Once the plane had leveled out, my husband and I simultaneously turned to each other to pitch a big idea. We were heading home from 10 magical days in Prague, Czech Republic, and by the last day my husband and I hatched the same idea: What if we moved to Prague?
A year and a half later, we packed our bags and booked one-way tickets. The next two years, three months were magical. We lived in a renovated 100-year old flat. Our landlord said it took hours of ripping up linoleum and sanding through layers of paint to reveal the original wood herringbone floors. The walls and 12-foot ceilings had fresh white paint. And the decorative millwork on the double window casings found new life. It was the most beautiful space I’ve ever lived in.
But life wasn’t always easy on our magical adventure. I started having chest pains from anxiety over an underlying feeling of "WHAT DID WE JUST DO?!" We missed holidays and major family events back home. We spoke just enough Czech to get around, and just enough to get ourselves (myself) into pretty embarrassing social situations.
As for settling in, turning our minimally-furnished flat into a welcoming home wasn't easy in a post-communist city with few design resources. I wanted to use second-hand finds since we knew we'd only stay a couple years, but they were hard to come by. Culturally, Czechs are very resourceful from decades of having to be. Even today they put things on the curb for someone else to scoop up, so you just have to get lucky. Even buying new was a little tricky because there’s a wide chasm between inexpensive and super pricey furnishings. So I scoured an expat website and hidden antique stores (antikvariát) for lamps, benches, rugs and art that I’d then coax my husband into helping me carry home on the tram.
This seemed to work, and it didn’t take long before our place at Přibyslavská 5 had soul that impressed even our architect landlord. A comfortable, welcoming vibe that was the perfect canvas for relaxing after a day of tour guiding, finding inspiration for our next video or journal entry on our website, and hosting friends from all over the world for pancakes and holiday parties.
The lessons I learned in that sunny flat on how home is your sanctuary—where you entertain friends, dream big dreams, and recharge your heart—inform how I approach design today. From creating layouts with an inviting flow, to filling rooms with things you love. I create spaces to hold your memories. And this flat sure did. Hope you enjoy/ed the tour!
Are you ready for something new in your home? I can help! Reach me here.