Since moving out of home eight years ago, I’ve lived in three places; the unit I bought with my husband (though we weren’t married back then), an apartment in Southbank, Melbourne and now our apartment in Toronto.
The big difference about moving to the apartment here in Toronto versus the other two, is that we were starting from scratch. We literally moved here with two suitcases each, which were mostly filled with clothes (and in my case books and makeup). So we had the opportunity to deck the apartment out the way we wanted to within the confines of our budget.
|The Melbourne Clock|
We’ve already had a few lots of family come to visit and the common comment on our apartment is that it feels so loved and homey. I take that as a great compliment since we ended up with quite a bit of IKEA furniture since we needed to make the money stretch as far as possible.
So I thought I would share with you a few of my favourite things about the way we’ve turned our apartment into a cosy, loved and lived-in home.
The Melbourne Clock
We have only one clock in the house and it’s not set to local time, oddly enough. This clock always shows what time it is back home so we know if it’s okay to call, text or Skype with our family and friends.
My Coffee Station
|Robot coffee machine|
I have this gorgeous red Nespresso machine (which I think kind of looks like a robot – do you agree?), a nice silver frothing jug, a ceramic pot with all the coffee pods and these lovely blue mugs which are the perfect cappuccino size. While I’m also a big tea drinker (and I have a shelf dedicated to all my tea-related things) my morning coffee is a ritual I’ll never give up. It helps me start my day on a positive note.
My ‘all good things’ shrine
There’s a spot atop the bookshelf next to my writing desk which holds all the things that make me happy. There’s a stuffed llama (one of three now in my house!), a hunk of amethyst that I bought at my first visit to the Royal Ontario Museum, a picture of my grandmother, a motivation tin, the succulent my husband bought me when I signed with Harlequin Blaze, two little stones with the words ‘trust’ and ‘success’ on them that were a gift from my mother and a tiny gold unicorn that was a gift from my sister. Whenever I’m feeling lost, or homesick, or like my writing is terrible; I go to this area. It’s filled with love from the most important people in my life and no matter how stressed I am, this is my happy place.
|Our lovely tranquil bedroom canvas|
Bare walls make me sad. And while money is not flush enough for me to afford anything expensive, we’ve taken every effort to fill our walls with things that have meaning to us. There’s a huge map where we mark off all the places we travel to, some cute and inexpensive prints from cities around the world, a set of photographs from my favourite places in Melbourne (which were also a gift from a dear friend) and this beautiful canvas in our bedroom. It’s the odd one out, style-wise but the second I saw it I knew it would be the perfect thing to make our bedroom feel tranquil and beautiful.
I love that our house is dotted with funny things that remind us of the people we love and the places we’ve been. There’s a Lego statue of Liberty, a Starbucks mug from Washington with the Whitehouse on it, a strange arty print I picked up in Montreal and of course, just for kicks, we have three blue T-Rex candle holders. Our place is quirky, cosy and totally us.
What are your favourite mementos or things around your house?