An Apt of My Own

old room in gnpt that i loved.


The time has come when I get to pack my shit and move into an apartment to live all by myself. I’ve been waiting for this moment for years and it’s finally happening. I made the decision to move out of a gigantic, beautiful loft in Greenpoint for various different reasons, most pressing excuse being I couldn’t tolerate living with other people any longer. NO MORE. DONE. No personal grudges against my roommate or anything (ahem), I’ve just come to a point in my life where I’m working/dealing/collaborating/meeting with people 24/7 that when I am home I do not want to consider anyone else but me and my dog. I want to run around naked fist pumping to crystal castles, not washing anyone else’s dirty dishes, and not compensating space in the fridge or closet for no one else’s possessions but my own. Everything is where I left them last and ultimately, most importantly, I have COMPLETE control over my environment. That’s what happens as you age, you become a neurotic control freak. Interesting.

old apt

So the last couple weeks I’ve been bustin’ my balls looking for apartments in Greenpoint, LES and EV and have been pullin’ my hair, stressin’ my shit and freakin’ out that I would never be able to afford a decent sized apt to live alone. I came close at many moments. There was the jr. 1br on 6th St btw 1st and 2nd ave for $1300 where the bath tub was in the living room next to the kitchen sink and the tiny toilet stall had a heat pipe that made the room a sauna. Good location though. There was the perfect 1br on Franklin and India that was on the ground floor with full access to the communal backyard. Tiny kitchen but spacious rooms. It was taken right under my nose, those bastards. After many nights tossin’ n’ turnin’, shedding tears of frustration, helplessness, and fatigue, I FINALLY confirmed the cutest most PERFECTEST apartment ever. It’s a small studio (I’m guessing 550 sq ft) at the corner of McGorlick Park (20 steps to dog run), behind Variety Cafe (walk into the building to the scent of coffee), across the street from supermarket and pet shop. Original details abound, with walls layered with paint, built in kitchen cabinets and closet, fold out ironing board, and the best, most fantastically charming part, a staircase leading out the window to my very own grassy private back yard. STOKED.

I’ve been OBSESSING about this apt the last couple days. The lack of sleep, the abundance of stress, and that special time of the month, not to mention not having cooked or baked in over a month, all combined to plague me with a cold. Nonetheless I’ve been studying websites and books on how to live in and create the most beautiful, functional, charming, quirky, colorful, welcoming small apartment ever. Here’s where I’m looking:

– I drool over sneak peeks at design sponge for hours. HOURS. This is my favorite.

– Apartment Therapy features tiny apartment contests every year and there are LOADS of pictures there. This is my favorite.

– My co-worker brought this amazing book that I’ve been diligently studying.  It’s in Japanese and features tiny apartments in Paris. I can’t find any links to it, but publisher is Shufunotomosha. You can get it at the Japanese book store on 42nd St. I’m being vague, but I haven’t been there yet, just explore and find it.

– Here’s a bunch of links about tiny spaces under 400 sq ft.

– Here are some tips on making your small apt bigger.

– Here’s a 25 year old’s tiny apartment that’s been making its round on the interweb.

– And here’s a blog called tiny ass apartment. Pretty self-explanatory.

I’ll be spending the next couple weeks painting my walls (not all, just one or two in deep orange and marigold) as well as my cabinet and closet. I’ll be buying more plants to hang and place on my fireplace sill as well as veggie seeds for the backyard. I’ll be shopping for a coat rack, desk chair, step stool, kitchenware, curtains, frames, pillows, and functional, beautiful tchotchkes to aestheticize my place with. I never ever grew up in a decent looking home and it means so much to me, having the opportunity to make my home, MY HOME. Look out for finished product soon.



Filed under Home

7 responses to “An Apt of My Own

  1. Congratulations. Can’t wait to visit!

  2. karen

    haha, aww! this sounds EXACTLY like what I went through last july. only my search may have been more tortured in that i went from looking for a 3br w friends to suddenly a 1br for myself, with only 2 wks left until I had to move out! i didn’t get my ‘perfect’ place (actually, yours sounds close to what my ‘perfect’ might have been, had i had the luxury of more time & flexibility on loc). i can’t believe you have a BACKYARD! that was my dream when moving to BK..

    i too became an obsessive apartment therapy/design*sponge/craig’s list/thrift&furniture store enthusiast. i got a few things, but my tiny place filled up quite fast. and i still haven’t realized my full vision of what my place should be. but ah well, i suppose it’s always going to be a work in progress..

    anyhow, CONGRATS! i can’t wait to see it and contribute my non-essential design tips 🙂

  3. Joann

    thanks hrag, watch out for dinner parties!! karen please please shower me with your tips and can we go thrift store shopping together por favor?

  4. Christina

    Congrats on your own apartment! I found my current Greenpoint apartment online, while still living in Toronto and I like it, but our landlord sucks. Do you find it’s been difficult to find a good apartment with decent landlords?

  5. Joann

    Hi Cristina!

    Landlords will always be landlords. They’re always in some degree: cranky, unresponsive, haughty, and careless. I once had a psycho landlord that charged every time a friend visited and listened in every conversation in my apt from his dank dark basement apt below. He was a crazy man. My last landlord was fine until he kicked me out so his family of 10 could live in a 2br railroad. Yea, landlords will always be landords.

  6. Christina

    Haha ah, I should have known better! My last landlord in Toronto before moving was this amazing old man who gave my roommate & I a bottle of wine every couple months for vacuuming the hallway a couple times a year. If anything was wrong, he was on it in a matter of days. Now my fiance & I have a landlord who told us it was our own fault our apartment was broken into, of course he didn’t change the locks when we got the place, and let us move in without any hot water being able to get into our apartment! Oy vey!

    Good luck and congrats with your new place! I hope your landlord is wonderful 😉

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