Great writers are known for their genius prose, not necessarily their visual style. But what we frequently find we love about an artist is reflected in the way they dress, the places where they spend their time, and the things they surround themselves with.
Few places are closer to a writer’s heart than their bedroom and work space. If you’re looking to renovate your room or office, consider drawing inspiration from your favorite iconic author’s decorative style.
Virginia Woolf 1,2
The author of A Room of One’s Own truly appreciated the necessity for personal space and the freedom to express herself. You can capture the peace and tranquility of her 17th century cottage by surrounding yourself with books, prized objects, and a water basin so you can hide away until teatime.
Ernest Hemingway 1,3
Ernest Hemingway’s understated style influenced a generation of writers and earned him the Nobel Prize in 1954. You can see his sparse, no-nonsense style reflected in the minimal, airy feel of his bedroom. Choose hardwood fixtures and fittings and big, open windows if you want to capture that sense of maritime adventure for yourself.
Flannery O’Connor 1,4
Flannery O’Connor’s small but impressive body of fiction explores the human struggle with morals and religion. She wrote much of her work while living at her mother’s dairy farm. Bold, unpretentious patterns and a jumble of personal knickknacks make for a calm, homely bedroom.
Henry David Thoreau 1,5
Thoreau is best known for his book Walden, in which he reflects upon the virtues of living in natural surroundings. He spent two years, two months, and two days living in the cabin that he built near Walden Pond. You can recreate that feel of the writer’s retreat with exposed floorboards, minimal furniture, and an open fire by whose light you can hone your craft.
Victor Hugo 1,6
French poet, novelist, and dramatist Victor Hugo is best known for his novels The Hunchback Of Notre-Dame and Les Misérables. Famous also for his numerous affairs, the red, textured wallpaper of Hugo’s bedroom will suit the more sensual reader, while the ergonomic design of Hugo’s ornate standing desk was ahead of its time!
Emily Dickinson 1,7
Although Emily Dickinson was a prolific poet, fewer than a dozen of her poems were published during her lifetime. It was not until after her death that her immense body of work was discovered. She needed just a small table and plenty of natural light to compose her verses; you might find an oil lamp or candlelight an inspiring alternative after dark.
Marcel Proust 1,8
Marcel Proust is considered to be one of the most influential authors of the 20th century. The small, private space in which he slept and wrote his final works is a testament to the potential of the studio apartment. Find yourself a comfortable armchair and a bureau with plenty of storage space to make a cramped spare room into a versatile and creative place.
William Faulkner 1,9
William Faulkner was known for his faithful dictation of southern speech and his novels boldly illuminated social issues avoided by many other American writers. His sparsely decorated bedroom was so geared towards work that you can still see his handwriting on the walls today. To give your bedroom a literary edge, try lining it with blackboards or plain wallpaper and letting your creativity roam free.
Designing a peaceful yet creative space for work and rest is no easy feat. Draw inspiration from these legendary authors, and your bedroom can become as stylish and timeless as the rooms where they wrote their greatest works.
8 Floor Plans of Famous Writers’ Bedroom, courtesy of Home Advisor
- Seawright, B. (2017). Literary Style: 15 Writers’ Bedrooms. apartmenttherapy.com
- Biography. (2017). Virginia Woolf. biography.com
- Biography. (2017). Ernest Hemingway. biography.com
- Biography. (2017). Flannery O’Connor. biography.com
- Biography. (2017). Henry Thoreau. biography.com
- Biography. (2017). Victor Hugo. biography.com
- Biography. (2017). Emily Dickinson. biography.com
- Biography. (2017). Marcel Proust. biography.com
- Biography. (2017). William Faulkner. biography.com