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Oakland, CA
Square Feet:
What I Love About My Small Home:
My unit is located in back of a building perched on a hill. I am two floors down from the main entrance, but my lovely picture window still looks out onto a sweeping hillside down to a beautiful lake. The unique situation means there is no apartment below me, despite the fact that there are two lower floors. I share walls with the hillside, hallway, and a ventilation shaft. It's quiet and peaceful, but from my window I can see for miles. As a youngster I was enamored with books like 'Walden' and 'My Side of the Mountain' - I wouldn't have thought I would get so close to those treetop daydreams and still be able to bike all over one of the best metropolitan areas in the country. I'm also so grateful for my cabinet space in the kitchen. I really appreciate the ratio of kitchen to living space; it's in keeping with my priorities (nomnomnom).
Biggest Challenge of Living in a Small Space:
I am at my most creative when I am solving problems. I've lived with roommates since college, and nearly all my former furniture was actually theirs. I moved into this place - my first solo spot - with my big armoire, two fiddle back chairs, and significant budget limitations. With the funny platform along one wall, and doors or windows on the rest, both space and layout options were limited, but that turned starting from scratch into an advantage. I followed classic AT wisdom and went slowly, sourcing from Craigslist, thrift shops, or the side of the road (the only new purchase was my mattress). Without weird nooks to fill and the pressure to do it cheaply, I don't think I would have wound up with a home of which I feel so proud.
If I am the Grand Prize winner of Small Cool, the item(s) or project(s) from my home design wishlist that I'd like to spend my winnings on are::
Playing catch-as-catch-can with my furnishings means my space could really use an anchor, something substantial and serious. I've always wanted a leather sofa, and a sleeper from someplace like American Leather or Room & Board would make it much easier to entertain. My bed is actually a futon, but it's such a herculean effort to fold up that it doesn't do me any good. Being able to put my bed away easily would make it so much nicer to have people over on short notice. And what is a home for but sharing?