The white Ikea wardrobe

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Sharing space, whether with parents, children, flatmates, colleagues, or a loved partner, is always a tricky business. There is much ground for conflict: who sits in the corner chair, who decides what goes on the wall, who can move the furniture around.

When we moved into this apartment, Philip and I had a basic agreement that he would own the bedroom and I would own the study. The living-room would be collective space. Concretely speaking, it means I would make all decisions on the furniture and decorations of the study (and also be the primary user) while he would decorate the bedroom, and uses it as home office or reading space when he’s not at work.

But since he started working as a teacher in 2014, he’s had to wake up early, and dress up. The wardrobe where his shirts and pants hang is close to my side of the bed, and he doesn’t want to disturb me at 6am. Also, the shirts started to get too many. We talked about it, and decided to place another wardrobe in the study.

The wardrobe is about 1m75 of height by 80cm of width, and deep about 60cm. The main body stands about 5 cm above ground, supported by the side and back planks, and is flat at the top. It is made of wood aggregate painted white. Two doors open at the middle, with long pieces of rectangular wood placed at an angle of about 90 degrees, to open and close. The wardrobe comes from Ikea, and Philip went out to buy it on a week-end at the beginning of this year. It came in separate pieces, and he put it together in this room with his friend Wayne. We had to get rid of an old style low dresser to make room for it, an odd, beautiful but impractical piece we’d picked up on the street in St Kilda.

The study doubles as Philip’s dressing room now, but I sometimes wake up as early as 4h45, and start working rightaway. When I do, his dressing place and my office clash, creating mild tensions over breakfast. Nothing unsuperable though.

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