room tour (kind of)

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Remember in the good old days, when poorly lit “room tour” and “what’s in my bag” videos were The Big Thing on Youtube? They were at least my favourite videos to watch… Whilst I have no intention of venturing into making Youtube videos and showing off the contents of my battered old tote bag, I do want to make a little room-tour-not-video-but-blogpost. I’m not even going to pretend that anyone asked for this. I just like how my room came together after we moved to this new apartment. And I enjoy curating spaces. I’m not a huge interior design-y kind of person, but I know what I need from a space to feel comfy and save in it, and I’m capable of assembling a room to serve this very purpose. That’s enough for me. Do I, nevertheless, find that selecting rugs, or curtains, is the most boring thing on earth? Well, yes. 🤡
So, this is my space. It’s not done. It probably never will be. But this is it now.

In the course of the last year I went from having a lot of prints and postcards and art on my wall, to completely bare walls. Whenever I move into a new apartment, I’m very hesitant to put anything on the walls at first. They’re usually so pristine looking that doing anything with them feels like vandalism. And the possibilities are seemingly endless – it’s a bit like blank page anxiety or paralysis on the one hand, but also not wanting to spoil a perfectly white wall on the other hand. I’m still recovering from filling in and painted over three thousand nail holes in our old apartment and am not interested in creating the same kind of work for my future self, should we ever move out. But just you wait. There’ll come the day when I put up the first print, the first postcard, and the whole thing is going to grow from there. But for now: Bare walls.

You’ll probably notice a lot of little trinkets – I got most of them when traveling. Some might find this really tacky, but I connect so many fond memories with the littlest of things. Just looking at this little ceramic angel (?) on my desk, with its wonky smile, for example, which I picked up in Kopenhagen in 2016, triggers a slide show of our trip in my mind’s eye. Anyway, I’m happy with one day being the quirky old lady with one thousand and two little things from her travels and with a story to tell about each and every one of them … *cue old lady voice* “and this little porcelain ballet dancer I got on my trip to London when I turned 40 and saw the nutcracker at the Royal Ballet. We still went to physical theaters back then you know.”

Books! If I had kept every single book I’ve ever read, our whole apartment would be filled with books. And whilst I love the idea of a huge bookcase, full of all the books I’ve ever read and owned, I only like it in theory. So I proceeded to ~ decluttering ~ my books around six or seven years ago. Regular novels I read and probably won’t read again, have to go. Any non-fiction that I want to reference back to in the future, might be allowed to stay. So I currently own novels I really, really loved, that mean something to me for any kind of reason, and non-fiction books that I actually use time and time again. I repeat this process several times a year and also reconsider everything I formerly decided to keep. That’s why my book collection might seem small. But with every single book I own, I know why.

My desk is usually very organized and empty. I need my laptop, my notebook, my pens and post-its, and my tea to be able to work. When my desk is cluttered I can’t really focus or get anything done. I sometimes do enjoy a bit of organized chaos, but only for a day. If I have a serious amount of work to do, my desk needs to be clean and organized.

From all the furniture in my room, I own my couch the longest. I got it in 2008, when I moved out of my parents house and into my very first shared flat in Munich to go to University. I remember driving to IKEA in my mum’s car. I got this couch (including a big ass mattress), a book shelf, a chest of drawers, a desk and a few miscellaneous bits (all in one trip!), loaded it all onto one of these trolleys that almost broke under the weight of all my stuff, and then loaded it (also all by myself) into the back of my mum’s car. It was challenging to say the least, not only because the stuff was so damn heavy, but also because I had to fit everything in one car. But I managed it (did I mention all by myself?) and it felt so good. Honestly, this small thing gave me such a boost. It made me feel that I was capable of anything and that living on my own/away from my parents would just work out fine. 😂

So yeah, this couch has been with me ever since. It was my bed for many years, the place where I ate, studied, slept. Later it became just a couch and that’s what it is now. The coziest place in my room. I treated myself to a new cover when we moved into the new place and it made me feel like I got a completely new couch altogether.

And I think that’s it. Although I apparently collect trinkets and things from all sorts of places, I try to avoid clutter. Having an organized room without too many visual distractions relaxes and calms me. With everything I own, I know why I own it. And if I don’t, it has to go.

It is more important than ever to have a space you feel cozy and save in, I think. You don’t need a fancy apartment or expensive things, in my opinion. You can make any space feel like a save haven and I hope all of you have a space like that to hibernate in for the winter! 🦔

Stay safe and talk soon!

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