(Written by Deepika Chatterjee)
A well done corner can give an immediate face lift to a room. A bedroom in a 2 BHK apartment complex, this room came with a standard light beige carpet and white blinds, quite typical for the region. However, to its advantage, it also came with a big attached balcony and a glass shutter door. The latter lets in ample sunlight on sunny days. On cloudy ones, the rain falling on the wooden flooring is a sight to behold.
To give it a lounge like feel, a queen size mattress has been kept on the floor against one corner as opposed to being placed on a cot or a box. The owner’s choices for bright colours and interesting prints is evident from her choice of sheets. On the wall right above her bed, she has framed photos of her family. She mentions that the photos are the first thing she sees in the morning when she wakes up, and they calm her mind. The photos make the room feel like home, and also make a white, expansive wall much more interesting.
In one corner, she has laid out a bright multi-coloured rug that she picked up for a very reasonable price from the home section at Walmart. This room is her sanctuary when she comes back from work everyday, and she wanted it to be a calming space with happy colors. She did not want to bring in heavy furniture as that would be take up space and make the room look unnecessarily cramped. Instead of getting a book shelf, she used this rug to stack her books on. A number of small tubs and boxes can be seen around the room, which she uses as organizers. One is for pens, the other for chargers and cables, and so on. They were picked up for a dollar a piece from thrift stores. On the rug I also noticed a dry cone (picked up from the lawns outside her department at university), a blue Christmas tree (a gift from a Portuguese roommate), a NASA teddy bear (“swag from a career fair, my friend got it for me”), more photographs (one of them with her sister taken twenty years ago), and a potted plant. Her love for reading is evident from the pile of books, and the Kindle in the corner. A few jazz albums lie strewn around.
The wall above the carpet draws attention. To spice the white walls up, she has put up some postcards from the 60s on the wall, along with neck pieces that she used to wear and is bored of. “I have moved houses 7 times in the past 5 years. As a result, I am always skeptical about buying or putting up heavy and expensive things. At the same time I want my room to look good. Hence I make do with whatever is easily available, can be replaced easily, and the loss of which will be easy on me. If I do like something more expensive and permanent, I pack it and take it to our family home in India.”, she says.
Photographs, gifts from friends and memories from her childhood are what make this room somewhat of a home, 7,000 miles away.
(Note to reader: These photographs were taken at Pallabi Chakraborty’s apartment in San Francisco Bay Area)