Author

Nicole Yu Rivera

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Your room says a lot about you, and I couldn’t agree more. But when you’re decorating a room from scratch, it can be a huge challenge to stay true to yourself and not alienate yourself from your own space. Believe me—I recently experienced it for myself! Along with my parents, I moved into a brand-new house last year. After all the architectural and construction-related decisions I made, decorating was the next big hurdle to overcome. Preparations started way before the new house was done, but the day we moved in my room was still a shell with bare walls and boxes waiting to be unpacked. I only had one piece of furniture the first night—my grandfather’s that I brought from our old house. Sleeping in an empty room was a strange feeling, one I was determined not to experience for too long. So the day after we moved I set…

Up until I was 21, I lived in my grandparents’ ancestral home. It was a late 50s/60s bungalow with huge, flower-filled gardens and enough space to accommodate four generations under one roof. While I have only a few memories of my grandparents before they passed away, living in the same rooms, sitting on the same furniture, and seeing little reminders of them every day made me feel connected to them. But it was never really my own room or home—it was someone else’s. Building A New Home While I was in college, my parents decided to move out of the ancestral home and build a new house. It was a long and arduous process from finding a village that was safe, accessible, and had the right atmosphere, to planning the house and going through every little detail. Even I don’t remember much of the construction now! Building the house literally…

Over the years, I’ve noticed that my room gets messier as I get more stressed. Reasons include not having the time or energy to clean up after myself, falling right into bed after long days at work, or generally being a lot messier and less aware of myself when I’m stressed out. And I know this is the complete opposite of what should happen—stressful times call for more organized and orderly environments to get things done faster. Millennials like myself will agree: old-school organization tricks don’t always fit into our lifestyles. We’re a driven generation and we like mundane things like cleaning to be quick and easy because we’re busy trying to change the world and grow  ourselves. But I also think sometimes we need to stop, take a look around us, and consider that our environment, our rooms and our homes, can help us be better and achieve our goals.…

They say that to truly know a person, you have to walk a mile in their shoes. But personally, to learn more about someone I look at their homes. When you think about it, that makes sense—your home is where you are most comfortable, where you can be your most “authentic” self. It’s where you spend long periods of time, and it’s a space that provides you with all the basic necessities to survive. No matter how small or uncomfortable our houses are, we always do our best to make it more “homey,” right?