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  • Writer's pictureRick

Finally, the Home of a Traveller

When I received the letter in December 2017, informing me of my soon-to-arrive new flat, I posted an article on how I wanted my new house to be.

Primarily, my house should be green and environmental friendly. If you have been following my blogs, you would probably have guessed that almost all my furniture were from IKEA. Apart from being low costs, they were mostly made from recycled wood and lighter in materials. And they allowed my small 47m² 2-room flat to look somewhat spacey.

It is also my dream to make my house a "reminiscence" of where I had been to and observed on my travels. In this post, I share some snapshots of my house's interior decorations — I created murals with wall paints and wall stickers.

First, my living room with a dining area, which I called my "cafe".

The murals on the walls feature a cafe that is dug out from an earth mound, like a hobbit's house. Two ladies are having coffee inside the "cafe" and freshly-brewed coffee are served through a small window. The cafe is right next to a lavender field (I had been to two beautiful lavender fields. One in Nanjing and the other in Taichung, Taiwan). The lavender flowers are wall stickers that stand out from the painted backdrop.

In the middle of the lavender field is my ultra-light-looking display rack. My bar table has an "al fresco" settings next to my cafe, where I have my coffee every morning. To make the experience more unified, I decorated the cafe with a lavender theme and scented with lavender fragrance. Of course, the house is filled with coffee aroma every morning.

The other half of my living room has just two armchairs and a simple desk that functions as both the TV bench and a workplace for my desktop. The television is my monitor too. The "chair" is actually a step ladder and serves triple-purpose — I use it as a coffee table too.

In the backdrop is a mural of Meili Snow Mountain with its golden peaks as seen during autumn times. A red-leave forest separated the mountain ranges from a sunflower field — I think I need to add more sunflowers. And a tall red-leave tree that reaches the ceiling to have a sit-under-a-tree feel. It was meant to be an autumn theme and I chose red-colour cushions for the armchairs to match the theme.

The ceiling of my living room featured a blue sky with white clouds that have breaks that allow the "sun rays" to shine through. Of course, the "sun rays" are from my spot lights. The main light is round in shape and is the "sun" during the day and "full moon" at night. I was careful not to paint any clouds behind that main light to be more realistic.

My bedroom is inside a “bamboo forest”, which reminds me of the peaceful and calm bamboo forest in Fenchihu, Taiwan (near to Alishan) and the red forest train. Instead of painting a red machine, I added a pair of birds for some contrasting highlights to the all-greenish room.

I have just a wardrobe, a super-single bed and a bedside table in the bedroom. That will be all the furniture I need in there. No phone, no television or any electronics in the room except the air-conditioner. It's a place for quietness, to calm the mind and relax — as thought I am really inside a bamboo forest.

My small kitchen has a red-colour coffee theme. Wait till you see my collection of coffee-designs floor mat, kitchen towels, drying mat, wall clock, etc. I have both traditional Vietnamese coffee maker and capsule coffee machine too. Maybe a step short of roasting and grinding coffee beans myself.

And a drawer filled with 10 types of coffee! From espresso capsules to instant coffees and traditional kopi-O, I can pick any flavours every morning. And I have cinnamon powder and gula melaka (coconut sugar) syrup to add some flavour to my cups of coffee. Come and try some no-sugar instant cappuccino topped with cinnamon powder! I just love coffee.

A house cannot be considered "green" if there are no air-purifying plants. I have a small "garden" of golden pathos, snake plant, lucky bamboo and orchids. Golden pothos and snake plant are easy to grow and they rid certain toxins from the air. The orchids are hardy indoor plant that does not require much sunlight, purifies the air and give out oxygen at night. And a pot of lucky bamboo for auspicious reasons.

And, I made a mobile garden using a wooden crate from IKEA and fix it with rotary wheels. This allows me to move the plants to where there are sunlight and also out-of-the-way when I need to do house-cleaning.

By painting scenery on the walls, I hope to create an impression that there are no walls in my house. Sitting outside my "cafe" will be like sitting in the middle of wide nature — a traveller cannot be confined within four walls.

Oh, almost everyone that visited my house would ask where is my shoe rack (which seems to be a major concern to them). I created a hidden shoe cabinet using IKEA pegboards and thus it cannot be seen.

I have not shown all my murals. But, I will post them in some other articles later.

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