Today’s post is my reflecting on the reality of decorating a truly tight space.
I’ve done a studio before. In comparison, that now seems stately; 500 sq ft, floor-to-ceiling sash windows, period features, separate kitchen, overlooking a private square.
This time, it’s possibly 300 sq, and a rental. I’m stuck with an unfortunate kitchen, white walls, and fixtures.
Because of budget and uncertainties, my hands were all the more tied. After I secured the lease, before returning to London, my only splurge was a Noguchi lamp. The lamp is made of paper. It collapses easily, making it a portable investment.
I also bought a carpet on sale, a used table and a chair. Then the apartment looked like this-
We arrived back in New York exactly 2 weeks ago. My bed was delivered, we moved in.
My mother advised thrifting. Once the couch was placed, there was a great unleashing within me.
I discovered, macrame.
The thrifting experience taught me to really go beyond the familiar. Vintage garments became installation art, energizing lifeless walls.
A sake cup was repurposed as a pot.
Along with macrame, re-purposing found objects, I learnt to use plants as art to soothe, to shield, and to demarcate “zones”.
One of the peeves I have with studio-living is, it can feel as if you are sleeping in the kitchen. I wanted to create separate zones for rest, and for activity. At the same time, I didn’t want to hang curtains, nor use screens. I wanted a new expression.
In Brooklyn, I met Mr Handsome. When delivered, I realized how greedy I was to want him, as he loomed too large, and necessitated change.
But once things were re-organised, I love his sense of authority and drama. So here’s another belief I have- especially in small spaces, don’t be afraid to make a statement.
A statement piece needs to pull weight and multi-task.
Mr Handsome provided all the storage I needed for unhung clothes, and concealed shelving for books. He also clarified areas such that now in 300 sq feet, not only do I have a living room-
I also have, a bedroom!
I had considered re-painting, wall-papering, removing the cabinet doors. But decals, a first for me, was the most economical and practical solution.
I’m calling my humble abode, The Thrifted Treehaus. I’m enjoying it very much. I’m tucked away on the top floor of a pre-war building, on a tree-lined street. Surrounded by sky, rooftops and art, in the company of the most faithful of dogs, I can rest and work; my mind calm, my thoughts free.
- Macrame is made by a Brooklyn artist @prissagestudio
- Decals (Tapestry Birds and Branches), Walls Need Love