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February 15, 2007

Snow Walk

2007-02-15 01.jpg

The above image is from last year right around this time. It is also what I wish had been the result of yesterday but alas, instead we are awash with patches of dirty snow-ice blocks. Oh well.

Yesterday I took a grad school field trip to Washington Heights to look at 1930's apartment buildings. We had spent the previous class looking at original floorplans, which made things all the more interesting, as in addition to looking at the outsides of the structures, we also had the chance to visit several apartments. So, despite the freezing cold and sleet and snow, we tromped around the West 180's, stopping inside every so often to check out sunken living rooms, casement windows, and of course, discretely and at times not so much, the apartment owners' stuff.

I love looking at the types of furniture that people have and what items they choose to hang on the walls. It is fun to guess what inhabitants are like based on their decor-- from the titles of their books to what is in their kitchen, the type of furniture they have and why their walls are painted a certain color. This got me thinking about out own apartment which, despite our best efforts, is still only partially decorated, in some ways probably (unconsciously) intentional, as we know that it is a temporary home.

This morning I wandered through the house and tried to look at our belongings the way a stranger might. I wondered what someone might assume based on our furniture, or the stories they might conjure from the items hanging on our walls. I didn't come up with much except that we are a family of collectors. That and we have not had a chance to accrue any nice furniture yet, except for a handmade desk from my father and a few items that I inherited from my parents' house. Oh, and that we have a lot of cats.

What story would the interior of your home tell?

Posted by callalillie at February 15, 2007 9:46 AM | City Life , Inquiry


mine would tell that i love vintage items, the color white, and hurricane candles. it would also tell you that i have a cat who's a messy eater and a barfer, and that i am more like oscar madison than you could imagine

Posted by: grumpygirl at February 15, 2007 10:40 AM

it depends on -- would i have a chance to straighten up before they stopped in? ack.

Posted by: lesterhead at February 15, 2007 10:50 AM

oh yes, definitely. though trying to guess if people had cleaned before hand was fun, too.

Posted by: corie at February 15, 2007 12:07 PM

Mine would say that I have mostly modern tastes but I never put up decorations on the walls. I know that I'll be moving in a year or so, I feel it's a waste of energy. Also, I'm picky on what decorations that I want to place on a wall.

Though, there are a few pieces that I would love for people to see and think that I treasure hand-me-downs. I have a small, child-size table that was crafted by my great uncle for my mother and a rocking chair that my mother purchased when she found out that she was going to have me. Both of those pieces I absolutely adore and could care less on how they fit into any decor I have now or into the future. Those two items are a key part of who I am.

Posted by: Jenifer at February 15, 2007 12:41 PM

People would see that I appreciate art, collect cobalt blue glass, and love movies more than the average person. They would also see that I love books, adore animals, and need to do the dishes and the laundry very badly. :)

Posted by: Gina at February 15, 2007 3:06 PM

There was an article in the NYTimes a few weeks about a new play that takes place in people's living rooms--actual living rooms! The article also mentioned the experience of checking out people's stuff and the voyeuristic aspect of the experience.

Posted by: Nani at February 16, 2007 4:49 AM

Oh, and my apartment? You can tell it's the apartment of someone in transition. There's a mix of nice furniture and cheap Target/Container store furniture. This someone also needs to find the time to finish painting her apartment, has more than one cat, and is a teacher, an English teacher to boot, judging from the bookcases. You can also tell the other inhabitant is a computer guy (by vocation and avocation), evidenced by the multiple machines on his desk. Also, this person likes Bob Dylan and the Beat Generation, judging from the big movie poster of What Happened to Kerouac? and the framed photograph of Dylan. She also likes to cook and collects kitchen appliances that she has no room for.

Posted by: Nani at February 16, 2007 4:55 AM

You might want to take a look at the website for a chance to peek at lots of people's homes from around the world. Much fun.

Posted by: Andrea at February 16, 2007 5:45 PM

Whenever people come to my apt. for the first time they say we have a great apt., but most of the time I think it just looks messy and juvenile. And dusty. So Much Dust. Where does all the dust come from?

Posted by: craige at February 17, 2007 12:05 PM

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