We’ve been living in our 1970s apartment for just over two years. In many ways, those two years have flown and we still have so much work to do. In other ways, especially when I look back at the improvements we’ve made, I feel like we’ve come so far in making this a home–our home.
Our building (pictured above in the spring of 2010), has sixty units, filled with friendly faces, grumpy curmudgeons, interesting characters and many, many older people. When we first bought the place, I was sitting on a couch in the lobby waiting for the contractors to come. The mailman had just left and within minutes there was a parade of walkers, canes and slippers shuffling to the mailboxes. My first reaction: What had we done?!!! Had we accidentally moved into a retirement community? We are at least fifty years younger than these people. What kind of neighbors would they be? What kind of neighbors would we be? We’ll never host another party again! Thankfully, the shock wore off quickly. We love our quiet neighbors and our parties **so far** have gone unnoticed (and, let’s be honest, we don’t really host that many parties). Most of the older people are quite lovely–there is nothing like an older gentleman who insists on holding the door for you, or an older woman who gives you a good stain removal tip in the laundry room. Some of the older people are quite crazy, which keeps things interesting. And, within a couple of months, another “younger” couple moved in and we became fast friends. You just never know how things are going to work out when you buy a place, whether it’s a house where your neighbors are an entire yard away, or an apartment where they are just on the other side of a wall.
Neighbors or no neighbors, the moment I walked into this apartment, I knew it was home. I took a deep breath and turned to our realtor, and said, “This is it. My soul feels at home here.” I think she was a little…surprised. This is what we were looking at:
Thankfully, we’ve come a long way from metallic gold wallpaper. (Although, a tiny part of me kind of misses it. There was such personality in that entryway.) We have a lot of work left to do (mostly in the bathrooms & annoying details), but I would love to show you our “work in progress” as it stands right now. Over the next few Thursdays, I’ll be sharing before & afters of each room in our home–no matter how complete or incomplete things are right now. Until then, I’ll let you bask in the golden glow of our old hallway while I tidy up around here.