A friend (and avid AT reader) sent us this musing on the gated entry to her apartment building: "So I was cleaning our gated entry tonight when it occurred to me that it had probably not been cleaned since the late 1800s. It's something commonly overlooked; and yet, it's yours and it makes a difference--it is the first and last part of your domestic day, after all..." Most of the time, communal areas like entryways and courtyards are maintained by landlords or managers. However, there's a fair chance that some of us at some point or another have lived in buildings when there wasn't much decor (if any) in these areas...
Reading her note reminded me of my old apartment in Silver Lake: It was a fourplex with a gated entry and a long walkway that led to the back units (where I lived). Since there were only four people living in the entire complex, it was a lot easier to come together and make small "improvements" to benefit all of us. For example: In the fall, the walkway would be covered in leaves and debris pretty much every day even though our landlady had maintenance guys come biweekly. However, one of the neighbors would sweep in between their visits to keep the path clear and safe. Another example: Three out of four of us had dogs which means invariably, we'd walk our dogs for a last outing at night. The entry and walkway were pitch-black once the sun went down--there was a safety light by the gate, but beyond that was creepy darkness. After digging around in my garage, I found some old Christmas lights that we wrapped around the railing and could plug into outdoor outlets on either side of the complex.
Do you contribute to your communal areas? How would you improve your shared entryway or courtyard?
(Image: Findahome's Flickr)