Location: Oak Park, Illinois
For a few long months after I moved into my apartment last winter, I dreaded coming home each night. I’d just lost a spacious dream apartment in a devastating breakup. I’d lost the sunny windows and the working fireplace. And I’d lost the man I’d planned to come home to for the rest of my life.So opening the door to my empty new unit led to countless evenings of crying under the covers in my tiny bedroom. Eventually, I realized my bed would be my scene for a while. On Saturday mornings, I was going to be reading magazines in my pajamas instead of brunching with my boyfriend. On weeknights, I was going to be unwinding among my throw pillows with a podcast instead of cuddling with my ex on our old couch in our old apartment.
“I live here now,” I repeated aloud as I paced the short hallway between my new living room and bedroom.
When I finally accepted that these little rooms were my new home, I decided to make them as enveloping and healing as possible.
Even though I’m alone, I feel a kind of companionship now in my surroundings of carefully selected flea-market treasures, delicately feminine chandeliers (with dim pink light bulbs), and soft furry rugs . . . where my cat is waiting for me.
I’ve finally started looking forward to coming home to my apartment. Here are some details on what I love:
•FAVORITE ROOMS: I’ve gone girly in the apartment’s most intimate rooms. Closets used to serve as my hiding spot for a mess. But when I first glimpsed this apartment’s surprising walk-in, I decided to create a secret boudoir where I could indulge my love of shoes and my penchant for pink. I saved my favorite color, though, for the bedroom, and wrapped it in black contact paper to create a kind of comforting womb. Then I layered on soft fabric: window panels, a curtain in place of a bedroom door, and a wall of cascading curtains. Even the tufted chair received three agonizing coats of black fabric spray paint! My proudest achievement, though, is the 50 yards of brown tulle that I twisted carefully into a ceiling canopy, culminating in the center with a cluster of delicate black paper chandeliers. And when I lie under them each night, I’m happy to be home.
If this space looks a little familiar it's because it was one of the entries in the 2015 Small Cool Contest!
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