Living room

According to my electrician, there are over 60,000 types of orchids in Jamaica, most of which grow wild. They are smaller than their hothouse cousins, and more vivid in color. Orchids, he says, are parasites (but he said it affectionately). He once went out orchid hunting with his father and they found one that was dangling from a tall branch, "almost like it was floating in air." He also once found one that was so tiny the leaves were the size of a grain of rice. And yet, though he's been in this country for several years now, he's never been to the orchid show or the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

I  had electrical work done today. The chandelier from Granny went up (mom seems astounded that I think it works with the decor, but it does). I had a new plug put into the kitchen (heretofore the only plugs there were to the left of the refrigerator, to the right of the sink, with about a foot of space in between. Completely impractical. I also had a plug put into the bathroom (no one can believe I've gone as long as I have without a plug in the bathroom), and two ceiling fans installed — one in the bedroom, one in the kitchen. Plus dimmer switches on the chandelier and the ceiling fan in the bedroom. My electricians were here from 9:30 until almost 3. The amount I paid them was completely, absolutely, worth it. Now I just have to save up to get that butt-ugly kitchen redone.

It's probably egoistic to think so, but I like my apartment, and the way I've designed it. I went with colors rather than boring white walls, I went with as much of a theme of color and style as I could. I wanted dark woods and rich colors in the living room to make it warm; I wanted a blue-and-white toile theme in the bedroom. A greenish foyer led nicely into the living room, and a bright sunny yellow kitchen (at least the walls make me happy) seems perfect. And then I have the indulgence: The hallway leading from the foyer to the bedroom is all in pink. That'd probably give a real decorator a heart attack, but I wanted something to be just over the top and pretty. So I went with pink.

As we were taking a break and talking about orchids, the orchid hunter from Jamaica pointed out a three-fold screen I have, made of metal, which also holds votive candles. He noted that a certain plant resembled the twisting metal stems and leaves in the design. And I took a moment to glance around the room: I have large plants, I have growing orchids. I have twisting plant-like images on the carpets. I have the screen. I didn't think about it before, but it does all come together so nicely, it's got a wildness, yet a coziness I hadn't expected.

My apartment makes me happy.