A Work-in-Progress Home
Hey guys! This week I thought of talking about home decor. I recently did a little online shopping on Lazada and got a couple of decor pieces that have inspired this post.
Whether you're moving into a new place this coming new year or looking for a way to jazz up your existing place, I hope some of these ideas inspire you.
I always dreamed that when G and I find a place and move in together, it would be perfect. It would be beautiful and awesome from the get-go. Reality is, we often find a place we like but getting it to match our expectation takes time. The first focus is getting key pieces of furniture like a bed, cupboard, sofa, etc. Then comes other amenities including some kind of Internet plan, a hot plate, cutlery and pinggan mangkuk, just to name a few.
In fact, for the longest time, G and I were using two boxes stacked up on one another as a make-shift dressing table until finally, we got a proper one from Ikea. So don't worry if you're moving into a place and it isn't perfect yet. A house that's a work-in-progress can be pretty fun; it gives you and your partner or family member another thing to bond over. Assembling Ikea furniture, for instance, is an effective and free team-building exercise. A family that builds furniture together without killing one another, stays together.
I'm no expert but here are some of the things G and I did in terms of decor to give our new place a homelier vibe:
1. G and I knew from the very start that we wanted to hang picture frames all around our apartment. We wanted to dot our home with snapshots of special memories that tell our story. It's also a great conversation starter when friends and family come over. One frame in particular that I really love is a bronze frame I bought on Lazada for a pretty reasonable price. It's light-weight and allows us to display 12 small pictures. You can even print the pictures at home using glossy photo papers that you can buy online or at the store like we did.
I love penguins and when I was shopping online came across this framed picture of two penguins that reminded me of G and I; one's short and one's tall, just like us! That hangs alongside a beautiful framed portrait of Buddha that we got during our honeymoon in Bali. I love these pictures that adorn our walls because each tells a story and has a lot of meaning to both G and myself.
2. We try to add colour wherever we can. Our furniture is mostly in shades of grey and dark brown so we relied on other things to add colour to our space. We used cushion covers, wall ornaments, fake flowers, rugs, plus bits and pieces we found along the way. Kaison is a an awesome place to hunt for reasonably priced home decor. The outlet in One Utama is pretty big and has loads of cool finds.
3. The kitchen was the hardest to decorate for me, mostly because it's the space I use most. So I had to sort of find a balance between nice and functional. It's still a work-in-progress but I found a couple of things to liven up the space. One of the things we recently bough online was actually alphabet fridge magnets meant for kids. And no, this is not my indirect way of saying there's a bun in the oven. I just figured that the colourful alphabets would add some nice colour to the kitchen and we could leave each other little notes on the fridge. Initially, I worried whether this would be too childish but one day as I came up to the kitchen and saw the words 'All da best monkey' on the fridge, I knew the alphabets just had to stay. I was having an interview later that day and was feeling kind of nervous and seeing that message on the fridge just brightened my day. Oh right, about that monkey business, it's G's nickname for me since I was born in the year of the monkey.
Wall sticker from Lazada. They're super easy to stick on kitchen tiles. Cute jars and containers on the kitchen top make the counter space pretty too. The 3 colourful jars come in a set and was a wonderful house-warming gift. The jar labelled Sugar Baby has salt in it instead of sugar though. You have been warned!
4. For the bedroom, I think three things have really played a huge part in making the space feel super cosy and homey; a nice comforter set, curtains and dim lighting. Nice bed sheets can instantly give any room a face-lift and make it more inviting. Good comforter sets can be quite expensive though. They can easily add up to over RM 300 or even more. I did find pretty good deals online on Lazada but alas was a bit too nervous to buy something like this online and ended up buying a set that was on sale in the nearby Tesco. That was a month or so after we moved in. Till that point, we were using a comforter set gifted to us by some of our relatives as a wedding gift (side note here, this is such a wonderful gift to give newly weds to get them started). Curtains that can soften the harsh morning light can do wonders for the room's ambiance as well. Likewise, a night light that provides nice, soothing dim light is perfect for night time. Plus, if you have the night light by your bedside, you can avoid the whole conundrum of who's going to off the light. For those of you who have shared a room with either a sibling, roommate in college or partner know how much tension this can stir-up.
Decorating our new place together has been really fun. We have differing tastes in many respects and we try to meet each other halfway on different ideas. I avoid overly floral patterns or pink shades that G's not into and G tolerates my online decor hunting escapades. We've built this space together; every item is a reflection of both our personalities. G's sensibility and warm nature and my love for pretty things that tell a story and inspire us. That's the beauty of moving into a place that's a work-in-progress; you get to build it together, shape it into a home. And along the way, you build a lot of beautiful memories too.