A Home, A Haven: My Room

A room isn’t just a place you sleep—it’s a home you retreat to for respite after a long day, a quiet place where you contemplate and meditate, a haven for deep thoughts and long phone calls held in private.

A room reveals a lot about a person—the layout, the windows and light, each choice of (or lack thereof) furniture, color, clothing, pictures, books, instruments…

There’s no other place I spent more time in the last year and a half than my room. And now, I want to share it with you.

Morning rays reminded of Lamentations 3:22-23:

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness."

This room was my first “real-world adulting” place—It was the first place I really tried to make my own, knowing well that I would be there at least a couple years. Over time, I made it my home—a place I could retreat for peace and restoration.

Over the pandemic, I became even more intimately acquainted with my room—I started to notice the unique angles at which the sun passed it’s rays through each skylight. I could tell you where the shadows would fall at any given time, and at what times during the day I could no longer work at my desk because of the direct glare (answer: between noon and 3pm). I could tell you what time on each second Wednesday of every month the street cleaning truck would blare “STRICTLY! No parking on the even-numbered side! You will be dragged and towed!”—a somewhat eerie way to mark the passage of time during lockdown.

This room is where I spent a lot of time eating, sleeping, working, teaching, calling friends… reading, praying, crying, working out.

A couple weeks ago, I finally moved out after three years of living in the same place. I already miss it.

And so, this blog post is meant to be a digital journal entry of sorts—a way to remember my space 🙂

I fell in love with this room the first time I saw it (only pictures!). I knew immediately that I wanted to take advantage of the natural light (13 windows, including 6 skylights!) to create an airy, ethereal kind of space that invited rest.

Sidenote: I actually wanted to be an architect and interior designer at some point in my youth, especially after I designed a house in Google Sketchup for a project in 8th grade geometry class (shoutout to Mrs. McNamara! lol). Ever since then, I’ve always sketched out floor plans and imagined the kinds of furniture I would fill a space with (ask my college roommate, I sent her some floor plans before we even met and I’m sure she thought I was crazy, haha).

Everything in this space was chosen intentionally—I draw a lot of inspiration from Japanese furnishings, which explains the bamboo shelves and low bed. I even have a (fake) bamboo plant!

My room is fairly large, and because I wanted to fit a workspace and a music area, I knew I wanted to “partition” the space somehow. This COSTWAY Bamboo Shelf worked perfectly to separate my sleeping space from the rest of my room, and also allowed me to display items and store nighttime reading (mostly poetry and spiritual literature). Above my bed, I also have a collection of photographs taken from various travels around the world.

To the right of my bed is the music area, with a Casio 88-key piano that I bought from a Berklee College of Music student and my guitar that I’ve had since college. During quarantine, this was really nice to have—I picked up a couple of old pieces that I had forgotten over the years 🙂

To the right of the music area is my workspace, and perhaps the spot I spend the most time during the day. Halfway through quarantine, I got sick of sitting and bought this bamboo standing desk which has probably been one of the best purchases of my life! I use it so much, and it’s very aesthetically pleasing 🙂 To the left is my aforementioned fake bamboo plant, because sadly, I am not one to keep plants alive 😦

Many items that I own were thrifted off of Facebook Marketplace (read: a gold mine) before I arrived in Boston in 2018. This white chair is one of them—to be honest it’s not very comfortable, but it matched so well that I just kept it.

As someone who sits at a desk all day, I’m pretty particular about my desk setup. I work on a 27″ Dell monitor and a 16″ Macbook Pro that sits on a Rain Design mStand, with a wireless Apple keyboard and mouse. I got the lamp off Facebook Marketplace (from an architecture student with good taste 😉 ). I’ve really grown to love my work-from-home setup, and though I’m very thankful to be back in the lab office, it’s nice to finally have a home workspace that allows me to be just as productive.

To the right of my desk is a (very expensive) bookshelf I got from Urban Outfitters (pandemic purchases…) to store the small library I’ve accumulated since living here. They’re somewhat organized by genre—the top is a display shelf, the second shelf consists of religious books, the third holds academic subjects as well as philosophy. The fourth has memoirs and pop science, and the last shelf has some oversized books and random folders. And Carl Flesch’s Scale System for Violin, aka a large chunk of my childhood 😛

Between two windows hangs my Rice diploma, which I’ve learned is much more massive than diplomas from other universities—everything is bigger in Texas, right?

Now, onto the functional items! On my dresser I have a small jewelry tree that holds all my earrings and necklaces. I also have a makeup organizer that holds all my essentials.

I’ve used this Everlane backpack since college, and when my old one fell apart, I bought the same exact model since I loved it so much! My next most utilized carrying bag is this New Yorker tote, that I got from signing up for a free trial (after seeing so many people have the same tote and wondering where they got it). It’s really huge and can fit a lot!

Two other very functional items are this bamboo clothing rack and this over-the-door shoe rack. I’ve discovered that having a clothing rack separate from your closet is useful for outfit planning and for encouraging yourself to wear pieces that often get lost in the back of the closet 🙂 The over-the-door shoe rack has also been a real space-saver, as well as a great way to display all your shoes so they actually get worn!

As for art, I have two special prints that are the beginnings of what I hope to be a gallery wall in the future: a dated map print of Manhattan that I got from the SoWa Vintage Market (because of my fascination of, and adoration for, New York City), and a beautiful watercolor painting of a coronal slice of the human brain that my college roommate gifted me for my last birthday in undergrad.

Near the door, I have yet another bamboo shelf; this one holds other essentials like lotion, dry shampoo, nail clippers, and vitamins. Above the shelf is a whiteboard calendar that I usually fill in every month to keep track of what’s going on in my schedule.

Aaaand there you have it! I love this last shot of my room at golden hour (taken from the bed side). I think it captures well the warmth and glow of the space, and during lockdown, sunset was always a nice cue to wind down the day’s work, pick up my guitar, and practice some jams from my bed.

I’ve linked all the products pictured in case you liked any of the items in my room and would like to purchase them yourself* 🙂 I’m also including a list below, in order of appearance:

  1. World watercolor tapestry
  2. COSTWAY Bamboo Shelf
  3. Photos above bed printed from Parabo Press Square Prints
  4. CASIO 88-key piano
  5. Flexispot bamboo standing desk
  6. Ikea FEJKA fake bamboo plant
  7. 27″ Dell monitor
  8. 16″ Macbook Pro
  9. Rain Design mStand laptop stand
  10. Apple Magic Keyboard and Mouse
  11. Urban Outfitters bookshelf
  12. IKEA Malm 3-drawer dresser
  13. Small jewelry tree
  14. Makeup organizer
  15. Everlane Modern Snap backpack
  16. New Yorker tote (FREE! with trial)
  17. Bamboo clothing rack
  18. Over-the-door shoe rack
  19. Four-tier bamboo shelf

*For full disclosure, I do earn a fraction of the returns for items purchased from my Amazon affiliate links.

As September 1st approaches (the day that most leases turn over in Boston / Cambridge) and people prepare to move into new apartments for school or work, I hope this little view into my room inspired you to think about ways to make your space your own in the coming months 🙂

As always, thanks for reading.

With love,

P.S. I filmed a video tour of the room, too. I’ll link it here when I’ve finished editing it 🙂


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