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other people's places

A little more than a year ago I moved in with myself. After two years of living with outlandish roommates, I'd had enough. When a dear friend extended the opportunity to (temporarily) be the sole occupant of her city home, it was an easy thing to say yes to.

This, of course, is not your typical living arrangement. For the past year I have eaten my meals at her dining room table, watched movies on her couch, let my books live on her shelves. The space is very clearly not mine.

Perhaps that's one of the reasons I get so much enjoyment out of seeing other people's personalities shine through their living spaces.


In the span of time that I've been living alone, three good friends from college have moved within four hours of Boston. And we've spent two out of the last three weekends all together.

Like many rentals, their apartments have neutral walls. Instead of being bland, though, they serve as a canvas for bright pops of color that come through in stacks of book spines, succulent plants, secondhand rugs, and that beautiful green sofa. There are hints that the occupants are warming up to adulthood (you actually bought that coffee table?) while still holding tight to their 20's (hey PlayStation.)

All of which begs the question: how do you make a space your own? Is it entirely deliberate, or is part of it a delightful byproduct of living there?

Park Slope