An Eclectic First Apartment Full of Heirlooms, Thrifted Finds and a Mannequin Named Doris

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Living room (Image credit: Submitted by Emily)

Name: Emily
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
The basics: 2 years, rented — 900 square feet

Emily’s on her own for the first time, so she decided to create the most uniquely “her” space she could. Filling her home with quirky finds, heirlooms and unique collections her space is homey and warm.

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: For as long as I can remember my favorite activity has been decorating. When I was a kid I’d invite my friends over and play “redecorate Emily’s room,” needless to say they grew tired of that game quickly, however I never have.

This is my first time living alone, so it’s been such a treat to have free rein of the decorating process. I’ve filled the rooms with family heirlooms, thrifted antiques, unique art from travels around the world and local artisans as well as quirky little things I find when poking around second hand shops and yard sales. Every item has a story, from the cozy yellow chair that was my great, great grandmother’s to the mannequin named Doris in my bedroom.

Whenever new folks come over to visit I let them roam around my place and discover my treasures as I share the stories with them. My home is a complete reflection of myself, I’ve always said it’s what the inside of my brain looks like, just more curated.

My proudest apartment moment was when I had some friends over one remarked, “your apartment looks like Wes Anderson decorated it”.

What is your favorite room and why? My favorite room is my living room. Every morning when I walk out there is light streaming into the room, casting the room in a warm, golden glow. It never ceases to amaze me. I’m so proud of my cozy home and love snuggling up on my sofa with a good book. I have multiple bookshelves in my living room lined with old favorites and new finds, and always feel like I’m surrounded by friends.

One of my favourite finds in my living room is a wooden antique trunk that I got for $100 at an estate sale up the street. It makes the PERFECT coffee table, and is both beautiful and practical as I can store winter coats and heavy blankets in it!

If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? I would make my kitchen much bigger! Because my apartment is the converted first floor of an old house, the kitchen is in a tiny little nook under the stairs (so basically if Harry Potter had a kitchen). I absolutely love cooking and baking, however sadly don’t have much space, luckily since I live alone I can make due, but throwing big dinner parties gets tricky.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? Oh gosh, I found this incredible antique mason jar that’s full of someones match box collection!!! It was $10 at this antique barn and is SO NEAT. Every time I pick it up, I discover a new box, they all seem to be circa the ’60s and ’70s, so have very neat artwork on them. I love collecting things, and this was a collection I absolutely needed to be mine.

Which fictional character would be most at home in your place? I think Anne of Green Gables would feel very at home in my home. She finds such beauty and magic in ordinary things, and that’s what I believe I’ve done with my home. I’ll often come across old or deserted items and give them a new life, and I think Anne would appreciate that.

Emily’s words of wisdom: It’s very tempting to fill your home up with stuff as soon as you move in, but much more satisfying to pick up pieces as time goes by. So don’t rush out to your nearest IKEA the minute you move, just start with the basics and slowly over months and years pick up little treasures along the way. That way your home has a much more personal touch, and everything you own will have a story.

Thanks, Emily!

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