They thought we were crazy to live here. Three hundred and fifty square feet with two people in it. We thought it was perfect.
In fact, what we fell in love with most about the space was how there was plenty of extra space for us to have guests over. Dinners, overnights, long-term...whatever people needed. We knew it would take some shuffling and not-insignificant disruptions of our routine, but the excitement, pleasure, and importance of being able to offer a place to stay for those who needed or wanted it far out-weighed our desire for simple predictability.
With a myriad of friends and brothers in and out of state that we wanted to keep in touch with, we knew we wanted folks to be able to stay over night. We also wanted to be able to give them a room of their own. Enter the wonderfully awkward closet nook in this apartment. With a bed sheet turned-curtain and a tension rod, what would normally be an aggravatingly large amount of semi-useless space becomes a cozy little guest room.
By simply adding a cot, pillows, blankets, and a sleeping bag, the space becomes a cozy nook complete with a bedside table made of the suitcase that lives at the end of the hall. It holds a little collection of books and provides a wonderful place to stash all the guest-room necessities as well as our own travel kits when we're not using them.
Windy nights bring about their own challenges as the beautiful tree next to us bangs its branches against the siding in loud, hollow bursts reminiscent of someone throwing a log pile at your front door. I felt a warning sign was necessary.
It certainly didn't take long for us to start testing the little space. A mere month after arriving ourselves, we welcomed in a brother who stayed two weeks.
All told, the space worked beautifully. While there was a definite learning curve (which I'll be posting on as time goes on and we learn even more), it was a joy to have a third at meals and be a welcoming place to stay. And, though I am decidedly glad to have the space back now that the curtain is down and the cot folded up, I didn't miss it while it was gone.
More lessons in hospitality will come as we learn how to have four people in three hundred and fifty square feet (two more brothers visit in a couple months), but for now I am content to know that it is possible and that we can offer somewhere warm, safe, and unavoidably cozy.