A Merry Minimalist Christmas


‘And a Happy New Decade’

Yes, yes. I’ve told you enough already about the Downsizing. (For those of you out of the loop, blogwise, The Dude and I are soon to move from a normal-sized New York apartment to what I call The Ken and Barbie House. Which is itty-bitty, to say the least. And I do mean the least.)

Floorplan of K & B House. Yes, that’s a 6×6 kitchen

But have I told you about the Staging? In order to move into the teensy apartment, we have to sell our normally-sized apartment. And, in order to sell it, our arms were twisted to Stage it. “Staging” means you, basically, get rid of anything in your home that gives any clues to your personality: photos, artwork, memorabilia. This also (at least in our case) meant getting rid of anything that provides comfort and coziness: carpets, pillows, lamps.

Stripping the living room. Only things left are the piano and the cat bed

“Our” living room, after the Stagers had their way. Sigh

Living in a staged apartment is rather like living in a hotel room. The stuff isn’t yours (those are rented couches; the coffee table isn’t ours either) and god forbid you spill anything. It’s also rather echo-y and noisy, what with the carpets and curtains gone. And don’t get me started about where on earth to put a cocktail — all my end tables were banished.

In order to make room for all our downsized stuff, we had to clear out the attic in Amagansett. It did not break my heart to get rid of this, the World’s Ugliest Vase

But enough whining. Let’s get back to Christmas! If you look closely at that staged living room, you can see a little potted plant on the hearth. Well, no one watered the darned thing over Thanksgiving (there wasn’t anyone there to do so) and it shriveled up.

Rather liking a plant in a pot and it being close to Christmas, I replaced it with the teensiest Tree I could find. When I told our broker I had put a Christmas Tree in the apartment, she immediately asked, “How big?” When I assured her that this artifact of Seasonal Cheer was less than a foot high, she made me promise not to put up any more of my “usual decorations,” especially not a “wreath on the door.”

I cheated and hung The Child’s stocking on the mantel with care. (Though I did put it away again immediately after it was emptied)

Of course, I’ve never been much of a decorator (See “Deck the Halls with Bough of Holly” for non-glittery details) so it didn’t exactly break my heart to skip the wreath or the bowl of shiny ornaments this year.

The Child sometimes even decorates herself at Christmas

In fact, we almost completely skipped Christmas this year. As you may have noticed from my last two posts, we spent the Actual Holiday in the wilds of the Amazon Basin in Brazil.

Christmas morning on a tributary (Rio Marie) of a tributary (Rio Negro) of the Amazon River

But The Child intervened, and we did celebrate, albeit a bit early. We even had pot roast — after which, we presented The Child and her BF with the pot roast pot. (Downsizing, you know.)

“Christmas” morning. December 14

When The Dude and I got back Saturday, we immediately repaired to the East End, where we got to enjoy a wreath after all.

A wreath on a bench on a beach

Amagansett, New York. December (31!) 2019

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11 thoughts on “A Merry Minimalist Christmas

  1. I jumped in from Boss link share to say hi ,and have the best new year. I look forward to reading more in 2020. It should be easier here at BOSS than ever to catch up. As long as people comment in return visits. We staged and sold in three days. So I know it is a pain but it works. People can see how their thing will fit easier, and they can visualise how they will live in that space, not everyone can see past the present owners life. Good luck I can’t wait to read more.

    • Hi there Ellen! Long time, no “see”. Great to hear from you. And yes, I look forward to catching up with you and your writing too! Good to hear you had success with your staging experience — disconcerting this it may be, it does make sense. And, like my sister (who is a real estate agent) says, “once your place is for sale, it’s no longer your home.” *Big heavy sigh goes here*

  2. Roy Edroso

    I *think* I saw that apartment once, and if I’m right you should get a fortune for it. Thanks also for the perspective on staging!

  3. I can’t wait to see pics of your new apartment once you have it decorated. No curtains I can understand, I guess. Those windows are gorgeous. But no lamps? I guess if you have no end tables… And no wreath on the door?? Can’t think of a sadder job than being a “stager,” really. Happy almost 2020. Hope you enjoy it!

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