I'll let you in on a little secret. If given the choice, I'll totally select a hotel or Airbnb based on purely aesthetic purposes. Location, ambiance, and all that jazz is great, but if a space is pretty, it'll move to the top of my list in no time. What can I say? I love spending time in beautiful rooms that inspire me and make the experience of traveling somewhere new feel even more fun. As a design enthusiast, I am always keeping my eyes peeled wherever I go, after all!
So when the opportunity came knocking to travel across the country to Southern California for a week and stay in a beautiful boho style Airbnb located just steps away from the beach, you can bet I was ready to book a plane ticket and pack my suitcase ASAP. For a week in February, I vacationed and worked remotely from the Salt House, a spacious, serene home located in Oxnard, California, just an hour outside of Los Angeles.
Transitioning from my small New York City walk-up apartment to a four bedroom home large enough to accommodate eight guests was definitely a change of scenery in itself, to say the least. And the California sunshine did wonders for my winter woes. But really, it was the Salt House's aesthetic—which greatly differs from my traditional/eclectic hybrid of a space—that I noticed the most.
Don't get me wrong, I love my NYC apartment and all of the treasures inside of it, which I've worked hard to curate and collect over the years. That said, there was something about spending time in a more minimalistic, open home with a cheerful yet soothing color palette that stood out to me during my stay—and has continued to influence me, even now that I'm back in Manhattan.
Spending time in a house with open kitchen shelving that wasn't stuffed to the brim and being surrounded by thoughtful but minimalistic accent pieces definitely made me feel more at ease.
I realized during my stay that I simply have too much stuff. Sure, this is a common NYC problem, and I'm definitely not alone in feeling like my closets and cupboards are cramped and sometimes about to burst at the seams. But spending time in a house with open kitchen shelving that wasn't stuffed to the brim and being surrounded by thoughtful but minimalistic accent pieces definitely made me feel more at ease. This made such an impact that in the weeks since I've been back in New York City, I've been working hard at paring down my apartment. I've gone through my closets, dresser drawers, and kitchen cupboards and have sold, donated, or simply said goodbye to anything no longer serving me. While my space is small and will probably never feel as light or airy as the Salt House, I do feel as though a weight has been lifted off my shoulders to some degree.
Lack of clutter aside, I also greatly appreciated how welcoming and relaxed the common spaces in the Salt House felt, and I definitely attribute that to the midcentury modern and boho style pieces scattered throughout the home. My furniture pieces in New York definitely lean traditional for the most part, and they can feel a bit stuffy at times as a result. It was nice to splay out on a cozy floor cushion or curl up on the sofa with a soft blanket and really lounge around for a change.
My time spent in this space also had me thinking about how home decor and furnishings can truly vary from region to region. The Salt House mastered the "California cool" vibe perfectly, and many of the West Coast based interior designers I follow also feature spaces with a similar pared-down and laid-back aesthetic. As a born and bred East Coaster, I don't know if I'll ever be able to adapt this decor style into my own home—I think at heart, I'm more of an antiques gal than a modernist—but I definitely do have an appreciation for midcentury and boho style spaces and enjoyed spending time in one for a change.
So if you ever have the chance to experiment with a new decor style while traveling, I 100 percent advise you to do it. Maybe you'll be like me and leave ready to tackle a major clean out, or maybe you'll just have snapped some swoon worthy pictures for your Instagram. Either way, I call it a win-win.