Having your own place is great, but it’s not without its pitfalls, discovers Melanie Smith.
The thought of my bedroom being in my kitchen never really bothered me when I decided to move into a studio. My main priority was having a space large enough to call my own, having spent far too many years residing in box rooms in shared houses. So when I found my spacious single-room lodgings in the perfect part of JLT, I thought I’d be happy to call it home.
It’s fully furnished and extremely bright, owing to the floor-to-ceiling windows that make up one of my four walls entirely, and it has a magnolia colour scheme with matching curtains. I overlooked the fact that it doesn’t have a balcony, and just one window that opens to a crack, because I thought everything else was wonderful. Nine months in and I’ve realised this isn’t the case.
Let’s start with cooking. If I even so much as boil carrots, a food odour lingers for days. My attempts to appear adult-like, hosting dinner for friends, only results in us all having to eat like students, sitting on my bed with our plates on our laps because my flat is too small for a dining table.
Then there’s the irrational paranoia that I’ve developed of late of being invaded by cockroaches. A (not-so-tidy) friend of mine told me that he’s had an infestation in his own JLT-based studio. I couldn’t handle cockroaches in my kitchen-bedroom-living room, so I frantically clean the flat at every opportunity – and it’s becoming quite a neurotic and time consuming pastime.
But my studio apartment woes don’t end there. What I once thought were beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows have also become troublesome. Light floods in through the huge panes of glass as soon as the sun rises and the streetlight outside my window means it’s never really dark enough for me to get to sleep. And when your kitchen’s in your bedroom, you become painfully aware of your appliances – when
the motor in my refrigerator randomly kicks in, it sounds as loud as a pneumatic drill. And don’t even get me started on the wailing water pipes…
But, as crazy as it sounds, I still love my studio. I’ve simply resolved to cook as infrequently as possible and only eat out with friends. I’ve also decided I’ll hire a house maid to dodge any potential roaches, and wear an eye mask and earplugs at night. I’ll probably end up spending a fortune, but for the sake of not having to live in a shoe box-sized room sharing with people who may not be as conscious of cockroaches as me, it’s still worth it!