Ensconced in a robe, at peace after a silent hour on the massage table, I contemplate the small miracle of Thomas and I relaxing in this space. Welcome to Lescure’s yoga room.
Here was the site of a renovation mess for the longest time. This is partly down to our restless creative nature and partly down to getting it wrong. Although perhaps there is no wrong. We just changed our mind. Frequently. We knew we wanted a room suited to bodywork, but we also wanted to keep it wabi sabi, imperfectly beautiful like the rest of the house. But how do you create a room with adjustable light and proper heating without incorporating too modern a solution? Heating especially is a challenge in this old house.
We brought down false walls to get rid of the oppressive feel. That was the easy part. Lay-out decided upon, the next steps were more difficult. For most of last winter, we kept going back and forth between options, much to our and indeed the builders’ chagrin. Let’s open up the old fireplace! No, let’s not! The real fire would look welcoming, but you’d be freezing on the massage table. How cool is a candlelit yoga studio! Perhaps not, other types of bodywork require good lighting. Don’t touch the old window! Or should we replace it, as the wood of the frame is almost entirely gone? And so on and so forth.
A remark from a therapist friend who visited us amidst the chaos brought us to our senses: “I like working in a room that’s simple and free from distractions.” Until then I had never realised that the features that I love so much (tattered doors, cracked ceilings, a mess of muted colours) could be a distraction. Broken windows and the absence of shutters had given rain and wind free play in this part of the house and nearly all the original details had been destroyed. Why resist insulating walls that were new anyway, putting in modern heating and electricity? And that’s how it happened.
The transformation from derelict walls to zen sanctuary is now complete. And I needn’t have worried: the old doors and weathered floor are plenty to satisfy my wabi sabi dreams.