BATU, Indonesia. Photo by Jes Aznar

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Life in this Shack

            At home in my universe. Photo by Jes Aznar

Inspired by the series in this fascinating blog, Reading My Tea Leaves, I'd like to share with my invisible readers the wonders of living in this tiny shack I call home. It's a small single-detached place that has been my abode for three years now.

It's so small, it could probably be a treehouse. Ideally, it's just for one person but there's a whole bunch of us who live here. It's noisy, messy and motley. There's lots of toys, songs and music. The clothes, the leather bags, the high-heeled shoes, I've managed to fit in but the love does not. Yeah, with love, we all spill over. We break at the seams.

Welcome to this tiny space, a kingdom I can call my own. It's far from perfect but here, there are countless perfect mornings and evenings.  Lunch and dinners. And everything in between.

This rented shack is lease to me so dirt cheap (which isn't really surprising). Upon entry, there's the kitchen. No, let me correct that -- a cooking area is more apt. And the smallest space to dine in. I managed to squeeze in a fridge, the smallest I've found years ago when I was shopping for home appliances. And a table for two.

Let's get to the bedroom. There's only one room and depending on your tolerance, the room can fit a dozen but that would be tantamount to being in a gas chamber. I did away with the bed. Just comfortable mattresses and clean sheets.

There's no phone and because I believe in no-TV parenting, there's no cable for the television as well.

There's a loft and -- surprise, surprise -- a small balcony upstairs where I take my morning coffee, and when the mood allows it, paint on a canvas.

Sounds good? Perhaps. But it really is tiny. How do we survive? These tips and lots of love and laughter.


This not to say our house is clutter-free. It's not. Upstairs, there are toys all over. On the staircase, there's everything from photographs to glitters to worn-out socks. But I try to make it a point to always remove the excess baggage whenever there's a chance. Everything goes away. I rarely keep stuff.


The famed Madurodam in Netherlands is a miniature city. That's how our pieces of furniture are. Okay,  that's a bit of an exaggeration but just to drive the point home. I settle only for small, space-saving appliances and furniture.


The coffee-maker, next to the airconditioning unit and the fridge, is the most expensive item in the house. But hey isn't sanity priceless?

    Royal Coffee from Sulu about to brew. Photo by Jes Aznar.


Seriously. A cellar doesn't need a huge space. It can be mounted on one small wall. It's worth the additional effort. If you're a wine drinker, that is.

    This is the cellar. Yes it is. The wooden shelf is handmade by Des Ferriols. Photo by me.


Being in a small space doesn't mean one has to live miserably. As the cliche goes, home is really where the heart is. Cheesy but true. My daughter has never complained of our tiny apartment. I have always impressed upon her that it's not the physical space that's important but our togetherness.

                                     This is the dining and cooking area. Photo by me.

                                     The stairs that lead to the loft. Photo by me.

    This is the bathroom, which is also the laundry area. This is me washing clothes. (I don't believe in washing machines)        
     Photo by Jes Aznar.

     Sometimes, I cook. Photo by me.