Apartment Therapy

When I walk by a home furnishing store, such as a Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, or your no-named mom and pop store I literally start to salivate. I want to go in and buy everything.Picture frames, flatware, furniture, wall decor, draperies, candles, fine china, throw pillows, table runners, candelabras, mirrors, bath towels and all things bathing related, area rugs, serving platters, pots, pans… you get the idea.

I want these things. But I don’t buy them because I don’t have a place to put them.

Before I say more, let me say this: I adore living with my sweetheart. We get along so well at home and manage to share our chores equally with little friction. I adore waking up with him every day. This isn’t about him.

What I am not loving is living in a space that isn’t mine to really manage. From the plates in the cupboard, to the sofas in the living room… pretty much everything belongs to my sweetheart and his parents and I feel that, since I moved into their space, it would be rude to supplant them with my own things, my own taste. Although, a few things of mine have crept into the apartment slowly: a paining in the dining room; a few kitchen accouterments. And now of course our bedroom has more or less been completely made over since I moved in, that is the one area of our home that I feel I can liberally change. Damir encourages me to treat this home as if it is my own home, but I just can’t get over some sense that I am a guest here. And guests don’t typically redecorate the home of their host.

Much of my stuff hauled here from Boston remains boxed in the basement. When I see those boxes I seriously ache.

The plan, when I decided to drop everything and move to NY, was not to move in and live together. But circumstances as they were made that the only viable option. So now that I am settled and in a relatively secure job situation, why not move?

2 Reasons:

1) As I said earlier here, I love living with Damir, however his job binds him to our building. He is on call 24-hrs a day so he really can’t go far. I don’t really want to live apart from him, and he is kind of stuck unless he quits and finds something new which creates a whole domino effect of problems (the most pressing of which is: where would his parents go?). I am very afraid that if I leave living with Damir, I am ultimately I am pushing our union further and further away from our future goals.

2) Free rent, dude. In the NYC Metro area.

Over the past 1.5 years since I moved here I have flirted with moving out, but the “right” situation never really presented itself. I have even seen a bunch of apartments. And of course, I struggle with the above 2 issues so nothing has really felt right.

Then, 2 Saturdays ago a really really good solution came to light: one of only 3 studios in our building opened up, just down the hall from the current place. Damir was showing it to me, not to rent it, but to show me some renovation work he had done. We were standing in that space and I looked at him and said:

Wait a minute… Why aren’t I renting this place?

Hello….Light bulb! We called the broker immediately who said the place was mine if I wanted it.

It is perfect… the space is relatively large for a studio, with a big walk in closet, full bath and nice new kitchen. The price tag didn’t give me hives. It is right now the hall, so I’d have my own space yet still be close enough to make it easy for me to be with Damir. Sharing the car and our other stuff would be a cinch. It would be our own little romantic pied-a-terra (ha, get it?). I took Sunday to make sure I was sure about the year-long commitment to take on a lease and started planning how I would create a home in this particular space. I had it all mapped out. I spent about an hour in the apartment just feeling it out. I took a bunch of pictures to post here on Interravision with the announcement that I had started writing in my head… I’m Moving! Just down the hall! I scoured Apartment Therapy for ideas on how to decorate a small space and was inspired by this beautiful, if small, space I saw on their Smallest, Coolest Apartment Contest:


Monday morning Damir called the Broker to lock it in.
But it was already gone.

It had been taken by Some Guy. The other broker let it go, not knowing I had the option to take it.

When I got the news I was instantly crushed and thrown into despair. How could something so perfect, so in tune with my needs, just go to someone else? It just seemed like the gods had looked down on me and had said, “You have struggled with this situation long enough, here is the perfect solution for you”… and then said, “Psyyyyych!“There’s no way that Some Guy deserves it more than me! It isn’t just about the apartment, you know that right? It’s about finding a sanctuary that won’t simultaneously take the relationship that I am so thankful for 15 steps backwards. That’s not an easy order.

But as we all know, things just don’t work out sometimes just because we deserve it. But, call me crazy, I am not really accepting that it isn’t mine until Some Guy has actually moved in on April first. At night I visualize myself opening that door with my key (Walker is on the name plate over the buzzer)… walking into the closet with all my clothes hanging (neater than it would be in reality for sure)…. cooking something delicious in the kitchen on the new stove while Damir enjoys himself on the pretty couch in the space I have mapped out to be the living area. My bed is in the corner, behind an asian-style screen with a cherry blossom design on it. Turquoise and chocolate with some creamy pink or yellow accents are the color scheme throughout the place. Sunlight is streaming in through the big window. It feels like a home. It is home.

*Sigh. I wonder if the power of my thoughts is really moving fate towards a miracle or just causing me torture. Friends keep telling me, “surely there is a reason it didn’t work out, you’ll see.” Maybe. Maybe not.

One thought on “Apartment Therapy

  1. My heart aches for you. This is a great solution to your problem. make sure all brokers know you are first in line for an apartment in the building…or nearby buildings. Can’t Damir pull some strings and give the place to you instead? keep your eyes open and POUNCE on the next opportunity. I know what you mean…8 months later and I am just now adding my touches to transform a bachelor pad into our home. It takes time. Thinking of you. Stephanie

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