Sunday, February 12, 2012

Home, Sweet Home

This began as a DIY home design blog, at least in the mind. I'm the kind of girl who spends waaaaaay too much time looking at design blogs, browsing furniture websites, tearing out pages from the Anthropologie and Room & Board catalogues and dreaming about the day I can make tons of money, if only to finally buy a Bauhaus lamp or that gorgeous Eames rocker or Draper dresser I've had my eye on. Saving for retirement or investing in my future kids' education? Pssshhaaww.
But before my procrastinating arse finally got to starting up THAT blog, things happened in a whirlwind this past month. For one, this cat lady got engaged. Here's an example of how my life has changed.

1 Year Ago:
Me, on a Friday night, to my cats: "Yessss! Looks like Billy Madison is on TBS again!" [stuffing face with Trader Joe's jalapeno cheese curls]


Me, on a Friday night, to my cats and fiance: "Yessss! Looks like Billy Madison is on TBS again!" [ordering food from Palms Thai, where they have the Thai Elvis impersonator.]

"Shampoooo is bettah!"
Yeah, ok, so while the everyday stuff hasn't changed that much, living with somebody is a whole new ballgame that's given rise to a slew of new questions. Like, who makes the bed? How often should we run the dishwasher? Do Ghostbusters books belong on the coffee table alongside art books? And dear god why are there socks everywhere?

While my dude and I will go back and forth on nitty gritty responsibilities (him: take out the kitty litter, run the dishwasher; me: do all the cooking, mop the floors)*, he's given me full reign to design our living space. Woot! A Noguchi table here! A granite kitchen island there--oh wait, we're still poor. But hey, at least now we have 5 rooms--2 bedrooms, a living room, dining nook, kitchen, bathroom, and small garden. Plus plenty of potential. And that's what I'm going to document here--how I'm turning this blank canvas into a home--a nest, if you will--for the both of us.

Before I begin, a bit about the two of us:
We live in Hancock Park in Los Angeles, where I work as an actress, writer, and a freelance editor. He works as a comedy writer for a new Comedy Central show. This means, the two of us work at home. A lot. Which means, things need to be functional, comfortable, spacious, and conducive to creative thinking. Anybody who lives with a work-at-home partner knows that it's easy to get on top of each other or to while away the entire day on Facebook if there aren't designated spaces for specific usages. So my goal is to help us carve our new cozy little duplex into a home/work space that's both beautiful and serves as a writing office as well as a rehearsal space.
Here's the place when we first saw it. We picked it out among a slew of results from Westside Rentals. The pictures were grainy and few, and most of them showed the place as super cramped and not that attractive. But I had a feeling that maybe this was a hidden gem whose pictures didn't do it justice, so we went to check it out.
The bedroom overlooking the garden.

Living room with a faux fireplace

Dining nook with her leftover furniture
Can't stand this kitchen, but hey--washer and dryer! Score!
My favorite room, the office. Note pencil portrait of previous tenant. Very creepy.

Not horrible, right? But also, not cute. Yet. I see a lot of potential. Two rooms, and a PRIVATE GARDEN. (read: summer wine parties!) And I'm gonna detail on this blog my journey (wins and failures) on the way to beautifying this space into a warm, comfortable, gorgeous home for me and my beau.

*Said beau notes that the dishwasher is a portable one, so "running it" actually denotes quite a lot of labor, like connecting the hose to the sink, etc., ok, dammit? Also, I'm the first to admit that I'd offer to clean the entire house, scrub the tub, mop the floors, and clean the toilet before wanting to take out the kitty litter. All that talk about toxoplasmosis freaks me out. Nobody wants cat worms, dude.