This Apartment’s Small Balcony Has a Cute Mini Herb Garden Thanks to IKEA

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Name: Melissa Padilla and partner
Location: San Diego, California
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 835 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 months, renting

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: After a year of being together, my partner and I moved into our apartment one and a half months ago. My partner is pursuing a PhD in Physics at the University of California, San Diego and I’ll be starting law school at the University of San Diego School of Law in the fall. Knowing that we will both be studying in San Diego for the next three years, it made sense for us to build a home together. There are many stressors and pressures that come with being graduate students, for this reason we designed this space both to be inviting to work in and to be a sweet escape.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Cozy and colorful

What is your favorite room and why? We love our living room/kitchen area. My partner is Indian and it is common in Indian tradition to name one’s home. Ours is named Ekyalya, “Home of Harmony.” This word perfectly describes how the open layout of our apartment allowed us to seamlessly blend these two areas together. We set this room up to have multiple functions: kitchen, dining, TV room, and an office. We love having the ability to maximize space and easily transition from one area to the next. Beyond the layout, we made sure to play with textures and colors to create an inviting space for guests.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The Applaro wall panel at IKEA has turned out to be exactly what we needed to start a herb garden in our balcony. It also comes with hooks so we were able to recycle old cans to make our own planters for the herb plants.

Any advice for creating a home you love? It was important for us to identify what we wanted to accomplish with our space and incorporate pieces that reflect both of our cultures.

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.