Welcome to My Gypsy Den


Welp, it’s finally done. A couple weeks ago, I decided to turn my bright, nondescript little office into a dark, cozy habitat of a completely different kind.

Taking as my inspiration interiors from gypsy caravans, Moroccan houses, Bedouin tents, and a handful of other ambiguously exotic locations, I turned the room into a tent of wonders. Check out the before/afters, man; I worked my butt off:




It’s not perfect but I love it so very much. It’s warm and candlelit, and it’s a great place for smoking hookah in flavors like cardamom and rose and honey. And it’s dark. These pictures were taken mid-day. I love me some dark.

Now, on to the practical side.

All those textiles and furnitures and pillows — lordie, all the pillows — came from three neighborhood thrift stores.

This trunk was something like $10. I painted it black with regular ol’ house interior paint and left it a bit streaky for a more weathered look.


This table was one I had lying around the attic — really tacky with purple and gold grapes and a mottled clear glass top. I painted the grapes and legs black, and then I painted the just the underside of the glass top.


This is my little nook. The textiles all over the room are everything you can imagine. Drapes, bedsheets, shower curtains, saris, shawls, and a couple unique sections of cheap fabric I got online.


Now, let’s talk pillows.

Guuuuuurl, I went to Bed Bath & Beyond the other day to search for bedroom pillows. I paid something like $40 for a single. Decorative. Throw pillow. I nearly lost my mind.

For contrast, most of the dozens of throw and sittin’-on pillows in the Disney-version-of-gypsy tent here cost $2.49 a piece at Goodwill. I went for fancy-looking ones with beaded fringe, iridescent or velvet fabrics in vivid hues, and a general feeling of bohemian richness.


Finally, the small details. At Goodwill and Salvation Army, I found a couple silver/brass pitchers and fancy candle holders. I pulled out a Moravian star Christmas lantern and hung it with another candle holder and an incense censer — an eBay find that I’ll admit was a teensy splurge at around $18.


The rugs are, again, from Goodwill. The biggest one is around 8′ x 12′ and cost me $75 — and if you’re in the market for traditional Persian-design rugs, you know that’s a dang steal.

It might be a bit (okay, way) over-the-top, but I deeply adore my spooky little tent-room. It’s the only room in my house where I feel relaxed enough to take a nap. I just get a cup of tea, smoke a little hookah, and curl up in a pile of pillows with the dog, who, of course, loves it to death.


I have to say, it’s nice to have a space that’s specifically for doing nothing. I mean, the bedroom is all about sleeping and dressing and fighting with your significant other (tell me I’m wrong), and every other room in the house has a purpose and function and things you’re supposed to do. I needed a room for just spacing out, and I am really lucky that I had a corner of the attic to make just that. Highly recommended for anxious persons, busy bees, and digitally over-connected people who just need to slow the heck down.


3 thoughts on “Welcome to My Gypsy Den

  1. I love your work space. Unfortunately I currently have to share mine with the OH (we both work from home) and I’m afraid your charming Sherazade-esque decor would go down like a lead ballon. Honestly, some folks have no imagination.


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