Category Archives: Life

GRAND ULTIMATE SPRING CLEANING SUPREME MIX

I might be jumping the gun on this, guys–there’s still snow on the ground in New York and according to an overgrown gerbil with a degree in meteorology winter will not officially be over until March 16th–but the recent departure of my next door neighbor got me thinking about my own upcoming Spring clean. You see, my neighbor and I didn’t see eye to eye. The fact that she never remembered my name or said hello in the hallway was just the tip of the iceberg. That she used to blow dry her dog in our hallway, well, that was the enormous, craggy bottom of the iceberg. Somewhere in between was a whole lot of loud music, weird smells and general unpleasantness and I was more than happy to see her finally get the boot. And her little dog, too, who by the way was not house trained and would drive Finn mental with his constant, irritating barking.

Once she vacated the first thing I did was sneak over to her place. It was a Saturday morning and I had just come back from the gym. I was feeling agile like a ninja, and I figured if I was spotted I could parkour my way down the fire escape and evade capture. I slipped through the unlocked door. I was hunting for something–anything–to validate the feelings of ill-will I had carried around with me for the two years she was my floormate. This is without a doubt immature and regressive behavior, I know, but I never claimed to be a well-adjusted individual of society so eat me.

I have a theory and my theory is this: not all filthy people are horrible but most horrible people are filthy. AND I WAS RIGHT. Inside wasn’t the kind of mess you make while upending and moving your apartment. This was lived-in filth, which is exponentially grosser than just an unswept floor or a spotted mirror. There was toothpaste residue caked around the sink. The stove had a thick layer of grease covering its range. The grout in the shower was pink. Thoroughly shell-shocked I slinked back across the hall to my apartment with a slew of emotions: vindicated, ashamed, embarrassed, sad I didn’t have the opportunity to parkour anything, but ultimately just plain horrified.

The whole ordeal reminded me that my own place would soon need a deep cleaning. It also reminded me I can only clean to some solid tunes and that I’d need a heavy duty playlist to power through all the grime and gunk. Below is my Grand Ultimate Spring Cleaning Supreme Mix. Do with it what you will:

“Lonely Boy” The Black Keys

“Dirty Work” Steely Dan

“Say Goodbye” Beck

“Somebody to Love” Queen

“Live and Let Die” Wings

“Ravenous” Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers

“The Bends” Radiohead

“Silver Springs” Fleetwood Mac

“Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” The Beatles

“Ho Hey” The Lumineers

“Missed The Boat” Modest Mouse

“Everywhere” Fleetwood Mac

“Sixteen Saltines” Jack White

“There Goes The Neighborhood” Sheryl Crow

“All For Leyna” Billy Joel

“The Weight” The Band

“50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” Paul Simon

“Kodachrome” Paul Simon

“The Rising” Bruce Springsteen

“Edge of Seventeen” Stevie Nicks

“Rolling In The Deep” Adele

“***Flawless” Beyoncé

“Three Marlenas” The Wallflowers

“She’s Waiting” Eric Clapton

“Do You Want to Dance?” Bette Midler

“Jolene” Dolly Parton

“Darling Nikki” Prince & The Revolution

“Big Love” Fleetwood Mac

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TALKING PROCESS

It’s Sunday morning here in New York and we are preparing for yet another–and hopefully our last!–winter storm. The streets are empty, the sidewalks have been salted and outside my window the city is enjoying that nice, calming hum of a sleepy neighborhood not yet awake. Walked and fed, Finn has retreated back to his bed for his first of many mid-morning naps and I’ve got a huge pot of coffee making eyes at me from the counter. My apartment is quiet except for the drone of the fridge and the soft, flat footsteps of my upstairs neighbor padding down her hallway. But it’s not any Sunday–IT’S OSCAR SUNDAY–and there’s a lot to do before the big show begins. I must finalize my ballot. I need to decide what I’m making for the party (I’m leaning towards Deep Fried Lupita Nyong’O-reos). I have to chill the bubbles. In a few hours E!’s pre-carpet pre-show pre-everything coverage begins and if Kelly Osbourne and Ross Mathews play Guess The Nominee By Their Collar Bone and Which Starlet Will Win Best Supporting Cuticles and I’m not nestled deep into the arms of a champagne haze HEADS WILL ROLL PEOPLE.

So, during this brief window of Jared Leto jab-free time, before the chaos of the day ensues, I want to answer a question I get emailed about a lot–one TINAH reader Emma asked in the comments section of a recent post (thank you, Emma, for allowing me to Henry Higgins you publicly!)–and that is about process, specifically how I tackle designing a space.

** A WORD OF WARNING **

I am hardly an authority about any of this business, dear readers, but I do know what works for me and since I’ve gotten a significant amount of inquiries about it I felt I should share. What you are about to read below should by no means be considered a rule of thumb but rather a loose set of guidelines upon which your own principles can be applied. Take away from this as little or as much as you find useful, but if you come home to your husband hanging a hammock in your living room do not hold me responsible. All I ask is that you proceed with caution, keep your arms and legs inside the tram at all times and bear in mind these are not the musings of a sane man.

THANK YOU

Gather references

Before I start any project, big or small, I will always begin with reference photos. Specifically I would call what I do a ‘mood board’ but then I’d be afraid you’d judge me for being a pretentious jagweed. I think it’s important to see everything I’m considering all in one place. It really helps to edit myself. Like when I entertained covering my bathroom in some Hinson & Co wallpaper after seeing Steven Scarloff’s stunning feature in House Beautiful, the reference board I assembled showed me how clearly I had lost my mind and saved me from making a wrong turn, both aesthetically and financially. The board doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Most of my references are just print outs and pages ripped from magazines–occasionally I will cut swatches for texture and pattern–so don’t be concerned about the assembly. Just get everything in one place. Gather more than you think you’ll need. Look at it with a discerning eye and consider balance. If your references are feeling too cold soften them up and pull in some texture. If they are feeling too dull bring in some pattern. If you’re new to using color lean towards neutral pieces and inject pops of it here and there. Try to stay way from the need to match pieces together. This is the time to play! Keep in mind this is your design so you are the harbinger of your own definition of good taste. I’ll touch on this more later but remember to pick things you really want to wake up to every day, not things that are trendy or what you’ve read are cornerstones of modern design. Pintrest has been amazing in this way because it allows people like us forage the blogosphere and curate a huge amount of material with zero commitment or cost. I would recommend getting an account and start pinning immediately! You’ll be glad you did. And then link me to your account so I can follow you and skim off your genius OKAY THANX BYEEEEE.

Make a budget

This is a HUGE part of the design process a lot of people overlook or feel they simply don’t need, but a budget is not just for professionals and their clients. Once you’ve gathered your references your budget will help you translate your wish list into reality. I don’t do anything without one. Really. Even if it’s as simple as pulling up my bank account and checking the balance (and crying once I see what it is). A budget is the best way to navigate a sea of seemingly infinite design possibilities. That $5,000 credenza you referenced from Hive will either become a reproduction from a wholesaler, a Craiglist find, a thrift store hunt or a piece from IKEA (or the actual credenza from Hive if you’re fancy like that), and if you are honest about your finances the decision will be very easy to make. Be as detailed about it as possible. Start with a budget for the room and then pare it down, piece by piece, if you can. The goal here is to define your purchasing power so the more specific you are the less stress you will incur. No muss, no fuss!

Don’t rush

I’ve curated my references and have a budget. I have a strong idea of where the design is going and from where it will be sourced. Even though I’ve got all this I still make purchases one at a time, starting with the largest pieces first. In my experience designing a space is a mutable process, one that can change with the introduction of each new component, so allow yourself the time to settle into a decision and reevaluate. This is why I start with the heavy hitters first. It’s much easier to return a chair than it is a bed, and if you get a bed that plays much differently with your room than you imagined you will need the time to gather new references, edit your budget and re-source accordingly the things that will surround it. Don’t feel like you need to get it all done in one fell swoop. It may be uncomfortable walking into a room that’s only half-done, but you’ll be much happier in the long run knowing you’ve picked something lasting and that you adore.

Gut Check

This is specific to my process so feel free to skip this step entirely, but I am not Malcolm Gladwell. There are very few times when I ever feel my first instinct is the right one, so it helps for me to question it. If you are like me you can get wrapped up in a moment or a feeling and if you don’t check yourself you run the risk of turning your home into a set from Mad Men. I guess this goes back to my previous suggestion of taking your time, but I want this post to look like it has a lot of useful information and that I’m smart so I’m going to be redundant and hope you think I have more to offer. But I don’t. It’s really just fluff. Check yourself. Or don’t. What do I care?

Tape it out

If you read the blog you know how I’ve never met a roll of painter’s tape I didn’t love. For those of us with brains ruled by our somatic sense taping down the layout and dimensions of your design can help you walk around in the space before you commit your time, money and energy to anything. I know it does for me. Call it a poor man’s feng shui!

Design with the future in mind

When I design I like to keep in mind the staying power of my decisions. The last thing I want to do is buy a bunch of shit I will only grow tired of and want to replace in a year, so I do my best to choose things I know (or think I know) will move with me throughout my life. I sort of explained my feelings on this here, but it is summed up much more clearly by Graham Hill during his Ted Talk, Less Stuff More Happiness. Graham is a genius about the whole idea of life editing. He just crystallizes it so beautifully. When I transpose his philosophy onto my design process I come up with my own version of a Wild Card. Now this may seem like I’m contradicting myself after getting on my soap box about making a budget and sticking to it but this is the step in which it is OK to break the bank and spend a little more. If you find a piece you can’t live without and you know you’ll have forever…BUY IT. I grant you immunity. That one expensive thing is more likely to stay by your side throughout the long haul than that Hemnes dresser from IKEA which you will probably replace two or three times over in the course of decade. So, yea, alright, I guess I am a giant, blowzy hypocrite. And if the dresser from IKEA is the thing that will follow you from place to place then fine–GREAT–but the takeaway here is just don’t buy anything because you need to fill the space. Allow yourself an investment piece.

The Erykah Badu Factor

Here’s the last rule–ugh, rule. Rule sounds terrible. Commandment? NO. Decree? I’m not a politician. Edict? How royal! Let’s go with that–rule edict of my process. I try to remind myself to always keep things a little bit weird. There is nothing less interesting than a room that looks like it’s been ripped straight from page 74 of a Design Within Reach catalog. I get why it happens; amateur designers like ourselves can get self-conscious about our decisions, am I right? It’s very easy to look to a source of authority and say, “Oh, that is good design. That is what I need to replicate,” but that way of thinking will just saddle you with a space devoid of personality. My goal throughout the whole process is to remain cognizant of what can make the space unique, what  can make it just a leeeettle different than anywhere else. Don’t be afraid of the strange–embrace it! In fact, GET ALL UP IN THAT FUNK. I’m not recommending you reupholster an ottoman in Lycra or buy a duvet cover made of human hair but be fearless in the knowledge that there really is no right way in doing any of this.

Go forth and design!

LESS IS MORE (HAPPINESS)

I’ve gotten a lot of emails recently asking me about how I am able live in such a small space. Well, that’s not such an easy one to answer. For me, I don’t consider living in an apartment that is under 300sf unusual, but since the average American home in 2013 was around 2,600sf–more than double what it was 60 years ago even though the average family size has shrank by nearly 20% since 1970–I’m not surprised by people’s fascination with a space that is roughly 9 times smaller than the current median.

Last Fall my mom and step-dad were finishing construction on their new home, and throughout the process my mom was giving me updates. Sometime in late October, after the framework was insulated and the sheetrock was hung, I got a call:

My mom: “Hey, Ev.”

Me: “Hi, Mom.”

Mom: “Rich and I are standing in our bedroom right now and it’s really taking shape.”

Me: “That’s great, how does it look?”

Mom: “Great, but hey, Ev, we were wondering, do you know the square footage of your            apartment? We want to know what it is like in relation to the house now that the walls are up. Rich was saying he thinks you’re probably around 500 because our bedroom is 400 square feet.”

Me: [Screaming into a pillow] “295 square feet.”

Mom: [To my step-dad] “He’s saying 295! I don’t know! [Into the phone] Ev, are you being funny?”

Me: “What? No, why?”

Mom: [To my step-dad] “He says no! Yes! Two hundred and ninety-five! Yes, Rich, that’s what he’s saying! [Into the phone] Wow.”

Me: “‘Wow’ what?”

Mom: “We just thought it was bigger. It looks bigger in pictures.”

Me: “Nope. Under 300. I guess your bedroom is larger than my entire home.”

Mom: [Pause] “Well…you’ve made good use of the space.”

Me: *Click* [Dial tone]

Mom: “Hello?”

I don’t blame my parents’ shock. I would have a hard time, too, imagining what it would be like to live in a space in which the bedroom, living room, dining room, kitchen and bathroom combined were smaller than my entire sleeping area.

The fist day I moved into my apartment, after three years of living with my roommate in a spacious two-bedroom in Midtown East, around the corner from the United Nations, my hesitation towards downsizing was palpable. I remember texting her:

Me: »OMG«

Her: »???«

Me: »How are we going to do this? Closet can barely hold all jackets«

Her: »We’ll make it work. One day we’ll laugh abt this«

I think back on that now and I do laugh, even though I never thought I would. Living in a small space has taught me one very valuable lesson: more space does not equal more happiness.

When I lived in a larger apartment I owned more stuff. With four closets and a pantry my roommate and I consumed a lot of stuff. A lot of stuff, in hindsight, I didn’t really need, but I filled the space anyway simply because I had it. Two winter jackets multiplied to six and four pairs of shoes became ten, but it was fine because I had the space to keep it all.

Or was it? When I moved from my two-bedroom into my studio I quickly realized what I needed and what I could do without. I started to see very clearly what was a necessity and what just caused me anxiety. Sure it was a luxury to display every book I had read, every DVD I had watched and still have room for a few bins of holiday decorations or specialty cookware, but that stuff, I found, was really only inhibiting me. I realized the more stuff I had the more time I spent maintaining it, and the more time I spent maintaining it the less time I had free to do other things.

Choosing to live in a smaller space was like a self-imposed ultimatum. It forced me to keep only what I needed and cut the extraneous. No longer could I hold onto the t-shirts I wore in college because I couldn’t fit them in my dresser anymore. That warm-up jacket I had been carrying around since high school, though it had sentimental value, had to be ditched to accommodate a simple blazer for work.

This process of weeding out the superfluous introduced me to the Joy Of Less and I found having less gave me the freedom to enjoy other things. Instead of 1,000sf to clean I now had only 300, and 700 square feet can be the difference between having an epic weekend versus just a mediocre one. Not to mention the cashsheesh I was saving! Just think about it: a smaller home means a smaller commitment, a smaller commitment means smaller bills and smaller bills means more money to download every Fleetwood Mac album on iTunes. Simple math! Also a smaller home means the things I put in it have to be my absolute favorite things because there simply isn’t room for anything else. Period. Exclamation point.

At its core downgrading to a smaller space just required me to give value to things. Without the extra space everything I owned had to matter in a very significant way otherwise it was totally unnecessary.

I don’t think living in less that 300sf is a sacrifice. In fact, there are many people living with far less and doing far more than others who are living with ten times to amount of space. I’m grateful for the space (or lack thereof) I have. It’s been a real eye-opener to say the least.

WHAT TO WATCH ON A SNOW DAY

For those of us in the Northeast it’s a been a turbulent weather week! We had two days with over six inches of snowfall and another day of snow is on the way. In any other part of the country weather like that wouldn’t be cause for concern but when even an inch of sweet New Hampshire cocaine falls in Manhattan the entire city completely shuts down. Buses stop running, the subway reduces to a crawl and taxis disappear leaving most of us–if you’re fortunate enough, like me, to have an empathic boss–to take a snow day and work from home. I LOVE working from home. It gives me a chance to catch up on emails, return phones calls, prepare for meetings or the option to not do any of that garbage and just nap all day, which is what I am usually want to do. I imagine a snow day here is equal to a regular Tuesday in Europe. Sorry, Spain, but maybe your country wouldn’t have collapsed financially if every once in awhile someone over there pulled a 10-hour day. That’s right. I said it!

The weekend forecast is calling for yet another storm this Sunday so I’m gearing up for a third day of laying around like a slob and gorging on whatever I can find streaming online. Just like the two snow days before, my poly-cotton blend sweats will be tucked into my wool socks and I will be at a loss for fucks to give so there’s no point in trying to make me feel about my choices, Internet. Like a pig in shit I’m rolling in it!

Here’s my dance card for the next 72 hours. Come Monday I think the title of my soon-to-be-released autobiography will be ‘Death By Netflix: The Unbound Slovenliness of A Man & His Dog; Bed Sores or Bed Scores?’

MITT

Netflix-Sundance-MITT-DocI actually watched this on Snow Day 1. When I read Netflix snapped up this documentary about a behind-the-scenes look of Mitt Romney’s two failed presidential campaigns I rolled my eyes so hard Janeane Garofalo got a pair of wings. I thought to myself: Self (ha!), no one needs to see a story about a man who lost the Republican nomination in ’08 after he funded his campaign WITH HIS OWN MILLIONS OF DOLLARS only to do it all again four years later and still fail to see beyond the end of his nose. Like, the guy swung for the fences and came up short. OK, that’s a bummer but he was jockeying to be the most powerful man in the world, not trying find a source for clean drinking water or defend human rights in India, so while his effort should be commended that doesn’t mean I need to watch a documentary about it and it certainly doesn’t mean I don’t think he needs to just go away and take his 11 robot sons with him (Evan, calm down!) but apparently I like the sound of the screams in my own head because I did see it and while I’m not totally wrong about the banality of watching a rich man struggling to connect with the people from whom he’s asking to give him power there were some redeeming/revealing moments that made me feel I didn’t totally squander two hours of my life on what is ostensibly a cinematic bowl of whip cream and white privilege. ::Deep, relaxing breath:: Anyway, see it or don’t see it or do see it and then write me an angry email afterward, but if you do you’ll be thankful for every time Ann is on screen. I don’t know how I forgot about her MS diagnosis, but to hear her talk about it in the same breath as her treatment (therapeutic horseback riding) is heartbreaking and hilarious all at the same time.

MELISSA MCCARTHY ON SNL

Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 4.45.52 PMOn Snow Day 2 I started hacking away at my Hulu queue, which is really just a pile of all the stuff that makes me snort-laugh but which is probably actually rotting my brain from the inside out, like how a microwave leaves a nugget of ice in the center of a burrito: The Mindy Project, New Girl, Family Guy, SNL, The Only Way is Essex. Sometimes SNL doesn’t always deliver (which is devastating when people like Diane Keaton sings Woody Allen a famous children’s song at the Golden Globes and they don’t rake her over the coals for it) but they took on the Michael Grimm scandal to hilarious effect with Melissa McCarthy as former Middle Delaware State basketball coach Sheila Kelly. Watching her hijack a squad car and shoot out security cameras was the best apology television could’ve made to my eyes since watching the Grammys, so I’m very thankful for this episode and will most definitely rewatch it over the weekend.

EAGLEHEART

eagleheartIf Quentin Tarantino and Wes Anderson had a baby and that baby was delivered stillborn it would be Eagleheart. I only recently learned about it from Julie Klausner’s podcast and I can’t get enough of it. In it Chris Elliott plays a US Marshal and if you can picture Chris Elliott as a US Marshal then I’m not sure why you’re even still reading this because somewhere out there Chris Elliott is pretending to be a US Marshall and that’s better than anything you can find on this blog. The last four episodes of season 3 are up on Adult Swim and you can stream the rest of the series at Streamallthis.

METROPOLIS

metropolisI haven’t seen Metropolis since I was a kid but on Snow Day 2 I found Netflix is streaming it and if a dark, dystopian, German expressionistic sci-fi film doesn’t call out to you on a cold day when you’re bundled in bed with your pooch on one side and a bag of Lay’s Sriracha flavored potato chips (AKA heaven in a sack) on the other then, friends, I don’t know what will. Of course total class warfare lunacy is not what I need to watch when I’m stuck inside and grappling with cabin fever but I also don’t need to spend hours online agonizing over the Louis Poulsen pendant I can’t afford, so watching Metrolpolis will be the better of two evils. Somewhere Fritz Lang is rolling over in his grave.

DOWNTON ABBEY

Picture 5I’m so behind! I think I’m somewhere around episode 6 of season 3 and now that season 4 is nearly finished trying to avoid any accidental spoilers is like playing Russian roulette with my heart each time I open my computer. (PS If anyone–ANYONE–emails me a spoiler may God have mercy on your soul because I will hunt you down and wear your undercarriage like a mink stole. A mink. Stole.) You know what? I’ve changed my mind. I’m not watching anything else but Downton Abbey this weekend. Lady Mary is Public Enemy No. 1 for me come Sunday.

ADMISSION

Picture 6Yes, I was that person you heard cackling obnoxiously on the train last year while you were quietly and politely making your way to work. You probably looked over and thought, ‘How did Phyllis Diller resurrect herself and find her way into the bowels of the New York City subway system? What? That’s not Phyllis Diller? Really. Who? Evan who? Just some asshole reading Bossy Pants and having zero respect for anyone else around him? Oh, ok.’ and then went about your day. I know this film got absolutely skewered when it came out but it just went up on HBO Go so, you know, there goes my Sunday night, lost to Tina Fey and her chin scar. How did I not know this film was about a woman forced to come to terms with her life when a man ambushes her with the child she gave up in college and uses her secret baby against her to get him accepted into Princeton? Oh that’s right because it was marketed as a rom-com since Hollywood’s archaic, warped gender politics can’t comprehend a complicated–layered? nuanced? How about unconventional–female-driven story without reverting to stereotypes. Whatever the case may be from the synopsis alone it sounds like Tina Fey may well be on her way to starring in Lars Von Trier’s next film and I am all in!

THIS IS NOT A HOUSE ON CURBED

Picture 2A big THANK YOU to Hana Alberts and Jessica Dailey, the two fiercely talented Senior Editors/Vixens of New York Real Estate, over at Curbed New York for picking up a story about This Is Not A House that appeared on Apartment Therapy this week! They didn’t have to add their own lovely little write-up but they did and I’m so grateful to these ladies for their kindness and for the great work they do over at their site, which allows all of us New Yorkers the opportunity to sit back with a 12-pack of Diet Coke and pour over the dirty bits of other people’s apartments from the privacy of our own. Curbed is one of those rare sites, along with Street Easy, that offers an equally morbid (It Came From Craigslist) and delicious (Real Estate Death Match) glimpse into warts-and-all city living.

Also it seems I received a nomination for the Microdwelling Hall of Fame which Finn would like to accept on my behalf because he’s into that kind of attention whoring and spotlight pillaging.

If you haven’t already please go check out Curbed now, as well as their other amazing titles Eater (food) and Racked (CLOTHES). You won’t regret it. Unless you believe Carrie Bradshaw actually lived in that fucking brownstone then, sure, you may regret reading and you may start drinking pink wine from a bag and you most definitely will start telling everyone about that time you almost made homecoming court.

PS: I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for their lovely posts and emails the last few days. It’s all too easy to leave a nasty comment when it is in an anonymous forum but it takes real effort and courage to write something kind and of value. So…thank you…and just know I have a fuzzy feeling in my chest even though I’ll probably deny it if you confront me about it because I’m a guy and I have trouble acknowledging my feelings.

PPS: You all are very inspiring so let’s keep on keeping on!

WHAT IS DESIGN?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Recently a friend of mine rather astutely (or shrewdly) told me he thought the whole business of design and renovation said less about how a person lives and more about how they don’t. Specifically he was referring to me and my resistance to process a failed relationship and how it had manifested itself in my apartment.

I said it was a shrewd observation, right?

I once dated someone who was really into astrology. He believed that, although we are all unique in our own different ways, our behaviors are ultimately determined by our signs. He used his apartment as an example. That thing–WOOF!–was styled within an inch of its life. He was a Cancer–the crab of the zodiac–and like a crab, with its soft, delicate abdomen, he thought of his apartment as his shell, the contents of which were the salvaged bits he assembled to protect himself against outside harm.

Now, to me, that kind of logic is one cat-skeleton-under-your-sofa away from appearing on Hoarders: Buried Alive but it was the first time I began to think about design as symptomatic of something greater than just an affection for pretty fabrics and Eames chairs. [By the way, this was not the relationship in question but I thank you, OK Cupid, for your devilish sense of humor.]

I don’t disagree with my friend. In fact I think he’s actually right, even if what he said made me want to curl into a ball and listen to Bon Iver in the dark. Why else do we jump through all the hoops of making an interior hospitable if not for the perception of an inhospitable exterior? Is that too big of a leap to make? Maybe. Do I care? No. I’m feeling very introspective today, so lay back and enjoy this metaphorical Slip ‘N Slide with me. I think a lot of it has to do with control (or the illusion of having it), which I totally admit about myself. Designing my space, designing other people’s spaces: a lot of it is about gaining control and eliminating chaos and feeling like choosing to place a plant here or put a lamp there is a way of coping with the pressures and emotional stresses in life and oh God I’m venturing into teen cutting territory what is wrong with me I should stop before I admit I dumpster dive to feel alive…

[Isn’t it fantastic how I can start off talking about design and bring it around to wrist cutters? Don’t you find that just CHARMING about me? No? Yea, me neither.]

I’m still not sure what design really is but I don’t think it needs to be only one thing, nor does it need to say only one thing about me or how I feel about myself. It says a lot about who I am! I use design to insulate myself from harmful things but I also use it to satisfy aesthetics. And I’m OK with that.

Now enough with the heavy stuff. Here’s a picture of Finn dressed as a sassy devil:

Meow.

THIS IS NOT A HOUSE ON APARTMENT THERAPY

What a thrill it is to be featured on Apartment Therapy today!

meandfinn

Finn being a diva PER USUAL

I have long been a fan of everything on AT so it’s a real honor and privilege to even be mentioned alongside their content and profiles of other spaces!

This had been in the works for some time, but because I know you all hate spoilers I kept things on the QT. The same cannot be said however for the season finales of Homeland or Downton Abbey so your Spoiler Alert Threat Level Warnings should be set to TANGERINE from here on out, are we clear?

Now, if you’ve linked to this blog from AT’s article and are experiencing it for the first time welcome! As regular readers of This Is Not A House can attest, we do things a little differently around these parts. In the course of writing about rental renovations and affordable DIYs I often ramble and get lost on tangents. There may be times when I equate getting over a past relationship to refinishing a hardwood floor, or mention Target Lady when talking about regrouting your tub, but rest assured I’ve got a steady hand and know where I’m going with this. It takes awhile to get my point across but I guarantee the journey will have been worth it.

So please enjoy! And whether you’re a seasoned pro or an aspiring DIYer please please please let me and everyone else know what you’re doing! I’ve put my contact email in the sidebar and comments are enable on each post. I think the best thing about being a part of this community is sharing our ideas. (hashtag sentimental moment hashtag tear hashtag LUV U GUYZ)

Last but certainly not least, a very special thank you must be given to the brilliant Andrea Sparacio and her wonderful editor, Nancy Mitchell, for their generosity and kind words. Ladies, your tennis bracelets are in the mail.