I woke up this morning because I was ready to share my journey to redesigning my home. But this isn't just a post about the fancy things in my apartment. This is a post about fighting anxiety and overcoming internal(the keep it inside, you are African) kind of depression. The stories of the things I did in my home really helped keep me stable. And it starts somewhere here...
Growing up, I lived in a home that was always well put together, my mother herself is an AMAZING interior decorator, and my Saturdays always took place against the backdrop of her moving things, re-ordering and asking my opinion (when all I wanted to do was watch MTV).
Moving to the US and living on my own always meant that It was time for me to put mummy's lessons to work. But I always fought them internally, I was an artist and I wanted colors and elements EVERYWHERE. I was also at the root of it all, foreign. Let me explain that properly.
When you don't live in the land of "let me run to Walmart, or Target really quickly", you always have a sense of holding onto things. When I would travel to America as a young woman, I would buy soaps and pencils and all these things I would never really use because...what would happen when they finished? I would have to wait till the next summer, or beg an incoming relative to get me items on their way to Ghana (ultimately fighting for space between their personal goods, and gifts for their own family). Yes, this is why you NEVER announce when you are going home :-)
So for years, I held onto things. I had clothes from college, from high School. I had the first book I ever bought in America, the pots and pans I was gifted at graduation and every shoe I had owned, but never worn.
As you all may know, Last year I decided to change the way I lived, and embarked on a minimalism journey . I expected it to be quick, and cheap and fabulous, but it was EXPENSIVE, EMOTIONAL and actually ANNNNOYING! I hated getting rid of things, although I honestly cannot remember what I actually got rid of :-) It took me a very long time, and there were truthfully moments when I saw myself slipping back into my old self. But the change came after my home became a physical representation of struggle and depression.
This was the home I stayed locked into after a very hard breakup a year before, I remembered which part of the couch I sat on to cry...and I remembered all too well the times I would lay in my closet because it was the only place without light.
My window seat, was where I broke glasses and threw things when I found out last summer that my dad's brother had been killed by a car while crossing the street.
This was the bedroom where I sat anxious as my oldest sister told me she had to deliver news. The tip of my floral sheets were what I held onto and cried when last November I was told that my sister in law was diagnosed with breast cancer.
And I still remember sitting on the edge of my bed, or was it the kitchen floor, or the closet...when again I was told that my older sister Jasmine had died suddenly this January.
My home felt toxic, I avoided it. I went to friends houses when I could, I never stayed still in here until it was time to sleep. And several times, I tried to move. And for every time I wanted to leave, I always just wanted my mother. I wanted to know how she had handled equal loss, and sadness as she raised five kids on her own.
The truth was, she re-decorated our home to always give herself a fresh start. To give herself a new beginning, a clean mind and healthy home for her kids. So that is exactly what I have spent the last few months doing. Starting new. Painting everything white, getting rid of things that reminded me of the struggle. Cleaning out literal skeletons in my closet.
I am starting to re-write memories in my refreshed home. I feel new again, and I know that this may be the home that will be filled with happiness again, but may also have occurrences of bad news...but I am ready to handle those when they come.
Your home should always be your foundation, and sanctuary and I hope me sharing my decorating journey will help you think through the toxic clutter that you may be holding onto.
NOTE: In the next few posts, I will be sharing tips on getting rid of stuff, designing a functional home, affording it all, and keeping minimalism going. (So don't forget to subscribe below).
But for now...I present you with my favorite place on earth. My home.
To Shop My Living Room Items, Please click on the image
PLANTS: The Tall plant by the chair is a bird of palm, the next plant. is a palm, and the plant on the shelf is an Algerian Ivy.
All items not listed were obtained during travels.
My bed is a custom Italian sleigh bed that I bought on Craigslist. It is worth $6,000 and I bought it for $250 from a couple getting divorced( do not sleep on craigslist).
My hanging plants are Philodendron
My closet is part of the Ikea PAX Closet system. My closet space was measured and I worked with an Ikea designer to custom create the perfect closet for my needs.
The wall masks were spray painted with metal spray paint, linked above.
The wall frames are the same from my bedroom.
Body Positive fashion and lifestyle blogger.