06 August 2008

trading clutter for chaos

(3 days ago)

I am a social being. I realized this when trying to explain to Brian why I needed to invite guests over today despite the state of chaos in which our new apartment still exists. He —being much more type A than I am — made it clear that he would prefer to wait until every last box is unpacked, and, you know, until we have couches. I would rather invite people into the chaos, and engage their creativity. That's why it was great to have Romy, Veronique, and Skye (and Milton the pug) over today.

I have realized that, in my mind, this apartment didn't feel real until I had some guests over. Like their company validated its existence. I guess there is a reason for housewarmings after all, as the presence of friends truly warms up the space for our daily life, and for future parties.

Over sangria and many a snack, the girls came up with ideas for setting up the double living room that I never would have thought of. Who would have thought we could work with Brian's huge, circa 1970 speakers instead of (in my case) fighting against them? Who would have thought to use them as end tables and hang symmetrical lanterns over them? Who would have thought to incorporate my piano into the library? Romy. Definitely not me.

When moving, it's so easy to look at your same old stuff and think of setting it up in the same fashion as you had in your last place. Often a new set of eyes (and the creative minds of friends) can help you look at things in a totally different light. When we moved from London, we brought all our stuff from our respective houses, carrying the burdens and scraps of our past rat-packing. The resulting decor scheme consisted of handed down hand-me-downs and childhood furniture. A lot of that was sold, given away, or tossed out, as we pared our stuff down to essentials and favourites.

And now, instead of being full of cluttered, clashing pieces, our empty living room is full of potential.


Jenn said...

Oooh I love the French doors, the columns, and that it's White! It embodies fresh start. Amazing.

I know exactly what you mean about relying on others to help make a space your own. After moving in I went to Ottawa for the weekend, and returned to find that Boucher had setup my entire living room. I haven't moved a single piece of furniture since.

sam said...

What a gorgeous apartment! All that hardwood and archway - fabulous! Good luck settling in, I'll be able to sympathize properly with the clutter of box-filled hallways in a couple weeks, by which time I'm sure you'll have your speaker-endtables set up and Brian will be more into having company over :)

Jess said...

Dude - what a beautiful apartment! have a LIBRARY?! Do you live in a castle? Is there a rose under glass in the spooky East Wing?

I'm stoked to see your new place in September!

Erin said...

I'm so jealous of your new apartment! It looks amazing. Adam's first comment upon seeing the pictures was, "This makes me want to move above ground."

I agree.

Take care and happy decorating!!

Anonymous said...

Even with the clutter the apartment looks great- I'm excited to come over and help break it in!

I'll be seeing you in about a week's time! Hopefully you will be in Mtl..