I love city living. The energy in every footstep on the crowded Michigan Ave., the street saxophonist seducing me through my open window, the one square foot of living space I could afford: it’s all so romantic. I’m head over heels for my dingy apartment with white, chipping walls and a carpet that I emotionally cannot handle talking about right now. Pray for my carpet.
So now I speak to you, fellow struggling city dreamers. I hear your cries as your showers go cold because your neighbor just used the restroom. Do not despair, we can get through this together. Group hug.
Making a hole a home
Step 1: Light
My apartment felt like the emptiest, saddest hole in the city as I unstuck my keys from the lock and was embraced by the dark reality of my price limit. The only light in my abode was some ceiling thing missing a bulb and casting an ominous glow around the door. The corners of the room grew closer in the shadows, swallowing any luxurious dreams I had fancied. Eliminate a fraction of your hatred towards your apartment with light illuminating the edges of your room, giving it a slightly more open feel. White, more natural light will feel more fresh and light, like drinking a healthy green smoothie. No, its not natural light, and yeah, you’re going to eat a donut later, but drink your green smoothie and enjoy your fake sense of a natural, healthy lifestyle. It’s the least we can do, right?
Also mirrors, because they open up the space and if you’re anything like me you’re a conceited little thing.
Step 2: Decor
The desk and tabletop space I have is limited to not enough. I brought with me an abundance of framed pictures so I could show off my exciting social life, only to realize there was no where to place them if I had any hope of ever using my desk as a useful work space. Away the frames went, and away went the distractions from my clutter. In despair, I ate five baby snickers before realizing that the makeup brushes that did not fit in my makeup drawer could be artfully displayed in a spare cup. As inspired as a 35 year old after reading Eat, Pray, Love, I went to work turning my mess into art. Yes, you too can spend a few bucks at Target and hang up your too many purses, or throw your random junk into artsy ceramic bowls you got on sale at TJ Maxx.
Step 3: Fresh
I didn’t want to bring up the carpet again, I really didn’t, but it smells. I can just hear your horrified gasps. I know, I’m so brave for baring it, but I can only barely. I forked out a few wrinkled dollars from somewhere the pockets of my dirty jeans and bought a tiny bunch of carnations because nothing screams “got your life together” like plants and fresh groceries. While it may be true I’m eating Kraft Mac N Cheese while writing this, I am overlooking a pretty uplifting bunch of petals. But flowers are not enough, oh no, not when the neighbor makes curry every night. We have to bring in the big guns. My weapon of choice is the grenade: tiny Air Wicks stored behind furniture. I prefer to hide these little gadgets to cast fools under the illusion that I’m a cleanly person and it is my natural musk. Besides, an Air Wick allows me to leave my empty Mac N Cheese plastic bowl in the trash an extra day or so.