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Name: Rebekah Love, Olushola Bashorun, and our daughter Loren
Location: Staten Island, New York
Size: 1,400 square feet
Type of Home: Apartment
Years Lived In: 2 years 6 months, renting
“I think too many people start their organizing journey without properly planning and gathering the appropriate information,” says Rebekah Love, a professional organizer and the owner of company, Organize For Love. “Folks want quick tips and hacks, however sometimes that may not work for their space or more thought need to go into it. Look at your space as a whole, shop your home, and think about your lifestyle, wants, and needs before trying to organize.” All strategies that Rebekah employs in the Staten Island home shared with husband, Olushola Bashorun, a fine arts photographer with AQut Photography, and their daughter, Loren.
“Both my husband (Shola) and I grew up on Staten Island so we’re familiar with the borough. Shola actually found our building on Zillow (against my wishes). I hated growing up on Staten Island; my family moved to Staten Island (from the Lower East Side) when I was six. And I remember even at that age being so confused about where we were going. Today, I’ve developed a deep appreciation for the Island and all the things I didn’t like, I’ve come to love,” explains Rebekah.
“We live not too far from the ferry, which dramatically changed (and enhanced) our experience. The view we have is really what sold me on our building; it never gets old. And the family who owns the building has done a great job of incentivizing us to stay; I LOVE our super — he’s amazing. One of our favorite things to do is look over the view from our two terraces — the way the sun rises and sets in our home is a literal dream.”
My Style: Modern and minimal with touches of mid-century
Inspiration: We’re inspired by cleanliness, ease, and luxury, which informs our home decor style and its theme.
Favorite Element: I’m loving ceramics right now.
Biggest Challenge: Finding the middle ground between my husband and my style. We’re alike where we both want minimal and clean. We have the same end goal but our individual approach to get there is different.
After six years of cohabiting, some days are easier than others but it’s something we’re constantly working on. One thing that took several years to land on is our color palette. Shola may never admit his infinity to dark furniture but it took me several years to beat him down to lighter colors. So having a color palette (neutrals) helps so much. He’ll send me something and be like, what do you think and vice versa.
Once we agreed on color themes and accepted each other’s style and approach, we’ve been able to overcome those challenges. Rather than forcing each other to have the same style, we find things that fit us both.
Proudest DIY: Putting up the wallpaper in our bedroom “linen closet.” Traditionally, I’d consider this a closet meant for toiletries, blankets, and towels- however I decided to use it for memorabilia and crafts like my scrapbooks, journals, coloring books, and tripods. I use a lot of the stuff in it almost every day and wanted it to inspire me the way the items do.
Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? I have to say the view; it’s really unmatched. Shola and I have a running joke of how long it takes visitors to take a picture of the view. It’s a treat to watch our loved ones fold because they can’t resist taking a photo. Most don’t even realize it but they just reach for their phone. It’s so cute to watch. The shortest time has been immediately as they walk in the front door and the longest 10 minutes.
Biggest Indulgence: Our couch! Our first apartment in this same building was too small for the couch we have now AND we couldn’t afford it. So, it was a priority to purchase it once we moved into our current apartment. Yes, it was absolutely worth it. It’s wide enough for cuddles, the fabric is baby friend, and fits perfectly.
What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? Our credenza is pretty awesome. It’s beautiful on the outside and has a lot of storage on the inside. Our storage benches are also my favorite; I emphasize function and beauty and these products really represent that.
Oh, and every framed photo. Shola has a gift for capturing beautiful moments and it was mandatory that we showcased that in our home through his work.
Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: Don’t overlook items and not give them a home like your keys, headphones, changers, etc. Create a home for every single thing. For example, items that are used daily are sorted in bins and those bins have inserts. So in our credenza, we have five identical baskets with inserts for small items like wires, remotes, and headphones.
This rule applies to every room and area because even when we don’t yet have a bin for an item, we know that that’s the next thing to purchase or focus on.
Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? I try my best to put things back throughout the day and spend 5-10 minutes in the morning or at night tidying up. This doesn’t eliminate the need to clean but reduces how much we have to clean and how long it’ll take. There’s nothing more relieving than waking up to a clean kitchen that’s ready to be used or coming home to an organized living room where I can easily unpack my bags and put things away.
Cleanliness is my decor secret: clean and clear counters, things off the floor, things not being used are put away. Even when my space feels incomplete like I need to replace this chair or put a wallpaper up on this wall, if and when it’s clean it feels well put together.
This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.