I’ve taken you across the world with me, so now I’m going to share a slice of my “home” with you. After moving back to New York after stints in both San Francisco and Hong Kong, we’ve worked to create an eco-friendly home in the concrete jungle of New York. Below are a few tips and tricks for making your own urban space feel more like home.
Even better, I’m giving away a gorgeous “Elana” Levoit Himalayan Salt Lamp, like the one pictured below. Head on over to my Instagram for deets and if you want to buy two, make sure to use discount code: BOHEBLOG for 10% off any “Elana” order.
Keep it minimal
When you move as much as we have in the past few years, you’ll likely become a minimalist. At least, that’s been the case for me! I find myself only buying items that I really need or that will enhance my home in some way. Since I’m on the road so often, I really love coming home to a familiar place, surrounded by my favorite things.
Pictured below is the bulk of our “living space”—it’s not an actual room, as our apartment is more of a lofty studio. Lining the walls above our couch are framed subway maps of cities we’ve called home in the last two years alone: New York, Hong Kong and San Francisco. The wooden table holding the push-pin globe actually doubles as a desk.
Create your sanctuary
Even though I’ve moved more times than I care to count, I’m still a creature of environment. For me, this means creating a bubble of beauty that feels safe and serene, even when cars are honking their way Broadway outside my window.
As you might notice, we opt for the white and wood color scheme whenever possible, which of course makes sense if you’re renting. Why paint walls only to re-paint them back when you relocated? I don’t spend a ton of time in our bedroom during the day so the layout is fairly basic but since I suffer from allergies and asthma, I’ve placed a Himalayan salt lamp next to my side of the bed.
Salt lamps have been proved to reduce stress and asthma, promote relaxation, boost blood flow, and calm allergies among other health perks. All in all, it’s a smart bedside table staple.
Add personal touches
Call me a neat freak but I really enjoy a clean workspace, hence the minimalist setup on my desk. In fact, by keeping our apartment fairly minimalistic, it really works to showcase the items we do choose to feature front and center.
Because wellness is increasingly becoming a priority in my life, I’ve chosen to display my ‘Boho Chic’ Himalayan Salt Lamp from Levoit. There are so many benefits to owning one—mood and focus enhancement, stress reduction, raised energy levels and air purification properties to name a few. Remember to use discount code: BOHEBLOG for 10% off any “Elana” order.
Another personal touch we’ve added to our space is a “self-portrait” of my husband and I, shot by our talented brother-in-law- Gonzalo Saez Gil. If you look closely, you’ll see that I’m carrying a stack of books, wearing a flower in my hair and literally running around the world. ?
Shine a spotlight on your passions
Yes, I love to travel! This is the second of my two globes and each serves a purpose. The first one (scroll up) is made of cardboard, which explains all the push pins. My husband and I decided to buy it to mark all the adventures we’ve had together and separate. HINT: Pink = my adventures chronicled on this blog.
In the picture below, you see not only another globe, but a very special painting. My husband’s grandmother, who is a very talented artist in Argentina, gifted us this beautiful painting a few years ago as a wedding anniversary gift. While it’s a little blurry in this shot, you can still make out the lush landscape, towering trees and colorful flowers depicted. During this past winter, it was a nice reminder of what’s to come. ?
Play around with colors and textures
Welcome to my building’s courtyard! This little oasis is my go-to spot when I need to disconnect. For one, there’s no wifi here so I really have no choice, do I? More so, it’s a little bubble of quietness. I don’t hear the street noise of Broadway, don’t experience the crowded streets of NYU and have no competition when it comes to park benches at Washington Square Park.
Whether you have a courtyard in your building or not, you can still create this scene. I’ve found that playing around with colors and textures can really brighten up a space. For example, wooden furniture is a great addition to any room, especially when positioned next to a cozy chair or couch. Poufs, like the ones featured below, are ideal for small apartments because they double as seating for when you’re entertaining friends.
Remember “sense of place”
Hello from my building’s rooftop! The weather has finally been getting nicer, so I decided to give you a peek of my skyline view. As much as I tout creating an eco-conscious space no matter where you live, I still believe that it’s important to embrace your true surroundings. Yes, I live in an urban city but there still plenty of parks, gardens and green living initiatives to inspire one to lead a more eco-conscious life. ?
This is why we’ve included aspects of New York within the confines of our urban sanctuary—think framed subway maps of cities where we’ve lived, Brooklyn guide books and the like. By embracing your surroundings, you get the best of both worlds: the energy of New York and the eco-consciousness that comes through global travel.
Add personality at every turn
I may keep my closet to a minimum but when it comes to my book collection, that’s where I draw the line. As an aspiring author myself, I love having my favorite books front of mind. I have recently become addicted to audio books but there’s really no replacement for the real thing.
Best of all, each book displayed below tells a story. The first three are romantic comedies by my favorite author—and a woman I can now call a friend and mentor—Alexandra Potter. There’s always a travel component in her books, so I highly recommend ordering one online. Then there’s the Fodor’s Brooklyn guide book (I wrote the chapter on East Williamsburg/Bushwick) and lastly, the debut novel from one of my besties, Julie Pennell.
Since books are such a positive force for me, I decided to skip the traditional book shelf and instead, position my Boho Chic salt lamp right on my desk. This way, whether I’m typing away on a new blog post or catching up on my favorite read, I reap the benefits of the Himalayan salt lamp.
How do you make YOUR urban space feel like home? Tell me in the comments below!
This post is in collaboration with Levoit. All opinions are my own.
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