Our Home Journey

sara toufali bedroom

I have some v exciting news to share with you guys - Eddie and I are moving! We just signed our new lease and the big move in date is in just a few days. Wowza! I absolutely can't WAIT to share our new home with all of you, I have so many ideas for each and every nook already. If you follow me on Pinterest you've probably noticed a flurry of new boards and a million inspo pins in the past couple weeks. But I wanted to take the time to give the place we've called home for the past 5 and a half years a lil love before we set out on our new home adventure. I also dug up some seriously cray pics of our place when we first moved in! So take a walk with me down memory lane, and keep scrolling for a little back story on Eddie and I. 

 Eddie & I at Griffith Observatory in early 2013 - our first year in LA.

Eddie & I at Griffith Observatory in early 2013 - our first year in LA.

Eddie and I moved to Los Angeles in 2012, the summer after I graduated from Chapman University in Orange County, CA. We had been living in separate apartments in OC, so this was a big transition for us - our first offish home together in a new city. I remember the moving process being a stressful one, as they usually are. We looked at a lot of apartments and couldn't find any really good ones in our price range. Then finally, we stumbled on our current apartment community - instantly, we knew this was the one. The grounds were beautiful, so many trees and plants! The apartment interiors themselves were lovely, with walk in closets, kitchen bars, balconies and fireplaces in each unit. Thing is, we couldn't actually see our exact unit since it wasn't ready yet - but we saw the general location of the community it would be in, and 2 other units that were very similar to ours. 

 Our apartment in September 2012

Our apartment in September 2012

Move in day was the first time we saw our new home. Right away we noticed it was very dark inside - being in such a shady spot and with only 2 windows and a sliding glass door, not a lot of sunlight finds its way in. But at that time, I actually had zero real plants - (that's right, all I had were a couple fakies kakaka) so the lack of natural light wasn't actually an issue for us. Also, take a look at that pic above - hoooooly moly, isn't it cray how tastes and style can change so drastically? We were so proud of this setup at the time, bless our hearts bahaha.

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I have Instagram to thank for a lot of things, including introducing me to designers whose style I instantly fell in love with - people like Justina Blakeney of The Jungalow and Jennifer Harrison of Flea Market Fab were a couple of the first magic makers I started following on the gram. Their beautiful boho vibes inspired me so much that I decided to create similar vibes in my own home. I spoke a lil more about what made me decide to take our home's interior design seriously in this post, but basically after about 2 years of the setups you see in the above and below pic, I'd had enough. 

 Our bedroom, 2012

Our bedroom, 2012

So I started making changes! Purged the things I hated, started going thrifting for new pieces I loved, added real live PLANTS, and my style seemed to organically unfold from there. It was SO much fun. Seeing our home start to transform from ugly, blah, and uninspiring, to a place that felt cozy, and cheerful, filled with good vibes - such an exciting feeling. 

 Making changes in 2015! We had just finished hanging the shelves/terrariums in our living room.

Making changes in 2015! We had just finished hanging the shelves/terrariums in our living room.

I think what was most amazing to me was how much it affected my overall mood and mentality. Living in a space that is totally you, your style, your vibe, filled with things/memories/plants/heirlooms that make you happy, really does affect your life in a very positive way. 

 Our bedroom in Febuary 2016, right after we got our new king bed.

Our bedroom in Febuary 2016, right after we got our new king bed.

I'm the sort of person who, whenever I have ideas, I want them to come to fruition immediately. I hate waiting, so the sort of slow evolution of our home was at times frustrating for me - but v healthy looking back on it. Since I couldn't afford to buy everything I wanted all at once, I had to pick and choose the things that were most important, upgrading the things that really needed it (like a new bed) and making what we already had and couldn't afford to replace work. (The wonders of throwing a blanket, mudcloth, or sheepskin rug over anything ugly lookin!) It also made me be very picky with the things I actually did purchase - "Do I absolutely love it? Could I find this at a fraction of the price if I spend a lil more time looking through thrift stores or on Craigslist?" Questions I asked myself before pulling out my credit card. 

 The summer of 2016 - one of the first pics The Jungalow ever regrammed of mine.

The summer of 2016 - one of the first pics The Jungalow ever regrammed of mine.

Of course, once the plant count in our place started rising, the lack of natural lighting started to become an issue (RIP my poor fiddle leaf fig). You may have not even noticed from looking at my pics, since I've learned to only take photos during the few hours of the day when we get sunlight streaming in - and also I'm able to brighten all my photos up significantly with a bit of editing! While the bedroom gets ok light thanks to a corner window sitch, the living room and the rest of the apartment remain pretty dark throughout the day.

 Our living room in September of 2016 - Photographed by Dabito for Justina Blakeney's book  The New Bohemians Handbook

Our living room in September of 2016 - Photographed by Dabito for Justina Blakeney's book The New Bohemians Handbook

Our home doesn't come with any built in lighting in the living room or bedroom, and there's only so many lamps you can incorporate into a space. (Let me also just add that Eddie and I both realize how incredibly lucky we are to be able to live in a nice apartment in this city, and these complaints are 100% first world problems! Just sharing some design related issues we've encountered in our rental that you may also be encountering yourself.) 

 Our living room now, in 2018. I took this shot during an hour in the late afternoon when our place is the brightest (which still isn't that bright, as you can see.) 

Our living room now, in 2018. I took this shot during an hour in the late afternoon when our place is the brightest (which still isn't that bright, as you can see.) 

 The same shot, edited - I lightened the crap outta this pic in Lightroom. I do this with all my home photos since we don't get much natural light. 

The same shot, edited - I lightened the crap outta this pic in Lightroom. I do this with all my home photos since we don't get much natural light. 

So coming home every day to a dark space, even when it's beautiful and sunny outside, has been starting to bum me out. That combined with the awful carpeting (that I try my best to cover up with layers on layers of rugs bahaha) and just lack of openness and windows in general, made me start looking for new homes this past summer. And we finally found one! But of course, the move will be a lil bittersweet. As much as I'm looking forward to our new home, we have SO many wonderful memories in our current one. It's filled with firsts - our first home together, first home in LA, my first bb niece was born while we lived here - we've celebrated her birthday in our living room, and her and I have had many a crazy dance party and movie sesh here too. 

Our annual friendsgivings on the floor, pregaming here with my friends before a night out, and simple nights in - just Eddie and I watching movies and ordering pizza. I know all of these things will obvi transfer right over into our new home, and lots of new memories will be made there, but I guess I'm feeling just a touch sentimental of this lil apartment that treated us so well the past half a decade. The nice thing is, since our home was featured in Justina Blakeney's new book The New Bohemians Handbook, it will kinda live on forever. We're so lucky to have a home we love documented in such a beautiful way.  

 Friendsgiving 2017

Friendsgiving 2017

But mostly, I'm just excited about the next chapter of our lives. And I plan on taking you along with us on the journey! I'll be documenting alllll of the changes to our new place, so keep your eyes peeled for posts on my inspo for each room, and how we're gonna transform each and every nook into the cozy, green filled home that we love so much. 

If you're not already subscribed to my newsletter, you can sign up below so you don't miss a post! As always, thank you so much for following along with me here - I know this was a long post, if you made it this far you are the coolest eva and I lob you. Now wish us luck on the big move!!