I just realized that my new apartment that I am moving into at the end of the month is the first place in my whole life that is exclusively my own, to furnish and decorate as I wish. This is kind of a big deal.
So what kind of environment do I want to live in? What do I want to surround myself with in my home?
[Image from MODORARY furniture store in Second Life (teleport link)]
Of course as a child I had only limited choices that were available to me in my family home. Maybe the posters on the walls, the toys on display, what kind of sheets I had.
Going away to college at UCLA, in theory I had my first experience with decorating my own space from the ground up. The problem being that I had very little money, and very little idea of what kind of space I wanted to live in. And I always had roommates and their respective stuff to contend with. The result was the kind of haphazardly furnished, multi-bedroom pads that reflected the worst of college lifestyles. I remember in particular a very ugly inflatable tyrannosaurus rex that followed me around for several apartments. And lots of milk crates. Ugh.
Then there were those years in Texas, DC and New York. where I was living in different kinds of cheap, group housing arrangements. Given the transient and poverty-level nature of my living standards, I didn’t have a lot of stuff, and what I had was not very nice.
My later years in New York were in a couple of different shared apartments with friends or my sister, where again I had to negotiate with the other inhabitant on furnishing and décor decisions. Usually I just went along with whatever the other person wanted to do, not having any strong feelings about décor and few things that I was firmly wedded to displaying.
So my new place in Prospect Heights is really the first place that is wholly my own to design and furnish as I wish. I actually have the means for the first time to realize a design vision — to some degree. And the place is big enough to get playful and creative. So the question is, what kind of place do I want to live in?
I would like some place that reflected my own personality and interests. Which is tough since I have several competing influences, from hip-hop to swing dance to my Filipino heritage to virtual worlds and other geekery. It could be at worst a mish-mash of incongruent elements that feels confusing and busy.
Integrating all of those elements into a single space sounds ambitious, even for an expert interior designer. One possibility would be to devote each of the four rooms to a different theme.
The kitchen area could be the swing era, with vintage appliances, kitschy knick-knacks, and swing-related prints and artwork. The bathroom might be similarly decorated, since there is a lot of stuff like that on sale everywhere.
The living room could be urban chic, with funky, hip-hop inspired décor and artwork. I’d love to get some cool graffiti artwork up on the wall. I’d also like this room to be fairly empty so I can practice break dancing in here, which is apropos.
The office / extra bedroom could be the techie / geek space, with robots, action-figures and other nerd stuff on display. This is likely to be the messiest room in the house , so there is likely to be lots of gear everywhere anyway.
Finally the main bedroom could be the Filipinania room, with tropical colors, classic Filipino decorative items, and pictures from the Islands and family. As the place I wake up and fall asleep in, having reminders of where I come from seems appropriate.
Just dreaming a little..