Apartment Therapy on clearing away the old...

Apartment Therapy on clearing away the old...

Mar 11, 2004

(Written last night :-)

What a long day!

From 9:30 this morning till 9:30 tonight I have been scuttling back and forth between two apartments which are both undergoing a transformation.

One, on Thompson Street, has been in the process of renovation

since mid December and will be finished this week. It is an old apartment that my client recently purchased, and we are turning from a tiny, dumpy old rental with loft bed nailed into the wall and a toilet room that you can barely fit into. The previous tenant was probably around 25 and the new tenant (my client) is in her late forties. She wants a calm, spa-like refuge that she and her husband can stay in when they decide to not take the late train back to Westchester after a dinner in the city. She also wants a place where she can think and work on some nights by herself. She wants a room of her own. The space is therefore undergoing a change, but so is she. It can be a lot of work to build a little spa in the city, and it has taken longer than she has expected. Most contractors underestimate the time it takes and clients do too. Work done with the hands takes longer than work done with the mind. The apartment is beautiful, and it has not cost too much. Patience has been the lesson here.

The other aparment, on Canal Street, is getting a makover that is being filmed by HGTV, and will be finished on Thursday. This apartment has taken three weeks for its transformation and it has been no less work. Painting, lighting, shelving installation, curtain installation and deep cleaning are what this space needed. My client has lived here for 7 years. This is one complete life cycle, and the time it takes for every cell in your body to renew itself. After 7 years you are new again, but your home isn't unless you do something about it. In the past three weeks we have gone through 7 years of collected belongings and papers, throwing out a small dumpster of trash and recycling, with more to go to the Goodwill store. It has not been easy. Attachment to old skin is very strong. But as the belongings have been thinned down, edited, and the apartment has taken on the glow of a new youth, my client is beginning to see a new future in this space.

When we have patience, we enjoy process and savor the result.
When we clear away the old, we make space for the new to come into our lives.

When you improve your space you improve yourself.

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