On April 1st 2017, my boyfriend of 2 years and I moved in together. I’m sure you can  imagine how excited I was for the day to arrive! For two years, after every outing, weekend getaway and date night, we’d have to make the dreaded decision to either stay together or go our separate ways for the night. It was my least favorite thing about dating, and I dreaded when the evening would continue on and we’d have to say goodbye after the weekend. It was made easier for us when Alex moved into an apartment building across the street from mine on 137th and Broadway. Those evenings were easier for sleepovers, spontaneity and early morning breakfast at the local diner.

But moving in together was the perfect solution. No longer would we have to say goodbye at the end of a great date. No longer would we have to decide whose apartment to spend the night at. This was our home now. This was our haven to come to every single night for the next 15 months. (!!! cue: the squealing.)

How We Decorated

As we come up to our one year living together, I can say confidently what a wonderful experience it was to create a home with my partner. To decorate our apartment with photos of us that I had developed in the darkroom, to shop for our beloved squirrel lamp at our favorite World Market in town, to mix and match and share and come together. Although most of our home is all of ours together, as opposed to how divided everything was in my old apartments with roommates, we do have some things that are separate. We both have our own closets, we both use our own towels. We have different pillows, different office areas, and I made it very clear that if Alex was going to decorate his office area with his ugly – er, interesting – decorations and color scheme, he would need to purchase a room divider so I wouldn’t have to see any of it.

Joining Forces

But we did combine our record collections, we combined DVDs and board games and coffee table books. We compromised. My love for a minimalist, Scandinavian design was put aside and his love for dark reds, blacks and cherry wood furniture was also questionable for my taste. We met in the middle, deciding on a mutual love for odd, eclectic, colorful, and warm touches. We met together on our passion for travel, music, entertainment, and studying. Art books on Picasso, Monet, impressionism, and Mattese are scattered on the table along with countless travel guides, language books, and travel-related items. All things that bring us joy. Most items are useful – my love for keeping things only that are of purpose is central to our home – but our agreement to keep treasures that make us smile and reminisce upon looking at them was also paramount. Our photo albums of our past 3 years adventuring together sit near the couch, open and available to glance at always. Photos of us gleaming in picture frames and polaroids hanging in our bedroom from our latest trips. My black and white film prints hang throughout the house along with polaroids and pictures from our latest travels. A stack of Travel & Leisure magazines sit in the bathroom, along with the vintage perfume bottles that are picked up and used daily. The Mickey Mouse toaster, the fox salt-and-pepper shakers, the elephant hook from a local market in Bali, a painting from a friend. Trinkets – but trinkets that either bring joy or are useful. I love our home, this space that we’ve created and made our own.

But I’m even more in love with living around the world.

Here’s to the next chapter.


Photo Gallery of our First Home



La Casa de Vera + Woods

March 1, 2018


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I'm Helena! As a creative storyteller, I document magical moments through my lens and my pen. A lover of childhood, fairytales and natural light, I'm inspired to share the light around me. I'm the ultimate Disney nerd, and I'm obsessed with cats and expressing my love for the simple joys of slow, daily life.

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Helena Woods is a destination newborn and family photographer based in France and New England and travels worldwide. She is known for her natural light, modern classic, and emotive photography style.