Sharing The Inspiration Behind My New Home

New Home Inspiration - The Calm Collective - bookcase, white sofa, plants, living room

^ My living room as of a couple of weeks ago.^


As most of you know (if you follow along on Instagram), I moved the first week of July out of my West Loop apartment and closer to the water. This, has been a game changer. I know full well that I moved at the perfect time, because come late October – the lake front will have less appeal – though in my opinion, it’s still so therapeutic to look at. This summer has been magical. I’ve been saying yes to the things that light me up, no to the things that don’t, spending so much of my time outside and taking in the sun, and moving my body almost constantly. Crashing at night by losing myself in books (currently obsessed with anything by this author) or watching something on Netflix, sans guilt.

It’s been beautiful.

Because of this, I’ve been slow on the design front within my new place. I manifested it by doing some serious digging (the hunt took about 4 months total), listening to my gut, and letting outside opinions of what it was that I wanted dwindle. Perhaps that all sounds breezy, but it was actually quite challenging! I’m definitely someone who’s recovering from needing outside validation, so this was a really powerful exercise for me to do on my own. It’s also the first place I’ve looked for, solo, since COLLEGE. Can you believe that? I’ve either had a roommate or lived with my partners. That’s just.. wild to me.

So this experience, this new home, is healing in so many ways.

I think that’s why I’m a bit unrecognizable right now in the design process. I’m such a nester – and usually you can’t slow me down when it comes to getting everything “just so” mere days after moving my things in. But this time around, I’m moving slowly. I’m being incredibly intentional about what it is that I want/need this space to evoke. I’m reading up on proper Feng shui (in the spiritual aspect), researching artists before buying anything, and really trying to live here for a bit and get to know the bones of the space – her sounds, her quirks, etc, before making any holes in the walls.

Again, I say: I am unrecognizable.

But today I thought it would be fun to share with you a bit of the inspiration behind the direction that I’m going. As you can see from the first photo, the place is very white with wood floors. It’s a simple canvas, which I love. Old windows, old doors, antique brass fixtures.

So let’s talk inspiration, shall we?

First thing’s first – the element I’m going for is Air.

My old place had a lot of wood (Earth) elements, and while at first it’s something I loved – I started to notice I was feeling weighed down by it all. Now I’m opting for more airy elements like sheer curtains, glass tables, white linens, and my favorite item in my home thus far.. that white bookcase. I wish there was a practical way to take that with me in lieu of a fire.

The other common thread with design is to have an “accent color”. I decided to go with an “accent texture”. I landed on rattan.

In my last place, I chose the accent colors of burnt sienna and marigold, and then I was so sick of it that I actually thought I was going to scream if I saw that color again. So I learned from that mistake, and decided that instead of having to go with an accent color, why not invite a texture in instead. I’ve been gravitating towards rattan/wicker, and I couldn’t be happier. I bought 2 rattan chairs for the living room as extra seating, have a jute rug in my living room and bedroom to tie in those elements, and have plant baskets that are rattan so that it’s sprinkled throughout the house, but not overwhelming.

New Home Design Inspiration - The Calm Collective

You can never go wrong with plants.

Although I’m feeling up in the air when it comes to art for my walls and some furniture for my bedroom, plants have been the best way to make me feel somewhat settled while I’m mulling over these decisions. I have some live plants, but because I travel quite a bit and honestly.. I just don’t have the best green thumb, I opt for a lot of artificial plants. I’ve invested in quite a few (they can be pricey if you want them to look real), and I’m so happy that I did. I plan on doing a post all about the artificial plants that I have, so hang tight for that.

Lastly, art. This has been one of the hardest decisions to make for some reason.

I honestly just can’t land on anything that’s lighting me up. The only print I found that I knew I had to have was this one, and it’s going to be framed and hung in my bathroom. I’m gravitating towards simple art like this and this, but have yet to pull the trigger.

I definitely feel compelled to create a super intimate, personal gallery wall in my bedroom – as I’ve come to find in my Feng Shui research that having a space on your wall to dedicate to things that inspire you, uplift you and make you feel protected can be super powerful.  But it’s a matter of collecting the right pieces, so that’s where I’m at right now.

New Home Design Inspiration Graphic - The Calm Collective

I mean it when I say that the fact that I’m moving so slowly with this has thrown me off guard more than I can express. This is so not my nature when it comes to moving and settling in. Interior design is also one of my main passions (it’s what I would want to do if I wasn’t a photographer / blogger / podcaster), but it’s shown itself to be a really beautiful lesson to slow down, let go of old impulsive behaviors, and get to know my space before making any big decisions.

I can’t wait to share the process with you as it comes along! So stay tuned for the home tour. x

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