The last 2 months have been quite the whirlwind, full of twists and turns only life can offer. I started hunting for a house, began preparing for the move, and then came across an opportunity I could not ignore: writers were for hire at Apartment Therapy for house tours.
Part of the application was submitting a house tour, so that meant I had to haul ass to decorate and photograph my new home (hence, part of my hiatus from blogging). I took some vacation time from the full-time job and really went to work. Unfortunately, I learned just this week that I wasn’t chosen. But one good thing is I can now share my complete house tour, in my own unique way. Today, I’ll be sharing my den.
My new home has a large living area separated by the front door. One half leads into the kitchen, while the other half shares a pass-through wall with the kitchen. I suppose the area with the pass-through is a dining room, but that’s not really my bag. So, I made it it a den, a room that functions like a library and a sacred space. It also accommodates the occasional home workouts.
The vibe: Light, bright and natural. Pleasantly peaceful and cozy.
The style: Eclectic—a mix of organic modern, shabby chic and coastal.
The palette: I stuck with the neutral palette I planned for my previous apartment’s living room. Neutral colors tend to be serene, as they’re less for the eye to process.
What I love about this room: The windows–they give me tons of natural light and a heavenly cross-breeze. Plus, I really dig having a separate space for exercise and introspection. And I now have enough space to host a family dinner (that was a no-go in my previous apartment).
What I don’t love so much: Perhaps the pass-through wall neighboring the kitchen, but I go back and forth on that. Pass-through walls help a space feel bigger, but then you get all those kitchen smells throughout the house.
How this space is ME: When I need to feel balanced, I seek nature. I took that craving and turned it into a an earthy and airy space that’s perfect for when I need calming. Also, when I do something that requires concentration, I need as little stimuli as possible. Using a monochromatic, neutral decor helps suit my highly sensitive needs.
For the library vibe, I added two bookshelves and decorated them with my small book/magazine collection, knick-knacks, and houseplants. Since I now have more windows and more natural light, I had to buy more plants! (Rationalization is my super-power.)
The bookshelf on the left includes a landing strip for my entrance, since I have little space for entryway storage. Thus, I placed a ceramic dish on top for incoming mail and a glass dish below it for my keys.
This houseplant is actually an outdoor guy called oxalis. It does so well indoor with indirect sunlight, so I let it stay inside with me. One of my favorite knick-knacks, the ceramic origami swan lives here, also. It’s a fave because it’s actually a chopstick rest! The gold dish was a recent estate sale find.
My living room armchair got a new home in the den. It’s big and comfy, perfect for studying, meditation, or writing. Next to the chair is a wood side table I scored at a thrift store for $6. Pens and pencils stored in a milk glass vase assist with occasional studying and writing assignments.
This is a photo I snapped years ago of a manhole cover at the University of Michigan campus. I loved the subtlety of the graffiti and the powerful message. It’s pretty apropos for Ann Arbor’s energy, too.
Swapping furniture, I moved my chalk-painted bedroom dresser into the den and moved the Rast dressers formerly in my entrance to my bedroom. In the dresser are some seasonal items like gloves and hats, plus workout equipment. A woven clothes hamper on the right stores a foam roller and yoga mats.
Flanking the dresser are DIY whitewashed bamboo blinds. These add texture and subtle visual interest in the room, while being easy on eyes for yoga and meditation. I then hung framed graphic art torn from magazines–another cheap form of DIY decor.
And of course this serene space wouldn’t be complete without my lotus kitty, which is actually garden decor I reincarnated with white chalk paint.
I hope you enjoyed this and look forward to seeing more of my new home! Do you have a library or den in your home? Do you have a certain space set aside for prayer, meditation, yoga, etc.?
Paint on walls: Sherwin Williams Divine White #6105
Ceramic dish: Home Goods
Lotus kitty: DIY/Joann Fabrics
Wood lamp: Target
Glass lamp: IKEA
Bamboo matchstick blinds: Big Lots
Side table: Savers
Magazine holders: IKEA
Curtains: DIY, Home Goods
Houseplants: ZZ plant, pothos, oxalis, jade, homalomena, Boston fern