Thursday, July 28, 2011
I'm back! After spending what seemed like a lifetime, we're officially out of the house and settled into our little (and I mean little) apartment for the next 9 months to a year. I hesitate putting an estimated time on how long we'll live here since years ago while we were building our house, we were in an apartment for a year and a half. When we moved in we thought that it would be for about 6 months. Even though we're planning to live here for a short while, I don't want for it to feel like we are here temporarily.
I will be posting from time to time about our experiences with small space living and my attempt to resolve challenges that come with less space and apartment living. I know that many people live in apartments. There are great advantages like: no yard care, unlimited garbage and recycling bins, and typically there is less space to clean, just to name a few. On a less than positive side (in our case), there is only one reserved parking spot for each apartment (and I might also mention that it is so narrow that when there are cars parked on both sides of you, you have to turn sideways and slide through, dusting both cars with your clothes while you slide out.) For the most part, our experience has been very positive and I think this adventure will be a good one. By the way, look how beautiful the view is when you walk out our door and onto the path around the little lake.
Let's talk about my design challenge number one. The master bedroom. When I viewed the model of this plan, it seemed much larger to me than it actually was. It might be the fact that the model probably had a full size bed in it instead of a king sized one. You would think that since I have experience with arranging furniture and working with clients, etc. that I would have considered this fact a little bit more. Normally I take measurements of the room and furniture and draw it up on my space planning program (I'm crazy like that). I knew that our dresser and mirror wouldn't fit but I thought that surely we would be able to place the bed with a night stand on each side and our chest directly across from our bed. There is only one way this room can be laid out because of the sliding door that leads to the back porch. The movers brought in the bed and after setting it up, we had exactly 32" from the foot board to the wall. The chest is almost 20" deep. Yeah, you do the math. It wasn't going to work. There was only one solution. We had to put the chest in front of the slider. Luckily we also have access from the living room out to the porch as well.
Because the chest was going on that side of the bed, I had to offset the bed on the wall to have enough room to walk around it. This meant that we could only use one nightstand. Ughhh! This just wasn't going as planned!
I'm also not crazy about vertical blinds. I know that they're practical and some people swear by them. I certainly wasn't going to remove them but I did want them to be covered during the day. I need to mention here that after sorting through all of the ridiculous things that we own and deciding what to pack away for storage and what to bring with us, I wasn't about to buy anything extra for this apartment other than things that helped with storage. I was most definitely going to use what I had!
I decided to hang a small rod on one end of the window. Then all I needed to cover up those vertical blinds was one of my curtain panels. I'd used my other black and white panels in the front room so all that I had left was my white and black damask print. I love damask, just look at my bedspread, but that would be entirely too much of it especially since they would be about 2' away from each other. I decided to flip the panel over to the back side. You can see the print around the edges and just a shadow of the damask print peaking through from the back side. I can live with that! Problem solved! It's certainly tight in our room, but it works.
I added my turquoise touches (I showed you some here) to give it a new punch of color.
Oh, and on the wall where my chest was going to go, I placed a very special piece of art that we bought on our 25th anniversary of one of our favorite places, Venice (notice the turquoise in the picture? I hadn't even noticed it much until I put it in here). I might or might not lay in bed and pretend that I'm looking out my "window" into downtown Venice.
My way of thinking about decorating and design is by working with what you have, at the time. Whether you have a small space or a large one, or if you just consider using items that you already own, in different ways. It's my hope that I've inspired you like so many of you inspire me.