In Lullaby, both Kate's and Ethan's apartments feature prominently in the story and really serve as reflections of the characters. It was important to me that Kate's space be very different from Ethan's, and evoke a particular emotion in the reader not unlike what Ethan experiences. I always imagined her place as walk-up in a classic New York brick building, a little on the pricy side but not unimaginable, something older and more feminine with a few special touches like picture windows and hardwoods and pretty bathroom tile.
The place was simple and clean with crown moulding and cozy rattan blinds on the windows. There was a small bookshelf and a tv stand, the new-ish couch and two careworn armchairs, one with an old quilt draped over the back. Candles flickered on the bookshelf and the coffee table, where the script I’d given Kate rested along with an open copy of George Orwell’s 1984.
Kate's apartment is a sanctuary for Ethan that he describes as "tidy, warm and bright," a refuge from the world he's accustomed to. Just as Kate enjoys the quiet solitude of Ethan's place, he likes her home because it's full of fun and laughter and lightness. There's a contrast between his place and hers, each home an escape for the other person that mirrors the shelter they find in one another.