After what has felt like the most eternal winter — and the last two years in lockdown — I am ecstatic to open my windows and let in the warm breeze. I also can’t wait to spend as much time outside as possible. This means I’ll most likely be inviting friends and dates over for as many movie nights, informal dinner parties, and celebrations of any kind.
Growing up in Puerto Rico, everything was celebrated en casa. Birthday parties were done in the garage when I was younger, and now that I’m older, my parents will always fill my room with flowers and candles to make me feel at peace and relaxed on my special day. Our home was always exactly the place I wanted to be, because my parents made it feel as cozy and safe as possible with their decorations. To this day, certain decor pieces like Tiffany lamps, leather furniture, and gold accents remind me of my home. In my own tiny NYC apartment, I have gold accents on tables and lamps, and I even have a framed photo of the Puerto Rican flag to always remind me where I came from. (Are you even Puerto Rican if you don’t have the flag somewhere in your home?)
It’s no surprise that I love inviting people to my apartment. Having people come into my home, which is also my sanctuary, gives me a chance to connect with them on a closer and deeper level. It means I regard them and appreciate them so much that I want to make them feel welcomed in a space that is all mine and reflects even the parts of me they had no idea existed. It’s not an easy feat to let someone into your personal space like that, and when I do, I want them to see who I am reflected in my home decor and the scents I choose to fill my space with. Above all, I want them to see my culture and my Latinidad reflected by the colors and styles I choose.
To do this, I get rid of the old and drab — by donating, of course — and refresh my home for new seasons with the latest trends. The first place I think about is Target, which offers stunning pieces for affordable prices. Here are some of my home picks for this new season.