Real {home} life | Mariela

March 25th 2015
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I’ve been wanting to start a new monthly series since before Christmas but it has taken me until now to get things moving. My aim has been not to rush at getting these done rather plan and organise properly.

The series I wanted to start came from the very first post I did on here about my lovely friend Sarah’s, Archiesboutique, online shop. That was about 18 months ago now and I have always had plans to continue this style of post as well as share some interesting homes that are not straight out of a magazine {but they really should be}. I see beautiful real life family homes daily on instagram and various other forms of social media I use. I really feel it would be wonderful to share those homes here that haven’t necessarily been photographed by a pro or styled by anyone other than the homeowner.

Instagram is one of those places that can either give you fabulous ideas with what to do in your home or can make you blindingly envious as to how perfect anothers home is. I’ve been there and also feel my home is inadequate when it comes to having things completely finished and clutter free. (That’s my current work in progress, trying to get rid of the unwanted excess that clogs up my brain and hinders keeping my home tidy and organised. To be honest I’d have to give away both my son and husband for that to ever happen!!! *insert big smiley, crying face as you don’t know how true to reality that is! Don’t worry no family members will be harmed for getting in the way of perfection. Promise… no really!)

This series will run on the last Wednesday of every month.



REAL {home} LIFE : 1

So I wanted to introduce my lovely friend Mariela from One Happy Mess blog. Mariela is one of my longest standing IG friends and she is a very special lady to me. My dream is to have a Starbucks with this lady and have a proper catch up one day that doesn’t consist of IG messages and emails.

If you want a little of Mariela’s style then check out the resources at the end of the post.

Mariela lives in Puerto Rico and she has a beautiful home filled with love and fun.

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All photography by Mariela (edited by Cat of TTT)
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As you can see Mariela is just like me in that she likes to change things about often. Since sending me the above images within a week or so she had sent me the ones below showing some of the changes she’d made. I really liked the large dining table Mariela so I hope you haven’t got rid of it! :)

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What part of the World do you live in?

  • I live in Caguas, Puerto Rico. A small island in the Caribbean.

Who do you share your home with? 

  • I live with my husband, our 9 year old son, and two dogs.

Tell us a little about you and your family? 

  • We are very close, we love to spend time together, watching tv, going out specially to eat something at a nice place, playing with our dogs, taking them to the park, things like that. Nothing fancy.

Can you tell me a little about how you came to buy your home? 

  • Our home was my grandmother’s home. My mom talked to me about the house when we were living in California and we said ok let’s live there, so it can stay in the family.

What space do you have?

  • Our home is very small (750 square feet = 69.7 square meters) it has three rooms, one bath, garden and patio, plus the car port.

How would you describe your taste/style?

  • My style is more Scandinavian even though I live in the Caribbean. I love black and white colors, light wood and soft colors too. I love to have prints, plants & accessories that make me happy.

On your blog you post about some wonderful homes. Have you ever thought about going into the interior design business?

  • I would love to work in the interior design business by helping people decorate their homes, I think all of us have the potential to do it, but some people don’t have the time or the vision for it.

Where does your inspiration come from to decorate and furnish your home in the way you do?

  • I get inspiration mostly from my favorite magazines, Pinterest and now at instagram some feeds are just perfect for that, you can see so many styles and you can combine the styles you like and make your own. But inspiration is everywhere.

What is your most prized possession?

  • Well I have many things in my home that mean something special, but if I have to choose what is my prized possession it would be my Mac computer. I bought it with the money I got from a job I had with the worst boss I could ever have had and it was like a gift for me after I quit haha!.

Is there a particular piece or something you have an interesting story about?

  • My Andy Warhol poster has a special meaning for me because it’s a gift from my dear friend Andrea. To know that someone thought of me and bought me something like that for my birthday is pretty great.

You now homeschool your son. How do you find that fits in with your home? 

  • For Homeschooling it’s very important to have proper lighting. My son and I love the sunlight so we study at the dining room/ living room space. We have the table for ourselves and work there with his laptop and his other school books and notebooks.

Do you have a favourite shop – Online or bricks & mortar?

  • My favorite shop online, wow I love so many haha! but I always try to find my books and magazines at Amazon, if I want an origami paper decoration I buy at Up the wooden hills online shop, love Tea and Kate online shop for accessories, Design Life Kids has many wonderful things and I love the shipping it’s fast and a great price for me because it’s hard to find that, plus the owner is such a sweet lady. Always look at Urban Outfitters online shop too.
  • Close to my home I love to go to West Elm shop, they always have so many lovely things, Marshalls and TK Maxx are two shops very close to my home, I go there always because you can find everything. Aliss for chairs, I love their chairs. If I have a doubt on something to buy I always talk to my friend Elia, she is very good at that.

Do you buy many magazines and if so which ones would you recommend?

What 3 pieces of advice would you give to someone starting out on their journey of furnishing and decorating their new home.

  • My three pieces of advice to someone who starts the journey of decorating their home is patience, follow your heart, be objective.

If money was no object what is the one thing you would change about your home if anything?

  • If money was not an object I would make our home bigger with another bathroom, when you are the only female in the house you need another bathroom.

What in your opinion is the best thing about your home?

  • The  best thing about our home is that even if the home is small we have fun here, the three of us are closer and we like it that way, plus location, we are very close to great malls, restaurants and all the things like doctors, pharmacies etc.

What do your friends say about your home?

  • It’s funny because when people get to see our home they like it and at the same time they are not used to this type of decoration which is more European to say the least, but they love it and that’s the important thing. They can see it doesn’t matter if you live on an island, you can still have a Scandinavian style too.

What’s your biggest indulgence?

  • My biggest indulgence are prints, ceramics and chairs. But now I’m focusing on our bathroom, it has to be done!.

What has been your best DIY achievement?

  • My best DIY achievement has to be the things I did with pegboards for the kitchen and one time I made a shelf. But I have to give credit to my husband because one of my favorite DIY’s in our home is a string shelving he made for the living room, I just love it.

Thank you so much Mariela for sharing photographs and also telling us more about your home and inspiration. You may live in a relatively small home compared to others but it is bursting with personality both from your taste and your humour and love.

If you don’t already follow Mariela you can find her here: instagram, twitter, blog, pinterest, shop

Don’t forget to tune in next month for another Real {home} Life post and if you miss any you can see them all by hitting the REAL {home} LIFE button on the right side bar.

Resources List:

Ikea Hay | Fine Little Day | Plumen | Marimekko | Eames | Urban Outfitters | Up the wooden hills | Design Life Kids |   TK Maxx | Tea & Kate | West Elm | Amazon | Kauniste | House Doctor | Donna Wilson | Ferm Living | Serax | Society6 | Normann Copenhagen | JC Penney | Pia Wallen


  1. I just love it love it love it!!!!

    I love Mariela, and her home is just a straight expression of her great personalities … She is one of my oldest IG friends too and we have had a few laughters in IG… I love that she is so honest! Seriously, IG could use a bunch of more Marielas there! Beautiful home of a beautiful person! And if you two ever have that coffee, I am sneaking in! Love you both!

    • Thank you my lovely x

      I love the way Mariela puts everything together. She really knows how to make it stylish, warm and fit for family fun. She is a great personality on IG and I love her brutal honesty and I agree we could definitely use a few more of her in the World never mind just on IG :)

      And coffee!!! Yay lets make it happen x

  2. Mariela is a true gem and her style is so gorgeous! She makes her small space feel so bright and airy!

    • She’s one of my oldest and most special IG friends so you are most definitely right about her being a gem. Her home is amazing and proves you don’t need big to be amazing. x

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Hi there!

Photographer :: designer :: blogger :: vintage hunter :: wife to @stecaton :: mama to a funny boy ::

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