Friday, May 3, 2013

Things I Won't Miss about the Apartment: the Bedroom

Our Current Bedroom and Closet:

A little boring, right?

Our bedroom is a decent size given the overall square footage of our apartment. Size isn't the problem here,  but that doesn't mean it's problem free.

First, organization. When I originally designed my clothing-storage layout, I decided to have things for my lower half in a chest of drawers and things for my upper half in the closet. The problem is, who fully dresses half their body, before even starting to dress the other half? Not this gal.

A quick demonstration (and potential TMI): half my underthings are in the bedroom dresser and half are in the closet drawers. My camis are in the bedroom dresser, but my shirts are in the closet. My jeans are in the bedroom dresser, but my socks are in the closet. So on an average morning, I walk from the bedroom dresser to the closet no less than six times!

The design is my fault, but I have good reason for choosing to lay it out that way. Our bedroom is much wider than it is long, necessitating we align our lives linearly, not logically. Our closet is deep, but simply too narrow for two people to share the area simultaneously. As a benevolent wife, I tried to organize it so that I would spend half my time in our closet and half out, so that my husband doesn't have to climb around me every morning.

Over the two years we've lived here, my wardrobe has changed quite a lot: I lost 30 lbs., but then gained a little bit back. I've switched jobs and hobbies. And because we're out of that honeymoon phase, my workout wardrobe shrank but my sweatshirt/pant wardrobe tripled.

I (and my storage) have had to adapt. We added plastic drawers in the closet, but they are too small to hold many of my items and not delicate enough for my delicates. One day, I want to install custom closets in the new house, but in the A.P.T, it never crossed my mind; it just seemed like a waste of money to invest in a closet we couldn't take with us. So we lived with it.

Like I said, size isn't the problem in the bedroom, but since storage is so limited in other areas, a lot of stuff overflows into our bedroom and closet (luggage, spare linens, Christmas decorations, boxes for computers/TVs still under warranty, Leo's favorite hiding space).

Another glaring opportunity is the lack of light in our bedroom (or entire apartment, really). Like so many apartments and stock builder homes, we aren't blessed with overhead lighting. We are blessed with several beautiful lamps and the ambient light they provide. It's very romantic.

However, it's not so romantic when you burn your hand while steaming clothes because you couldn't see what you were doing, or when you want to read a book around dusk and it's too dim to read, or when you want to do anything other than Pinterest after dark. This girl would kill for some task lighting.

There is one time when light can be a nuisance in our apartment, and that's when one of us is sleeping. Due to our current floorplan, there is no way to enter the bedroom without shining a ton of light (from our closet or bathroom, ironically the only areas with task lighting) right into the face of a sleeping spouse.

Our Soon-to-be Bedroom and Closet:

Image property of Standard Pacific Homes
Ah, that's better.

In the near future we will gain a much more efficiently shaped Master Suite. The bedroom is wide enough for a king bed, side tables, and a nice little sitting area. It's also long enough so the TV can be opposite the foot of the bed, not at an angle (my craning neck rejoices).

Our closet is slightly deeper, but much wider, so we will both be able to fit in there. And it's off the bathroom, so I can go through my entire morning/night ritual with a door closed and no light shining in my hubby's tired/angry eyes.

Throughout our new house, I made sure that every room will have overhead lighting (most will get ceiling fans), so that never again will I have to choose between doing something in poor light or moving into another room. I now understand why builders cut that out, it wasn't cheap and most people take it for granted.

And one day, we will install a custom closet, and I will design my portion exactly for the way that I dress myself in the morning. And Pat can do the same with his 20%.


  1. When you asked your dad for homebuilding advice, I forgot to mention lighting, but it sounds like you've thought it through. It's money well spent. Fixtures are easy to change later, but up front you need to run the wires to all the right places, and then throw in a few extra.

    I put a lot of thought into task lighting when we built, but could have done better, especially in terms of spotlighting, indirect lighting, and exterior lighting. Maybe the wisest thing I did was put power into the built-ins (medicine cabinet and drop-down ironing board).

    When in doubt, wire it.

    1. Exterior lighting: good call.

      Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Men and women like different lighting Make sure you both think about lamps and overheads. Glare on the game makes guys squint, but lamps on side tables can give you a neck ache if you are addicted to reading or crafts.