I don’t mean that I am trying to add curb appeal to my property to create gains in the form of financial assets. This is the era where I have the building blocks I need to create a beautiful home and find pieces to make it truly a place I can settle down, pass down furniture to my kids when they want to move out, and manufacture a sanctuary like no other. Subscribe for The Glow Up weekly newsletter and never miss a single post!
Yes, I own several businesses, but that does not make me any less of a homemaker. I live in the Hollywood Hills and driving through different neighbourhoods of Los Angeles, you can see the priorities of the various types of people. The ones who have six sportscars in the front of a dump. The ones who have an incredible castle to call home with a simple vehicle. And the ones who have incredible palaces and luxury automobiles yet walk everywhere.
My priority my dad taught me to have is the beautiful home and the $500 van. He understood the worth of the significant things. Your home is where you spend most of your time with the most important people in your life. For instance, in poor areas, the flat is two square feet big but the TV takes up most of the space. The thing that used to take up the most space in my favourite room in the house — my office — is journals. Journals fill my bookcase with experiences of what I have done and ideas for the future.
As I drive to five star restaurants in Beverly Hills and pass the keys of a Toyota Hybrid Camry to the valet, I think of the view of the mountains I have at home. I also have a view of the city lights and skyline on the other side of the house, but it’s awful and makes me want to vomit haha. I love the understated nature in Los Angeles so much that I face all the furniture towards the greenest parts of the view so I can set my lap top down in the room full of windows as the sun rises.
Adding textiles always makes everything more comfortable. Layers upon layers of throw blankets, runner rugs on top of Moroccan area rugs, and confusing the tea towels for hand towels. The abundance of cloth on the table of different styles make this place look more lived in.
The 300 year old books with 300 year old paintings and wood that is newer, but looks twice as old. The smell of Rosemary floods the house when I open the sliding door to the backyard as a deluge of the shrub sits outside breathing.
I can’t tell you how many birds that I have made friends with this week alone. The colibri feeder does the trick, but then there’s also a huge raven — Ronnie the raven — who has a friend every now and again in the decidual Magnolia. Not to mention Lenin the lizard. He always does push ups as he chases a female lizard around all of my backyard to no success haha.
When photographers roll around for a shoot, they have endless ideas of catching the light and colours of my outfit in every corner of the home. Outside the home. Mostly starring the home.
What makes it a high value home? The fact that I can hear a deep breath in the other room sleeping as I am up at 5:30 in the morning? The little fuzzy cat who hisses at his reflection in the mirror? The treadmill in the smallest room that keeps me sane? Or the echoes of laughter that permeate the floor throughout the day?
On paper, it is a high value home. However, I am still currently in the process of making it more livable each day. Aesthetically pleasing is a whole other story, but being able to work with what you have and sharing it with the ones you love is more intimate. A high value home is a place that is far from the world. I see so many houses right off the street that take the bulk of traffic.
People say, ‘That area isn’t nice.’ That’s the busy street you’re talking about. Venture off into the one residential corner off to the southwest of that and you will find instant heaven. A personal Beverly Glen. As long as you have the access to the city but a peaceful respite away from it, you’re safe.
My garden is crazy right now, but I feel like I could use more greenery and live off the land even more. Just have to be careful not to plant lettuce, because it gets too hot here. Even the winter it can be bitter no matter how beautiful and cute the little leaves are. I don’t mind if bugs in the garden eat it, because they are cute little things too. I love them and want to keep them. I do. In my garden. They’re safer there that in the house, because Cashmere the cat will hunt them.
I’m writing all my ideas down for my newest home in Kentucky. We were thinking Texas but it might be too much of a desert. Florida, but the humidity, heat, and I want to be away from big metropolitan cities. Kentucky is so gorgeous, full of affordable acreage to appreciate, and hospitals that needs my husband’s position. I can work anywhere.
First we’ll start with the bed, then kitchen, then living room. We will need a comfortable place to sleep, helpful tools that can support our dietary requirements and ability to serve, then a place to relax and have guests. Storage we will build high. Chifferobes, armoires, and bookcases with ladders will do the trick.
I want to keep things simple, but high quality. Not a bunch of things I need from IKEA, because choosing form over function creates more waste. I rather have nothing and wait until I can get something that is worth keeping forever that will also last forever.
Same goes with the plates, serving dishes, and crockery. I hate when labels of sauces and dips show on the table. My husband’s grandmother says it is called, ‘snobbery’ haha. I write down every idea that comes to mind. Every priority at least. The smallest details that stand out the most.
I have to predict what house guests will say. What comments my husband will make, and how my kids will ask questions about the things we own. They will not bring up the queries with me, but they will notice that not every house has a baby grand piano, and ask why other kids do not play instruments.
I always did this growing up realising I had a little bit more than others while my peers wore the latest shoes and bought the most expensive electronics. But were they peers? They had the coolest pair of jeans, but also slept in them, because they didn’t own a proper pair of pajamas. They had every new video game, but didn’t own a single book or know how to build a fire.
The stairs should have a runner but not without stair rods.
There are books, but only once we have read over and over.
There is artwork but only pieces we, family members, friends, and commissioned artists created.
We only need one pan and it is our favourite cast iron from Le Creuset.
We only have one knife, but it’s a kitchen knife from Japan that works for everything.
Every home should have one Bauhaus chair, but it should be hidden in a room nobody frequents, because it is so, truly uncomfortable.
The nightstand wasn’t put together by me. It arrived already built, weighs enough for two men to have back problems in the future, and is made by only a number of pieces of cut wood I can count on one hand.
I am constantly adding ideas. Livability. An extra comfortable couch that still looks contemporary. Practicalities as adding a port cochere. If you have any suggestions for things you love about what makes a high value home, I’d love to know more in the comments below. Inspiration is easy if there are more heads put together.