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The One Item That's Traveled With Me Through the Past Decade

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{Outdoor chairs by Blu Dot} 

{Outdoor chairs by Blu Dot

When I moved into my first studio apartment at twenty-two, I struggled to commit to a specific design aesthetic. During the day, I worked at Domino Magazine, where I was flooded with incredible ideas I couldn't wait to incorporate into my own space. I loved the idea of having a polished, modern apartment, but could only afford used, lived-in pieces, so my place became a bit of a hodgepodge collection of mismatched items. I've since outgrown the majority of things I owned when I first graduated, from my shabby chic coffee table to the nightstands I pulled out from a dumpster and repainted myself. But the one piece that's stayed with me the entire time is my oversized mirror. 

It was the first piece I bought that made me feel like a grownup. I already owned the basics: a bed, the aforementioned nightstands and a makeshift dining table I inherited from my grandma. But this mirror felt different because it wasn't an essential, but rather a piece that added a decorative element to my place (which also helped it appear much larger than it was). I bought it with my parents at the flea market after successfully wrangling down the price to $40. It was heavy and flawed, with a slight chip at the corner, but as my dad helped me carry it back to the car, I couldn't help but think about how it was just what I needed. It hung over my couch in my cramped studio and when Geoffrey asked me to move in with him, it was the only piece that I considered lugging with me to his place.

Then, when we moved to our Spanish-style duplex a year later, I knew it would be the ideal complement to our light-filled bedroom. After we purchased our first home, it became clear that there was no free wall space where it could live. I considered overhauling completely finished rooms in order to make it work, but it seemed like it simply wasn't meant to be. I kept it in the storage shed for the first few weeks, unwilling to let it go. It had become such a meaningful piece, a reflection (literally) of how I'd grown and where I'd lived. And it wasn't until an uncharacteristically balmy evening, when G and I were eating dinner outside on the back patio, that I found the perfect spot: nestled on the wall of ivy in our backyard. We hung it the next day and it brings an unexpected, enchanted feel to the space. It's an unassuming piece, but it's grown to be one of my favorite things I own.

Update: Some have asked if this is a repost of an older piece. Short answer: no, this has not appeared on the blog before. Long answer: We had a partner ask, last minute, if we could move a post that was originally scheduled for this morning to February, so we had a hole in our content. This piece originally appeared in an August newsletter, but only 20% of our audience receives that email and about half actually open/read it. Essentially, 90% of our audience has not seen this post and rather than go dark, I wanted to share it with the larger audience. Thanks to those who read almost everything we put out, but repurposing content from the newsletter is a rare exception. 

Products purchased through this post may earn us a commission.