We bought our apartment more than eight years ago. It was a sponsor apartment, which in NYC means that the occupant continued to rent the apartment even after the building went co-op and so the original landlord of the building (sponsor) can finally sell the apartment when that now very, very old person leaves (dies.) You can imagine what our apartment looked like after 45 years of the same little old man living in it. Now picture it 10 times worse. But, we were thrilled because it gave us the opportunity to make our apartment the way we wanted it. Only, we didn’t really have the money to make it they way we wanted it, and we had 6 month old twin girls who we knew would soon be getting their hands and sticky whatever everywhere so we made it the best we could at the time.
Not the same thing.
So now we’re getting ready to do much of the work we should’ve done 8 years ago – like tear out rotten floorboards and woodwork with 100 years worth of paint layers, ditch old radiators and skim coat rough walls. I can’t wait. I wish I could take a sledgehammer right now and start knocking things down. But of course I can’t – and not just because I don’t have a sledgehammer in my make-up drawer but because my allergies mean I can’t be within 20 feet of this place while we renovate. I start sneezing just thinking about the renovation. And then there are the real questions: Carpet or bare floors in the bedrooms? Curtains or shades? These are not decorative issues when you have allergies, they are real considerations about how livable our home will be when we’re done. And vacuuming everyday is really not an option I am willing to explore.
I’ve customized so many aspects of our home because of my allergies. I have replaced all the pillows with non-feather alternatives, encased all the mattresses and gotten rid of all the cleaning supplies with terrible fumes. But really thinking about design and decor in our apartment is something I never thought about before because we just hadn’t done it with any real thought. Our girls were infants when we moved in so it was all about what could be wiped up the easiest and not worry about stains, or vomit or anything else that babies and toddlers entail.
Now that we are actually at a point in our lives to consider “decorating” and have thought behind our choices I can’t believe that I’m limited once again because of my allergies. Of course I probably will give in on a lot of things. I don’t want my allergies to control my life – or my home. I really do want curtains. And carpet in the bedrooms looks and feels so damn cozy. It’s bad enough my daughters already want to trade me in for a puppy how could I possibly tell them that they can’t have that super tacky leopard print bean bag chair?
For more tips on relieving allergies visit www.Facebook.com/Claritin. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.