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MONDAY, JULY 30, 2007
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Janet and Eddie Parker’s “summer room” — a side deck in her Priceville home she and her husband screened in a few years ago. The room has become the couple’s makeshift bedroom and eating area and a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.
Daily photos by Brennen Smith
Janet and Eddie Parker’s “summer room” — a side deck in her Priceville home she and her husband screened in a few years ago. The room has become the couple’s makeshift bedroom and eating area and a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

MY SPACE
Cabin fever
Priceville woman who loves outdoors converts deck into summer bedroom that reminds her of Girl Scout camp

By Danielle Komis Palmer
dpalmer@decaturdaily.com · 340-2447

Each summer when Janet Parker returned home from Girl Scout camp as a child, she sobbed endlessly. She hated to leave it behind — the wood chopping, the arts and crafts, but most of all, her cabin.

Janet Parker in her summer room, which was converted from a deck to a bedroom. Ever since she fell in love with the outdoors at Girl Scout camp, she’s loved to sleep outside, she said.
Janet Parker in her summer room, which was converted from a deck to a bedroom. Ever since she fell in love with the outdoors at Girl Scout camp, she’s loved to sleep outside, she said.
The cabin had no electricity and she slept with only a woolen blanket, but she could hear the crickets at night through the screened windows. It was bliss.

Nearly 50 years later, Parker finally got the chance to re-create that cabin feeling in what she calls her “summer room” — a side deck in her Priceville home she and her husband screened in a few years ago.

The room has become the couple’s makeshift bedroom and eating area and a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Before it was converted, it was an open deck with a hot tub.

“I always wanted a room that reminded me of camp but wasn’t as hard of work,” Parker said, laughing.

Where did you get items in the room?

  • Bedspread and oversized pillows — J.C. Penney, Hobby Lobby

  • Framed stained glass window — a former bathroom window from Parker’s former house — an old farmhouse

  • Green cupboard — yard sale

    “It was only a few dollars and then I just spray-painted it green,” Parker said.

  • Dining table — antique store

    “Oh, there’s a story behind that table,” Parker said.

    She got it for cheap at an antique store, but then accidentally hit the garage door activator as she was struggling to move it into the house herself. The garage door closed on the table, and it folded in two.

    “I learned my lesson that time,” she said. “I don’t try to move things myself anymore.”

    What’s your favorite part of the room?

    “The bed,” Parker answered quickly. She and her husband converted the room into a bedroom a year after they converted their deck into the summer room, which was originally intended as a place to entertain guests. Ever since she fell in love with the outdoors at summer camp, she’s loved to sleep outside, she said.

    Surprisingly, it never gets too hot too sleep in the room, despite the lack of air conditioning, she said.

    “I think it’s always at least 10 degrees cooler here than in the city,” she said.

    What did you do yourself?

    Janet Parker created the “Camp Tippecanoe” lampshade by cutting and re-sewing a T-shirt and cutting fringe at the bottom. She also wrapped rope around the base.
    Janet Parker created the “Camp Tippecanoe” lampshade by cutting and re-sewing a T-shirt and cutting fringe at the bottom. She also wrapped rope around the base.
    While the Parkers hired someone to screen-in the porch and add a tin roof, Eddie added small shelves into the walls for Janet’s pictures, where an old group photograph rests of herself and other campers at Girl Scout camp in Anniston.

    Parker created the “Camp Tippecanoe” lampshade behind the bed by cutting and re-sewing a T-shirt she bought at J.C. Penney and cutting fringe at the bottom. She also wrapped rope around a base she didn’t like to give it that “camp” feel.

    “I get a lot of ideas from magazines, though the T-shirt one was mine,” she said.

    Parker also created a curtain rod out of a large stick from the woods around her house.

    What are your future plans for the room?

    Parker loves the room the way it is, and doesn’t plan to change the room, she said.

    That is, unless she can figure out how to keep from having to pack it up every winter and sadly close up her favorite room.

    “I hate that part!” she said.

    NAME

    Janet Parker

    AGE

    62

    HOMETOWN

    Priceville

    FAMILY

    Husband Eddie Parker

    ROOM

    An eclectic
    “summer room” used for sleeping, eating and relaxing in non-winter months, decorated yard sale chic.

    WE NEED YOU!

    My Space is an occasional feature on local people with unique rooms in the Tennessee Valley. We’d love to feature your room! E-mail your room description with a photograph to Danielle Komis Palmer at dpalmer@decatur
    daily.com, or write to Living Department, The Decatur Daily, P.O. Box 2213, Decatur, AL 35609. You may be featured in our section.

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