And I don’t mean ENVIRONMENT in caps. I mean the space around you.
My dad was an architect. He pointed something out to me years ago; I have observed many places and think he’s absolutely right.
Your impression of a home is made at the front entry. No matter what size the house. If it is a large entry way, spacious, then that feeling carries through to the rest of the house. Even a tiny house. You don’t feel claustrophobic. But if you go into a small, cramped or dirty entry, that impression stays with you. And no matter the square footage, it always has something negative going on in your mind. (Think of the tiny houses you see on the internet from time to time. They rarely feel small. The designers know it has to feel open and airy.
So. What does that have to do with me and Paris? I live in a very nice city. It’s not Paris. I am one and a half blocks from the Paris city limits. Many reasons I decided to do this, all explained in blogs form 2015. It’s known as the Beverly Hills of Paris. But I have said on many occasions, I live in the slums of Neuilly. Well, not really! But I have two ugly office buildings directly across from me and having a Haussmann style apartment there would be much better for the eyes and soul. At least, eventually, one of the office buildings will finish the remodel and will be better. And if I look to the right or left, there are Haussmann buildings.
And my building is cute. Old brick. Little bit of design. The problem? You enter into a dark foyer with the mail boxes. Then pass into the stairwell. The wall paper is dirty, ripped; the carpet is ok but dark and not inviting. The landings lack landing numbers in many cases. Someone put up a 2 with a sticky post-it note. But I can also understand the owners not wanting to spend money on the communal areas. Still. Yet, I pay at least 300 or 400 less in rent a month. That can pay for a lot of trips!
So this year, the owners decided to upgrade! And for once, my timing was impeccable. It’s almost done! The wallpaper is gone. Walls are painted a bright white. The exposed wood is painted taupe – my door; the window frames. And the light on the digi-board where you key in the code even works now. AND the street light across from me also works! It had been out for three months before I left…
So my dad’s theory works. Because passing through this “new” entry and staircase makes me feel better about everything!