If this be a home, fill it with lavender and life. Lay down plush rugs and hang gossamer curtains from wrought iron rods. Fragrant the rooms with blooms, citrus and a cacophony of aromatics hinting of a spice garden. Make your four walls and rented rooms a place worth coming home to.
After nearly a decade of hoarding Domino (the cover and spread of actress Zooey Deschanel's abode warmed my cold, cruel heart), Real Simple, and ELLE Decor magazines, shuffling from one dreary and dirty apartment to another, I've found a small, but inviting space I feel privileged to call home. For years, photographs and sketches were wrapped in paper, rolled and bundled with twine; expensive shower curtains and objets de art were tucked away, awaiting the moment they would make their very audacious debut.
Come next week I'm celebrating my new home and new life with a housewarming party. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than entertaining for my dearest friends, watching their eyes light up like fire when encountering my red velvet cupcakes with peanut butter icing or my delectable pistachio pesto. The gifts they feel obligated to bring (as etiquette requires one to do on an occasion such as a housewarming party) doesn't concern me, because the greatest gift they could possibly give me is their friendship, their presence in my new home. So when I think about housewarming gifts, I focus on the sweet indulgences, the perfect, personal touches one can bring to their home.
Hammocks & High Tea Lavender Satchels: From the artistic print to the lavender and verbena perfume, I adore these closet satchels because they immediately dispel the ubiquitous packed-in-a-box smell. Hang them from your closet rod or nestle them in your lingerie chest, and your clothes are guaranteed to smell and feel unbelievably fresh and floral.
Diptyque Roses Candle: My affection for Diptyque, the crown jewel of illumination, runs deep. I've always been enraptured by the line's distinct, subtle fragrances, which warm and fragrant your surroundings, making it a worthy at-home investment. And while I typically eschew the pungent scent of most rose candles, this delicate blend of a variety of roses, renders a warm yet subtle fragrance. Diptyque craftsmen blend the wax with very rare natural essences from Grasse (the very location where Chanel's fragrances are born!) to ensure that each candle releases the perfect amount of scent for as many as 60 hours of burning.
If you adore candles, but balk at the sometimes hefty pricetag, I've become smitten with Good Home Company's Village Lavender Candle, a soy-based candle that infuses your home with its warm, inviting scents. Akin to tumbling through groves of blooms, you will find yourself settling in on Friday nights with a great flick, popcorn (my ultimate must-chow is Popcorn Indiana's Cheddar) and a candle burning down to the wick.
Affordably priced at under $10, Mrs. Meyer's Geranium Candle offers a clean, cool scent to accompany you when you're busy scrubbing into the gloaming. Earth-friendly and cruelty free, I adore Mrs. Meyer's products because they offer gentle and effective products that won't crack the proverbial piggy bank. From lemon verbena to astringent basil to soft lavender, their line of hand soaps, counter/surface cleaners are the gift that keeps on giving. So if you're tired of the ubiquitous dizziness that accompanies a Clorox wipe down, opt for natural products come move-in day.
Although I've been crazed with settling into my new space, I couldn't help but race into Anthropologie's home section. Although I find their clothing quality to price ratio sometimes questionable, Anthropologie's whimsical, fantastical and eclectic home items always give me pause. From coasters that could forseeably be transformed into works of art to etched ombre bowls to wrought iron lamps, you can find magic from $8-$800.
Naturally, one who collects cookie cutter discs and saves for a stand mixer, couldn't help but yearn and splurge on the Breville Dual Disc Juice Processor. A brief aside: while I was in the stages of moving and selling off my furniture, four men on varying occasions pointed to my juicer and said it was the best one could buy. Each word of praise was followed by a knowing nod that I had acquired the king of juicers. A Williams Sonoma exclusive, the titanium cutting disc coupled with the superior motor speeds and stainless steal puree disc, you could juice apples to baseball hats, seriously. In the midst of a horrendous heat wave, it's a great privilege to come home and savor delicious, healthful juices.
Ultimately, the greatest gift you could possibly give yourself is appreciating your great space, being humble about all that you have in your life, heart, and home, because life can take unexpected turns, objects could be lost or taken from you, and what matters are those people trickling into your home. Holding your hand as you step into a new life, a wonderful, wonderful unknown.