There’s a lot I love about growing up in Texas. I mean there really is merit to all those lists claiming that Texans do things better. I’m not going to put Texas on too big of a pedestal, but there are some truly special qualities that have remained a part of the Texan culture. One that has influenced my personal development as well as my fascination with the changing urban landscape has been Texans’ ability to reinvent their living spaces while remaining honest to their roots. Bishop Arts District represents this life skill well. (And later, I discuss how you can create your ideal home anywhere in the world!)
Many shops and restaurants in this small neighborhood have scaled back their visions to be more authentic and less mainstream. Strolling through these blocks, a guest can instantly get a sense of the voices that make up this collective community. Texas charm is all around, but it is still set in the modern lifestyle. Yet, each shop and restaurant have woven their own narratives and perspectives into their products.
For coffee, you have Espumoso Caffe. A cute wooden coffee shop with just as many flavor and drink combinations as Starbucks, but with more Latin character. It’s the type of coffee shop that offers you the world but puts the focus back on the visitor, not the brand. It’s in the experience of your coffee adventure. And how can you pass up empanadas with your coffee? I also wish I had gotten the opportunity to try Oddfellows but they were closed for the day.
One store I absolutely recommend is Antiques on Bishop. Inside a cute little corner house, Antiques on Bishop has a variety of antique finds, both small and large. The owners are incredibly friendly and have many stories to tell. I really enjoyed walking around this shop as well as exchanging travel stories with the owner. I will definitely be back next time I am in the Bishop Arts District to find unique items to add to my expat hideaway.
Another store to check out is Dirt Flower Shop where one can find beautiful dried flowers and thriving succulents. If I wasn’t traveling, I would have stocked up on candles, scents, and fair trade products found throughout all the shops in this area. It’s moments like these that make me miss having a true home to decorate. But having that Texan ‘home is where you hang your hat’ mentality, I remind myself that you can create your ideal home anywhere in the world!
So, here’s the five ways you can create the ideal home you need anywhere in the world:
Make it authentic
Plan and style your home based on what you feel at the moment. Your home should reflect you and as you change, let your home have adaptability as well. Put your own house needs as a priority because your home is the center around which you live and thrive. It’s okay to splurge a bit to make it every ounce of you and then to recreate that as you transform. Further, don’t be afraid to let little representations of your life experiences sneak their way into your space. These make your home an authentic extension of yourself.
Create community even at home
No matter how anti-social you may feel, a sense of belonging is important to feel successful. Community doesn’t always mean investing in social engagements. It can be found in connectivity. Magazines, books, calendars, coffee table books, and other elements of your home help you feel as if you are part of something bigger than yourself. It brings us closer to the ideas and people that inspire us. Let your home be an open place even if you don’t bring people in often.
Your focuses rotate in priority, so let your space reflect the dynamic projects and aims you are currently working towards. Having a hands-on approach to your own living environment empowers you to take responsibility for the spaces you interact within as well as lets you cherish your most important priorities. Reordering is not always a grand endeavor. It can be as simple as changing out the order of a few drawers or pulling some boxes out of hiding while stashing away a few others. Make your space work for you and not you working to fit into your space.
Provide affirmations in space
Maybe the most important, let your goals become a part of your home space. How can your dreams become a reality if they are not intertwined in all that you do? Let your affirmations show in spaces that have a high significance in your life. Great places to put books, notes, images, or other ornaments that reflect your affirmations are on your bedside tables, around your light switches, jewelry trays, and your makeup stations. Even if you put some small reminder of your affirmations by the coffee pot, each time you make a cup, you will have a small dose of encouragement.
Recognize what your home has and what it doesn’t
Not all your needs will be met at your home, no matter how much you wish they would. Decide which ones you want it to meet based on your homes advantages and limitations. Then center your attention on making those needs me as best you can. Beyond that, acknowledge that some other spaces are necessary for other needs. For me, my current apartment has awful natural lighting. Some days I don’t even know how I can live in a place that receives so little light. But this limitation forces me to get out every day, either for a walk or for some working hours at a brightly lit café. The walk normally boosts my energy and my focus. So while I wish my home would have better light, this limitation actually provides me a reason to get out more.
What methods do you use to create the home you need?