Two years ago I got divorced. It was messy and ugly as so many are and I felt very hurt and vulnerable by the time the papers were signed. Financially I was not too badly off though I had to downsize and move from a large house to an apartment. I wanted to move to a new neighborhood to try and put everything behind me and start again. I ended up buying an open plan apartment in Huntington Beach.  I knew that I wanted my home to be a place where I could entertain friends and build a new social life,  but primarily I wanted it to be my sanctuary. I wanted the place to reflect my personality and to feel safe and relaxed. You know how in some yoga studios you just want to breathe more deeply. That’s the feeling I wanted to recreate. I work in advertising where everything has to be done yesterday so it is essential for me to turn off and unwind.

During the divorce we had each taken stuff that had been accumulated during the marriage. Mine was all in storage. When I went to the unit and started going through everything, I decided I didn’t want any of the old stuff.   I had a garage sale, sold some items on Craigslist and took the rest to the local thrift store. I could feel that the things were weighed down with bad memories. I wanted my new home to be minimal and simple.

Jenna, a designer friend of mine, helped me clarify what I wanted and translate the feeling I wanted to create into actual items.  She suggested natural materials, simple low slung furniture and lots of white. I loved the idea. The apartment has hardwood flooring and the white feels like a perfect blank canvas. We built in some furniture to help keep a clean, streamlined look. Every book, every ornament, every item that came into the new place was chosen because it was practical or because I loved it.  I told myself it had to spark joy or it had no place. The few art pieces I have on the walls really speak to me and green plants add peaceful life. My new home is a place for me to heal and it is working. I love the simplicity and pared down look and if I can keep my life as calm as my place, that will be a win win.