Monday, May 3, 2010
Real-Life Tiny-Ass Apartment: Mi casa!
In case you're unfamiliar with it, let me introduce to you a favorite term of mine: "butthurt." Butthurt is when your feelings are hurt, especially when you feel disappointed by or taken advantage of by someone you knew, liked, or trusted. It's like when you expect a warm hug from a friend and instead get the "Deliverance" treatment. My friends, I am butthurt. It's Apartment Therapy's fault. Maybe it's not their fault. Maybe it's my fault. Maybe it's no one's fault. But my apartment wasn't even selected for voting for their Smallest Coolest contest this year and I AM BUTTHURT! I love Apartment Therapy so much, I love their contest so much, and I worked so hard and my friends and family worked so hard to help me, and I didn't even make the first round. I'm sad and disappointed, and I feel that I let the people who help me down. I feel like I let you, my readers, down. But Apartment Therapy doesn't offer explanations why a certain entry makes it and another doesn't, so there's no use in obsessing over it. Time to just get over it -- and at least now I can share my place with you here on TAA! After my mom and I finished the fabric wall in my living room and a few other finishing touches, my good friends Reed and Liz Fish came over to photograph my place. Liz is an amazing photographer, and I was psyched to have a pro come and shoot my home. I felt so special! And the pictures, well -- I'll let these beauties speak for themselves. Liz and Reed -- thank you guys again SO MUCH!
Let's begin the tour of my Real-Life Tiny-Ass Apartment in the living room, shall we?
First up is the omnipresent IKEA EXPEDIT bookcase. What can I say? Some pieces are so useful, good-looking, and affordable that they're everywhere you look for a reason. The top row of shelves is reserved for photos and mementos, with all books, DVDs, and magazines below. Up top is a collection of branches and skeleton keys, hung both on the branches and inside glass dome displays. The vintage suitcase came from when I worked on the Universal Studios lot -- a film had just wrapped, so they took all their props to the parking lot and just gave them away! *Le sigh* It was one of the best days of my life.
This is my rock-out corner. I love me some Nine Inch Nails (obviously). I have two lithographs, one from the first NIN show I went to (not pictured) and one from the last one I attended -- also ostensibly one of the last shows NIN will ever play. (We'll see about that, Trent.) My mom, who continues to be awesome, framed my posters with my tickets and wristbands for the shows. I stole the large logo poster right off the side of a building in San Francisco.
I learned to play the bass in college, and even though I haven't had the time lately, I can't bear the thought of parting with my sweet blood-red bass guitar and amp. Gotta keep my rock n' roll fantasies alive.
My dining table is a drop-leaf library table that was made by my great-grandfather on my mother's side. It's got great ball-and-claw feet and a hidden drawer that's totally badass. I have four mismatched dining chairs scattered around my house; since I'm not having four-person dinners every night, two remain by the table and the other two are off serving other purposes. I thought it would be cool to have them intentionally mismatched, and that way I could indulge my loves of different styles. The chair on the left is a Danish design in rosewood with a black leather seat that I got on Craigslist; the one on the right is a Thonet-inspired bentwood that I got at the Pasadena City College flea market. That's also where I snagged my two brass candlesticks.
This lil' vignette sits atop the foyer mirror-cum-bar that was given to me by my uncle when he retired and moved to his place in Palm Springs. It's a full-length mirror with wooden frame that has coat hooks on the side, a single drawer, and a small shelf at the bottom.
Another angle on my living room, this time with the TV/sofa area. The artwork on my "gallery wall" is all from my mother (with the exception of the piece in the light wooden frame, which was done by a friend of my mother's). The coffee table and sofa table set once belonged to my parents, and the blue chair belonged to my grandmother. The red pashmina is oh-so-casually draped over the side to hide where the kitties like to sharpen their claws. Bad kitties!
Being a wannabe writer with a thing for the vintage and antique, I'd wanted a typewriter for a long time. My mom's friend was cleaning out her storage unit one Christmas, and my mom snagged this Underwood for me. The thing is heavy as hell, and I love it! I use it to display a few loose photographs: one I took of the Golden Gate Bridge, one my brother took of our dog, Buster, and one I bought at a flea market here in LA. The flea market at Fairfax High School has tables of old photographs for sale. I feel weird pawing through other people's memories, but I couldn't bear the thought of them being destroyed. If I like the images, I buy them and pretend they're pictures of my family, so that they have a home again.
The rug was an eBay find; I call it my Space Invaders rug because the pattern in the center looks like those little aliens descending from the top of the screen, ready to attack. The couch is IKEA with a Bemz slipcover that I won in a contest.
My cloffice! Even though it's teeny-tiny (I can't open the file cabinet drawers all the way -- the desk gets in the way!), I really like having all of my work stuff out of my bedroom. I used to have a huge desk and mismatched filing cabinet taking up a whole corner of my bedroom. It made the space feel cramped, and I hated having a workspace in a room that supposed to be a relax-space. I sold them on Craigslist and used the funds to get the new file cabinet, chair, and console table that acts as my desk.
I still use the cloffice as a closet too. I put up curtains to hide the shelves full of linens at the back. Aside from putting the fabric up on the wall, running electricity into the closet was the most difficult part. But with a long extension cord and a lot of cable tacks, I was able to bring in enough for my computer, peripherals, and light. Now my only challenge is to get used to the fabric softener smell!
I am sitting in my bed at this very moment, as I type this. I love hanging out in my bedroom; I've made an effort to keep it comfy and relaxed. No computer desk, no TV. Just lots of blues and wood tones and my "Keep Calm" poster. I know that a lot of people think the "Keep Calms" are played out now, and maybe they are, but I love mine. I bought it when I was going through a rough patch, and it served as a pretty reminder to just keep moving forward.
I'm trying to go for a Moroccan theme in my bathroom. It's not easy to achieve a full look when you're a renter and can't swap out the fixtures, but I'm doin' what I can. The wooden wall cabinet is from Target; the lantern is from Cost Plus.
Finally, we reach Cupcake Headquarters! I love baking; my specialties are my lemon cupcakes, my lemon bars, my chocolate chip cookies, and my snickerdoodles. My kitchen is always a mess because of it, so if you use your imagination and fill the sink with dirty dishes you'll get a more accurate idea of what my kitchen looks like on a day-to-day basis!
I looove my Kitchen-Aid. Love love love. Looooove. My parents got it for me for my birthday last year, and it makes baking so much easier I can hardly imagine going back to a handheld mixer. I named my Kitchen-Aid Bela, after Bela Lugosi. I was unpacking it while listening to my iPod, and Bauhaus's "Bela Lugosi's Dead" came on. I pulled out the packing slip from the box just as the opening lyrics were sung ("White on white / translucent black capes / back on the rack"), and how did the slip describe my Kitchen-Aid's model? White-on-white. Thanks, Peter Murphy!
A little tea-themed vignette on the top of my fridge. Let's have a moment of silence for the poor plant in the picture; I managed to kill it just two days ago. No, I don't know what I did. I have a black thumb, I tell ya!
Even though my place didn't make it into the Apartment Therapy Smallest, Coolest contest, I'm not going to let that throw any doubt onto what I've done with my home. Everything I have speaks to a part of who I am. My home -- like anyone else's -- is constantly growing and changing, just as I am. So while there may never be a "finished version" of my place, I'm still really happy to have these pictures to capture this moment in time.
Thanks again to my mom, my friend Vanessa, Liz and Reed Fish, and all my friends who've helped me make my tiny-ass apartment my home!