Everything You Need For a Simple Home Refresh This Season
After what has felt like the most eternal winter — and the last two years in lockdown — I am ecstatic to open my windows and let in the warm breeze. I also can't wait to spend as much time outside as possible. This means I'll most likely be inviting friends and dates over for as many movie nights, informal dinner parties, and celebrations of any kind.
Growing up in Puerto Rico, everything was celebrated en casa. Birthday parties were done in the garage when I was younger, and now that I'm older, my parents will always fill my room with flowers and candles to make me feel at peace and relaxed on my special day. Our home was always exactly the place I wanted to be, because my parents made it feel as cozy and safe as possible with their decorations. To this day, certain decor pieces like Tiffany lamps, leather furniture, and gold accents remind me of my home. In my own tiny NYC apartment, I have gold accents on tables and lamps, and I even have a framed photo of the Puerto Rican flag to always remind me where I came from. (Are you even Puerto Rican if you don't have the flag somewhere in your home?)
It's no surprise that I love inviting people to my apartment. Having people come into my home, which is also my sanctuary, gives me a chance to connect with them on a closer and deeper level. It means I regard them and appreciate them so much that I want to make them feel welcomed in a space that is all mine and reflects even the parts of me they had no idea existed. It's not an easy feat to let someone into your personal space like that, and when I do, I want them to see who I am reflected in my home decor and the scents I choose to fill my space with. Above all, I want them to see my culture and my Latinidad reflected by the colors and styles I choose.
To do this, I get rid of the old and drab — by donating, of course — and refresh my home for new seasons with the latest trends. The first place I think about is Target, which offers stunning pieces for affordable prices. Here are some of my home picks for this new season.
As the sun sets at a later time, I love to have my friends over after work for a glass of wine or a long chat about our latest drama. That means making the space as cozy and comfortable as possible without forfeiting color in home decor like bowls and even doormats. Additionally, because my apartment doesn't get a lot of natural light, I opt for fake plants to brighten up my space. And did you know that adding decorative pillows to your couch actually elevates the look of your home? Yeah.
This provides me with the ability to make the moment I spend with my friends as organic and thoughtful as possible. My choice of decor will help them feel more at home and more comfortable to spend as long as they want in the place that should feel like a sanctuary for them as well.
On the days when the party is getting started a little earlier, I want to spend it outside as much as possible, which means outdoor lunch dates with friends and family. I like setting up a cute table outside with a stunning runner — my mom is a huge fan of these — and pitchers full of water and plastic wine glasses to avoid any possible accidents. And even if my friends aren’t there, spending time outdoor and connecting with nature (even surrounded by noise pollution) helps me feel more at peace with myself.
For some reason, summer nights spent watching movies with your loved ones just hit different. And even when it’s Friday night and I’ve no plans, I love to sit by myself with a glass of wine, wrapped in cozy blankets, and watching mindless television to wind down. So as I aspire to have as many of these evenings as possible, I want my living room to be super cozy and inviting — adding blankets and candles that will make everything smell delicious. Lastly, I needed a spot to store my blankets without cluttering the couch, and a woven basket is just right.