Monday, June 6, 2011

Adapting to Rio de Janeiro: Apartments

I saw something looking at apartments today that made my heart skip a beat. It was a linen closet.

That's the thing that I'm still bitter about living in here in Rio de Janeiro, putting in a linen closet would cost me like 3 pretty pennies.

And it only got worse. I saw all the beautiful newly done "built in" closets in this tiny tiny apartment and I wanted to move in! Hell, they had a corner cabinet in the kitchen. I think I actually came a little when I saw it.

Not shockingly, the place is going for R$670,000 ($425,774) for a 2 bedroom 80 meters sq (262 ft sq) and no parking spot! But you know what, it was 80 meters of cabinetry goodness. New closets as far as the eye could see... or about a yard. You do the math.

So what can a girl do except for dream of the new cabinetry she could have in her place. I was excited and extremely depressed at the same time. To think, my dreams now consist of fake wooden boxes nailed to the wall. Before you judge me, nailing stuff into cement walls is a bitch!

But there was real brilliance there. I need to think outside the weirdly shaped box that is my apartment. I have the hallway and could easily fit in 2 linen closets. Oh how the natives will admire me then. Not to mention what I could do with the built-in closets that came with the place. While I'm at it, I may just put in good window! OMG, I'm on a roll.

Obviously my pipe dreams come with a cost and because of that I may take up carpentry. That or grow a forest for my wood. In some way, I would need to contribute.

Until then, I will just dream of rolling doors and empty shelves to further organize the crap I have that I truly do not need. Call it adapting, call it hoarding, call it what you will but I now have a dream. 


  1. Rachel,

    I am telling this apartment prices are INSANE!!!!
    It smells like the US housing bubble all over again.
    Keep in mind the evil "formaldehyde" in "fake" wood. You are better off paying a little more and get some solid wood cabinets, you can still find them in Brazil for a reasonable price if you look around, find a good carpenter and have it done like you want it.
    I am totally with you. We renovated a bathroom two years ago and destroyed our hallway linen closet to expand the bathroom and make a separate shower and jacuzzi tub, PROBLEM!!! We had no more linen closet!!!
    These Cape Cod style houses have awkward shapes with lots of surprise nooks and crannies, so voila, we found an entire hidden corner of a bedroom, knocked down a wall and built a new linen closet inside that bedroom, we did find a good carpenter and used real solid wood that I went to Lowe's and bought myself, it turned out great, worth every freaking dime, and perhaps cost us a vacation, but I needed that linen closet more than I needed the vacation anyway, so linen closet it was, did not regret.
    I like your idea to revamp your current apartment, you are definitely thinking outside the box, when everyone else is getting in debt up to their eyeballs with newer more expensive apartments, it is smart to stay put and make improvements.


  2. Are you aware that the correct spelling of apartment in Portuguese is "apertamento" ?

  3. I am. Did I spell it wrong?

  4. I heard a rumor and I am not sure if it's true. When an apartment or a house is listed here and they give the meters squared that it's not accurate the way we are used to square ft being accurate. I heard that the meters squared given does not portray living space but just the outside perimeter of a place.... meaning the walls and deck are included in the measurements. Do anybody know if this is true? It would make sense seeing some of the places that claim to be 2000 sq ft that I have seen but then again what do I know!


  5. "3 pretty pennies and my uterus"? "I think I actually came a little when I saw it"?

    You are a talented blogger and shouldn't rely on vulgarity to make a point or to connect with your audience.

  6. Anon, I appreciate your comment. It's good to be brought back to your place and realize what you have. Thank you for reminding me of the difference between vulgarity and brilliance.

    The part of me that is finding myself as a writer is trying to adapt to the popular blogger part. I need these checks and balances. Thank you.

  7. Beijos! (you have my vote)

  8. 80 sq. m is 861 sq ft, which is small but not ridiculous by NY, London or any other major city standards.