In 2004 I received my licensure as a massage therapist in the state of Florida. Once I built up enough business I rented my first office.

It was a long narrow space in the back of an office complex. I was faced with a utility access box and fluorescent lighting.

When I first moved in I had nothing but a card table, a folding chair, my massage table, a lamp, and a cd player. It was sparse, but my clients weren’t there for a spa ambiance.

Eventually, I was able to set up the room how I wanted it. I put money back into the office, did a lot of the work myself, and begged for favors from friends.

I covered the ceiling with a gorgeous length of fabric. My mom did the sewing. An interior designer friend helped me choose colors that would make the space feel less narrow.

The cabinets in the back were custom-made for me by a good friend named Gary. We solved the access-panel issue by building a shelf that could be moved away.

Hangers and a chair for the client were placed on the other side of the room. It was just enough space for a folding chair. I fell in love with battery-operated candles. No smoke, no risk of fire, portable, and provides just enough light for the therapist to work.

The fluorescent lights were not used very often once the fabric was hung. I prefer a softer light in a massage room. A standing lamp, purchased for less than $10 from home depot, was enough to light up one corner.

We used lines strung across the room anchored to hooks on either side. This allowed us to create a ceiling that was swoopy and billowy.

For those who are curious, this was the shared waiting room. I had nothing to do with the decorations.