In July 2011 my husband and I hired a general contractor and an interior designer to renovate our summer home in East Hampton, New York. Our plan was to get rid of all of our furniture and fixtures and completely redecorate every room from floors to windows to walls. We would also gut the outdated kitchen and bathrooms. After several weeks of discussing our design plans we handed the key to the contractor and left for our home in San Francisco. Nine months, 1000 emails and 50 phone calls later, we came back to our beautiful home which had undergone a major transformation.
I rented a shoebox-sized apartment (300 square feet) downtown and was just happy to be back in civilization where my friends wold come and visit me. A fourth-floor walkup, the space was described somewhat generously as a one-bedroom. I had one window which looked into an air shaft where some weird man would stare at me and my apartment smelled like sweet and sour chicken.