People are interesting. Every one. Every person you meet has something to offer, to teach, to share. A few months ago, when I started to re-work the design of my home studio (which, for the record, has made some progress. I found a great set of drawers, the perfect antlers and had my map of St. Louis framed.) Anyway, I started collecting pins of workspaces that inspired me in some way and found myself intrigued by who worked in each studio space. As I read about as many of these creatives and inspiring people that I could, and where they found inspiration, I began to wonder where it was that they found the comforts of home, what their real life was like.
I would reminisce back to my last year of high school, where I spent hours every week in my un-finished bedroom (an entire novel in and of itself) sitting in the sunshine on my plywood floor with my door locked, my radio turned up loud and just painting whatever came to mind. At that time in my life, that barren, yet warm, room was home to me. Today, when I need to clear my head and feel like me again, I go to the city and just walk around. Of course, when the stars align, I head off to St. Louis for a few days.
So I decided to collaborate with some of my favorite photographers and make a list of people who inspire us – or those we know – in some way and find out what real life is like for them and where they feel most like themselves. This is our first interview: Taylor Allen, photographed by Brittany Marie. Brittany and Taylor met through Instagram. Taylor inspires over 21,000 people all over the world with photos of her, her love, her plants and the sea on Instagram. (You probably want to join the ranks and follow her, too.)
I asked Taylor what feels like home,
“When I think of a home I think of a place where I am surrounded by the things that make me the happiest. The things I choose to surround myself with are: plants, books and my heart. Plants seriously make me one happy girl. I have 4 currently in my room and they are my sweethearts. If they die, I cry. It’s a weird overly obsessive connection that I have to them that I’m fine with having.
Books. I love books. I have a rule for myself; if I read a book I have to keep it. I don’t like the feeling of reading a library book and having to return it after I have read it and it’s in my mind. I like to keep my books stacked in my room; they’re my other sweethearts.
I believe that home is where the heart is, and my heart lies within the things I love that I surround myself with.”
PLJ: I asked her to describe her perfect day.
“My perfect day is a relaxed one. One filled with doing quiet things that I like. My wonderful boyfriend and I feel the same when it comes to this, and we love to go to a park, and just sit and not talk. We love to not talk and yet enjoy one another’s company. We enjoy the wordless time by writing in our separate journals, reading, or just closing our eyes. It’s so nice, and that is always what comes to my mind as being a perfect day.
My perfect drink will always be a 16 ounce iced chai tea latte with soy. It’s perfect to me.”
PLJ: If you could only have one memory to keep forever, what would it be?
“If I could hold onto only one memory from my life forever, it would be one distinct memory that is near and dear to my heart.
One day, I was having a bad day – when I have bad days, I escape to my grandma and grandpa’s house. It’s my ultimate getaway where I can let go of everything that is bothering me in my life and just enjoy their company and uplifting spirits.
While I was over there this one specific time, my grandpa was downstairs playing his guitar to a cd track so my grandma and I wend downstairs to join him. The evening was filled with music and good vibes. I listened as my talented grandpa (who is also my life role model) played the guitar while my grandma clapped her hands and sang along. I will never forget the feeling of happiness I felt with my grandparents that night.”
Read the rest of our interview and find out how she wants to be remembered in our current issue of Beloved.