January 11, 2009

Size Matters (Or, It's All Relative)

When we moved to our apartment in Long Beach, we worried a bit about how we would adjust to such small quarters. Paul had been living in a five-bedroom house and my apartment in Paris was a fairly large two bedroom, two bathroom place with a double living room.

The Long Beach apartment is a pseudo-loft. The ceilings have been removed and what used to be two hotel rooms (our building is a restored hotel from the 1920s) has been combined to make one apartment. We have no full walls to divide the rooms, so I suppose you could say that at just over 1,000 square feet, it's a very large studio.

Hong Kong, of course has changed our perspective. From a hotel room to a very small one-bedroom apartment to a well-divided studio to a spacious three-room apartment and back to the one-bedroom, we lived in places ranging from about 380 square feet to a whopping 550 square feet.

When you live in close quarters, your perspectives on space change. A year ago, when we bought our place in Long Beach I think we worried about living in a small space. At that time, I could not have imagined two people living in my friend Ellen's apartment -- a building we looked at. She has a great place right on the ocean, 700 square feet, but we wanted a bit more room. In Hong Kong, we would have been in heaven to have a place like hers. Imagine, a bed that doesn't touch the wall!

So my return to Long Beach has been extra pleasant. Not only am I home, and in my home, but I'm swimming in space. Even though we don't have walls, we have distinct spaces. The place in Wan Chai would fit in our living room, so the whole rest of the apartment is gravy. It's such a treat.

And as with the last few places, I've posted photos of the apartment in Long Beach. Try not to get lost in all the space.