With the prospect of moving back home to New Zealand in August, I've been getting excited to think how I can decorate my next living quarters. As an avid Pinterest fan I use my Décor Style pinboard to document all my ideas and favourite styles. I've noticed many common trends so I decided to put them into a post about my dream home.
Being in China has made me realize that simple is better. We started here nearly two years ago in a basic studio apartment with absolutely no homewares. On our move in day, it was pouring with rain. We ventured to the local supermarket (getting quite lost with no umbrellas) to gather bedding, food and basic supplies. We only got the bare minimum of what we needed. We've spent the entire time here with two eating bowls, two forks, two spoons, two sets of chopsticks, a sharp knife, chopping board and baking supplies. I also have a mini oven and an electric cooktop with only one fry pan. It's great! Tere are less dishes and less mess. Although to be fair, getting takeout in Wuhan is cheap, delicious and easy so I don't often cook.
At first we got the "nicest" patterned linen they had in the supermarket, but the options were tacky with clashing colours and over the top patterns. I was very thankful when IKEA opened up about a month later. It's been a great resource for inexpensive, good quality and well designed décor. We updated our bed linen as soon as possible, and bought plush memory foam pillows and a foam mattress. I feel our bed is the most important part of the home as we spend 8 hours of sleep on it every night. It needs to be comfortable and beautiful as it is such a large feature. The bed linen was really the only design choice I had to make in a pre-furnished apartment so I wanted something that was just my style.
We later moved apartments to a nicer, newer place with fresh white walls and separate rooms. It has many windows so it's nice and light. I even have a window seat which I've always dreamed of. The only thing was the wardrobe wasn't very big so we bought two basic white free standing coat racks to store our coats and clothes.
Other than that we haven't bought too much in the way of homeware. I have always been very aware of the fact that I don't want to take very much back with us. We booked a one suitcase plan to China and have a two suitcase plan back. Most of that will be clothes and shoes.
But anyway, on with the post and starting with my ideas for the bedroom.
Of course a blank white canvas would be the best start and lots of open space with plenty of light. I have a colour & texture palette in mind that is key throughout my vision.
Crisp white, warm grey, rose quartz (2016 Pantone colour of the year) with touches of
copper and light woodgrain.
For my dream bedroom I envision an open wardrobe with all my pretty wears (and my husband's handsome wears) hanging on white freestanding coat racks using simple copper hangers. The bed is cosy and covered with fresh linen and a snuggly blanket. These two I already have checked off the list and I also have the coat racks as I mentioned earlier. I've been making the most of the IKEA store in Wuhan, China by investing in some iconic pieces that I will love forever. I have bought a lovely white with grey floral duvet set (pictured) and a chunky cable knit throw. I plan on pairing these with some high thread count grey sheets I invested in when we first married. I'd love simple bedside tables with industrial style lamps.
I've always had sets of drawers, for as long as I could remember. But I'd love to do away with them in favour of an open wardrobe to display our favourite threads. Of course this is only going to work for our clothes that can hang. So I plan on using the wardrobe in our future bedroom to keep our pants, jeans, winter coats, sweaters, cardigans, handbags and shoes. I'd like to find some useful closet storage and try making our own shelving. Clothes that can be rolled will be slotted into hanging canvas shelves.
The lounge is where we spend the most of our time at home. Therefore it needs to be a cosy and enjoyable space. A couch is something we've only ever had second hand (and it will probably be that way when we return). However if I were able to choose, I would select a classic, comfy design in a soft grey. I've never really had an indoor plant before (aside from a gorgeous little cactus), but I'd love a leafy green pot plant to bring the outside in. I'd love to put my acoustic guitar on display so I am more inclined to pick it up. I rekindled my love for playing guitar in China since I have had more down time.
One design feature that I'd love to show is our Chinese teacup collection. We've bought a handmade teacup from every city visited in China and Asia so it tells a story of our travels. I recently bought an oriental circular display for them at the local tea market. This is to be our significant keepsake and was in preference to collecting various knick knacks and souvenirs. We decided to be intentional as to what we keep to remind us of our time in China. The teapot we will buy in Wuhan as it has been our home city here.
If space allows, I'd love to have a desk workspace to do my illustrations and design work. I love the idea of a blond wood desk with wooden horse legs. I'd like the whole lounge space to be clean, organised and minimal. I love soft, warm lighting for the evenings when we watch TV so I'd like to put a lamp in the corner.
Much like the kitchen, I'd like for the bathroom to be simple and white with a good tile option. I like the idea of a B&W Moroccan style for the floor tile. Brass or copper exposed piping would be so lovely. I adore the ladder concept for hanging fluffy towels, but am weary of this gathering mould.
I don't always claim to be particularly tidy although I am trying. Whilst I'm okay with a few things that are used often being left around, I must have a clean, hygienic bathroom and kitchen. Scrubbed clean with no lingering grime or scum. It is very important to me. I also like having clean floors and surfaces. In China I like to think of our apartment as our safe haven. With outside being quite dirty, I've strived to keep my home clean. A place that you can walk around barefoot without feeling the dust and dirt on your feet.
I learnt a handy little quote that helps me to keep things tidy:
"A place for everything, and everything in it's place."
I do hope that I can keep true to this, and I have been very good at doing this in our Chinese apartment. Of course it's much easier to do this when you have less belongings. So I'm going to make a conscious effort to eliminate any clutter when I return home. I used to love a vintage style, but I went too far collecting all sorts of trinkets from second hand stores. It lead to too much clutter and whilst it suited my style at the time, my tastes have changed. I'm really keen to continue living simply with less belongings. I will always care about good design and style, it's in my nature as a designer. But one thing I've learnt about my field, is that editing is so important.
I'm excited to put some of these ideas into motion and to be really intent with any decisions. If you like a similar style, feel free to follow me on Pinterest.