New walls

I’ve lived in two studio apartments in my adult life, during the times I’ve lived alone without roommates or a partner. My first, during undergrad, was a teeny, tiny closet of a space that had barely enough room for a loveseat, but it did have a cast-iron tub with no safety drain that I could fill to my neck while sitting straight upright. It was far bigger than my dorm room, and though it clocked in around 300 sq ft, after the 6-girls-to-a-three-bedroom-suite I had shared, it felt like a private palace. My second studio, a few years later, had a working fireplace and nine huge windows that all faced west. It was much bigger, around 650 sq ft, and even though it was small by most standards, I felt like I had plenty of room to stretch out. Overall, in a home, the details are much more important to me than a big expanse, and when I signed the lease on my new apartment three months ago, it was with this in mind. Great location. Gorgeous details. Tiny space.

It’s been an an anxious three months, though. I am used to small space living, but along the way, I’ve acquired 12 more feet that I’m responsible for in this world. My two cats, Ruthie and Naomi, and a 68lb lug of a meatball dog, Abel, who has only lived with me in a three story house. They all get along, but I’ve been stressed about putting them all into a 480 square feet.

I finally got the keys on the first of the month, and I still wasn’t entirely convinced I’d made the right choice when I walked in. I had a two week overlap in my leases, though, and used that time to prime the canvas.

First things first, I painted:

Before: unknown jaundiced yellow
After: Sherwin Williams’ Gray Screen
And right away, it felt more like my own. There’s only a small swath of kitchen visible in the above picture, but the switch from fleshy colored peach walls to a fresh springy green (Sherwin Williams Breaktime) changed the whole feel of the space for me.

The biggest change, though, comes from the “bedroom” I built, in large thanks to and contribution from my dad and after hours of obsessively pouring over the floorplan. It’s nook, just big enough for the bed and a side table, to really separate it from the living space. It is also as a cat loft, a place where the kits will be able to sleep and observe away from the dog’s ground territory. This is definitely a project worthy of its own full post.

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As the space has slowly started coming together, I feel a lot better. This is good. With some planning and organization, this will be a space we can share, my creatures and I, a functional place, a happy home.

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