Blame it on the witching-hour walks around our apartment with Faye—spent shushing and patting and looping round and round the mulberry bush dining table until the little bug conks out and I can steal an hour or two to write—but I’ve been thinking a lot about floor space lately. And more specifically, keeping that floor space clear and uncluttered by too many rugs or pieces of furniture or other things that might impinge on the illusion of space if not its actual existence.
Our new apartment has at least 70 percent more floor space than our old one, but in both spaces we’ve made decisions about furniture and rugs that mean that a majority of the available floor space is left well enough alone. Rather than crowding our larger aparment with more stuff, we’ve kept the amount of furniture in our main room more or less the same as it was in our old apartment: one loveseat, a dresser, a bookshelf, our tiny kitchen table-turned-desk, and a new slightly larger table with our same four dining chairs. (There’s a new bench, too, but we’ll save discussion about that for another post.)
I like to think that we’ve taken a page from the style book of the early American colonists. While we haven’t taken to pushing all of our furniture to the edges of the room during the day, we have tried to furnish sparingly in an effort to maximize the way our space can be used. Mostly, I like the flexibility that having less big and heavy furniture affords us. Doing crazy things like dragging our loveseat over to our dining table to make more room for guests wouldn’t be as easy if there were ottomans and bookshelves and overly styled bits and bobs to contend with. If you think I haven’t already contemplated adding a Shaker peg rail and hanging our kitchen chairs when they’re not in use, think again.
In our apartments, we’ve kept floor space open by packing a closet to the gills instead of adding another dresser and sliding wine crates below the couch to double-up on the real estate that’s already occupied.
Everyone might not emulate the spartan utility of the Shakers the way I do, but for me the surest way to achieve a sense of space and serenity is to keep available empty floor space to a maximum. If that means hanging kitchen chairs, hang on!
Tiny apartment survival tips #1 – 105, right here.