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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. 

Summer of 30!  I like where it’s taking me.

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