For some reason I’ve always been really bad at making my space feel like home. I tend to have the mindset that it’s solely a place for me to rest my head – otherwise I’m at work, traveling, out with friends, etc. I tend to let things pile up miscellaneously, and have even left boxes unpacked months after moving into a place. Before I moved to Austin I got rid of a lot of junk and donated a ton of my belongings. The majority of what I did keep, I stored away, and took with me only what I could fit into my car.
There I was, with my suitcase, a bag of books, my records and record player, and a couple cameras…. somehow it still surprised me when I arrived at my new apartment, it only took a few trips to unload everything.
It was clear that it would take a little work to make this place feel like home. And it’s important, when going through a change like this, to have a space where you feel comfortable, safe, happy… well, at home.
These are some of the ways I’m attempting to make this new, blank canvas my own. If you have any suggestions I would really, really love to hear them!
This first one is pretty obvious. Surrounding myself with some select personal items that have been with me over the years, through various moves. No matter where I’ve gone, there are certain photographs, trinkets, books, and artwork that I never leave behind. Having them around me can make any space – even a hotel room – feel like home.
In the past year I’ve been fortunate to travel a lot and meet some incredible people. I’ve kept little reminders of those people and places in the form of postcards, polaroids, patches, ticket stubs, handwritten notes, and other various mementos. I hate the idea of storing them away in a box, because I want to be able to see them and keep those moments alive. I spent one evening soon after moving arranging them all on one of my blank walls – inspired by this post Jana did not too long ago.
There are times when I’ve gone weeks living out of a bag, either out of necessity when traveling, or out of laziness when I don’t feel like unpacking. One of the things I decided to do upon moving in was set up a closet area so that I wasn’t living out of my suitcase. I decided to forego the actual closet space and get a rolling rack and some drawers to hold the few items I brought with me. It’s funny how little things like this can help when you’re trying to adapt to a new city and life.
Plants are such great way to literally bring some life into a place. Not only do they help freshen the air, but they also give you something to tend to and care for, an important aspect of feeling at home somewhere. The second I brought these plants into my home it felt brighter, and almost as if the apartment itself is a living, breathing being. I have cats, so I referred to this post by Brigette when picking out plants. I’m in love with this little money tree, and the gorgeous colors of the leaves of the Calathea plant below.
My new apartment comes with a kitchen that is a serious upgrade to my previous one, and I have resolved to take advantage of that. I’m in the very early stages of learning how to cook for myself, but it’s a fun challenge and also a great way to enjoy being at home. Not to mention, that first cup of coffee I brewed was one of the best I’ve had in a while.
Last but certainly not least, my cure for almost all things… music. I love how a song can take on new meaning depending on the scenario in which it is heard. There are a few records I’ve been listening to nonstop that seem to have taken on a whole new meaning since moving. The one spinning in this photo is Kevin Morby’s Harlem River, which I highly recommend if you aren’t familiar. Also, Austin native Shakey Graves’s album And The War Came, and some old standbys that are getting new life lately: Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited and Sticky Fingers by the Rolling Stones. Playing these loud, with the windows open, while writing or working on some other project has become pure happiness for me.
If you have any tips for making a new space feel like home please let me know!