25 Facts About Our Home
I’m writing this sitting at the little oval mid-century dressing table/desk in our first married home, my first home of my own, and the first home I’ve ever had away from my own family home.
It’s safe to say, putting this place together was very much a first for me!
So here is a round up of 25 random facts about our home, in true YouTube and blogger style, in no particular order (house tour coming at some point!).
We shipped everything, like literally, everything: Our current home is in Northern Iraq, which was a place I had never ever been to before. And a place where buying the kind of furniture we were looking for (good quality, not overly ornate, quite modern and slightly mid-century) just wasn’t available. And more than the lack of a style we could get on board with, the quality really did worry us. So after a lot of exploring what was available where we would be living (done purely by my husband as I wouldn’t be visiting till after our wedding) we decided to buy everything in Dubai, where we had a vast selection of furniture qualities and styles to pick from, and literally ship a container of household goods from furniture to kitchen stuff, over instead.
Obviously this isn’t the easiest thing to do and the only reason we could was because in the course of his job, the Mr. works with shipping companies quite a lot. And boy am I glad we were able to do what we did because I couldn’t be happier with what we shipped over.
We did pick a metal color, but we didn’t stick to it religiously: I feel like there are two types of people in the world: those who mix metals and those who don’t. And I’m definitely one of those who do. I love rose gold, I’m cliche like that, but we went with a largely brass theme for the entire apartment, which actually worked way better than my rose gold choices would have. At first we tried really hard to make sure all the metals in the space, and there were many, were that exact same shade of slightly brushed brass. Which proved quite hard, and in the end we didn’t restrict ourselves because remember I’m one of the types who mix metals. In the end we’ve ended up with some pretty key pieces, like a massive mirror by our dining table, that’s got a bright rose gold frame.
We bought almost everything from the same store, which really helped: We bought almost all our furniture from West Elm. Literally, almost all. I wasn’t a massive West Elm fan before we really started looking for pieces for our place (I had just never explored it) but when I started poking around the flagship Dubai store, I was immediately a fan. I literally wanted almost every thing in the store and my husband can 100 per cent attest to that. I didn’t buy everything in the store but we managed to whittle down to the key pieces we needed to build our home up, and the look absolutely stunning in a home space. Highly highly highly recommend. They’re also really comfortable.
We tried to stick to a ‘materials’ palette: If you take a walk around our apartment you’ll find that a lot of the materials used in the furnishing and finishes are kind of the same, and translate across the space. That was really important to us and I think it makes such a vital difference when you walk in and immediately see a cohesive texture and theme across the space. We went with a deep brown wood, marble, and a lot of brass.
We definitely used a running theme across every room: Like I stated above, we definitely carried the themes we chose across the entire apartment, so whilst each room has it’s own distinct design idea informing it, there is a cohesiveness which makes the apartment look much more planned and put together, and not like something we just added to over time (which is also a cool look but not one we were going for).
We have way too many pillows: And my husband, as one would expect, often gets really frustrated by this! But you can never have too many pillows, just saying!
We used a ton of Pinterest boards collaboratively: We spend a lot of time in the planning stages, which actually really helped us when we go to the actual furniture and decor buying phases. Because we were planning and putting together our house from two different cities, we literally used Pinterest to the extreme. We built and shared boards for every single room and feature and pinned hundreds of photos to dig through the little accents they used, and figure out what would inform our decisions. Pinterest is great just for inspiration but its also amazing for collaboration and I don’t think we would have such a cohesive vision if we hadn’t used Pinterest to begin with.
We were really very thorough about going to every possible store: Whilst we did end up buying the vast majority of the key items in our apartment from West Elm we definitely visited every single furniture store we would find before deciding. And all of that browsing and exploring didn’t just help up make sure we didn’t miss out on anything, it also made us more familiar with what was reasonably available and where we had to compromise or splurge. It was a lot of footwork but really valuable a the end of the day.
We spent about 4 months putting everything together: Which wasn’t a ton of time, but it was just enough to get it pretty good. I would definitely say take more time if you have it, but if it’s crunch time and you don’t, a whole lot can be done in a couple of months if you put your mind to it!
Our cutlery and crockery was chosen with the theme in mine: This was something that was really new to me. Maybe it’s not to more experienced home makers, but to me, this was a revelation. I always thought people just added a stack of dishes and what not to their home as a kind of afterthought. We got almost everything in our kitchen and dining from Crate and Barrel, and whilst I was doing my cursory shopping to explore the options it occurred to me that hey, I should actually get stuff that goes with the theme and design of our home! And I did! And I couldn’t be happier about it, because our table setting looks amazing pretty effortlessly.
We re did like everything in the existing apartment: Apartments in this area may be housed in nice looking buildings but the interiors are pretty basic (think, fairly sorry looking tile floors), so we decided to go the extra mile and basically re did everything in the space before moving the furniture in. I admit, I did think it was excessive to begin with, and kept trying to talk us out of it, but I am so glad I didn’t win that argument. Fresh paint, new wardrobes, and wood floors have elevated the space so much it’s unrecognizable.
Our kitchen was custom designed by my husband and that came out really well: My husband actually designed and created the kitchen from scratch and then got it custom built by a company that doesn’t build kitchens, and you know what, it came out amazing! We have a super nice pantry, a really modern space, and I am so happy to start my cooking journey in such a beautiful minimal kitchen. It may not have enough space though. Does any kitchen ever?
We compromised on color and it really worked out: My husband is majorly into masculine shades like greys and browns and my dream home could easily be entirely blush pink (not a cliche, did I ever mention that before?!). But we compromised. I let in some greys and he let in a lot more pinks than he was probably comfortable with- and you know, the space is actually perfect for both of us. There is a way after all!
We definitely used some trend colors and thats’ okay: I was always wary or trend colors because they did tend to be a little more daring than I thought that I could stomach, and I also worry about how long they’ll last in a sense. But to be honest, we’ve got quite the punch of trend color, from teal blues, to blue-greens, and a splash of mustard- colors I never thought I would buy in to. But they’re working! And they don’t look dated nor do I imagine they will!
We didn’t buy any artwork or prints until after we had lived here awhile: I’m a bit of a perfectionist and you can bet I wanted every frame in its place with the pictures popped in before we moved in. But that just isn’t possible. Actually setting up everything from shipment to functioning home took a lot longer than I expected (still under 4 months though so I know that’s good by most standards), and the thing that came last was the prints and art on the walls, which actually makes sense. Picking artwork can be super tough and you really need to spend some time in the space to figure it out, so don’t worry if that’s right at the end of your list of home to do’s, because thats exactly where it should be.
Yes, we bought our prints on Desinio: Enough said. But couldn’t be happier.
We didn’t have a lot of space for furniture that didn’t have a use but that turned out to work in our favor: We had originally had all kinds of ideas of an armchair in the corner of the bedroom and a leather easy chair by the more modern L shaped sofa in the living room, and you know what, we really didn’t have space! And thats okay! You can always read on your bed, and lets be honest how many seats can two people occupy at once?
We didn’t get the dining chairs we thought we wanted but that turned out to be a really good thing: We have dining chairs I absolutely love, they’re beautiful 1960s inspired, really striking, and always a talking point when people see them. We had originally meant to buy them in a combination of green and grey. And you know what we have? Six glorious blush pink chairs. Now i wasn’t complaining but that was decidedly not what my husband had wanted and we were both slightly worried, but that was all that was available at that point. Well lucky us, because they are gorgeous. I couldn’t hope for a lovelier dining table.
Don’t be afraid of oversized mirrors and prints- we weren’t and we’re so glad: We have one ridiculously large mirror above our dining room buffet and one fairly oversized painting by our dining table, and I would normally have worried a lot about getting something that dominating on a wall, but I wouldn’t be afraid to do that again. They fill the space perfectly and really balance each other out.
We didn’t and haven’t complete one of the rooms yet: We have a second bedroom that we weren’t entirely sure what we were going to do with, and to be honest, we only recently decided to make it into a little den for my husband to work from. It’s far from done and it’s a bit of a hodge podge at the moment but that’s okay! An apartment doesn’t have to be 100 per cent done and perfect to be beautiful.
We got a big pantry and it still isn’t quite big enough: Like I said above, my husband created a beautiful, seamless, easy to use pantry system for us, but even so, I always feel just a bit short on space in the kitchen! Remember you can never have too much kitchen space and try to make every inch work.
We opted for a his and hers wardrobe and really thats the only way to go: Weirdly, this felt really unnatural to me in the beginning and I resisted it, why would we have separate wardrobes? But now I can’t imagine having anything else! If you have the space, always give yourselves your own wardrobe space, or if you have to share, divide the space up clearly.
We loved the experience and honestly cant wait to do it all over again: And that sums it up in a nutshell!