the cell phone – pull a few of my affirmation cards, write in my journal, or just sit and watch the birds and inspect my plants.

My Happy Place

Since I created my Happy Place a few weeks ago, my husband and I have a new routine. When gets home from work, he changes out of his uniform and into something comfortable, then we meet on the porch. We talk about how our day went, sometimes over a glass of wine or some sparkling water with lime.

My Happy Place


Now it’s more like “our” Happy Place  and I look forward to that time with him all day. We watch a pitying of turtle doves fly back and forth among the Redwood and Oak trees and gray squirrels scurry around the vineyard across the street. We also watch a descent of woodpeckers that congregate on top of a telephone pole at the end of our driveway and peck away at dusk (in case you’re wondering, I had to look up what to call groups of turtle doves and woodpeckers 😁).

I recently added a couple of throw pillows and blanket to the chairs. It gets chilly in the mornings and evenings here this time of year.

Happy Place

I love how this special spot all came about without me really planning or forcing it. I have been planning and forcing to make something special out of our home office for many years and not surprisingly, it has not worked. But the seed was planted. I knew I wanted to create a special place but just didn’t know how – and I guess I didn’t know where either!

Happy Place

I still want to make my office into a place my husband and I will enjoy spending more than a few minutes in but I think it’s going to take a lot more than a little table and some potted plants to make that happen. It’s going to take time, planning and money. Until then, I look forward to spending lots of time in my Happy Place as it continues to be part of my rich life.


Do you have a special place in your home or yard where you go to work, create, meditate or rest – a Happy Place?

Tell me about yours and be sure to…

Make it a rich and happy day!




  1. April 8, 2016 / 4:39 pm

    🙂 This looks like a wonderful place – I would’t mind spending time there either.
    The table is cute and I like the plants you keep there.
    Have a very HAPPY weekend 🙂 xo

    • Adrienne Shubin
      April 10, 2016 / 9:40 am

      I wish you could come and sit with me and enjoy a cup of tea on my porch, Claudia!
      Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend – what’s left of it! xo

  2. April 8, 2016 / 8:47 pm

    Your happy place looks wonderful! And I love how it came together organically. You really can’t force a happy place, I guess.. 🙂

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      April 10, 2016 / 9:36 am

      You are so right, Andrea. You can’t force a happy place – believe me, I have tried!
      Hope you’re having a great weekend and enjoying this wet weather!

  3. liz
    April 9, 2016 / 4:35 am

    Just draw a circle around my spot on the bed–sitting cross-legged–and that’s my Happy Place. I don’t even need a place, just a spot.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      April 10, 2016 / 9:28 am

      Liz – my bed is main Happy Place for sure. I love to hang out and read, work, watch a movie or color with the dogs sleeping at my feet. And it’s usually a little warmer than the front porch this time of year!

  4. April 9, 2016 / 4:58 am

    Good evening!
    Japan time is 9 pm on Saturday.
    Always thanks to a nice message.
    It is covered in Japanese cherry tree.
    Welcome to Okayama, the Land of Sunshine!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      April 10, 2016 / 9:30 am

      Hello Ryoma – I bet it is gorgeous in Japan this time of year with all the cherry blossoms!

  5. Kathy
    April 9, 2016 / 6:21 am

    That table is adorable – very vintage, I have a cousin who collected that period oak furniture (can’t remember the name) and what a wonderful story behind it. And of course, love the classic Adirondacks too. I can see why you love sitting here. I have a place in our yard for that sort of sitting outside and it’s very restorative, isn’t it? Clears my head.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      April 10, 2016 / 9:41 am

      It clears my head too – sort of like leaving the house but not really leaving the house at all. I often will not bring my phone with me on purpose and just try to sit in the moment. Lately, I have been taking my camera with me instead and will go photograph flowers and plants in our yard…I love the macro feature – it’s fun to see how much detail I can get.

  6. Debbie
    April 9, 2016 / 3:33 pm

    Do I see a butterfly in one of the pots from my Mom’s
    celebration of life. If it is you warmed my heart since I
    love seeing them in use. Thank you for bringing a smile
    to my day.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      April 9, 2016 / 3:46 pm

      Yes! That is the butterfly I brought home from your mother’s service. I think of you both every time I see it. xo

  7. April 9, 2016 / 11:14 pm

    Wow, this looks amazing Adrienne. You’ve done a great job. So stylish!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      April 10, 2016 / 9:20 am

      Thank you, Fiona! I went to fun plant, flower and wine event in Sonoma yesterday and bought a new succulent arrangement to add to the table. It’s so fun playing around with the table decor. So happy you stopped by today…made my morning!!

  8. April 10, 2016 / 12:37 am

    The front porch is such a perfect happy place and I really enjoyed reading about how this has all come together. I love the long family connection behind the darling table. Sitting on the porch sans electronics and journaling or watching the birds sounds very peaceful!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      April 10, 2016 / 9:19 am

      It is very peaceful. Yesterday my husband and I had coffee out there and watched it rain. It was wonderful!

  9. newmrsr
    April 10, 2016 / 1:31 am

    I love your table. I have a summerhouse full of shabby chic mish mash. That’s my happy place, I spend hours in it.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      April 10, 2016 / 9:00 am

      Sounds lovely! I love shabby chic mish mashes 🙂

  10. April 10, 2016 / 6:40 am

    I hope you can find a way to turn that room into a place you truly love and feel happy in. Start with a happy color on the walls… I used the lightest shade of yellow I could find because it felt sunny, warm and happy. Then find a rug that screams happiness to you. I also used some of my favorite photos I have taken, printed and framed them in coordinating frames from Michaels Crafts. My room at home, my home office is ever-evolving. I think the one thing that really puts a smile on my face is having my desk situated so I can see outdoors, bushes with birds and bees buzzing in the spring and summer. So many ways to make a room feel good. Good luck with your room! xo

    • Adrienne Shubin
      April 10, 2016 / 8:59 am

      Hi Diane,

      What a lovely and inviting office you have! I love that little Christmas box and I really like your office chair too.
      The biggest issue I have with our office is its darkness. There is a window but it’s not big and the overhang on the roof blocks what little light does come in. It’s like a dungeon in there – such a drag! I am considering painting it a cheery color – light blue? A blush shade? Maybe yellow? I think it will happen and that at some point it will be a place I enjoy spending time. I can only sit on the front porch so much, right??
      Thank you for the office Happy Place inspiration, Diane! xo, A

      • Diane
        April 10, 2016 / 10:41 am

        Lamps Lamps Lamps! I have an overhead light on a dimmer switch and I have three lamps as well as my window. We get some pretty dark winter days here and after living in Arizona for decades, well…. I totally suffer without light. The light yellow walls help too. xo

        • Adrienne Shubin
          April 11, 2016 / 10:24 am

          Yes, I have got to get more lamps for sure. We have an overhead fan with lights on it but they’re too bright – a dimmer switch would be a great way to fix that! Thank you for the idea, Diane!

  11. liz kroin
    April 10, 2016 / 11:03 am

    We like an abundance of lamps, too. A burgundy porcelain lamp, a house where the roof opens lamp, a glass lamp my mother filled with neon yellow tennis balls, a Chinese lamp, a big cow bell lamp, a carved wood horse statue lamp and a few normal lamps. Three a room is good. I’m not even a fan of daytime. I just like to be able to read.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      April 11, 2016 / 10:26 am

      Liz – Your lamps all sound so interesting. Especially the tennis ball lamp! I really don’t own many lamps, come to think of it. I definitely could use some floor lamps – sort of easier to find a place for than table lamps when you don’t have a lot of surface space.

  12. Linda Salazar
    April 11, 2016 / 1:01 pm

    Great idea Adrienne! Glad you found a use for the table…it’s the perfect spot. Love the way you styled it!

    My bed is probably my place I go to relax…usually first thing in the morning. I get up, grab my coffee and head back to bed for 15-20 min. to read a magazine. I never seem to have time for that once I’m up and about. It’s usually the quietest time around here too because it’s 5:45 or earlier before my neighbors are up!


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