I made a home and it all started with moving the bed.
Marielle Argueza here, living my best life in my home office.
While doing research for the Weekly’s Home and Garden issue, I was inspired to sit on my couch and take a good, long stare around. I noticed little things, like how my house plant, which I’ve affectionately named Sprout, is now a thriving tangle of green vines and leaves. Or how my vases are always filled with flowers I buy at the farmers market. I noticed an abundance of throw blankets but a lack of pillows (just how I like it) and the antique Spong coffee grinder clamped to the end of the bartop. I also noticed my new home office setup, in the corner next to the window.
To make a long story short, I moved into my current house in Seaside around three years ago with a partner, intending to establish some real roots there. The partner part didn’t work out, and making it a home that I truly felt comfortable in didn’t happen all at once. It started after said partner and I parted ways. I was “angry cleaning” and decided to move my bed from the center into the corner to make the room feel more spacious. It became just my room.
My home doesn’t feel like an empty shell of untapped potential anymore. Right now it serves as a comfortable and functional office with very few distractions and really good coffee that can easily transition into an art studio or home gym. But it has had many past lives too. It went from a shared space with a partner who was convinced “espresso” was the only Ikea furniture color that “went with everything,” to the default location for family dinners to my place (and workplace) during shelter-in-place.
The makeovers in between were always a process. They involved digging up unpacked boxes and realizing they were full of stuff I didn’t need, and then donating it to friends or Goodwill. It was deciding I‘d read, loved and bought all the books I wanted and it was time to let go of college reading material that I hadn’t even thumbed through since. It was becoming a minimalist by accident but later refusing to let go of items – like all the letters that were ever written to me or the pasta maker—for nostalgia’s sake.
It feels like home now, a liveable place where the form fits the function just for me. That’s the thing with home improvement—whether you’re a college student, or a new empty nester, or trying to figure out how to be a real adult in your first grown-up house—the process is different for everyone. But when the furniture is arranged in a way that makes sense, every knickknack and useless piece of mail has a place and there’s a throw blanket for every occasion, the living comes easy.
– Marielle Argueza, staff writer, email@example.com