Home in Tarzana – kitchen


The last post about our apartment. I promise. The final corner and ‘room’ to be profiled.

When you walk into our front door, straight in front of you is probably going to be a bicycle, and then just past that is our kitchen.

It’s a decent sized kitchen. Plenty of storage space for us – especially since there’s no oven and a tiny fridge, there’s not really a huge need for all this kitchen storage space. …

The microwave cart lives under the front window, right next to Andrew’s record player. Which is probably why there is a tape player sitting right on top of the microwave.

Inside the microwave cart is our CrockPot and counter-top, plug-in stovetop. I’ve used it once.



The 2 appliances that we keep out and use often are the coffeemaker (daily) and the toaster. The toaster is brand new. Just bought it. Andrew was using it everyday, until it got too hot to leave the bread and butter out on the counter. Now that those live in the fridge, I think he has forgotten about his toast phase..


This sink is just under our side window. It opens towards our landlords’ driveway – so we pretty much keep the blinds closed all the time. Plus, it is East-facing, and the sun in the morning coming through the window tends to make the kitchen kind of hot …

The sink is … interesting. There’s no garbage disposal and no 2-sided sink wells (which would make dishwashing a lot easier, since we have to do it by hand). …


Just next to the sink on the other side is this tiny little book shelf.

I have no idea what the intention of this shelf is.

It’s too shallow for anything (except maybe spice jars), but if it was any deeper it would block the already small closet.

So far we have a couple tapes there…. that’s probably all that will live there.


Our refridgerator is dorm-size. It lives under the counter, and the freezer is basically non-existent. Luckily both Andrew and I eat at work very often, and so far the fridge size has just been a tad annoying, instead of completely unmanageable. Ex: We bought GardenBurgers that need to stay frozen, so I had to take them out of the packages and put them in ziploc sandwich bags (2-to-a-bag) to fit them in the freezer.



Like I said, plenty of storage space.

We have several completely empty shelves…


And finally, also in the kitchen, backing up to the wall of the bathroom and facing the sink area, is our closet.

It’s smaller than our past closets, so our clothes are pretty well smashed in there. Andrew says he’s just been wearing the same things over and over, so he doesn’t have to worry about getting clothes in and out …



There you go.

A full and detailed look of where we are living now.

You are welcome to come visit us, but you’d probably have to sleep on the kitchen floor. Next to the bicycle.

This is really just a temporary space for a year or so until we buy a house. So the smaller, cheaper and more uncomfortable it is, the more motivated we will be to do the scary thing that is homeownership.


Home in Tarzana – bathroom


The bathroom of our new apartment is the only real color … there’s a beige/nondescript cream color in the rest of the apartment, but this lavendar is so much more cheery ….

This place so small compared to past bathrooms in our past homes. For whatever reason, the sink is stuck back in the corner, so Andrew and I can’t really brush our teeth together (“Teeth Brushing Party” is what Andrew calls it) …

Because we don’t exactly have a linen closet, we keep our towels in this over-the-toilet, glass front shelving unit. Luckily, don’t need to have all of our towels unpacked, since we can’t really have overnight guests …



Just inside the door to the right we have this tower unit for more storage. I think it was originally intended for a kitchen, because there are spots to hang wine glasses (upside down) and store wine bottles …  But it works for the little odds and ends that you need for a bathroom (extra razors, hand lotion, etc).


We have a couple bathroom rugs that we use … but in this floor space in pretty much means that the tile is nearly completely covered by rug. I don’t mind. ….


The only mirror in the whole apartment is the one above the sink. But it’s so high above the sink that I can pretty much only see what I look like from the shoulders up. It’s a good thing we’re not shorter! And a good thing I don’t buy new clothes all that often and need to see how they look.





That probably gives you a good idea.

Cluttered like all the rest of our home. Too many things in too small a space.

The shower water doesn’t always stay hot. The toilet water runs all the time. The window above the toilet faces the east and shines light into my face every morning if I have forgotten to close the bathroom door.

But it’s not too bad.


Home in Tarzana – our “bedroom”


As with the living room, our “bedroom” is just the designated corner of the converted garage …

Really, the decision of WHERE the bed was going to sit was made for us. The dresser and bookshelves in the above photo are actually part of the unit. … they come with the place and have stay there … so, with those + the kitchen+the front door, the bed couldn’t really be put anywhere but just immediately to the left of the front door.

There’s just barely enough room on the left side to open up those cabinets (under the shelves) most of the way, and just barely enough room on the right side for a little bitty bedside table and still be able to open the front door.

It’s cozy.

We use these unfinished wooden crates from Michael’s as our bedside tables. I don’t remember how long I’ve had these or why I even bought them in the first place, but these crates have certainly been helpful in so many situations …

Andrew’s side of the bed:


And, on the far side, my side of the bed. Right next to a full bookshelf (let’s hope there’s not a earthquake) and a pile of boxes (things that we’ll need over the next year, so I don’t want to put in storage and lose).

Our bed is a mixture of linens …. it’s actually pretty color-cohesive with the exception of the pillowcases. We just don’t have enough matching pillowcases so we use the old family hand-me-downs, or the child’s print Andrew has from years and years ago.


Our VERY FULL bookshelves. Between our books, my office/photo-business-related stuff, Andrew’s CDs, Andrew’s records and Andrew’s recording-related-stuff …. our shelves are always very full.

Especially when I don’t always put away my clean clothes as in the below photo.


Luckily (for Andrew) these shelves have some spots that are high enough and deep enough for his vinyl. You can’t just put those anywhere. They’ve such distinct dimensions.

Also, little spot in that corner for my new (big) camera bag. Luckily we have somewhere to put it …

That white door leads to the bathroom. We keep it closed most of the time. Especially at night, because there is a window directly across from the door that faces east. So in the morning the bright rising-sun light comes streaming in and would hit me right in the face at 6a if the door wasn’t closed.


The bed faces the HUGE dresser (that actually ‘comes with’ the apartment). This dresser is so big it actually holds all of Andrew’s clothes (that aren’t in the closet); all of the linens (blankets, etc) that we unpacked and some of my clothes. It’s huge.

The television and DVD player (which I just realized I didn’t get a pic of) sit on top. It’s nice that we have a spot for the TV so we can watch Netflix/etc, but since our bed just sits on the ground, and the dresser is so large, we have to hold the DVD remote way over our heads to get it high enough to be recognized by the machine … I think it’s pretty funny …

We don’t actually have control over our thermostat. All our utilities are included in the rent, so we just have to deal with whatever temperature the landlords choose to put the air at. Which is not very cold.

So, at night we turn on this big floor fan (which is up on TV trays so it blows on us and not just the side of the bed near the floor). It also serves as white noise, which helps a little bit for sleeping in.


That’s it. That’s the extent of the bedroom. Or “bedroom”

I pretty much spend the bulk of my time when I’m home on my side of the bed …. with a drink on my bedside table and my computer plugged in. I keep my camera cord close by so I can load photos onto my computer when I need to …



Tomorrow – our teeny bathroom



Since we live in a converted garage, we don’t exactly have the same room divisions that the rest of you all have …. so, when I say “living room” I mean this little corner just to the right when you walk in the door.

This corner also houses my dresser full of clothes, so the only thing that actually makes it a “living room” is the presence of our big arm chair and Andrew’s record player.

Again, let me remind you that our home is not perfect. You will not find the perfect little accents or even the (unrealistic) cleanliness that a room should have before being photographed.

But I promise to clean the house if you ever come over.

So, just inside the front door to the right is my dresser – which, by the way, is starting to warp and get off kilter since I bought it at Target and put it together myself, and then moved it twice in the last year. I think, when we buy a house, we’re going to try to invest in REAL (read: non-particle board) furniture.

Since the dresser is just inside the door, that is where our keys live when we are at home. It helps me to have a place to put my keys, otherwise I lose them in the bottom of my purse. That space also tends to hold any library books/etc that need to go back, mail that needs to go out, and any electronic toy that is charging (laptop, phone, etc).

That green hat box houses my scarves … which I didn’t have at all last winter (since the box was in storage). Very excited to get use out of them this year.


Also just inside the door, in that itty bitty space between the dresser and the chair is our shoe pile. Since we’ve been married, Andrew and I have had a shoe pile, always just inside our door … always chaotic. I don’t really know how it started, because it is not as though we had a conscious decision about not wearing shoes in the house …. hmmm….

There is space between the side of the dresser and the absolute corner of the room. Back there lives our broom/mop for cleaning the tile floor, as well as a pile of stuff that belongs to Kevin that we have been holding for him for the last year+. One of the many reasons I’ll be glad when he is out of the Air Force.


Our big comfy (hand-me-down) arm chair …. The one spot to sit in our apartment. Nearly every morning when I wake up, I can look over to that chair and see Andrew reading or on the computer. It’s so easy to curl up and get cozy in that chair …

Just behind that chair, you see one of our speakers, with a clock on top of it. That is the only clock in the whole apartment. Generally I like to have clocks everywhere … I tend to need to know what time it is always, so I can manage my time accordingly. But since this place is so small, that 1 clock is all we need ….


Andrew’s record player (will be getting a whole post all to itself later) takes up a lot of precious floor/wall space in our little home, but you know for him it’s a necessity. No question. Considering how much room my camera equipment is starting to take up I think we’re even …

We have this little ‘end table’ that luckily can be folded up and put away, but most of the time it sits in this one precarious spot, close enough that whoever is sitting in the chair can have a drink/etc but far enough away that the front glass of the stereo cabinet can be opened.

P.S. That window above looks out on the front yard/street





Jeez, I’m so sorry this looks like such a mess …. you’d think with our place being smaller we could keep it less cluttered … but in fact we have too much stuff for this small space so it will probably stay cluttered …

Still 3 more “rooms” to go … “hang on to your butts.”

(First person to comment w/ what movie that line is from gets a gold star)


Home in Tarzana – our new apartment

We’ve been living here in Tarzana for about 6 weeks now, and I have not yet posted any real pictures of our new apartment … I know I know. Shame on me.

But, for the longest time, the place looked like this, with a stack of boxes in the middle of the room…

Before - that "just moved in" look

Before - that "just moved in" look

But, eventually, I gave up thinking that the place would ever look perfect … or even great. And just decided to show you the way it looks. Much more authentic anyway, right?

First, take a look at our neighborhood. The next 3 photos were taken from just outside our front door … the lawn is yellow (not our fault).

We live on Friar St, near the crossroads of Victory and Tampa in Tarzana (if you follow this direction, you’ll hit Tampa). The neighborhood is full of $400,000ish houses, big mature trees, and I’m pretty sure the old couple next door has lived here since the neighborhood was built.


We have this little path from our front door to the sidewalk ….

We’re welcome to park in front of the house, except, of course, when the trashcans are there.


This direction goes deeper into the neighborhood and quiet residential streets.


Our apartment is (I think) a converted garage, and the entrance is on the opposite side of the building from the main house entrance … Just inside the gate to the right is our door; and if you go straight there is another gate to reach their side/backyard.


Our path – These tiles are maybe a 12″x12″ …


You see why people can’t just stop by? You’d never find our front door!

Those lights above the door are on a motion sensor … . except, they never sense you’re there until you’re inside the gate … which means that when I come home at 1130p and it’s all dark, someone could be hiding inside the gate, waiting to ambush me. And if they’re still enough, the light won’t go on until I walk inside the gated area … and by then it would be too late.

I try not to think about that.



We have all this lovely space just outside our door, but we can’t use any of it because the gardener needs the area to drag the trash cans back and forth 2 days/week. It’s really unfortunate.


Julie mentioned she thought this place was a converted garage because of the way the door is situated. … The door frame is a full 6+ inches from the ground.

It took a little while to get used to. I definitely tripped a couple times and stubbed my toe when I was carrying groceries and couldn’t see my feet …


And finally, just a glimpse of the interior. I will be posting about each corner of the room in more detail throughout the week (with the exception of ‘Etcetera’ on Wed, if you don’t care about the apartment you might not want to come back til next Tuesday).

These last 3 photos were all taken w/ my Wide angle lens and my back to the front door …

(the white door on the right of this photos leads to the bathroom)



Didn’t I tell you? Not cleaned up at all …. that bike in the middle of the floor is pretty much permanent.


So, there you go!

Your first little glimpse into where we have been living for the last 6 weeks and will probably be living for at least the next 9 months or so …

Tomorrow: a look at our “living room”