August 11, 2007
My parents are stuff collectors. You'll never believe how their small house contains that much stuff. Most of which have seen its better days. Like a 20 year-old washer that's no longer served its function, and should have been eliminated years ago, is still sitting on a floor next to a brand-new washer they just purchased. One day, I offered to throw it away, just to get a big NO NO from my mom. The broken washer has sentimental value, said my parents. As far as I recalled, they never give up any of their possessions. They have at least a couple of identical items on their list such as 2 fridges, 2 washers, 3 TVs, 7 stereos, 6 DVD players, unlimited supply of dishware and cookware, 4 industrial sewing machines, over 300 pairs of shoes, 10 tables, roughly 40 boxes of magazines and books, and so forth. The house has been like a big storage full of stuff and has little room left to sit or walk.
Having to live in the storage/ish/ house growing up, I had aimed to have a minimal house, which won't have anything beyond the means. Minimalism inspiring has not only affect my Utopian dwelling, but also significantly influenced on my lifestyle and design work. My Zen philosophy is "messy house is messy mind" Messy house is depressing. And living in depressing environment will never do good to anyone, specifically people who need creativity on their every day lives.
Over the course of my presence in Chicago, I had made a few places home. But there was a place I have felt emotional attachment for. It's apartment we resided before moving back to Thailand. Took me three months to find it, and took me a fraction of minute to fall in love with it at first glance. I know right then this was it.
My search's complete.
The apartment has two bedrooms/bathrooms, which takes up a whole floor on a second floor of a 3-story brownstone building. As it's on a second floor, the room temperature remained at a comfortable level all year round. Adding to its charisma is original 1940s wood doors and mirror, in perfect condition, that the owner decided to keep during the renovation. The focal point of the place is a living room. It's a big room with high ceiling and giant windows exposed a luxury of natural light through a day. My favorite moment was when I opened a bedroom door to see the living room in the morning. Looking out the windows was like watching live painting by the nature. The light coming through windows in various angles at different time of day created intrigued dimensions to the room, especially while the sun's going down - my favorite moment of all.
Writing about the place takes me back to those beautiful days. I still remembered the day we're leaving for the airport. The empty room looked doleful in the morning sunlight, anticipating a couple who couldn't wait to move in the next couple of weeks. I looked around for the last time and said good bye to it. Promised myself that some day I will have my actual home, not a rented one. A home full of joy and gratification that will put my long journey to an end.