Living With Style: New Year, New Home Experience

By Sasha Witte
Gazette Columnist
Dec 31, 2017 

The process of ending one year and beginning a new one is an opportunity to turn a new leaf and to make goals for spending our time and money in ways we determine will be more satisfying and fulfilling.

I have collected here a list of ways I believe we can experience life and our homes in new, simple and beautiful ways in 2018:

Live Well Daily

Living With Style: Dining Table

Life is too short to not enjoy the good china with family and friends.

—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

I read an article recently about writer Joan Didion saying that she uses her good silver at the dining table each day. She replied, “Why not? Everyday is all there is.” Another of my favorite quotes is, “The journey is the reward.” Since the journey is a series of “everyday” moments, why not make those moments beautiful?

Enjoy the good china for your morning tea. Cluster a grouping of your favorite vases and objects of art to greet you on the entry table when you return home from work. Pull out your favorite and treasured afghan or quilt that your grandmother made for you as a child and drape it across the back of your sofa for color and texture.

Use the objects that inspire you to enhance your daily experience of your nest and to remind you of beautiful experiences you have shared travelling and with family and friends.

Be Inspired

Living With Style: Home Library

Surround yourself with books and objects that give you joy and remind you of life's beautiful experiences.

—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

William Morris, father of the Arts & Crafts movement famously said, “Have nothing in your home you do not find to be beautiful or useful.”

If you look around your house or apartment and realize you don’t feel a connection to the things that surround you, it’s time to donate and send them on to someone who will treasure them. One at a time, collect objects and items that nurture and inspire you.

Living With Style: Memories

Photos of favorite vacations and loved ones can lift our spirits daily.

—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

Consider enlarging and framing your best scenic photographs from favorite vacations or local vistas - as daily reminders of the places and people that you enjoy most.

Seek out local young artistic talents whose work you love - and in doing this you can find original art for a fraction of what you would often even pay for a print by an already well known artist.

Living With Style: Happy Space

Every direction you gaze in your home, your eye should be able to rest upon items that bring a smile to your face.

—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

Every direction you gaze in your home, your eye should be able to rest upon an object, a color or an image that brings a smile to your face.

Entertain Often

Living With Style: Entertain Often

A home is for sharing so open it up to nights of fun, games and conversation with those whose company you enjoy.


A recent Harvard study expressed that those with good friends living within a twelve mile radius live longer and happier lives. Foster those friendships with evenings shared at home. Make simple food and light lots of candles. Candles can hide a multitude of “sins” with their soft ambient light.

For simple and fresh ingredients, visit one of our local farmer’s markets for some seasonal produce. These visits are also a visual treat – with all the beautiful rows of colorful fruit and vegetables recently harvested right here in Southern California.


Or pull out and dust off those old board games. Along with a bottle of wine (or two) and a pizza – you can connect with friends in a way a group trip to the movies will never achieve.

Buy Local

Living With Style: Boutique Style

Explore one of a kind boutiques in Long Beach and when traveling to find art and objects that bring joy and inspiration to your environment.

—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

Explore the local boutiques, flea markets and estate sales both when traveling and at home. Not only is the experience more fun than a visit to the mall or the big box stores, but you’ll come home with more unique and personal finds.

Spending your money locally also helps the economy in your own back yard.

There are wonderful boutiques and one-of-a-kind stores here in Long Beach on Broadway, 4th Street and in Belmont Shore.

There is a local flea market the third Sunday of each month at Veteran’s stadium. Visit early for the best selection. But, if you stay late you can sometimes get the best pricing because vendors don’t want to have to repack and reload the unsold items into their trucks.

For estate sales, check out the local Pennysaver and the Grunion’s classified section for listings.


I wish for you and yours a beautiful year in 2018. And remember to enjoy something wonderful on each of your “every-days.”


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