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.
That pink blanket from Peru was my very first souvenir during our RTW trip. I tried hard to say no, rationalizing that I couldn’t buy souvenirs everywhere during a 13-month trip, but in the end I just couldn’t say no to that bright, bold pink. Then I saw the pillow covers in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and that’s where the idea for a grey-neon pink living room came about. I’m in love with this color combo and can’t believe my little inkling abroad actually came to fruition.
The coffee table is a mid-century find from Kobey’s Swap Meet here in San Diego, the side table is from the Long Beach flea and the bookshelf is a Craigslist purchase. Everything in the bookshelf represents some memory from our travels — from Hawaiian black sand to an Argentinian mate cup and a real bow and arrow from Vietnam. Speaking of mementos, take a look at our brand new gallery wall! Represented here are works from Colombia, Argentina, Peru, India, Iran, Vietnam and Laos. There’s also a caricature of Eaman and me drawn by an artist who was doing free portraits for customers at a Waikiki IHOP. Yep.
The painting below hails from one of my favorite places ever — Cartagena, Colombia. And the gorgeous frame was a mere $5 at the Long Beach flea.
We saw these ceramic Indian heads in Jaipur, and Eaman was quick to appreciate its simultaneous kitsch and beauty. I initially didn’t get the appeal, but now I love those crazy heads. Good one, E.
I work from home but got sick of working at the dining table early on and craved a designated workspace. We found the originally powder blue desk on Craigslist, but I wanted to give it new life with an all-white makeover. Eaman, on the other hand, wanted color. We compromised and ended up with what you see here. Again, Eaman was right. I like this so much better. Still to come is a DIY cork board that I’ll hang in front of the desk.
Ah, New York, you will always hold a special place in our hearts. And that’s why we framed a 1983 MTA subway map that once belonged to my dad. (Fun fact: I was born in Queens!)
Our bedroom transports us to Greece — at least through the white and turquoise color palette. We found these lamps and matching knobs at World Market, and Eaman bought the rug in Yazd, Iran. I think it helps break up the matchy-matchy direction the room was heading. As for the ugly digital clock, ignore it please. I’d like to get something like this Anthropologie clock in the near future.
This pitcher is a perfect fit for the room — and we didn’t even plan it! It represents minakari, a popular art form from Esfahan, Iran, in which copper is molded and then meticulously hand-painted. It’s stunning. Framed photo is from 2006 when I cut my hair to look like Victoria Beckham.
Ask Eaman what his favorite piece in the apartment is and he’ll tell you it’s the dining table, a truly magical find from Kobey’s Swap Meet. It’s from the 1940s and has a thin metal pulley that enables a middle partition to pop up and extend the table. The beautiful black-red-beige surface speaks for itself.
The chairs are also from Kobey’s and were originally neon green, but we painted them white along with the Craigslist bench to let the table and the Persian rug stand out. The salt and pepper shakers on the table were a gift from Eaman from Loveless Cafe in Nashville.
We still have some work to do — like another gallery wall in the dining nook, a living room carpet and mini-garden for the balcony — but this place? This place already feels like home. Tell me what you think!