I remember the first time I visited a friend’s place in New York. Believe me, I was just flabbergasted. I was far from impressed. I’m not player hating. I’m not envying my friend because he lives in Manhattan. I’m not doing any of that.

Instead, I was just let down because I come from California after having lived in Texas. If you’ve lived in those two places, you know where I’m coming from because in Texas for example, you can get a huge amount of land for what essentially is a song.

That’s right! For as little as a hundred thousand or even fifty thousand bucks, you can get a huge amount of land. Of course, this land is way out there in the sticks. This land is not exactly in the middle of the Dallas Fort Worth cosmopolitan or great metropolitan area. I’m not talking about that.

I’m talking about basic land out there. If that land is partly desert or doesn’t have any water, it gets even cheaper. My point here is to draw a contrast between what kind of real estate you get in Manhattan compared to the kind of real estate you have access to in other parts of the greater United States.

This flat that my friend had was all of 20 meters. Let that sink in. That’s 200 square feet. I wish I could tell you that that 200 square feet was cut up really nicely so every square inch is fully utilized by my friend and his furniture but it’s not. A lot of it is eaten up by a walkway from the bathroom to the main door and to the kitchen.

It was a mess. And my friend went on and on about the fact that it had a nice view of a deck. It had a nice a little deck outside. Of course you can’t sleep in the deck but you did have a nice view of sadly a brick wall in front of you.

This got me thinking. I was telling my friend, “Well, it doesn’t have to suck. It doesn’t have to feel that you’re boxed in.” Of course, he was kind of trying to dodge the issues, trying to dance around it by saying, “Well, at least I can take refuge here or at least that wall looks good.”

I said, “No, you don’t have to make up all sorts of stories to make yourself feel better. Why not just install composite decking?”

When we went to the composite decking shop, my friend picked out some modular pieces and I helped him assemble these pieces. And believe me; these small cosmetic touches added a whole world of new dimensions to his exterior space. It looked like a bigger flat.

You have to understand that when it comes to any kind of architectural interior space, it really boils down to mindset. Because if you have the right mindset, your interior space starts looking good. You’re able to live in it. You’re able to feel your personal space. You’re able to exist in that space. It doesn’t feel like it’s constricting you.  It doesn’t feel like it’s holding you back. It doesn’t feel like it’s reminding you of your daily failures and humiliations.

Instead, it becomes a place of hope, transcendence and possibility. You start regaining a lot of that sense of anticipation that you had as a little kid when you were waiting for Santa Claus right in the middle of Christmas.

Do you see where I’m coming from? It really all boils down to small little changes. That trip to that composite decking shop really opened my friend’s mind. Now, his place looks truly awesome.