Friday, September 02, 2016

A lesson in decor

Given that I could fill the entirety of social media, of text-lacking space on this planet, with Very Important Thoughts about my recent move, I'll try to be intentional about this. That is, I'll spare you the first-world but not-so-posh saga of living in one of those buildings that fall between run-down walk-up and luxury tower, leading perhaps inevitably to the worst aspects of each. (That is, rulesrulesrules but weak security and no ability to receive packages.)

I will skip ahead, then, to the more generally-applicable lessons I've learned about decor. These are not Rachel Cusk-level home-furnishing concerns. They're more like practical (if bathroom-centric) considerations about design of the sort you only think about when they go wrong:

-Bathroom doors should close. Especially so if an apartment has more than one resident. I mean. The old place had a sliding door that sort of dislodged with use, such that it was eventually at so much of a slant as to make the bedroom and bathroom one loft-like space.

-The bathroom should have a toilet paper roll dispenser thingy. That there are bathrooms designed without isn't something I'd ever considered until living in such a place. (I could maaaaybe see if there were a Japanese state-of-the-art multifunction bidet toilet, but obviously my Toronto rental did not have this.)

-The bathroom light switch should be accessible from the bathroom itself, or at least from the room or hall you go through to get to it. The bathroom that I am indeed still talking about required opening a separate sliding door to access the light switch.

-The bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom - in that order - should all have windows. I remember that NY has a law about not calling rooms without windows "bedrooms," and... I get that.

-Two people need, if not two couches, then a couch plus a soft chair, or one of those couches that functions as couch-and-chair. (Not a design flaw - an IKEA run-out-of-steam flaw on our part.)

-Conversely, two people neither of whom has an elaborate beauty routine do not need two bathroom sinks in the same bathroom. This doubles the amount of sink that needs to be cleaned, all for the opportunity to brush your teeth at the same time, which is... also possible with just one sink.

-Laundry and a dishwasher, in the apartment, are fabulous. (These the old place did have. Odd bathroom and windowless bedroom aside, it was lovely!)

-Everyday-use items should not require use of a step-stool.

-I don't know if any apartment has ever managed this (none I've lived in, at least), but the oven should be close enough to the rest of the kitchen, or far enough from it, that there isn't the issue where you're constantly worried food will fall beside the stove but be unreachable by vacuum.

-There should be this other wing, where you actually live, such that the rent-was-acceptable one-bedroom space is merely a façade, there to divert attention from your tremendous ancestral wealth. It should be accessible via one of those magic bookcases old houses have on British murder mystery shows, except it's pretending to be an IKEA BILLY. There you'll find absolutely everything - the table with the built-in hot-pot set-up, the cool chairs in the window of modern furniture stores, a canopy bed, and, as part of the roof, a dome. Definitely a dome.