All of her stuff went yesterday, save for an oddly shaped cardboard box. It looks like it was made to fit a whiteboard. It’s the only thing left in her room and somehow I still managed to trip over it as soon as I entered. There was so much space to walk around in and still I stumbled on it, as if homing in on my own uncoordination. Her desk, bed and dresser have vanished (a tad melodramatic, I guess. I mean, I helped her carry them into the van) and it feels a simple tumbleweed away from feeling barren. It’s a little dusty and there are random bits of schmutz, but it’s a vacuum away from being filled with something else entirely: potential.

It’s strange, because my flatmate was planning on moving things gradually over the course of the month. My girlfriend and I would coordinate moving things from her place to mine in a similar fashion. Instead we have a room empty save for a cardboard box. Now it’s on us to maximise our resourcefulness and put together a plan. Thus far we’ve put the cardboard box across the empty window in order to guard passers-by vision below the waist. Step one towards a permanent no pants party. We’ve cracked out the measuring tape in an effort to buy a curtain rod for the first time ever. Hanging our own curtains? We fancy now!

There’s a kind of mental inventory being taken where we hypothesise the idea of planning a living space. I do not live in a planned living space right now. Things reside where they are because that’s where they were put. There was no grand design or organised chaos. My kitchen/living room is a motley collection of odd coloured things I’ve mostly picked up off the street. They fulfil all of my needs because those needs go as far as ‘large objects to rest smaller objects on’. I’m not a visual person, which is why my living space contains faded streamers that’ve been hung for the past two years. The walls are filled with pictures hand drawn by friends. There’s an untreated wooden shelf that I picked up curbside. There’s a comfy ratty couch that’s probably been sat on upwards of 30 times (in two and a half years). My chairs don’t match and my extendible table is already huge before its two leaves are added. Most everything is ugly and nothing is particularly functional. A planned, coordinated effort to make the living space workable and comfortable feels like a fun project for us to do.

Even more so, the idea of combining our shared aesthetic desires makes me feel like we’re creating a home together. As a team. The risk of having my girlfriend move into my place is that there’s an established order (so to speak) and it could be hard for her to feel like she fits. As I hope I’ve made it clear, there is no order and I’m not locked into anything about the current configuration. I’m thrilled to discuss and collaborate, to find solutions and opportunities. It’s a chance for growth, to learn and adapt. Because I love her and I love seeing how her mind works, the different angles and fresh ideas she brings to the same canvas. Moving into a shared space, the relationship itself is evolving and it’s only fitting that our surroundings reflect that. For such a long time I’ve put off notions of domestic design as boring, adult and compensation for personality in other areas. Really though, seeing my friends’ house as an extension of themselves changed that view. Our home doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does have to be “us”.

Hence the importance of curtains, because clothes really don’t suit the decor.


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