Come on in …

by Lorien E. Menhennett

I’m having a housewarming party at my new place in a month or so, and I’d love to extend an open invitation to all of you. But since I know I have readers from across the country (and across the world), I’ll take you on a virtual tour. So welcome, and come on in.

I live on the third floor of a huge, old red brick apartment building just outside Chicago. I’m guessing there are somewhere around 25 units in my building, give or take. (Don’t quote me on that.) Coming up the front entrance, and entering my door, you peer down a long, narrow hallway. But that’s not very interesting, so I don’t have a picture of that. If you turn around to the right, though, this is the view you get:

This is *supposed* to be my living room, and those big windows look out onto the street. However, the lovely, overstuffed maroon couch I bought on Craigslist (couch + loveseat = $170 = major steal!) wouldn’t fit through the narrow doorway leading into this enormous room. So I turned it into my music studio – I’ve played the piano since I was 9 years old – and my study. My keyboard (a book of Scott Joplin rags – my newest music endeavor – is on the stand) and amplifier are at the east half of the room. Looking south, you see the faux fireplace and mantle, and toward the west is my desk:

Heading out of the “living room,” you pass a small coat closed and then enter my bedroom. It’s not a bad size for being an old apartment bedroom. Here are a couple of views. Notice the vintage side tables and multiple jewelry boxes. They’re for storing vintage jewelry, of course.

Go out the bedroom and down that long narrow hallway, and you will find yourself in the formal dining room. Well, that’s what it is supposed to be. But because my couch wouldn’t fit in the living room, the dining room became my living room by default. That’s OK … I don’t have a huge dining set anyway (not anymore, at least).

Off the “living room” is the kitchen. While it’s not huge, it’s plenty big for one person. And it has more cabinet space than the kitchen in my old house (if you can believe that). Plus, it has an awesome pantry which, even with all I’ve put in it thus far, still has plenty of space for more.

My walls are still pretty bare – most of my art is still at my old house, which we’re trying to get on the market by July 4 – but I think the place is shaping up nicely. This apartment has its quirks, for sure, such as a serious lack of outlets. But I also find the lovely wood floors and original moulding incredibly charming. It’s slowly – ever so slowly – starting to feel like “home.”