”My Happy Place” is a weekly Press series in which local notables take us on a tour of a favorite spot in their home.
HAMMONTON — Nelson Johnson and his wife, Johanna, live a peaceful life in their picturesque home.
Nelson is a retired Superior Court judge and the author of the New York Times bestseller “Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City,” which was adapted into an HBO series.
The Johnsons built their current home on a private street just a few properties down from the house where they raised their three children.
Nelson’s “Happy Place” is his writing studio. The charming shed is detached from the home and located among the flowers of the secluded backyard, steps from Johanna’s “Happy Place,” her sunroom.
Nelson yearned for this inspiration sanctuary, and Johanna’s vision brought it to life. The addition to the home will turn four in November, and the couple are delighted with how it turned out.
The studio is a reclusive space designed solely for Nelson’s creative work. It is a place where he can leave the floor scattered with papers and when he retreats back, he knows exactly where he left off.
Nelson appreciates the solitude the space provides. In his corner of the world, he never has to worry about disturbing anyone in the home.
“The best editing is done by reading it aloud,” he said. The isolated studio permits him to do just that.
”My Happy Place” is a weekly Press series in which local notables take us on a tour of a fav…
The walls of the studio are decorated with photographs and antiques that blend effortlessly with the vintage feel of the room. It houses a myriad of books, including copies of Nelson’s three published historical narratives.
While the interior design is intimate and distinctive, the studio is also practical. An energy-efficient air conditioning and heating system makes it well-equipped to handle all seasons. It is a literary haven any writer would swoon over.
While Nelson types away, Johanna enjoys relaxing in her sunroom. The transitional space between the home and the backyard is appropriately accessorized with greenery, comfortable seating and an abundance of color.
Johanna says this is where she spends a great deal of her day, starting with the morning paper and a cup of tea as she watches the hummingbirds visit her feeder.
Like Nelson’s writing studio, the sunroom displays framed artwork and books. Another unique feature are the stained-glass panels, which were inspired by Johanna’s favorite wildflowers.
Both the writing studio and the sunroom foster a cozy environment that incorporates vibrant patterns and timeless styles. For the Johnsons, these “Happy Places” make for the perfect abode.