Sometimes I get so Pin crazy during a Pinterest spree that nothing seems cohesive. Hot pink chairs? Yes! Muted Scandinavian-style rug? Sure! Mid-century dresser? OK! I wonder how these ideas will ever come together in my future home.
But recently I was looking at my Future Home board, where I pour all my hopes and dreams and Thonet chair wishes, and started to see patterns. Even though there were months between bookmarked images, I’ve been gravitating towards very specific ideas. I just don’t know about them yet. A pink sofa? Apparently I want one.
Here are four decor schemes my subconscious has been (apparently) contemplating:
In exactly three weeks, I’ll be forcing Eaman out of bed at 4 a.m. to take me to the airport — because I’ll be going to India! I’m headed to Bangalore for 6 days and Singapore for 2.5 days with my parents, and we’ll be eating, visiting family, eating, shopping, eating and eating. Get the idea? (Why Sing Sing? My parents lived in Singapore right after they got married and are using this visit to see some old friends.)
I was in India in September of last year as part of our ’round-the-world trip, but this visit will be a bit different for a few reasons. 1.) I don’t need any new Indian outfits and that will save a significant amount of time, 2.) I’m much more keen to buy some home goods (a sign I’m getting old?) so I can dedicate the aforementioned saved time to this, and 3.) I will probably get a stomach bug because last year when I went I had an iron gut thanks to a year of traveling on my side. (Hopefully I’m wrong on that last one, but knowing me…)
Anyway, since this past weekend was Diwali (Indian new year) and with my trip coming up, here are some visuals I’ve got on my mind:
Why did I move to San Diego? The weather. Yes, the glorious climate that keeps San Diego sunny 10 months out of the year was the number one reason that propelled us to this new land. (May becomes May gray and June is notoriously known for its June gloom.) With the weather comes so many other things I sought out for my new lifestyle post travels: the outdoors, more farmers markets than I can handle and a motivation to wake up early on weekends and take advantage of life. Joie de vivre, indeed!
I’ve also turned into that person that enjoys going to Home Depot and Bed Bath & Beyond on weekends. I blame it on the balcony. Now that we have one, I’m so motivated to make the space beautiful and never want to be one of those people who says “Yeah, we have a balcony, but we never use it.” Right now it’s furnished with rattan Ikea chairs and table, but I’m going to make a little herb garden (with basil and cilantro) and incorporate some flowers, as well as a rug and string of lights.
But god, there are so many things to think about. What kind of planters? Metal may get hot with all the sun we get, but wood can rot. Does plastic look cheap? How do I want to arrange them? Can I fit a small plant stand? Do I want the aesthetic to be modern and simple or more antique to go with the decor in the rest of our apartment?
I threw all these thoughts onto a few inspiration boards. Take a look and let me know what you think. And if you have any gardening experience, I need your tips! I have, what you call, a black thumb.
What a difference 2.5 months make. Since moving in January 11, our apartment feels like a real home thanks to flea market finds, a little paint work and some wall art. (In my opinion, a place becomes home only when you decorate the walls.) Today I’ll take you on a little tour of some of my favorite elements. Get ready for color, wanderlust and stories behind pretty much everything.
One of my favorite things about living in San Diego is being surrounded by stunning real estate porn and Spanish-style architecture. (I’ve coveted a dreamy Spanish-style roof since I was a wee girl.) Yes, we live in a residential area named Hillcrest, but it’s the exact opposite of cookie-cutter suburb. Each house is so different and full of character that every time I pass one, I notice a new and interesting detail. Some have blooming gardens. Others have eye-catching patterns. Some embrace bright colors and others feel like the stuff of fairy tales.
Since I work from home (in a far less glamorous small-scale apartment building), I take my fair share of walks around the ‘hood to get some air. One day I decided to take my camera with me, and here’s what I saw…
We’ve lived in San Diego for a little over 6 weeks and have been to flea markets five of those weekends (4 Kobey’s Swamp Meet in San Diego, 1 Long Beach Antiques Market). It’s my new obsession and probably stems from our travels, where I was constantly picking up unique pieces from local artisans and markets. Now in San Diego, we finally care enough about our home to furnish it with pieces we love — pieces with history and in some cases, pieces that can be refurbished the way we want. It’s a fun, creative and cheap way to get one-of-a-kind decor.
After all our flea excursions, we’ve picked up a trick or two about how to work the system without losing our heads. So get your tape measure ready, ’cause here are my 12 tips for shopping at flea markets:
It’s been a week since we walked into our one bedroom apartment in the cute, lively neighborhood of Hillcrest, which is also San Diego’s gay ‘hood, which means it has the best restaurants and shops — or so we’ve been told. There are so many places for us to check out, but I think we can all agree that the most important asset to this neighborhood is Trader Joe’s just a few minutes’ drive away. I’ll never understand why they gave such a popular grocery store such a miniscule parking lot, but I digress.
What I love about our apartment isn’t just its uber-close proximity to Balboa Park (which we can walk to!); it’s how much sunlight we get, how big our closets are, how we have a dishwasher, tons of storage space and even a little balcony that can fit a small table and two chairs. Toto, I don’t think we’re in Manhattan anymore.
In my post-college NYC days, I never invested the time or energy to find interesting furniture or buy anything nicer than Kmart plastic plates. It felt expensive and pointless since I knew I wouldn’t live there forever. But now that we see a bit more permanence in San Diego and are totally, completely happy with our apartment, we’re so ready to create a home, one that reflects our personalities and travels with a unique look. This has meant opting mostly for flea markets and vintage shops and refurbishing/repainting the pieces. Wildly enough, on last Saturday’s trip to Kobey’s Swap Meet, San Diego’s gigantic flea market, we walked away with a dining table, coffee table, three chairs, an ottoman and mirror. This Sunday, we’re heading to the famous, every-third-Sunday Long Beach flea market for more goodies hopefully.
It’s…interesting to reconcile male taste with female taste (blergh), but the upside is we both have a lot of ideas. And over the holidays, I became a Pinterest-pinning, Apartment Therapy-reading, Design Sponge-browsing maniac. Below is a glimpse of our empty apartment and further down, some home decor inspiration c/o my crazy Internet addiction. Oh, and we’re welcome to suggestions if you have any! (I wish we could paint the walls, but sadly we’re not allowed to.) In a few months, I’ll share with you the end results of our design mission.