Two good family friends have recently done a remodel of their bungalow style kitchen in Oakland California. It feels like they have been talking about it for years, but unlike some other people I know, the understanding that their old kitchen was eventually going to be re-done did not stop them from living, loving, and finding happiness in the kitchen they already had.
I have just moved into a Victorian share house (roommate situation) from the turn of the Century in the Beach town of St. Kilda and will be moving out to go back to school in mid-february. So, in a sense I am also just about to move out. This has made it difficult for me to make the space my own, feeling like it is just too temporary. Yesterday, I couldn’t take it any more and had to “personalize.” (picture is of the fireplace mantle opposite from my bed).
I am constantly thinking about spaces that make me happy, and how spaces make others happy and I realized that for me, often a happy space, is one that I have owned. I have started thinking about it as curation. Some spaces are spaces that others have curated and others are spaces that I have curated. It doesn’t always mean I have designed the space top to bottom on an endless budget, but that I have made it mine.
My corner of the architecture studio is an example of this. I look out over a table where I have organized my materials and books to a gallery of sculpture studios, at the end of every term I have to completely disassemble my set-up hoping for a prime location the following term.
Th place that I return to in the library at school to study is an example of this. I always turn my chair away from the main part of the building, bring a cozy blanket, and look out the window.
I realized there are spaces I am comfortable curating temporarily, my room in St. Kilda being one of them.
There is something that I have been noticing in the submissions: a sense of familiarity. Maybe you are made happy by a space you have been to repeatedly, or by a space that you have many memories, or by a space that reminds you of another space. Some of these are spaces you “curated,” some are spaces others have curated. Does one make you happier than the other?
Even when I am happy in a space someone else has “curated” I always feel the urge to shift a vas, or change the wall color, or advise the curator on the wattage of their light bulbs. It is in an ownership of space that I feel most happy, even if the ownership is acknowledgedly fleeting.