Midwest #7 - Brian & Christina's Treetop Bower

Midwest #7 - Brian & Christina's Treetop Bower

Janel Laban
Apr 11, 2008

PLEASE NOTE: Due to yesterday's server crashes, we'll be extending the voting period of the previous entries commensurate with the outage time.

Name: Brian and Christina
Location: Atlanta, GA
Size: 482 sf
Rent/Own: Rent

What is the advantage of SMALL? Renting a small place has financial, aesthetic, and ecological advantages. Two ex-students paying back their loans don't have a lot of money to throw around, so we live within our means and have chosen not to look for a larger place (and our utility bills are manageable). Aesthetically, it's easier to enliven a small space, and you don't have large, dead areas that are never in use. We have a smaller ecological footprint, since all of the rooms except the kitchen are naturally lit during the day, and we can ventilate the entire place with a fan in the summer.

What's your favorite resource for your home?

The hardware store can't be beat for DIY projects--the materials for the greenhouse enclosure, the countertop on the metal shelving in the kitchen, and the rebuilt desk all came from Home Depot. Some other wooden projects are repurposed shipping pallets (the plant table, an oak tree planter, a platform in the bottom of the closet to create usable storage space above a criss-crossed maze of pipes). Also IKEA, which is close enough that we can browse regularly without the need to impulse buy, thus preventing over-IKEAzation.

What is your one favorite element in your small, cool home?

The balcony (it's such an integral part of our apartment we included it in the square footage). It is a room unto itself, good for dining alfresco or relaxing amid the greenery, which includes a wisteria vine, two rabbiteye blueberry bushes, a small orange tree, peas and tomatoes, and an assortment of oak seedlings. We do have to budget interior space near the windows during the winter for the orange tree (which has a specially built plant table) and other frost-intolerant plants. We fit an enclosure for a miniature greenhouse into a bedroom window to start seeds in spring.

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