My boyfriend and I recently moved apartments and took the opportunity to purge a lot of our belongings. I’m not one to throw away just for the sake of it, but I did realize we needed to start fresh in many ways, something we hadn’t really done since moving to California. I don’t have a “real” office anymore but this last year I realized (in more ways than this) than what I thought I wanted was quite opposite of what I actually need. I’ve never wanted a huge space, and prefer the cozy apartment life of the city over most spaces, but working from home, I’d kind of convinced myself that I needed an office. And once I had one? Yeah, it hardly ever got used. (Of course, the space for photography is something I will miss, but there’s no reason I can’t set up in the living room when the need arises…)
I found that it wasn’t more space I needed, but a more comforting home. Our new place feels a whole lot cozier and a lot of that has to do with how I’ve been setting it up—with more attention and care than I ever have before. The hardest part has been sustainably and ethically sourcing wares and décor. I haven’t figured this out because it’s like building a conscious closet, except with big, expensive items. And since I’m dealing with it right now—with a small budget and the knowledge that I can’t source everything how I’d like but I can certainly be more intentional about it—I thought it was time to pass along some tips:
3 Conscious Living Tips for Building a Happy Home
Choose to invest in your most meaningful, useful items. My reclaimed wood coffee table comes from an Etsy maker, and I had it shipped from Brooklyn. It’s the most I’ve ever spent on furniture and is something I could not also do for the sofa, shelves etc—those had to come from cheaper sources—but it also is a piece that anchors the room and makes everything feel cozy and tied together. So my point here is not to beat yourself up if you can’t do it ALL how you want at first, but if you are able to pick and choose, opt for something that is equally as meaningful/sentimental as it is useful.
Take to Instagram for hidden gems. Recently I’ve followed the #jungalowstyle hashtag and it turns out a lot of décor makers use it! I also follow an LA based affordable furniture shop that revamps vintage pieces. I have a list of things we still need and I check it daily to see if something pops up. It definitely requires more patience, but I think it will pay off. Lastly, since Los Angeles is an expensive place to buy most things, I discovered shops in other cities via Instagram, and was able to source some décor from cute vintage and indie shops outside the city. (Long Beach, I love you!) So be prepared to expand your range again if needed for great deals.
Take your time (but don’t be too picky). If you’re challenging yourself to only shop consciously, you’ve probably got a lot of self-imposed restraints—such as avoiding big chain stores and one-stop shops full of mass-made goods. That’s incredible, but an incredible challenge too. Don’t let it go so far that you can’t find wares you actually seriously need. A cozy, happy home is a work in progress and so is changing how you shop. If you end up having to make a Target run, don’t beat yourself up—you’ve likely already done a ton.
Would you be interested in more conscious living and home decor tips? Wishing you a cozy holiday season in a conscious, happy home!