My Happy Dwelling Place

It’s nuts to me that I’ve been living in my new apartment for five months already.

My process of settling has been slow, but so far the adjustment has been great. This is true, first because it is a place of my own after too long a time spent being a nomad, and second, because it is so satisfying to really take the time and make a house—or…a 550 square foot, partially subterranean apartment—a home. I know—most people, after five month’s time, would have everything in place and every detail sorted out. Those of you who know me, understand why this is not the case here. I’m particular to the point of being borderline irrational about everything in my life—from the décor in the office I work in, to the brand of jeans the guy I might be dating is wearing. So why would I not be just as particular about every individual thing I put inside my home in order to make it a happy dwelling place? In my last real apartment it took me sixth months to find the right chairs for my marble-top kitchen table that is the most beautiful piece of furniture I have ever owned and because so, happens to be one of my most prized possessions. Likewise here in this place, it’s taking some time to find just the right pieces.

In my defense, this is the first time my apartment actually includes a living room, thus, there is a lot more furniture to be found. So far I have the sofa, which arrived a few weeks ago, and not only made it safely through the window and into my living room, but also, looks as good in the space as I had imagined it would and is a rather cozy piece to curl up on when I actually allow myself to be lazy. The new blinds are up, the jute rug is down, and the armoire to hide my part-time guilty pleasure of TV watching, arrives in two weeks.

I have a ways to go.

The reality of the situation is that for the past nearly ten years, I’ve been living in a dream world. Let me clarify. For the past nearly ten years, I have been working in the high-end/luxury/(unrealistic for most of us) field of architecture and interior design. This is a world in a galaxy far, far away from Home Depot, Lowes and Do-It-Yourself/Design on a Dime. This is a world where a new sofa costs fourteen thousand dollars and if you want to reupholster an old one, the textile for it costs $300 per yard. This is no joke.

At my last job, my friend/desk-mate and I found it sickly humorous that we spent our days designing bathrooms for which we would specify bathtubs that cost forty-thousand dollars and faucets that cost two-thousand, while in our own homes, our bathrooms were literally falling apart. I had the pleasure of discovering one day that my ceiling had collapsed into my bathtub and he, that his sink had fallen off the wall, and into his boyfriend’s lap no less. For months he was haunted by nightmares of his toilet falling through the floor below him (with him on it of course).

Ah how the middle-class live.

Even funnier to us than these domestic mishaps however, was that over time, we became comfortable with the idea of a ten-thousand dollar table or a twelve-thousand dollar pair of chairs. And so the crazy truth still today, is that regardless of what my bank account says I can afford, I dream big. These luxuries, even though I’ve only ever bought them for other people (who happen to fall within the mega-wealthy bracket), have become a norm for me. Because as much as no one is deliberately brainwashing me, I am in a way brainwashed–that this is the standard, and that I of course have to have these things too. My wish list includes line item after line item of things I cannot and likely will not EVER have.

Case in point…

First night here in the apartment. After a long day of lugging boxes, climbing up and down steps, in and out of doorways and feeling like I was about to keel over, I treated myself to a bubble bath. It was a slice of heaven there in the steaming water as I relaxed my weary bones and felt thankful to simply be home. And then, amidst this humble moment, I had the most ridiculous thought. I was extending my foot to turn off the tap, exhaling a breath of relief as the words just fell out of my mouth. “I do love this place,” I said to myself. “Now if only these tub fittings were Lefroy Brooks…”

Above: Lefroy Brooks MH 1270 Mackintosh Wall Mounted Three Hole Bath Mixer, Approx. $2400


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One thought on “My Happy Dwelling Place

  1. jodi says:

    That’s great that you dream big. IT’s our dreams that one day become reality. Too bad i never dreamed of a nice house ha ha ha! Our house has become a nightmare one that we can’t seem to shake no matter how much we try we can’t even give it a way it’s quite comical really. My dh emailed me this morning “I can’t believe you didn’t tell me about the sour cream!” What i was imagining was that a roach or a mouse had crawled into it while i was cooking and i distractedly had closed it and put it away in the fridge. This was not the case however but it goes to show u where my standards are at. At least we have lots of love and laughs though right?!

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