Saturday, November 5, 2011

Chez nous

It’s taken some time and lots of effort, but Guillaume and I have finally mostly settled into our new home in downtown Austin. Little by little (or more like lots by lots), we’ve been acquiring the furniture and supplies needed to fill up the corners of our space. When we started looking for an apartment, we had grand ideas to live in Clarksville in a large but charming space with an extra room and lots of storage. What we ended up falling for was a brand-new, 765-square-foot condo located downtown with one bedroom and no storage. Not one closet. We’ve eventually made do.

The tricky part about our small space is that we do a lot of living in one, large open space. So, we started with the all-important living and eating areas where our open layout called for larger pieces of furniture to distinguish the two spaces while keeping the floor plan cohesive. The most difficult decision we had to make was how we were going to cover up the 20-foot wall that spans the length of our living and dining areas. We searched high and low for the perfect bookcase and when we’d just about given up, our friend, Carolina, sensing we were near defeat, sent me a link to The Brick House where she’d stumbled upon the perfect solution to our problem: the DIY Ace Hotel shelving unit copycat.

I’d heard that doing things like this with your spouse can either make or break you. Well, if there was ever a home-project that defined our marriage, it was this one. From the beginning, we’d decided to take our time accumulating and altering the supplies before diving into the project. But, once we’d had everything ready to go, I’d become suddenly busy with work and without a moment to work on the shelf. Then, when things didn’t come together like they were supposed to, I became so frustrated with the project that we nearly abandoned it. Obviously, we didn’t, and now we have a lovely place to display our treasures and a physical testament to the strength of our relationship. And, I’ve learned a lot about myself, too.

So, after our DIY shelving unit accomplishment, we gradually started pulling everything together and slowly but surely, it’s mostly all fallen into place. There is still a rather blank canvas in the bedroom, but we've got a few plans to add our own touches to it soon.

The park and bike trail behind our building give us the feeling of having the outdoors at our back porch (quite literally). We’re within a stone’s throw from many of our favorite restaurants, entertainment and watering holes, not to mention our friends’ homes; which means we spend most of our weekend not driving a car. And for a couple of commuters like us, that makes our world just a little bit brighter.

Enter chez nous.

That odd-looking tripod in the corner? It's going to be a lamp someday. We hope.

Finally! A cuisine Américaine.

The currently very plain bedroom. We're installing closet curtains today (finally), but we still haven't settled on what on earth to do with the headboard space. TBD very soon though.

"The" shelving unit. A true labor of love.

Gui has officially become a Texan.

3 comments:

Katia said...

Oh what a WONDERFUL space! I love that you're living, eating, cooking, communing - all in the same space.
And I love the shelving system!
Gorgeous!

Jan said...

I think your condo is fabulous! and downtown, too! I am glad to be in Germany, but I miss Austin.

Ashley said...

You apratment is gorgeous! My coworker is always raving about Austin, so I'm dying to visit :)