I couldn’t understand why the people who lived in the neighbouring apartment started making such a racket just as we were trying to get to sleep, when we first moved to Baku. It sounded like they were moving furniture. Why, at 11 o’clock at night? Once I started making local friends I finally understood. Many people lived in small apartments and in extended families. Often people would sleep in the living or dining room. They really were moving furniture, as beds were made up for the night.
In the last 14 years I’ve lived in 7 different houses/apartments (not including temporary accommodation) encompassing brand new to decrepit and 700 sq ft to 2,500 sq ft in size. This yo-yo bingeing and dieting of our household effects has caused to me re-evaluate what I need to live comfortably and I’ve come to the conclusion that in most cases “less is more” and simple solutions work best.
My husband used to dream of converting our utility room into a workshop for his model cars, but after years of creating a makeshift work area, either in a kitchen or living area, while living overseas he realized he didn’t really want to be shut away in another room to pursue his hobby and a simple work surface was all he needed. Since moving back to Canada, we’ve replaced our kitchen table with a neat new counter top for him and now eat our meals in the adjoining dining room, which we hardly every used before.
Now that we’re back I can finally plan our overdue kitchen renovation. Fourteen years ago I used to long for more cupboards, more counter tops, more everything. Having now cooked in kitchens both twice the size and less than the half the size, I’ve realized that the kitchen layout I already have is perfectly adequate and all I need to focus on is the cupboard interiors and the exterior finishes.
After reading some recent decorating articles, it appears that re-organizing your existing living space is now all the rage in North America. At last I’m ahead of the trend! Now what else is under-utilized? My little-used formal living room is squarely in my sights . . .