Location: Brooklyn, New York
Size/Type: 280 square foot studio
Length of Residence: Three years
When I found my first apartment, a love affair began that lives on even today. It might strike some as funny, as it was an apartment with gunky paint, clanking pipes, and the occasional roach in the bathtub. But I was busy planting tomato vines in the window boxes, dragging curbside furniture finds home on the subway in the middle of the night, and just plain enjoying setting up my first home.
What I loved about this home: It was a studio, but with a separate kitchen. That made it feel less cramped and made it great for entertaining. I loved its location in Cobble Hill - a neighborhood I'd never even heard of until I stumbled upon this apartment. So many great memories are rooted in that neighborhood that I can't help but continue to love this little apartment for leading me there.
What changed when I moved on to my next home: I gained a bedroom, but lost the separate kitchen. To this day, I'd take back the studio with the separate kitchen in a heartbeat.
Best bit of advice for people moving into their first home: Don't worry about being perfect. Have fun in your first home. Money might be tight and your digs may not be much to show off, but have people over, entertain, scrounge for cool cheap decor, get your hands dirty fixing things up as best you can. You'll look back on those experiences (even the struggles) with extreme fondness one day.
Image: Regina Yunghans