Nothing Gives Me More Anxiety Than The Thought Of Decorating My Apartment

I had no idea that sorting out my apartment would spark a full-blown existential crisis, but here I am.

I have a problem. Ok, it’s not an actual problem; more of a niggling worry that causes me to question my whole existence on this earth, but it’s FINE. Everything is fine.

It’s my apartment. Despite living there for three months – and pledging every Friday that this will be the weekend my boyfriend and I get the place sorted – it’s still not ‘done’. The extent of our interior pizzazz remains said boyfriend’s second-hand bike currently gathering dust in the hallway.

I know what you’re thinking: ‘Alice, there is a very easy solution to this problem and it is called Facebook Marketplace’. And I agree, but also, have you been on Pinterest lately?! Not only are there endless decorative options to sift through; I must find a look that speaks to my truest self.

But who am I, really? I’m definitely not tidy enough to be a minimalist, nor peppy enough to pull off a Hamptons-style abode. I’d love to embrace my inner  bohème but that involves a lot of plants and caring for them would be exhausting. And so, I’ve trundled into a standstill. How can I commit to a colour scheme amid Pinterest’s intoxicating promise of reinvention? Of potential new selves just waiting to be discovered? The perfect version of me, just around the corner?

Cosy, arty ground floor of apartment with quirky staircase, external wardrobes, hats on the wall, hanging plants, bags and other artfully arranged items.


Is this who I am?

Maybe the problem is that too much of our identity hinges on what we buy. The English sociologist Anthony Giddens warned us of this in the ‘90s: “modernity opens up the project of the self, but under conditions strongly influenced by commodity capitalism”. That is, in some ways, we’re lucky to have options when it comes to our possessions. But with that bounty of choice comes an increased pressure to own things that perfectly reflect our unique identities; whether it be be a two-tone bookshelf or a rustic throw. But really, how can any of this stuff reflect who we are?

I realise I'm probably one of very few people who can turn decorating an apartment into a full-blown existential crisis. I’m choosing to see this as a gift, lest any deeper analysis sparks further angst. I think that’s best for all of us, don’t you?

I am now taking applications for an interior decorator.

This piece was written by Alice Griffin, editor of this very site. It first appeared in MTV Australia's weekly newsletter. Sign up here for more exclusive MTV content.

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