Hi! Big fan of you cfau fic! Was just wondering if you have any detailed descriptions of the clexa apartment? How many bedrooms, which kids share rooms, if they have bunkbeds, which room was originally the nursery, do they share a backyard/pool/common area with the rest of the building, how big is Lexa's office, does Clarke have her own studio inside the apartment.. from what I can imagine, it seems massive and hella expensive? Thank you for your time ❤
Hey! Sorry that I didn’t have a chance to reply to this yesterday. Yes, I obviously know exactly what this apartment looks like. I actually have a pretty clear layout of it in my head, but seeing as I can’t draw and I’m not an architect who can do it digitally either then pictures will have to do.
I’m approaching this as I would if I was having this conversation with my production designer, set dresser, art director, and prop master for one of my films. I’m going to pull up references with the caveat that each individually aren’t exactly The Look, but if you take pieces from all of them and add a few original touches then you can kind of figure out what these sets are like in my head.
The apartment is fairly big. 6 bedrooms (1 master bedroom, 4 for the kids, and the other one is Lexa’s office) and there is a back room/laundry room thing by the kitchen that Clarke also uses as her home studio. That one is not huge, but it does the job. If she has bigger commissions for paintings or the rare sculpting/installations she does, then she has tons of artist connections and friends that let her use their bigger studio spaces as needed.
- How can they afford this in New York?
Clarke’s family has never been Rich, but they’ve always been well off. On top of that, Clarke was the person named in Jake’s life insurance policy and his sole heir. All of that was in a trust until she was 21. Lexa was already around by that time and if there is someone who is stingy and good with money it’s Lexa Woods. Lexa, being the perennially responsible one, insisted Clarke was careful with that cash. They got a professional to manage that money and do some investments for them. They live in New York after all and no city has a surplus of finance guys like NYC. They never touched any of the money and on top of that saved for like five years before they decided to become homeowners. Between all the money/assets Clarke inherited, plus Jake’s life insurance, plus their savings, plus the fact that Clarke makes GOOD money working at the gallery not only selling her own stuff but being Dante’s main art dealer, they were in a pretty comfortable place when it came down to actually buying an apartment. Knowing that Clarke also sells a considerable amount of pieces through commissions for the private clients she has, Lexa sort of gave in when Clarke insisted they splurge and get a really fucking nice place. They were buying. It was their forever home, so why not go all out? That was Clarke’s sell.
Keep in mind though that Clarke and Lexa have always had starkly different approaches to money. Lexa grew up poor and logically she’s very careful with it. Lexa’s not like a cheapass, but she’s very measured and pragmatic about managing money and finances. Typical Lexa. Lexa is also a public servant. She isn’t getting rich out of working in the DAs office. Lexa could go work at any of the private firms that try to reel her in constantly and make as much as what Clarke makes (if not more), but Lexa loves what she does where she does it so she pays no mind to the fact that Clarke’s checks put hers to serious shame. Clarke can make as much as Lexa does in a year if she has a good couple of months worth of sales commissions at the gallery. Easily. It actually happens more than anyone would think. Because of how she grew up and because she knows she’s in a very comfortable place at the gallery and her career in general, Clarke sometimes borders on reckless when it comes to spending. Just another way in which Clarke and Lexa balance each other out.
So yeah, it took a lot of convincing, but they had the money to put a really nice amount up front which meant the mortgage wasn’t going to be outrageous. Lexa also made Clarke promise that if there were some good sales of her work throughout the year it was all going to the mortgage just so they could pay it off sooner and get it off their plate. Clarke agreed and they started looking for places in the best parts of Manhattan. They found one they both fell in love with and they bought it. They didn’t move into the new place until Anya was around eleven months old. The apartment was paid off around the same time Costia left for college, meaning they kept to their plan and got done with that in less than half of the 30 years their mortgage was for.
The apartment has the typical Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen areas plus Lexa’s office.
Lexa really couldn’t care less about furniture or what pillow goes with what couch so Clarke obviously takes point on all the styling/interior design/decoration of the place. She only really has two parameters: not too many colors because Lexa really is a fan of simplicity and to not make Lexa cry with the number of zeroes on things. More than once Lexa has been known to utter “That chair cost HOW MUCH?!!!” to which Clarke usually has a “Don’t worry. The designer is a friend. He’ll give it to us for half.” reply all ready to be fired. And Lexa has an aneurysm because “Half is still more than I make in a month, Clarke!”. Sometimes it takes a little smooth talking
(and by that I mean Clarke asking while they’re having sex) but Clarke always gets the things she wants.
Clarke tends to keep the furniture and the walls pretty neutral. Where the bursts of color come in is in the art she picks for the apartment. The walls are covered with really strikingly vibrant pieces that make every room rich and feel thoroughly alive.
Here are some references for what I see the Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen, and Lexa’s office looking like:
- CLARKE & LEXA
Like I said, Lexa is a fan of minimal and clean. In the chapter where Clarke wakes up in her bedroom after they have sex for the first time I believe I described Lexa’s bedroom as “monochromatic” and that is so accurate for Lexa. She’s a fan of white, black, greys, and browns. Unless Clarke is the one who buys her something, Lexa would stick to wearing those colors exclusively. That translates pretty clearly to the decor around the house, but specially their bedroom. Clarke knew she could go crazy anywhere else, but she would give Lexa the simple black and white bedroom.
There may be a pop of color with a piece of art or a new duvet or something, but overall, Clarke keeps it pretty sleek and minimal.
- THE KIDS
Clarke spends A LOT of time making sure each of the kids gets the room they want. They all have some sort of mural or intricate wall design that Clarke spent hours doing specifically for them.
Costia’s room is all about music. It has a lot of personality even though it doesn’t have a lot of color except for the collage wall that her and Clarke put together. Being Lexa’s mini me as she is, Costia is really into greys and whites and black. She doesn’t necessarily stick to them when it comes to her wardrobe, but her room has always been fairly muted in regards to furniture, bed dressings, and general decor.
Anya is OBSESSED with neon. To like a crazy and absurd degree. She’s also an Aesthetic Hoe so her room is probably the most unique one. They let her put neon signs all over her room and Clarke painted a mural with glowing UV paint on her walls so during the daytime or if the blinds are open her walls look plain and white, but once the lights go off they turn into this crazy ridiculous thing and Anya adores every bit of it. Needless to say, the sun doesn’t shine much in that room because she keeps those blinds closed as often as possible.
Jake’s room was about baseball. They got him a custom made bed frame and custom made furniture to fit the theme. His is probably the room that had the most external influences because everyone got stuff that was already made for their furniture but Jake’s was unique. All Clarke did there was the mural.
Roa’s room is worthy of a kid with her imagination. It’s bright and colorful and fun. It’s also about her favorite thing in the world: The Lion King. Clarke paints murals on each wall AND on the furniture to make every single thing in there jungle themed.
Jake’s room eventually turns into Aden’s nursery. Clarke keeps it pretty simple yet classy blue and grey for the little dude.
I think that should cover all of it??? Hopefully I touched on all the info you requested and that this helps picture the living spaces better! We spend a lot of the story here after all. :)