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Seven rooms into two - Sing With Me If It's Just For Today... — LiveJournal
If I should fall behind, Guyster, wait for me.
Seven rooms into two
I braced for the challenge of selecting the essentials from our Venice home to bring to Washington, the items that would fit into an as yet unseen apartment. There were some difficult choices in front of me, sometimes I played Meryl Streep in front of the cruel camp’s guard, but now that everything is out of its box and able to breathe again, I feel the decisions I made, hastily and blindly, were intuitive and correct. In other words, it’s starting to feel like home.

Our house in Venice was unique. Split between an original two-bedroom beach cottage in front, built in 1927, and a steel and concrete guesthouse, designed and built by Morphosis, in 1979, it provided nook after cranny for our collective shared and individual histories. There was such varied space, from the tiny back bedroom with its wooden ceiling in the front house to the 25-foot tall, wall-to-wall bookcases of the backhouse that was accessible by an old sliding library ladder. Nothing in our home looked out of scale and it ambled along the length of the property.

By contrast, my new apartment is brand new with sleek lines and two rooms, other than the kitchen and bath. It has an odd circular design, in that you can enter the bathroom from the foyer, then go into the walk-in closet that leads to the bedroom and there you are, right back in the living room. It’s a French farce waiting to happen. This provides Bob endless exploration as he tries to decipher the physics of entering one room only to haplessly find his black butt in an entirely different one. I believe he thinks it as another elevator.

Things that seemed small, tucked away, and not calling attention to themselves now scream from the walls, “Look at me, dammit!” Ernie, a century old stuffed hawk I inherited from a neighbor many years ago, was an afterthought in our Venice home. Now he stands naked, the center of attention above the desktop computer, and he’s a little embarrassed. A wooden sled from the late nineteenth century that was lazily propped up in our living room is now clinging to the wall with all its might and over takes any sense of proportion.

I spent Saturday and Sunday painting, all the while with our networks’ TLC’s Trading Spaces and While You Were Out on an endless loop of reruns in the background. I have brought the warm khaki green, the smooth ocean blue and the cuddly soft yellow that dominated the old home into the new apartment, and I look around at my finished work and I feel safe, as safe as I’m going to feel, considering.

I have found new ways to reinvent the things Billy and I collected over the years. Unlike my previous bachelor pad, my apartment on the beach before I met Billy, I have brought a fresh and familiar perspective to my decorating choices. How would Billy like this here? or What would he think of this color and that one together? It’s a fun game, one that he would have done in a reverse situation, and as I sat back on Sunday evening watching the Emmys, I had candles burning that made the light dance all over the newly born home, and I know he would not only approve of what I’ve done, he helped me do it.

Current Music: CNN

6 comments or Leave a comment
fabulist From: fabulist Date: September 23rd, 2003 01:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I saw Trading Spaces for the first time this past weekend, as well as some appalling waking nightmare called Monster House. Where's that asteroid when you need it?

Your place is nifty, with a nice view and an compellingly peculiar topology, and there seemed to be more than enough interesting things haphazardly lying around when I stopped by for you to assemble into something cozy and humane, so I bet it's all settling down quite nicely by now. It's hard to make a new place feel like home, but you appear to have the tools it takes to do it.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: September 23rd, 2003 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
See? I told you how much fun cable could be. I wish you had caught an episode of American Chopper. I think you might actually like that one.
spleenless From: spleenless Date: September 23rd, 2003 01:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's the old saw - home is where the heart is. Sounds like Billy will always be with you, along with the tangibles that serve as touchstones. I can imagine leaving was as painful as an amputation, but maybe there is a plan for you here.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: September 23rd, 2003 06:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
The plan seems to be throwing me into the freezing waters of insecurity. In spite of my terror at work, I'm starting to really love this city and my apartment.
pinkrose70 From: pinkrose70 Date: September 23rd, 2003 05:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Didn't Trading Spaces make you want to hang draped fabric in loud colors and sew your own pillow covers?

I've only seen about 10 of them, but I swear I have not viewed an episode yet that doesn't include the pillows and fabric hung somewhere.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: September 23rd, 2003 06:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
No hanging fabrics for me, baby, ever!

I can't really speak to Trading Spaces because I now work for its parent network but I saw some choices on the show that were truly horrifying. I saw one where they took some poor people's home and turned it into a red and white circus tent. The draper was out of control that day!
6 comments or Leave a comment