Stop wastin’ time, make up your mind…*

*Lyrics from Etta JamesI Prefer You. I heard this on Pandora while unpacking and thought it was particularly appropriate for this next post. That said, I could really use some help in deciding what I prefer.

Taken in early May, this is basically our view of Manhattan from Brooklyn. I mean, from the river, on a boat, with no one in our way. It's pretty spectacular.

It’s official: we’re New Yorkers now. There are no more papers to sign, no more last minute projects, no more ‘oh, wait, where’s that going to go?’ We’re here, and we’ve got to make this little place our home. However, there’s still the matter of finding homes for all that stuff that made the journey from our (in retrospect) giant 1,926 sf house to our teeny, tiny, little Pied-à-deux.

I’m working on it, slowly but surely, tinkering, and rearranging things. Things that may still move some more, things that felt important enough to pack up and haul all the way to Brooklyn from Massachusetts, things that suddenly seem completely unimportant. Moves do that to you: you numb yourself to the disruptive and mind-altering power of a huge life shift, and just mechanically get through the process until it’s over. Well, that’s how I do it. Maybe that’s normal, too.

So, as we’re cramming things in this nook, and on that shelf, and in that cubby, and on that bit of countertop, I can begin – for the first time – to imagine this as my home, and not just a temporary one. We will probably stay here for at least another year while we continue to save up to possibly buy an apartment (and that may not be long enough given the crazy real estate market down here), so we really need to consider how to get the most life we can into this tiny 320 square foot spot (we recalculated our footages, and realized that our 400 sf estimate was exceedingly generous). Because despite the lackluster emotions I’m having toward all these things, I do know that we need create pockets of space for separate functions, and that we need to make these things useful.

Our latest design debate is about our coffee table/ottoman concept. See, we had a little coffee table (that I had purchased for my mom) but neither of us was that crazy about it. It was cute, and functioned, but wasn’t exactly us, and it was a tad bit too small, so we sold it at the yard sale. We also crave the ability to put our feet up. For all the years we lived with my coveted Bradshaw table (inspired, no doubt by fictional SATC character Carrie Bradshaw‘s iconic coffee table), I insisted that we not rest our feet on it (for fear of loosening the top and making it turn rickety). Plus, we dined on that table routinely (tucked in on the floor, cozy and soothed by our giant mind-numbing TV), so having feet on our dinner table seemed kind of gross. In this apartment, we aim to correct that lack of luxury.

So, here’s the debate: do we get a storage ottoman, great for putting more things into, like spare blankets/pillows, etc., or do we go for a smaller non-storage ottoman or bench, and retain a bit more floor space? Do we get a pair or cluster of small tables that we can split up, and still put our feet up, but also move things aside for when we need floor space? Do we search endlessly, and for weeks at a time, hunting and hunting, only to decide moments after we put anything in our virtual cart that, no, this isn’t quite right? Would anything seem right at this point?

I worked up this little collection of options for our roughly 55″x65″ rectangle of floorspace we have to work with (that’s the amount of space that exists between the front edge of the sofa and the front edge of the cabinet that the TV is on). Each has its own merits, each has its own downfall. We are mired in indecision. Help us.

1 Storage Ottoman | 2 Regular Ottoman | 3 Upholstered Bench | 4 Pair of X-benches | 5 Pair of Cube Ottomans | 6 Single X-bench | 7 Mirrored Oval Coffee Table | 8 Pair, or Trio of Marble Cocktail Tables

What would you choose?

xoxo

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8 comments...

  1. stacyerinwilliamson@gmail.com'erin@designcrisis

    WOW! Congrats on the move!

    So I am kind of obsessed with decorating tiny spaces. I helped a client with a wee bungalow redo their living room and kind of forced them to buy a trio of those west elm marble tables. I like that you could use them together to eat on, or separately as end tables. Then I told them to get a cushy rug and lots of pillows so they can move the tables out of the way and hang out on the floor.

    Very excited for you! Good luck!

    1. So Happy Home Post author

      Thanks, Erin! I can see how the little tables would be super versatile. Of course, I can see how each choice would work/not work, which is kind of the problem… I shall tally that as one vote for the mini-beehive.

  2. katie.waddell@optimum.net'Katie Waddell

    I agree with Erin, shocker! 😉 love those little tables and they would be very easy to move when you needed to! That being said you can’t really put your feet up on them, is your hubby as obsessed with that as mine is?

    1. So Happy Home Post author

      Haha! Actually, I’m the one who’s begging to put our feet up. I think because we spent so many years deprived of the casual, laid-back, go ahead and put your feet up vibe that I’m desperate for that change. Plus, we kind of got used to having a TV in the bedroom (I know, marriage and design no-no), so now all I want is that feeling of watching a movie fully reclined. I’ll add your vote to my pile.

  3. heather@hawesphotography.com'Heather {A Fire Pole in the Dining Room}

    Personally, I like #7. But for your needs, it seems like 3 or 6 would be best. Ideal for feet propping, extra seating, and easy to move. If you still wanted this spot for eating (not sure if that’s still something you plan to do) you could grab a large tray to serve as a table top (or two smaller trays as individual place settings. Just a thought.

    1. So Happy Home Post author

      See why this is so hard? Every option makes sense! Ok, I will add your vote for the upholstered bench idea, while secretly preferring the mirrored oval table. I honestly don’t know how we’ll choose…

    1. So Happy Home Post author

      We have one upholstered chair, and our sofa for seating, plus room for a small side chair that will double as my “office” chair. Though, entertaining guests will likely be infrequent due to the tininess factor (and the fact that the neighborhood peeps we know have bigger flats for entertaining).

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