Since last weekend I've done a little bit of work in the apartment while waiting for my copy of Apartment Therapy: The eight-step home cure to arrive. I figured I'd start with obvious things like fixing the disarray of our guestroom/office and do some basic decluttering. The guestroom is where we put things when we can't find a place for them. As I had mentioned in a previous entry, our apartment has no closet space whatsoever. Very typical for a Paris apartment. The guestroom turned into an office, dressing area and a random storage space. It became a room that I hated to enter because there was just so much stuff everywhere! After buying a new computer, I quickly realized that if I'm going to want to comfortably use the computer I need to feel at ease in our guestroom/office because that was the only feasible place in our apartment to place the computer.
I assessed the room and listed things I disliked:
- The desk. It's too big for this room and the shape is weird.
- My husband's clothes. They don't belong in the guest room!
- My makeshift vanity. It doesn't belong in this room, either!
- The futon placement. When open, you can't move around the room at all.
The only thing I liked about the room is the kitsch wallpaper from the previous owners. It's too funny to take down.
Here's the layout before:
I made an executive decision to replace the wonky desk with a desk of a more conventional shape, say a rectangle? So, I moved out kitchen table into the guest room and made a communal desk for my husband and I.
And....it works! Sort of strange to have two people at a desk like this but it's fun and my husband and I are together when we have our geeky computer moments instead of one us in the living room and one in the office. And yes, we have video chatted with each while sitting side by side. :)
Here's the new layout:
The flow of this room is much better now. We are push to the wall kind of people, as Ms. Jess at Fig and Plum can relate to this. No choice, really... this room is just too small for anything else.
We sill have a little work to do in this room, we will install a shelving unit with a built lighting system to go above the desk. I'd also like to do a little decoupage and buy a glass sheet to place on top to bring a little more finish to the desk top.
I've started the process of decluttering our apartment. This is a hard process for me because I am the daughter of a pack-rat and was taught that it's okay to keep EVERYTHING. As I got older and more independant, I would do periodical purges of of personal things. Most times in fits of psychotic cleaning rages (my husband can confirm this) in preparation for parties chez nous. Remember my makeshift vanity? Well, I decided to that the guestroom/office should be a neutral space in our apartment, that would be the only way to keep this room clean and prepared for guests. That meant my husband's suits and my vanity had to go. I decluttered my beauty products. This was very hard for me. I'm very serious about skin care. I threw out anything that was older than a year or that I hadn't used in more than 6 months. I threw out two 20 liter trashbags worth of beauty products, people! It's been nearly a week since I did it and I feel great. All my body, hair and skin care products are in the bathroom (where they belong) and out of our guest room. My husband's suits? They are in the hallway...awaiting a shiny new home in our bedroom. Soon, very soon...
Since these changes my copy of Apartment Therapy arrived and I read on the book blog that we're working on the kitchen. Ça tombe bien...because Julien and I just did a little work in the kitchen as well. We've been busy little bees, n'est-ce pas? After a trip to Ikea to get some organizational ideas, we bought a few things to fix a few minor issues in our kitchen: the lack of counter space. A few holes drilled et voila! My new cooking nook.
My husband remarked that our kitchen finally looks habillé or dressed. Don't you agree?