A Look Inside Our Loft Space

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Hello my beautiful friends and welcome to our home. Come on in and make yourself comfortable. How do you take your coffee?

In efforts to better document my life (as per my Spring Bucket List), I wanted to take photos of our current loft space so we can have something to look back on in years to come, when we’re old and playing board games in the retirement home. This home is incredibly special to me for many reason, but mostly because it is literally a dream come true. Not a lot of people know this but when I was in college, nearly six or seven years ago, I used to work at a coffee shop downtown. I would volunteer to take out the trash every night so I could sit on the banister after and look up at the building where we currently live and think “one day I will live there, right downtown, where everything exciting happens”. Well, here I am, living downtown in a beautiful loft that once used to be a shoe factory and still not quite believing how wonderful my life turned out.

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To say I love it here would be an understatement. I still remember the day we moved in, almost a year ago to the day, and after hauling all of our furniture through the tiny elevator and down the long hallway, we treated ourselves to croissants and ice cream from the bakery down the street.

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We’ve made hundreds of memories since that first day. We’ve hosted Friendsgiving and Christmas. We’ve had our friends over countless times for a game of Catan and some snacks. We’ve shared wine around the kitchen island, chopping vegetables for dinner and going over how our days went. We got married while living here (I actually got ready the morning of our wedding here and it was so special). We’ve learned how to be married here. I perfected my family’s papricas (potato stew with Hungarian paprika sauce) recipe here. We brought home our very first real Christmas tree here. It’s incredible to think that if walls had ears, they’d be witnesses to a lot of our memories that happened in their midst.

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, which is ironic because I don’t enjoy cooking. Sometimes I’ll just sit at the kitchen counter with a cup of coffee and my laptop to write. Other times I try my hand at kitchen hacks, like the time I created an all-natural cleaning solution from citrus peels and vinegar (thanks, Pinterest!). I love being reminded of our shared passion for travel, which is evident in our Starbucks city mug collection, our Glogow mug from Poland where Alex’s family is from, and our Los Angeles illustrated map tea towel that we purchased during our last trip there.

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Our pantry is something everyone comments on when they come for a visit. In efforts to lower our plastic consumption and gravitate towards a more low waste, conscious lifestyle, we started collecting jars and buying grains, pasta, rice, condiments and nuts in bulk. It’s a habit we started when we first moved in together a couple of years ago, and while it’s not always perfect, it’s still a step in the right direction for us. Plus, it’s a central focus of our kitchen and it makes me wildly happy.

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One of the best things about our space are the large windows, especially on a rainy day. There’s something so #hygge about sitting on the couch with a blanket, a cup of coffee, a good book and looking out the window. I still remember when we first came to check out this space, my eyes were immediately drawn to the windows - I had already decided I loved it, without seeing much else.

This couch was our first big “adult” purchase together but I honestly can’t imagine spending money on anything better (other than plane tickets, of course) because we spend everyday talking on the couch with mugs in hand, sometimes reading, sometimes watching a show. This couch has been the moderator of many deep conversations and a lot of decisions were made sitting here. And of course, it’s Bandit’s favourite spot for a sunny siesta. Above the couch we have my favourite wall hanging, that was gifted to me at my bridal shower by someone very special in my life.

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This little nook is actually supposed to be a den, but we converted it into a creative space and the place we sometimes eat dinner. Mostly it just houses our small jungle of plants, our new windowsill micro garden, as well as my workspace.

My love for books goes very deep. I was that child that would gravitate towards encyclopedias and fact books and leave the toys to gather dust. Needless to say, over the years I’ve been collecting a small (lol) collection of books that are so imperative to the person I’ve become, to the thoughts I’ve been cultivating. I’ve pursued the slow and intentional life alongside Erin Loechner, travelled to seemingly incongruous parts of the world with Elizabeth Gilbert in search for understanding and pasta, and learned the power of forming healthy habits from Charles Duhigg. Somewhere between the honey-like lines of Mary Oliver’s poetry and the mundane, pedestrian moments experienced with Shauna Niequist, I’ve become the person I am today. If you ever come into our space, you’ll realize just how much my bookshelves are simply an extension of the person that I am today.

This desk is placed here strategically. First, because it’s just far enough from the fridge that I’m not tempted to snack all day, but more importantly, because it looks out into the parking lot where I used to sit on the banister and wish for the life I have today. It’s a tangible reminder of where I came from and just how important dreaming is. There are a few key items that I keep on my desk to remind me of all the wonderful things in my life. The dried flowers are from my wedding bouquet, the photo is from a slightly tipsy night in Berlin when Alex and I crammed inside a photobooth at a rooftop bar, and the coaster is from my favourite vegan Mexican place in Toronto. All of these memories are so near and dear to me, and whenever I’m feeling stuck in my work or in my purpose, I realize that my work is a facilitator for wonderful experiences like these, and it helps me keep going.

Our bedroom is that one area of our home that is still in progress. It became an afterthought because we only spend enough time in there to change after a shower or to sleep, but even so, I’ve made sure to bring it some life with things that are meaningful to us, like photos from our wedding and some of my wedding flowers dried and framed. I also use the small bowl I created during our trip to Lancaster earlier this year to hold my jewelry. Other than that, we always have flowers, moisturizers and essential oils that we diffuse at night. We’re hoping to find some art to hang above the dresser and a light fixture above the bed.

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I spend most of my time at home. It’s the place where I create, where I wrestle with Bandit, where I tend to my plants, where I learn time and time again how to be a better wife, a better friend. It’s the place where I try, and fail, to cook a proper meal. It’s amazing to look around and realize that almost everything we have has been passed down to us from family and friends. Pots and pans from my mother-in-law. Rug and dining room chairs from my friend who was looking to downsize. Dining table from my sister-in-law. Rice cooker, crockpot and a whole slew of kitchen things from my mother. Our home is a curated collection of stories, of continuing to give objects a new purpose, of memories made and brought home.

There are tangible reminders of how much we’ve experienced together and how wonderful our life is all around us. There’s so much to be thankful for.

Until next time,

Vanda