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Thursday, October 13, 2016

My Minimalist Phase


When I went away to graduate school in my late 30s, it was the first time in my life I’d ever lived alone. Since my income was limited to a small monthly teaching assistantship check, it was not entirely by choice that my apartment furnishings were sparse, but I did find that I appreciated the look – and the simplicity of keeping things clean! The pictures today are from my second graduate student apartment, upstairs in an big old Victorian house in Champaign, Illinois. Basically, I had three generous-sized rooms -- kitchen, living room, and bedroom -- with a small, windowless bathroom. The discerning eye will spot many Michigan touches, although one thing missing in this group of photographs is a picture of my desk, the same desk on which I type this post today, in my own bookstore. But you see the back of that chair at the edge of the picture above? That chair goes to the desk that looked out the window down to the street and the city park beyond.

Please note that, minimal though my furnishings were, I found room for art. The fireplace in the bedroom could not be used for its original purpose, but for me it was another kind of art -- architectural interest, and a mantel to hold beautiful objects.






A wonderfully large, light-filled kitchen, formerly a sleeping porch, offered plenty of room for company, thanks to furniture that didn't weigh much and was easy to move.



And when the holidays came, I had no trouble finding room for a Christmas tree.



Books? Really, need you ask? I have always been a book person, I was then a graduate student in philosophy, and one among many attractions of the apartment to me were built-in bookcases.



Oh, yes, wherever I have lived, there has always been room for books, and I cannot imagine that ever changing.

Today's post is dedicated to faithful reader, friend and neighbor, Joanne! Best wishes for tomorrow morning, dear!

P.S. 10/14: Here is that desk in current nonminimalist phase:



3 comments:

Linda Roth said...

Your minimalistic, student apartment looks warm, friendly and you. Books make the best roommates.

BB-Idaho said...

Having visited all three of my kids' grad school 'digs', yours looks
actually livable! They each found slanted attic single rooms in which I could not stand up. I suspect the boy would have had a tree house were it available. Which after hauling their stuff up a couple of flights of stairs, left me with a day long Neanderthal stance. I trust it was because they were quite young and not some
inherited poor taste in lodgings.

Bettie Komar said...

I loved visiting you there.