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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation


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big decorating dreams. tiny little budget. don't be a wallflower! jump on over to the discussion boards and get decorating help.
other recent LOUNGE articles:
o Home/work
o Say it with Spraypaint
Painting 101
Make it Mosaic!
Estate Sales 
Open House 
Hammock Heaven 
Makeshift Vases 
o Newlyweds' Nest 
o Variations on a Theme 
o Hanging by a Wire
travel decorating on the cheap 
what goes where?  
furniture arranging 101 
o Easy Corner Shelves
Stain Rx

copyright ©1999-2001

home sweet homes  
by Yee-Fan Sun |
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Ash had found us a nice two-bedroom guesthouse in   the Volvo-packed Sam Hughes district, whose proximity to the university and “historic” (by Tucson standards, anyway) homes made it one of the more desirable neighborhoods in central Tucson. A big cream cube with a garage door façade (whose purpose, certainly neither aesthetic nor functional, eludes me to this day), our guesthouse was a separate building that sat on the alley side of the property, its entrance completely separate from that of our landlords, whose house faced onto the main street. It wasn’t much to look at from the outside, but once you walked in, there was plenty to love. There was a good-sized kitchen with brand new appliances, and luxury of all luxuries, a huge bathroom complete with double sink. There were two big empty bedrooms and a vast expanse of living room.  

All of which we quickly set to work to fill with our stuff – my photos and his “natural history collection” (you and I would call them “rocks”), my art books and his biology texts, our combined kiddie lit classics. We spent Saturday mornings scouring estate sales and thrift shops for good deals on cool furnishings, then worked the rest of the weekend to spraypaint, re-wire, upholster, and refinish all those cheap treasures we’d managed to score. We pushed furniture this way and that, contemplated color schemes, learned just how much you can do to improve your nest with patience, time, and some basic tools. We turned that guesthouse into a cozy little nook that was the envy of our grad school friends. We’d created a space that looked like a home.

Still, most days I’d look at the rock lawns and the prickly plants, and feel quite certain I’d landed on another planet. I’d get a craving for dim sum or fresh lobster, and have to make do with bean burritos instead. Labor day came and I wanted to put away the shorts and tanktops, pull out the wool sweaters and sleek boots, but reality had me hiding in my climate-controlled house, thinking even my sundress was more clothing than one ought to be wearing in this sweltering, 100-plus scorching weather. I bought plane tickets to Boston for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and could barely contain my glee about the prospect of going home, whenever talk of holiday plans happened to come up in conversation with friends. Tucson was where I lived – happily, even, with Ash – but Boston, no question, was still my home. And so it was always “back to Tucson,” “home to Boston,” and never the other way around.

Then we bought a house. Our very first house, a little two-bedroom, flamingo-pink stucco abode just a few houses down from where we’d been renting. The day the keys were handed on over to us, we hopped in the car with our sleeping bags and the barest necessities for provisions, then camped out in our new empty house. That night, with no stereo, no TV, no computer to keep us entertained, we sat on the Mexican tile floor of our kitchen, and stared at its walls in awe.  

but wait, there's more still!

---------------------------> lounge . nourish . host . laze . home.