Saturday, January 31, 2015

My Starter Story: Journey to Domestic Goddess-hood

Last week, I recieved an email that has me so excited! Compass, a New York City based real-estate platform, reached out to me to be a part of their Starter Stories project! After scoping out their site for much longer than I care to admit (I might be procrastinating writing report cards...) and absolutely falling in love with a number of the NYC villages they feature, I'm feeling very inspired to share with you my own starter story and journey toward Domestic Goddess-hood.

My mother is a Domestic Goddess if I ever saw one. 

Growing up, our house was always in perfect order, and we had a delicious and homemade dinner every night. My mom has a way of decorating that makes a room instantly homey, elegant but interesting, and welcoming that is impossible to replicate. Between her DG skills and my dad’s home-improvement talent, our home is beautiful. My hope is that this is a trait of hers that I’ve inherited and that I’ll be half as good of a DG as she is someday!

When I signed with my current school, we were given the option to either find our own place in Milan when we arrived, or move into one of the apartments in a nearby town that the school would find for us. I opted for the second option, and was given two choices. I remember opening the email containing pictures of the two right before my grad-school thesis defense and feeling so overwhelmingly excited and nervous. Immediately, I fell in love with the beautiful kitchen of apartment #2 and quickly responded that I’d love to live there!

Fast-forward three months, and I was walking through the door for my first big-girl apartment. Yes, I’d had a darling little place all to myself the previous year, but this wasn’t college; this was my own apartment, one that I’d be living in without a roommate, be paying for on my own, without loans, in ITALY!

Here are a few pictures from right after I moved in:

I wrote a post shortly after moving in that you can check out here! For the rest of the post, pictures show what my apartment looks like as of January 2015. Hopefully it'll continue growing to look more like me!


For the past five years I had moved into a new dorm or apartment each year. 

My parents had helped me out each time, making the trek down to Alfred with the pickup truck overflowing with all of my hand-me-down furniture and florescent pillows. This time, I arrived alone with just my suitcases. The rest of my belongings would come a few months later after traveling by boat across the Atlantic. I have to say, finally having my shipment arrive and moving myself in was an incredible feeling.

My apartment has become more ‘me’ as the year has gone by. That amazing kitchen that I love so much started out cute, but now is full of touches of home; I have my grandma’s dishes from England and beautiful goblet glasses, mugs from places I’ve traveled, and little touches here and there from Florence, Nice, Berlin, Rome, and, of course, Anthropologie. Sitting at the kitchen table is my favorite place to plan out my week, and if I have to write these dreaded report cards, at least it’s in an environment I adore!

My living room was my least favorite room for a while. I have a huge L-shaped couch in the most terrible turquoise, orange, and purple pattern, and the wall was covered in ugly fruit paintings that I wasn’t supposed to remove. Last year I kept the couch covered with a hideous brown sheet, but I’ve embraced the tacky pattern and found sparkly pillow covers in Granada, Spain that make my couch a place I love to lounge, and sneakily replaced the ugly fruit paintings with prints I picked up in Paris. My entertainment center is a particular point of pride for me- one of my mom’s special Domestic Goddess talents is to create stunning vignettes, and I’m super proud of the one I’ve put together where a TV belongs!

As I’ve created my home, my main challenge has been where to find what I need. At home, if I ever needed anything I could take a quick drive to Target, TJ Maxx, or Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Here, I have absolutely no clue where to do that. Sure, I’ve been able to get to IKEA twice, and I’m sure there are home stores around, but I have no idea where they are, how to get to them, and how to transport everything I’d like to get! For example, I can’t find picture frames. The same is true for large Tupperware, a Swiffer, and a shower-rod. On the other hand, being in Europe has allowed me to create the kind of home I’ve always wanted. No matter where I look, there are little touches of the world; the dish of glass candy from Venice on my coffee table, a hanging curtain from Barcelona between my living room and bedroom, a small painting from Rome in the kitchen, a little silver sugar dish from Granada holding all of my bobby-pins on my dresser.

My newest project has been the little cart I picked up at IKEA a few months ago, though between work and travel I have not given it the attention it needs. Like I said, I love working at my kitchen table, but it’s a pain going back and forth to get all of the materials I need from the closet, so I’m making a little ‘office cart’ to go next to my oven (my oven is the size of the microwave I had while living back in America, and my cupcake tins don’t fit. The horror!).


1 comment:

  1. The apartment looks amazing! I'm impressed you were able to embrace that hideous sofa. It's comfy! You're doing it justice!