Thursday, August 21, 2014

Apartment Renovation Manifesto

We are setting out to create a beautiful, welcoming haven for our family. The main creative premise is mid-century modern warmth filtered through the scrappy innovation of 2014. We are a part of a growing small home movement. Vertical space will be our mantra.

We feel passionately that living well within small square footage is the way to go for us. Here are three options we have considered but ultimately rejected.

We will not be moving to a three bedroom apartment or combining two small apartments to make one larger one in our community. For us, the combined mortgage and maintenance of such a venture would bring on a phenomenon that I like to call being house poor. We would be space rich but house poor. We are choosing not live outside of our means in this fashion.

We could get a three-bedroom apartment we could afford in Riverdale. Our resources would allow something quite palatial in Syracuse or Detroit. We do not want to live in Riverdale, Syracuse or Detroit. We have set down roots in this community. As real New Yorkers, we are not interested in being further from the epicenter of things than we already are.

We could simply move our bed out to the living room, transfer the kids into their various rooms and leave things much as they are. That would be depressing. We are looking to create a lovely sanctuary. Our overall budget for this project will force us to economize for some things and allow us to throw money at others. It will also be a fraction of what we would spend moving to a larger apartment in our community.

We know that there is something crazy about what we are doing. So the first thing we will be asking the renovation consultant, the architect, the carpenter, the designer of the entertainment system and the IKEA hacker is this: Are you on board with our kind of crazy? Because before getting on this particular train, you will need you to be.

The Apartment Renovation Manifesto was written after re-visiting a wonderful book called The SevenHabits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. One of the principals is to Begin with the end in mind. For me, writing the mission statement, which later became the Apartment Renovation Manifesto, helped me define the big picture. Previously, I was becoming wrapped up in the details and feeling stuck.

I will be chronicling the progress of our apartment renovation in my blog.

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