People are always saying you should “think outside the box”. Which aside from the fact that it feels as tired a saying as “let me unpack this for you”, or “the optics are bad”, the overuse of these metaphors are unimaginative, and imagination is the very reason we are implored to leave that corrugated cardboard vessel in the first place.
I am not living in a box, though the developer left the space decidedly without detail. I did read in some design magazine about a group of architects that got edgy when they conceived of a home erected from storage containers, one stacked atop another. If the box requires a rebar ladder to climb into bed at the end of a long day, it’s not for me. The trouble with thinking broadly, differently, expansively, is that despite all the proclamations cast about in pursuit of a panoply of possibilities, people largely want something on the fringe. They don’t for instance want you to place you bed in the middle of the living room next to the kitchen island because that room has better light, or less light, or its proximity to the coffee machine suits your morning routine. The bed belongs in the bedroom, the sofa and chairs in the space designated for living. In keeping with the box analogy, it might be best to just pop open the flap and let some fresh air and light in to shift your perspective.
That is precisely what I am trying to do with my new condo. It’s an inelegant process that can find me disassembling the components of the sectional sofa and dragging them around the living room to try out different layouts. None of them have been satisfactory to date. I’ve tried snuggled up close to the fireplace for intimacy. Pushed back against the wall in the L-Shaped nook that looks like it was made for a sectional, but that I want desperately to place a custom-made banquette and circular Regency dining table. Aside from the fact that the chaise is oriented on the right side instead of the left, if all feels wrong.
I’ve tried it in the bow front window, but am disturbed by the half moon gap left between it and the windows. Considered a modern crescent shaped sofa, and another that was highbacked – a diver sprung from the board beginning to form a jack-knife. None of it feels quite right. I’m going to continue to stew over the layout for a while longer, but I can’t be held responsible for having resorted to tearing out the kitchen island, stripping it of its waterfall marble, and relocating it a foot deeper into the space designated for cooking. I rarely cook in the city. It’ll be fine.
Suggestions welcome. Please feel free to open the flaps of the box wide, and provide me with a proper desk, sitting and dining area.