Pinterest has a lot to do with my perception of beauty. I hate to admit it, but it’s true. Lifestyle bloggers and magazines have a lot to do with how I perceive home decor. The minimalists have a lot to do with how I currently define clutter. Small home survival tips are often design dramas ! Downsize on repeat, white (Eames) furniture and a house that looks like people tiptoe around to keep it white. Home tours have become synonymous with how prim they look.  When we moved to our current home, I wanted to make it the picture perfect home. Overtime, I may have changed. I want a cozy home. I want a lived in home.

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Dream life : We live on a mountain. I should get outside more, be more active.

Reality : Let me sit outside instead. And write blog posts. #guiltyPleasure

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What makes a home cozy ? Its the white space for some, it provides tranquility. Its old brown furniture for some, modern can be soul less as Yohji Yamamoto once said. For some, its couches, blankets, pillows and throws. “Some couches look cozy, and some are cozy”, says the husband. Some spaces need time, and they automatically become cozy from the familiarity. For a few ( travellers ), a warm clean bed and the promise of rest, makes a home. For me, if you take the people out of the equation, it’s the books, the plants and a warm bed. But mostly, it’s the books. If they vanished today, I would feel uneasy in the space we lived for a year. We have them in every room, in lots of nooks, under the tables, in the bathroom, in the closet, by the bed, … At any given time, we are surrounded by lots of reading material.

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In this picture : Cinco under the dining table ( c/o our landlord ) , me, a whole lot of cookbooks, a whole lot of street style books, books on illustration, shoe trees from his shoes.

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Cinco, our landlord’s cat is always cozying up in the nooks and corners of our home. That is when we realized we have piled up our books into towers in the exact same spots. He is constantly knocking down the piles for the thrill of it and seems to escape unharmed. These are also the corners where I spend most of my time reading/working. I want to remember this home in terms of these prosperous corners and the great books that lived with us.

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In this picture : A few engineering books, a stash of Nat Geo, Porter magazines, a splash of Yohji,  a bible for Machine Learning, Dr. Spaneas’s textbook, a treasure chest full of maps from our hikes/travels.

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A place for your keepsakes and treasures is an essential of ours. This wooden chest is the first piece of furniture we purchased and we try to match everything else in our home to it. We lugged it across apartments, cities and states when we moved. When we think of all of our future homes, we do want to continue lugging it along. Everything else can be sold and bought.

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This location is conveniently indoors while being outdoors. Its comfortable enough to get your work done while having beautiful distractions like exotic birds chirping behind or the neighbor’s dog and cat trying to get some attention. Or is it the other way around? 

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I will always be thankful for these two. Hombre runs up the stairs every time he sees me. And the cat follows me around all day. They are not our pets. But that doesn’t stop them from going all out with their affection. Cats apparently bring people they like presents. Its a hunting instinct to feed the ones they don’t see hunting.  He got a live lizard this week and dropped it my lap. It was horrifying and sweet at the same time. It is a privilege to live with animals. They do make a home.

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A home is not independent of its inhabitants and their messiness. This portable lamp is the most travelled item in the confines of this home. The same can be said of that blanket and the pillow. 

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Linen bedding and pajamas are quite the match. We don’t need a dresser but use the books we are currently reading to prop up the height required for the lamp. On my bed side : perfume and lip balm. Our mattress is from Tuft and Needle.  Its so damn awesome. Breakfast in bed. Reading in bed. Watching movies in bed. Painting in bed. Rest after a hike and a shower. A warm bed after a long day …. makes a home.

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I think this toilet paper stand from Ikea is genius. It can hold 3 books in the space allotted for extra paper. I adore the Sartorialist’s photo books. I can’t wait to get his new book.

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When friends visit us for the first time, books contribute to as much warmth as the people who inhabit the space – in my opinion. They seem to walk up to them straight, flip through them, talk about the unread and settle in with a book. A kindle is trying to replace the tactile presence of books in my home. We move around so much. Its hard to lug the contents. I don’t want to downsize for the sole reason of space. I constantly re-read the books. And I have formed an attachment with some of my books. Reading a forgotten books feels like visiting an old friend. My home will always be a house of books.

 

I am trying to make a list of what makes a home cozy. I asked my parents and their answer was ‘our daughters’. I asked my grandmother and she said ‘when you guys visit’. I asked my great grand ma and she said ‘my village’. Please do chime in your thoughts. The people aside, what makes your home cozy ? Or what would you want more of, in your ideal home ? 


 

Further investigation into cozy homes : This youtube series.