I really can’t believe how fast this year has gone.
Last December, I was packing up boxes and loading my car to move all of my earthly belongings into a cozy Calgary apartment. I had just finished my final classes of my graduate degree, I was starting a new practicum come January, and I was in the beginning moments of new relationship.
I signed a year-long lease, without a clue of how my life would unfold.
I knew my practicum lasted four months, I knew my final graduate paper would take me until July, and everything beyond that would be a beautiful mystery.
I placed hope in this apartment.
I placed my feverish prayers that I could find a job that would keep me in Calgary and keep me in this beautifully located and perfectly sized apartment. A year later I smile at how little I knew then.
And though I’ve lived here almost a year, it’s only finally starting to take shape and resemble a home that I am proud to share. I bought furniture quickly when I moved in, but only now have I had the time and money to invest in more pieces to fill my space and make it the cozy and inviting place I long to come home to every night.
This apartment has felt exponentially more “homey” over the last few months as I’ve become more intentional about what pieces I bring in and new areas I want to invest in. I have found myself with a love for plants, a desire for comforting scents, and a new found appreciation that nothing has to stay the same forever.
I hope you can find a little inspiration from my space and hopefully find a new way you can transform the space you’re in. There is nothing more comforting than coming home from a long day and knowing that your home is the oasis you’ve wanted since you were a daydreaming teenager.
My love for plants has grown exponentially over the last year, and my fear of killing them has slowly waned. I often find myself picking up different plants on the weekend, never sure of where they will go but knowing that I can give them the home they deserve. I stick to low maintenance plants – such as catus’, succulents, aloe vera, and spider plants, and keep the first day of each month reserved for their watering.
The look of contrasting greens brings life to my book shelves, coffee table, and my entire space. It’s perhaps a small coping mechanism for not having the time or availability of a pet, but plants do bring a sense of life into my space that a goldfish can’t replicate. I believe my greenery count is in the 5-7 range, but I’m sure if you check back in with me next year that will be doubled.
My memories are driven by scent. A whiff of something familiar can bring me back 10, even 20 years ago. And, as I have mentioned before, I am a sucker for nostalgia. Scents, especially those that resemble fall and winter, bring a sense of coziness into my space and the excitement of the holidays and memories to come. The flicker of light sets the mood, and a good candle can transport me into a different head space, one with less stress and more relaxation.
I prefer soy candles for the longer and cleaner burning time, but I also can’t help but gush over the Bath & Body Works holiday candle collection. Currently I am burning this, with this scent next up on the rotation.
In the last few weeks, I’ve become more aware of the pieces of furniture in my space and where they truly belong. My desk has been moved away from a wall and now in front of a window for more natural light, and a lounge chair in my living room has been moved to my bedroom to become a reading nook. I’m learning that furniture does not need to remain stagnant or stuck, and that movement within my space can help find new rearrangements and new ways of settling into my space.
A key to making movement easy in an apartment, is keeping a neutral and/or similar colour palette throughout your space. I’ve always been a lover of navy, and I’m thankful that this chair purchase for my living room has easily transferred to be a coherent spot in my bedroom.
This year has been a beautiful blur; moving cities, starting jobs, and finding my own space and time within my life in Calgary. This apartment has become a beautiful sanctuary that I am lucky to call home. I can only imagine how it will involve when I renew my lease next year.
What have you been doing in your space to settle in?