I partenered with Corcoran to tell a little history of my wife’s and my insatiable urge to keep moving. For more home and travel inspiration visit their new blog inhabit.corcoran.com.
If you’ve followed me for a long time you’ve probably realize that my wife and I move a lot. A LOT. In fact, we’ve lived in 10 different places in the past 10 years. We started in Long Beach, CA in a cool, little apartment by the ocean, then, just after a year later, we moved to another apartment in Long Beach while I finished out my undergrad.
The move to NYC was obviously the biggest change for us. We moved 2 weeks after we got married, and we got there by taking the Amtrak all the way across the country! It was much more excellent than it may sound. Then the dreaded search for an NYC apartment began. There are thousands of apartments for rent and most of them rent immediately.
Our first apartment was in the East Village on 6th St. and was something like 275 square feet…and a 5th floor walkup. But you know what? We lived in New York City, the best city on earth! We had really been getting into Mad Men around that time and so we tried our best to decorate in a mid-century style, which is something we had wanted to do for years. We have always been influenced by vintage clothing, furniture, and decor.
After a year of grad school we decided to look for a different place to live. We found an amazing place in the East Village on 11th St. This apartment was the first one where we really tried to decorate and set stuff up nicely. The space really allowed for us to do creative and interesting things too. It had wrap around shelves in the living room and a loft bed. We decided to really add lots of color and make the decor pop against the white walls. And we had some great curbside finds! Including 2 chairs from the 50s that had been covered in that plastic furniture protector stuff since the 50s. So they were essentially brand new. Visit this website and find all kinds of furniture.
New York was a huge influence in the formation of my style. I actually really didn’t care too much about how I dressed until we moved to New York. When we moved in men’s clothing was really becoming popular and guys started to care more about how they dressed. #Menswear wasn’t even really a thing back then. I remember when I was one of about 10 menswear personal style blogs. Now there are hundreds. It really was New York that made me want to dress better. We were there at such a transitional and impactful time in our lives that it really shaped who I am both in style and as a person. In addition to style of clothing, the way we decorated our home was influenced as well. We really refined what we liked and what we wanted. Since our space was so small we had to only have the essentials. And we learned to decorate up rather than out.
After nearly three years of living in New York we moved back to LA because I was done with grad school and we just figured it made sense. All of our family is in California and there was nothing really holding us to New York since we are both freelance photographers and can essentially live anywhere. But after being back for a few months we just kept missing New York. We lived in 3 different places in the 3 years we were back in LA.
After a few years back in LA the pull to move back to New York was stronger than ever. So we moved back in November of 2014. Little did we know that after all the planning and preparing, the night before we moved we found out we were pregnant. BOOM. What do we do now? Well, we went through with the move. We found an AMAZING apartment in Alphabet City on East 6th St. It was a floor-through with exposed brick, original wide pine floors, great light, a dishwasher. On this second move to New York we had planned to stay indefinitely so we brought our favorite decor from California. Things like our bison skull we got from a flea market in Joshua Tree, vases we bought in Austin at a vintage store, various geodes from Utah, and a lot of vintage plates and and flatware we’ve collected over the years. 9 months later we had our first baby. With the baby in our lives, were faced with the decisions to stay or to go. An so we went. Back to California.
Lately we have been heavily influenced by the Jungalow/New Bohemian style. It’s a style that seems to merge our two decoration sensibilities well. I lean more towards clean mid-century, even with a little kitsch, but my wife leans more towards the bohemian. However, we both love the desert, vintage finds, reclaimed items, and unique pieces that tell a story so that style suits us particularly well. On our many road trips across the US in the past 7 years we have been acquiring unique vintage pieces from thrift stores, flea markets, the side of the road, and unique local artisans we come across. Some of our favorite flea markets are the Rose Bowl in LA, The Long Beach Antique Market, and Brooklyn Flea. But we honestly prefer just heading off the highway to the more thrift style stores where people at the flea markets get their stuff. That way we don’t have to pay the premium 🙂 We love having one-of-a-kind pieces that really remind us of the places we have traveled. We usually try and grab something from every city that we spend some time in that represents that particular place. This carries over to our international travels as well. Before we head to any city I always look on Google and Yelp for thrift stores, vintage stores, and flea markets. Then I put out a call on my Instagram asking for more advice. International thrift stores can be amazing because you find things you wouldn’t find in the states.
We have been pickers (for lack of a better word) since we’ve been kids, and incorporating those pieces in to our decor has always been something we’ve done. And, of course, because we move so much, having all these pieces becomes an issue. We were only able to bring our absolute favorite items on our moves to NYC and left the rest behind in California. But we hardly got rid of anything (thanks Mom & Dad’s garage!) But the picking never stops. So we just always have more when we come back to California. We’re going to need a dedicated warehouse for all our stuff soon!
I hope you enjoyed a bit about our life as crazy nomads constantly in search of the perfect place to live. Below is a little tour of most of our places and some style shots influenced by that stage in my life. Follow our travels on Instagram and #merandtimneverstop.