Living well means entertaining, organizing, giving to others, and every other small detail that makes life special.

This One Small Change Transformed my Morning Routine

Morning Routine Coffee Nespresso

This post is in partnership with Macy’s.

 

“There’s little in life that’s more satisfying than smelling that coffee scent first thing when you wake up.”

 

Morning Routine Coffee Nespresso

If there’s one thing we could all use a little more of, it’s time. Summer came and went, bringing multiple projects, a lot of traveling, and very little screen time. After all, what’s in sitting in front of a computer and its radiating blue light when you could be soaking up the warm sun rays? While I put certain parts of my life on hiatus this summer—a.k.a this blog—when Labor Day came around, I made a conscious decision to dedicate my time more wisely—less procrastinating, more doing, more living (and yes, hopefully, a little more blogging).

As the cliché goes, we could all use a few more hours in a day. I can count on two hands the waking hours I spend in my apartment every week. Between work, travel, events, friends—I get very little home time. I’m okay with that: I love a fast-paced life. But the one moment when I take the time to slow down a little is in the morning (full disclaimer: I’m never the first one in the office). Because I’m rarely home in the evenings—I’m either at work, catching up with friends or at industry events—mornings are the only time I have to get organized and get some life admin done. On good days, I start by going for a quick run, followed by a speedy shower. I put on a podcast, get a little cleaning done, do some laundry. I catch up on emails, go over my to-do list for the day, and I love taking my time to get ready.

For the longest time, one thing was missing from this morning routine: coffee. I cannot function without caffeine, but I’m also a bit of a coffee snob. You’ll never find me whipping up a cup of instant coffee. Instead, you’ll likely find me chatting away with my local barista—with who I’m on a first name basis with—about recent news or new documentaries to watch. But waiting to get to my local coffee shop in the morning to get that first hit of caffeine meant I was never actually fully awake during my (almost perfect) morning routine. That’s until I finally jumped on the train my parents have been preaching to me for years and got myself a Nespresso Breville Vertuo Plus Coffee & Espresso Maker—it’s the perfect fit for my tiny kitchen counter and, best of all, it’s currently on major sale during Macy’s Fall Home Sale where kitchen electrics are 30%-50% off (with an extra 15% with the code FALL).

There’s little in life that’s more satisfying than smelling that coffee scent first thing when you wake up—something that’s not hard to do here in this 300 sq. ft. studio apartment. It’s changed my morning routine for the better. Sure, I might drink more coffee now (I still cannot give up my daily iced latte on my way to work), but I’m also more awake in the mornings, get more done, and find myself even cooking breakfast on weekday mornings—something which never used to happen. It’s improved my morning routine by 100%.

PHOTO: Gabrielle Savoie

Inside My First (280 Sq. Ft.) New York Apartment

Gabrielle Savoie's New York Apartment

I never thought I would downsize once again. When I moved into my last place in Montreal, I thought 515 sq. ft. was as small as it was going to get. I was wrong. Everyone knows that moving to New York is expensive—but one can never really fathom how much you’re faced with signing a lease on an apartment that’s less than half the size and more than three times the price of your old rent. But as cheesy as it sounds, I wouldn’t have traded this tiny space for the world.

On moving day, I sat in my empty 280 sq. ft. apartment wondering if I had lost my mind to move into a space so insanely small—but there was one thing I knew for sure—I wanted to be here. And as things kept trickling in as the movers unloaded the truck, one thing became immediately apparent: I owned way too much stuff.

It took a while to make this place my own. Between long hours at the office and a complete feeling of hopelessness in front of the accumulating clutter in my tiny space (not to mention the overwhelming amount of better things to do in the city that never sleeps), I put off decorating my New York apartment for much too long.

I read Marie Kondo’s Spark Joy (and subsequently threw out/donated a ton of stuff I didn’t need), I spent countless hours looking for the perfect sofa (which I eventually found in the Commune collection for West Elm), and put off installing blinds for way too long—especially considering The Shade Store made it the easiest process ever and, in turn, the best decision I made in the space. Around Thanksgiving, my apartment was finally in a place where I was 100% comfortable to come home without feeling like I needed to decorate, hang art, or declutter.

And then, one morning in December, I got an email from my broker—your building has decided to sell your apartment, and you’ll have to move out at the end of your lease—no! I was barely done decorating, had only lived in my space for a few months, and had finally fallen in love with the place. Reluctantly, I started looking for a new place (and saw a lot of underwhelming apartments before finding my new one).

I’ll still miss my first New York apartment—some parts more than others. I’ll miss the beams of sunlight streaming in from every angle on weekend mornings and coming home to my own glorified hotel room. I will not miss the tiny bathroom where I bumped into things more times that I care to admit, the insanely loud banging of steam radiators in the middle of the night, or the absurdly slow 1920s elevator that smelled of peppermint and moth balls. But if New York has taught me anything (and by anything I mean a lot), it’s how to live in a small space and love it (and you can read all about it on MyDomaine).

 

SHOP MY NEW YORK APARTMENT

 

best small space dresser

small space living ideas

small space dining ideas

bedside table decor

best bedroom sconces

bedside table decor

small bathroom ideas

Photos: Sean Litchfield for Savvy Home

A NYE Cocktail Party in a 350 sq. ft. Apartment? It’s Possible

How to Host a NYE Party in a Studio Apartment • on @SavvyHome

This post is in partnership with World Market.

 

I never imagined entertaining in my 350 sq. ft. studio apartment. My sofa is five foot long and squeezed between my bed and my kitchen counter. I can barely turn around without knocking over a wine glass or bumping into a corner of my bed. But last month I finally got to a point where my apartment felt decorated enough. It’s not entirely done (is it ever?), but my studio went from feeling like a work in progress to an actual home. It also happened smack in the middle of Thanksgiving—and my festive spirit was flying high. So I decided to host a holiday party for my co-workers. There’s only four of us on the MyDomaine editorial team in New York, so I figured it was manageable.

It went really well! So well, in fact, that as soon as it was over, I was ready to host my next gig—a Christmas Eve soirée, perhaps? Or a New Years Eve party! Because I’ve learned a thing or two from entertaining in my studio apartment ready—here’s what you need to know when throwing your own studio session.

 

DON’T BITE OFF MORE THAN YOU CAN CHEW

How to Host a NYE Party in a Studio Apartment • on @SavvyHome

Keep everything simple: the guest list—keep it under 8, the to-do list, and the menu. I know, you’re probably dreaming of over-the-top oyster platters and croquembouches, but trust me when I say—the simpler, the better. When you have a studio apartment, stick to the items that can be eaten while standing up: small bites, cheeses, crackers, olives, nuts. No one likes carving a turkey with a plate on their knee.

MAKE IT EXTRA COZY

Stock up on fur throws and floor pillows to make everyone comfortable. I’m a fan of the kitchen parties, but there comes a time when everyone’s over eaten and want to lounge around. If you don’t have enough seating for everyone, create it with accent chairs, poufs, floor pillows, or even your bed. On that note: make your bed—and make it well: hotel corners, ironed sheets, fluffed pillows, and all.

USE SERVING TRAYS

When tabletop space is limited, trays are a lifesaver for serving nibbles and drinks. While you may want to arrange a buffet station on your kitchen counter or console table, it’s handy to have the trays to move around the room as needed.

DECORATE WITH FESTIVE FLORALS

How to Host a NYE Party in a Studio Apartment • on @SavvyHome

Set the mood with low lighting, a scented candle, and festive florals. I loved this arrangement I got from The Bouqs—it’s varied, festive, and it smells amazing because of the pine leaves. It’ll make up for the fact that you don’t have a tree, a mantle, a collection of wreaths, or a hundred balloons stuck to your ceiling.

DON’T RUN OUT OF BOOZE

How to Host a NYE Party in a Studio Apartment • on @SavvyHome

This rule comes last, but it should really come first: whatever you do, make sure you have enough booze for everyone. This include (but is not limited to) a welcome cocktail, a signature cocktail mix for the night (with all ingredients and garnishes), beer, wine (red and white), and copious amounts of champagne, because—New Years Eve.

SHOP ENTERTAINING ESSENTIALS

 

Photos: All photos for Savvy Home | Florals by The Bouqs

This post is in partnership with World Market.

Under $50 Gifts for the Modern Host

Athena Calderone, Eye-Swoon, Gifts for the Hostess on @SavvyHome

Photo: Sarah Elliott for EyeSwoon

BRING MORE THAN A BOTTLE OF WINE THIS YEAR.

I’m all for bringing a bottle of wine at dinner—my mother always taught me never to show up empty handed. But since we bring wine at every dinner throughout the year, shouldn’t holiday dinners be extra special? Most hosts will go the extra mile to make a holiday dinner unforgettable, so it seems only fitting that we would follow suit with a great gift. Why not show up with a great bottle of olive oil, an ultra-luxe shower gel, or a great coffee table book? Here are a few of my favorite gifts for the host.

 

Shop Gifts for the Host

Goop Enriching Face Oil ($110) | Normann Copenhagen Floe Tealight Holder ($18)