Summer of 30 leads me to apartment (sorry, flat) envy in London
Posted Jun 22 2010 5:04am
Disaster has struck: I’m feeling the desire to settle down and nest.
Of course, rather than blame it on anything silly like some ticking clock, the fact that my best friend A. just had a baby last week (oh, come to think of it, my friend R. had a baby last week, too!) or the inevitable progression when you move to a city after years of jetting and decide to finally stay put…I’m going to blame it on my friends J. and J.
London J. has recently bought a flat, and has spent most of this year decorating it in such good, cozy taste that when I walked into her fragrant apartment, puttered about with my beauty goodies in the warm, inviting guest bathroom, ate the hand-grown, organic strawberries and green beans from her balcony garden, and then plopped into an armchair with a book, glass of wine, and Roy Orbison on the stereo, I wanted to weep from happiness. Today, I snooped around her vanity–also displayed to perfection–and slathered on some divine Lubatti Pure Indulgence Deliciously Rich Body Lotion in Tuberose and Mimosa . (In related news, my own pathetic beauty display is getting a serious overhaul when I return.)
LA J., meanwhile, has also recently bought a place, and hers is filled to the brim with modern cool: an extensive wine and whisky selection sourced from trips abroad and missions in Santa Barbara and Napa, art from her travels to Vienna, Greece and South Africa, a vintage record player (ironic, perhaps–but, lo! It actually works!), a flat screen TV, and on and on and infuriatingly on.
My friends’ gorgeous, carefully-decorated flats make my own slapdash “we might flee at any moment for Buenos Aires or Sydney, so why buy furniture?” apartment-style pale in comparison. This will no longer do.
While I’ve been here in London, every shop, corner, flat and pub has led to fresh inspiration–and a slew of Blackberry photos). Yesterday, while in the J Crew/Abercrombie-esque emporium Jack Wills on the Kings Road, I alarmed several staffers by taking surreptitious snaps of a wall dotted with mismatched frames and odds ‘n ends. (Don’t worry, guys, I’m not a confused terrorist targeting clothing boutiques frequented by upper-class 17-year-olds.)
So! I have resolved, when I return (this is the last missive from London, by the way–apologies for being so radio silent while here, but it’s been a trip stuffed to the brim!) that I will finally begin treating my apartment with TLC. I will buy furniture. I will buy art. I will decorate. This trip, to my adopted-homeland that I once thought I might live in forever, has been highly instructive: I love London…but only the fancy, pretty parts! (Apologies to Islington and Balham. Snaps to Chelsea and the Sussex countryside.)
LA is my home now, and it feels right. I’m at a place where I can take a breath, relax, settle, and finally understand that putting up a framed photo or buying a sofa doesn’t means I’m giving up on my dreams and chucking it all to become a 50’s housewife.