Over the course of the last eight months, I’ve gathered from my friends who live alone, are un-partnered, and those that are child-free by choice, that this time has come with a different set of pros and cons. It has been interesting for me not only as a mother, but as a writer and creative to have these conversations and file quite deeply into their experiences. While it’s not so much a conscious effort , I think in some way, this habit allows for a connection and understanding that is crucial in passing the time. Essentially, this is the root of A Window In. It is not so much a home tour, as it is a tour of the people, really. With that, how we all connect.
I’m so happy to have A Window In with Yaminah, who is a writer and content creator (spoiler: she has the best instagram stories hands-down!), up today.
LY: Can you share a little more about you and where you live?
YM: I currently live in the Bronx. There isn’t much history to this building because it was a parking lot before becoming housing. It’s a little comforting, though, knowing I didn’t displace anyone in the process of gaining housing.
LY: I remember one story on instagram post where you mentioned that this was your first solo apartment. Is that correct? If so, how was that transition for you?
YM: It is my first solo apartment. The transition has had its pros and cons. I went through a breakup the month following my move-in so it was great that I had my own space to process during that time. I am also a Cancer and a quasi-introvert so I love my own space but I do miss the company of other (#Rona)
Okay, with that in mind, can you speak more to your experience to living alone during the pandemic in NYC? As a parent with two kids, It’s been interesting to hear the experience from my friends who are single and or live alone.
My house was like a hangout spot. Friends used to come over after dates, for a quick drink, for movie marathons, to vent, for dinner, etc. It was great because I am a very nurturing person in that regard–no one leaves my house unfed. With the pandemic, all of that was put on hold so it’s a bit of a struggle. URL is not the same as IRL but I am excited for all the hugs and in-person engagement that will happen on the other side of this.
LY: What has brought you peace during this time in your apartment?
YM: Wine and candles. I love cleaning my apartment with a glass of red wine and blasting music in my headphones. A clean apartment has made this whole ordeal bearable because I can wake up with a clear mind and ease.
LY: And what has made you feel safe during this time in. your apartment?
YM: My friends and mom texting/calling to check up on me and tell me they miss me or they’re thinking of me. I love messages that let someone know they were on your mind. I try to send as many of those as possible.
LY: I loved watching how much joy you seemed to receive as you used your bike to go grocery shopping over the summer. Even the photos of your outfits matching your seasonal fruits. Can you share the importance of connecting to food and overall style in your home?
I feel like your photos and stories embody this cohesiveness.
YM: I love food! If I had more skill and it weren’t so high stress, I would probably go into the food sector but I am way too Type B for a restaurant job. (Lol) I think food is a very important aspect of my home because it’s my way of nurturing and caring for guests and myself.
LY: Do you have a philosophy when picking out decor?
I ask three questions:
Is it functional?
Can it be used multiple ways?
Is it cute?
Yaminah’s chair is from Urban. And her dresser is vintage from Dobbin Street Coop
LY: As we wind down this interview, can you share your wind down evening routine?
I usually start my routine by cleaning. I have to clean my kitchen every night. My counters have to be clear or I won’t eat breakfast in the morning. It’s a really idiosyncratic cause and effect. I then take a shower with my favorite coconut wax, rose water, and lavender candle, wash my face, get a big jug of water, and get in bed– sometimes with a book, sometimes with Netflix.
LY: Alright, let’s talk books! Rapid fire.
–the first book from your shelf that you share with a friend?
Right now: Assata by Assata Shakur. It’s so poignant and sobering but necessary.
— the one you keep returning to?
Anything by Toni Morrison. Sula in particular. She was just such a bad b*itch.
— one that has inspired your own work as a writer?
Toni, again. She was so much in her own world and the way she was able to maneuver in and out of white spaces without having her perspective and/or voice changed is a testament to a strong sense of self.
Yaminah’s dress is Line & Dot and her lipstick is MAC Cherry and NARS Red Square
LY: When it comes to style, writing and home, where do these worlds meet?
YM: All three are something that must be honed and developed. Time and attention must be paid to all three.
Thank you Yaminah! Photographs c/o Yaminah Mayo. (This post has affiliate links. If you choose to purchase something, I may earn a small commission.)
Love this person-led design storytelling rather than the more popular object-led design because I can’t afford any big new things right now but reading her talking about her home this way gives new context and dimensions in the way I relate to my own home and decor
Anja, the more I do these, the more I realize its for the same reason as well. Especially now. It’s comforting and also helps me to expand on my own journey at home these days.
Yaminah is a treasure! She (and her space) seem so comforting to me!
What a powerful, beautiful woman! That final picture of her in the blue dress is stunning.
I love that peach watering can also! Any idea where she got it from?
Cheers from Portland, Oregon. xo
I really love her desk area. This really inspired me to assess my own work area because it hasn’t been serving me these past few weeks.