In Refinery29's Sweet Digs, we take a look inside the sometimes small, sometimes spacious homes of millennial women. Today, 27-year-old Amber Kai shows off her Los Angeles home.
When East Coaster Amber Kai made the jump to the west coast, she wasn't quite sure if she would "make it," as they say. "On paper, me moving here didn't make any sense," she says. "So I try to create spaces that feel like home to me. I'm so big on feeling comfortable and loved in your space."
As a spiritual medium, Kai focuses on helping those who are transitioning through major changes in their lives, whether it's love, career, or family. And as her path as evolved, so has her space. In fact, it's what led her to her one-bedroom apartment in the Miracle Mile neighbourhood of Los Angeles. "I desperately needed a place to live because my roommate's boyfriend was moving in, so I had a short period of time to find a place," she says. "So I used my method of writing down what I wanted, praying over it, burning it, and within a week I found a place." That apartment led to her finding a larger unit in the same building, and three years later, she's happily settled.
Watch Kai give a tour of her space above, then read on to hear more about her style.
Can you talk about some of your decorating rules?
"I would never paint a wall black or brown or dark colours. I like to stay away from dark that's covering the windows because I like to have light come in. Something else is that plants are a no for me in the bedroom, because plants are upward energy. Tree energy is considered to be highly active, and it can cause overstimulation. I can't sleep a lot of times, so I just took that into consideration."
How often do you re-decorate your space?
"I grew up in a house where my mom decorated every three months, so the house always looked different. When I moved, I knew I needed a somewhat open floor plan so I could move my furniture, which I do twice a year. If I'm having a rough time, it's like I have to move my furniture. So I started with everything neutral in the apartment, and I change out blankets, pillows, rugs, and my artwork a lot, so it doesn't feel like I'm always living in the same apartment."
How has the constant-change influenced your shopping strategy?
"Well I always create a vision board. For me, it's important to look at inspiration for anything I'm doing before I just go and buy something. And I thrift, but sometimes it is better to purchase new. So I look for mid-to-low priced items if something is trendy. Then for more vintage pieces I'll splurge on something more that might be 50 years old and in really good shape. I like to get things that are classic with a little bit on a unique twist."
Any tips for thrifting?
"I think it's important to keep an open mind with something's versatility. If you can change the knobs or sand it down, or paint it. Also, if you're thrifting, find things in sets and buy the entire set. You never know if it might be worth a lot of money one day."