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My Parisian Style Apartment in Manhattan Decor Guide

As many of you know, I’ve been based in NYC for about 4 years now, with a short stint in Paris. I’ve always had love for both cities for different reasons and in my imagination, I feel like there has always been a love affair between Paris and New York City with Paris being the feminine and New York City, the masculine. I’m very grateful to have called both cities  my home. For the past 5 years, I was traveling for work about 80% of the time and though I moved to NYC in 2016, I never felt like a true New Yorker because I was never here. That is, until the pandemic hit and the city went into complete shutdown on March 14, 2020. I locked the door and didn’t come out for awhile. This experience completely flipped my world upside down and I was forced to adapt. But I’m no stranger to tough times and every time I’ve experience tough times, a creative project was always the cure so I decided to become my own interior designer and create a space that was not only cozy and truly felt like home, but also made me feel like I was in Europe, which is my happy place.

I moved into this apartment exactly one month before the pandemic with nothing but my clothes and the old furniture the previous owners had left for me so I was completely starting from scratch. I consider myself an old, romantic soul who should have been born in Europe during a different era so that’s what I wanted my home to reflect. And so, I’m excited to share all of these pieces that came together to make my house a home!

Gallery Wall by Printique

I’ve always wanted to create a gallery wall in my home but I never got around to it in my previous apartments until I discovered Printique, an Adorama company. Based out of Brooklyn, the photo lab prints the highest of quality products like the canvases I opted for my gallery wall.  Printique not only produces the highest of quality products, their website is super user friendly and their shipping is fast (especially during a time when shipping has been so slow!) They offer books, albums. wall decor and more. Use promo code DAME20 for 20% off!

Mid-Century Modern Velvet Sofa

I opted for the Sven Pacific Blue 72″ Velvet Sofa by Article which I absolutely love. It’s deep and almost feels like a sofa bed without the pull-out feature. This color is gorgeous too and went well with the brushed gold accents in my apartment.

Red Persian Rug

I opted for a red Persian rug to add a little bit of Middle Eastern flair that reminded me of my upbringing (I’m Iraqi!) and the faded red color was a great contrast to the Pacific Blue sofa. I also love the vintage look adding to the European look I was going for. The price point is really great for this rug too.

Gold Coffee Table

I opted for a glass and gold trimming coffee table which I love. the size is perfect and the details are feminine.

Paris to New York Hooks

I obviously fell head over heels in love when I saw these Paris to New York hooks! They’re perfectly placed right by my door and I use them to hang my keys, mask and hat but you can also use them in your bathroom as a towel hook.

La Toilette Bath Mat

It doesn’t get more Parisian than this bath mat for the bathroom! I had to immediately get it!

Chic and comfortable Desk and Chair

With most of us working from home these days, it’s now more important than ever to have a really great at home office. I searched high and low to find a desk and chair that were chic, comfortable and most of all, not bulky. I finally found this Mid-Century Art Display Mini Desk and this Blush Pink and Brass Office Chair that is so gorgeous.

Smeg Vintage Fridge

This Smeg fridge has been on my wish list forever so I finally pulled the trigger and went for it and I do not regret it one but. It’s a bit of a splurge but it’s a staple that you will have for a long time and it really added so much character to my space! I chose the neutral Cream color in case I want to change up my color palette design in the future but there are so many fun colors such as pink, cream etc!

Gold Antique Chandelier

This antique and elegant gold 6-Light Candle Style Chandelier truly added the Parisian touch I was looking for. I love that the gold isn’t shiny (more matted and antique looking) and the crystals are subtle and not tacky.

Parisian Style Mirror

We’ve all seen the popular gold Anthropologie mirror a thousand and one times and I too wanted to get it until I discovered the Josephine Mirror and fell in love. It’s still a Parisian style mirror but it’s not as overdone as the Gleaming Primrose mirror that you see every blogger post!

Hand-Embossed Lotus Six-Drawer Dresser

Storage is key in my tiny NYC apartment but I did not want to spend a ton of money on just a basic boring dresser and was surprised to discover how few dressers with character are out there! I eventually found this Hand-Embossed Lotus Six-Drawer Dresser which had a bit of Asian and European antique flair which I LOVED. It’s super gorgeous and the drawers are deep allowing for lots of storage space!

Wine Rack

I don’t like to have too many bottle of wine at a one time and since I don’t have much space, this Moroccan themed gold wine rack is perfect.

Retro Fan

The cutest retro fan to keep you cool during those hot summer days!


Lifestyle Shopping

Where in The World to Find The Best Jewelry

Jewelry is not only beautiful and can carry a special meaning for its wearer, but the story of where the products come from and how they came to be make them even more incredible. There are different specialties for jewelry all around the world depending on what is available and produced locally. For example, there are some cities that have jewels as their specialty and where you can go only there to get the most beautiful pieces of jewelry in the world.

Here are a few places around the world where you can find beautiful jewelry:


Italy is well-known for its high-quality 100% Made in Italy items. It also has beautiful gold that you can find used to create some beautiful jewelry pieces throughout the country. At a luxury store such as Pisa Orologeria, a jewelry store in Milano, for example you can find luxury watches and accessories. In addition to gold, you’ll find precious jewels, including diamonds and colored stones.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe is a city that is home to a blend of Native American and Hispanic cultures. Some of the most incredible jewelry that you can find and purchase here is turquoise jewelry. It has a special significance in Native American culture, representing life, and it is more precious than gold. You can find beautiful pieces of turquoise jewelry here, including rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and more.


Paris a historic city that is well-known for its blend of the old and of the new. For trendy pieces head to 3rd Arrondissment, but for pieces that are pre-loved and still beautiful, check out flea markets across the city. From gold to sapphires, you can find a whole range of incredible jewelry in the city. Would you expect anything less than the city of fashion?

New York City

New York City is another fashion hub with plenty of luxury items, and you can find beautiful precious metal jewelry here in the famous Diamond District. For example, you can find gold (yellow, white, etc.) and platinum jewelry in accessory types of your choosing.

Hong Kong

Yellow and white diamonds, pearls and more are amongst the beautiful jewelry you’ll find in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is known for having high quality jewelry that is unique and reasonably priced, and recently there are more designers that are coming out with distinct designs that honor the pieces’ origins.

Overall, if you want to buy high-quality gold pieces, Hong Kong is one of the most affordable places to do it.

These are all cities where you find pieces unlike anything else thanks to their unique aesthetics and design talent. Knowing where your jewelry is sourced from as well as designed and created gives an even greater appreciation into the beautiful pieces you use and love.


Items Bringing Us Joy During Social Distancing: Autumn Edition

As we continued to navigate this “new normal” way of life, we’re making the most of the little things that bring joy and we’d love to share those with you as we continue on into the fall season. We do feel that it’s important to continue to stay safe and to find adventures and things to fuel the traveler’s soul within our own hometowns, cities and destinations nearby that don’t require a lot of travel. Now, more than ever it is important to work together during this pandemic so we can all move forward to a brighter future. I’ve been using this time I have in New York City to become more in touch spiritually, in search of healing,  helping others, making my home cozy and treating myself to the little things I’ll be sharing in the post below. I hope they bring you joy too!

Calhoun & Co. Butterfly And Moth Woven Throw Blanket

My mom always used to call me butterfly because she said I’m fragile yet resilient and although I’m always flying away, I eventually come back so it’s no wonder my heart exploded when I found this blanket! Brooklyn based Calhoun & Co. is a gift and home decor line with a mission to bring joy and they do it well. Their inspiration comes from community, friendly faces, interesting places, and spending Saturday morning cozied up with a cup of coffee and their dog, Slug!

Simplify Your Cookware with Just One Magical Do-It All Pan

We don’t know about you but ever since the world went into lock down, cooking has kind of been our new thing and the experience has been enhanced by the brilliant Always Pan by Our Place. Living in New York City comes with its challenges- like not having enough cabinet space but the Always Pan is designed to replace EIGHT traditional pieces of cookware! It acts as fry pan, saute pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, non-stick pan, spatula, and spoon rest. It’s also GORGEOUS. Our Place also offers stylish and really well made dinnerware and glassware.

We also greatly admire the founder, Shiza Shahid who is also the co-founder of the Malala Fund.

Made to Last Accessories by Duluth Pack

We love Duluth Pack who are based out of Duluth, Minnesota and make handcrafted goods of the highest quality materials and are built to last generations. The Lakewalk Pack is perfect for the autumn road trip and sturdy enough to carry your gear and belongings and the Mohair Logo Beanie is super cute and will surely keep you warm on those chilly autumn nights.

Ethically Made and Adventure Forward Designed Candles

The National Park Candle Collection by Ethics Supply Co will have you feeling like you’ve just reached a mountain peak at your favorite national park. Ethics Supply Co seeks to capture your “scents of adventure” by wandering the trails of some of America’s cherished National Parks. Not only do the candles smell amazing. the packaging is gorgeous, making it the perfect gift for the adventure lover in your life.

Relax with Hemp CBD

We all know 2020 has not been easy for majority of us. heck, we wouldn’t even be sitting here writing this post right now if it weren’t for all of the drastic changes happening in the world! We would probably be relaxing on a beach in Greece but here we are in our home city of New York, anxiously waiting for better days. One way I’ve been able to stay as relaxed and chill as I can be is by taking KindUrth™ Organic Hemp CBD gummies. They have been a lifesaver! I’e tried many other brands but they just didn’t do it for me until I tried KindUrth™.  Organically grown in the USA  and are non-gmo, vegan, gluten free and 3rd Party Lab tested for purity and quality. My favorites are the 1500 mg Premium CBD Gummies (THC Free).

Cozy Jacket by Heartloom

For those quick runs to the grocery store or outdoor dining with friends, we love the super cool Patrice Jacket by Heartloom.

Olive & June The Nailfie Ready Box

We are huge fans of Olive & June, based  and now even more so with these gorgeous fall colors! The box includes an 8-piece mani system of tools and products to help you achieve the prettiest mani from home.  It doesn’t hurt that their branding and packaging are absolutely brilliant, fully quipped with even a holder to prop your phone so you can have FT manis with friends!

Silk Masks by Claire & Clara

Being in New York City during the entire lockdown and witnessing everything we did during those few months has made us huge advocates of wearing masks as evidenced by the way New Yorkers truly flatted the curve and it has stayed that way because majority of us wear masks. With that being said, finding fashionable masks with filters has become a fun hunt! We discovered these gorgeous satin masks by Claire & Clara and were so excite to see that they also include a PM2.5 Filter. *Disclaimer via website: – This is NOT a medical device. This product should NOT be used as a replacement for conventional and approved Personal Protective Equipment (surgical or N-95 masks). The product has not been industry-tested nor has it been NIOSH approved.*

Fresh Work Out Gear by Outdoor Voices to Get You Motivated to Stay Active

I just recently discovered Outdoor Voices for new workout gear and I am in love! I pretty much live in the TechSweat 7/8 Leggings. They’re incredibly comfortable and I love switching it up from the usual Black with their gorgeous Evergreen color. I pair it with the TechSweat Cami Tank Top which has a built-in shelf bra, removable pads, and adjustable straps.

Stay Safe, Sanitized and Give Back with Clean Beauty VIVI Naturals

We’re loving the VIVI Naturals hand sanitizer that comes in a gel or spray form with a blend of Vitamin E, Peppermint Oil, Aloe Vera, Lavender and Ethyl Alochol. All of their products are Vegan and natural: Sulfate, Paraben, Silicon and Phthalate free and are created using clean, feel-good ingredients and packaged using recycled glass, paper and materials that meet the highest environmental standards. I also love their mission of giving back by partnering with Hunger in America & the internationally recognized World Vision Organization.

Get Inspired for Future Trips with Dame Traveler: Live the Spirit of Adventure Coffee Table Book!

Our dream is that the Dame Traveler book transports you to every corner of our beautiful planet. We hope you sift through each page and imagine yourself there, soaking in cultural experiences, scaling mountaintops, learning from locals, discovering new, untouched European towns or road tripping through America.

Even if your travel plans have halted, the world is still your oyster. And we hope each and every page keeps that fire to adventure glowing until the right time comes to hop on that plane. Available at @westelmdumbo, @westelmbroadway, @strandbookstore@mcnallyjackson @rizzolibookstore in nyc and @barnesandnoble @target @blackwellbooks @powellsbooks and more.

Get Cozy at Home with Custom Designs by Sasha Hayatt Designs

We have been living in these gorgeous lounge wear pieces, custom made by Dame Traveler, Sasha Yakoub herself! She’s constantly updating her website and Instagram with new designs so be sure to follow along to stock up on all of the cute coziness for this fall season!



Post-Travel Depression: It’s Real… And Here’s How to Beat It

After living for two years in New York, I was excited to catch up with my friends back home in Indonesia. When I shared my stories, however, the people I thought would be happy for me, brushed me off and changed the conversation immediately. I felt hurt.

I’m very grateful to come back with a new perspective.  This journey of self-discovery is not always pleasant. Many times the stress of living abroad outweighs the happiness. After contemplating and reading similar experiences online, I understand. Post-travel depression is real. And it’s one of the hardest lessons of being a traveler. This article covers what the post-travel depression is, and how you can keep it in check when adjusting to life back home.

What Is Post-Travel Depression?

Like it sounds, post-travel depression is a feeling of sadness that hits you at the end of a trip. Sometimes it can even begin in the days running up to the end. The longer a tour lasts, the more intense the post-vacation blues may be. Additionally, post-travel depression can seriously affect your mental wellbeing and continue for as long as weeks or months. When you’re feeling the travel blues, you may experience, exhaustion, loss of appetite, and the urge to book another trip.

After traveling, your ways of thinking have changed so much because of the customs, culture, and influences you’ve received. When you tell your experience to friends and family they seem does not care. You’ll realize nothing changed back home as if time has stopped. This rejection can be hard to deal.

Here’s how to beat it!

See The Positives In Being Back

Remember that traveling wasn’t always a laugh. What about the time you got pickpocketed on the first day? Or when you can’t communicate because you don’t speak their language? Or the horror of that hostel room! Be prepared for the negativity from your loved ones and shift your mind to see all the positive of your hometown.

Find Support

Meet up with a friend that has the same travel bug as you or better still, have survived the experience. And it’s best to do this in-person.  They’re the ones that will understand the most what you’re going through and will never brush you off. They know adjusting to the old routine is tough. This will help lessen your attention on how you wish you were still abroad.

Set Up A Time To Exercise Every Day

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. According to WebMD, endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. The feeling that follows a workout is often described as “euphoric.” That feeling, known as a “runner’s high,” can be accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life.

Embrace Your Backyard

Have a look around there must be some historical places in your town that you never visit before. You can have a great travel experience on your doorstep. And it’s cheaper!

Create An Escape Fund

After coming back from your trip, your travel fund sunk to zero. It’s time to top up that fund. You don’t have to start your full-time job immediately, but it’s nice to think outside the box on how to have enough money so you can be on the road again. Maybe sell your travel photos to travel media?

Help Out Other Travelers

While you were traveling, it’s likely that you ended up relying on the kindness of strangers at multiple points throughout your trip. This kindness is what makes your trip memorable. Aim to pay it forward by helping out your friends or tourists in your home. You have the local advantage. Help them navigate the city safely. When you found a lost tourist looking at a map, guide them to the right address.

Be Vigilant About Thoughts That Give Rise To Negative Emotions

Travel Soul Therapy perfectly sums it up, “Do not destroy preciousness of your travel experience by longing for it after you come back by making a mental delusion of conceptualizing it into a “thing” to crave for and wishing to “possess” or “keep” it. Merge with the flow of reality of change by bringing your awareness to the present moment.”


Interview with Dame Traveler Linda of HausofColor

My name is Linda and I write HausOfColor a beauty, style, and recently added —travel blog! I also produce Youtube videos featuring beauty/style topics, and all my travel adventures!

How did you begin blogging? Any tips for success for those who may be interested in starting one?
I’ve always “blogged” —way back when it was just known as “writing (online).” It’s the creative side of me that really enjoys telling stories through colorful words and photos. I blogged back when Xanga & AsianAvenue was around and I officially got into it 3 years ago when I purchased my domain, the rest is history as they say…The best thing about blogging is that anyone can do it; it doesn’t require much money to start and you can work at your own pace. For those interested in blogging, I have 3 piece of advice that can help you on your way to success!

1. Think of a clever name
I’d advise you to think of a really unique, outstanding name: something with a great ring to it, something quirky, something easy to remember, and something you can identify yourself with. Purchase the domain, godaddy offers domains for about $10/year, it’s a small investment, but has so much value. vs., which one is easier on the eyes?

2. Consistency is the Key
In my opinion, consistency is the key to a successful blog. When you post often and on a timely manner (ie. every Monday/Wednesday/Friday), your readers are more likely to visit your blog because they know you’re producing material consistently. They’re counting on you to entertain them!

3. Keep your content fresh
2-3 great quality photos with 1-2 witty paragraphs is much better than an entire page of blurry/crappy pictures and wordy blog posts filled with grammatical errors.

When did you fall in love with travel?

I fell in love with wanderlust when I was very young. Growing up, my family moved around a lot and my parents were always very spontaneous; taking off on short notice was pretty ordinary in my household. We often took road trips and I was co-pilot, navigating my Dad with a real paper map. I was very used to being on the go and I have my parents to thank for that. They exposed me to a world outside my own and taught me that traveling is a gift of experience. I’ll pass on the same sense of adventure down to my children!

We know this is a tough question but where is your favorite place in the whole wide world?
This is a tough question indeed, every place I’ve been to holds a special place in my heart… but if I had to choose, Vietnam would be my top choice! I’ve been there an abundant of times, yet there is still so much more to see! Even though Vietnam is such a small country, it has so much to offer. The people, the food, the waterfalls, sand dunes, rainforest, beaches, everything about VN is amazing! You can watch one of my favorite adventures from my trip to Vietnam here: Hello Vietnam.

What are some ways in which you help yourself make time and generate funds for traveling?

Time & Money are big factors that hold people back from traveling. I compromise a lot of unnecessary spending such as shopping, eating out, entertainment, Starbucks, etc. in order to reserve those funds for traveling. I travel to destinations during off season (benefits: less crowded, cheaper airfare, cheaper accommodations), and I don’t stay at fancy places and eat fancy meals —unless it’s totally worth the splurge of course!

What inspires you most when you travel?

I’m most inspired by the people I meet along my travels. Our difference in culture fascinates me, it’s so interesting to me how people live their day to day life. Some countries seem to be living in the future, while others are stuck in time.

Standout travel memory?

One of my fondest memories was when I was about 19 years old. My parents had a nail salon back then and I had temporarily moved to South Carolina with them while on break from university in Chicago. It was a Saturday afternoon and I remembered working on a client, I saw her Louis Vuitton bag and I just fell in love! I complimented her on the beautiful tote and she was very quick to share with me that it was actually a knock off LV bag she purchased on Canal Street in New York! She continued to tell me that they had every designer knock off item you can think of on this famed Canal Street. I was immediately enticed! I went straight to my dad after the client left and told him about this counterfeit alley in New York City, I told him we HAD to go…one idea lead to another and he said, “OK, let’s close the shop early and leave tonight.”We had it all planned out… My dad would drive the first leg of the trip while I sleep and I would drive the second half. We were coming from Sumter, South Carolina, so the drive was about 11 hours to Manhattan. Just like that, at 8pm, we left for New York City! I never imagined in my life that I’d experience the craziness of Sunday morning traffic in Manhattan in a huge SUV with the responsibility of 5 other lives (my dad, mom, brother, and family friend). It was my first time in the big apple and I would never forget such an adventure!

If you could pick up and go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go? 1,2,3 quick!

South Africa!

How has a life of travel changed you?

It’s taught me to be open minded and to make the best of things. When you travel, you encounter many unplanned events (getting lost, language barriers, missing flights, booking wrong flights, visa issues, hotel issues, etc.), but you just have to make the best of the situation and not get your panties in a bunch. It’s all about perspective; you can save yourself a lot of stress and premature wrinkles if you can quickly overcome these unforeseen hurdles.

What is your travel style?

#freestyle. I hardly ever have a set itinerary when I travel. Instead, I make a mental list of things I want to see/do/eat and try to squeeze them together at convenient times, but rarely do I have a solid plan. I think having a set itinerary can be stressful and takes the fun out of the adventure.

Favorite words of wanderlust wisdom?
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return”—Leonardo da Vinci.

What’s your best advice for aspiring wanderlusters out there?

Don’t be afraid of what you do not know, those crazy experiences make the best stories!