I was chatting the other day with an aerialist/dancer who is performing in The Tempest. He and his beloved bought an apartment in NYC last year and paid over $300,000 for a one bedroom space in Manhattan. That’s actually a really good deal. What is considered a large or small amount of space is relative depending on where you live. We both remarked on what you can get for the same amount of money in other parts of the country. That $300,000 would buy a huge house elsewhere. And then we laughed about all those young people (where do they come from?) on House Hunters who insist on a granite countertops or stainless steel appliances or who frown and say that a walk-in closet is “just too small.” What planet do they live on? (And why do they feel so entitled? That’s a whole other conversation.)
I saw some beautiful kitchens featured on a blog recently. They were lovely, but they were all huge, with lots of cupboards, drawers, a pantry, new appliances, beautiful range hoods, massive kitchen islands. I often see large, spacious beautifully decorated living rooms as I travel throughout blogland. I see big entrances, large foyers, big family rooms, huge master bedrooms with baths and seating areas and fireplaces. It’s all too easy to believe that must be the way most people live. At least most people in our blogging world or on HGTV.
That is not my reality.
This, my cottage that I love so dearly, is my reality. When I shoot it from this angle it looks bigger than it is. But a lot of what you see is porch. In truth, we have a small living room, a den, a kitchen, and two small bedrooms upstairs, one full bath downstairs, one tiny half bath upstairs. And a hallway that has been turned into my workspace. My husband and I share a small closet. And let me tell you right now, it is not a walk-in closet. It’s not even a moderately wide closet. All of our clothes are jammed into a space that in reality is not large enough for one person.
I’ve written quite a bit about living in a small space, in the Small House Series and in my most popular post ever: My Rules for Living Comfortably in a Small Space. Would I like more room? Yes. But not a lot more. My wishes are modest. Truth be told, if we stayed here and never built an addition (a dream of ours) we’d be just fine.
I have to believe that most of us are living in more modest dwellings. Certainly, all the comments we got during the Small House series seemed to attest to that. Most of us cope with cupboards that don’t always shut tightly, closets that are too small, lack of storage space, tiny bedrooms, and a whole host of other challenges. We don’t, especially in these tough economic times, have the budget to redo our kitchens or buy new appliances that all match or get our furniture reupholstered. We live in a less-than-perfect space and we are just fine.
Why am I writing this? Because I think it’s always a good thing to have a reality check. And because seeing all these pretty pictures in blogland of big, beautiful spaces and homes might make one think that most people live this way. And watching House Hunters might make one believe that having anything less than a huge walk-in closet and stainless steel appliances is simply not done.
Not hardly. Don’t believe it for a second.
Have a great Tuesday.