Last year, my twin sister Lucy broke my heart and moved to San Francisco. But the silver lining is that her house is such a great place to visit. An outdoor enthusiast, Lucy shows her love of nature through her personality-packed decor. (Plus, she always has a tray of burritos in the fridge.) Let's peek inside, shall we?
Tell us about your house.
This is the first house my husband Paul and I bought; it's the first house that feels like A Real House, which is partly why I'm so excited. It feels like a ski lodge and cabin. Outside, there's a deck, deer, a valley with trees...
Why is it important to have that indoor/outdoor connection?
Paul and I both worked at camps and lodges during college, and we bonded over that when we first met. These days, we burn stress during our medical residencies by being outside together. A big plan for our next vacation is to stay in our friends' ski cabin in Lake Tahoe. That's so appealing to both of us.
Do you decorate in ways that bring in the outdoors?
We have plants indoors, which is new for me since we have to water them. On the coffeetable, there's dried eucalyptus from the farmer's market. Above our couch, we hung prints of Bolivia, where I did a hiking expetition, and Lake Tahoe, where Paul worked in college.
It's funny that when you took these photos, your Christmas tree was up.
It's still up! We took the ornaments off, so now it's just a tree. I'm thinking about putting it in the bedroom, just to surprise Paul.
Where did you get the Kid A poster?
Years ago, when I lived in Boston, I went into a record store in Harvard Square and bought a Radiohead album. The kid at the register said, in a deadpan voice, "By the way, you're the millionth customer to buy this album, so you win this," and brought it out. I obviously was not the millionth customer.
And you have the dog!
He's so soft. Yesterday, my blind friend came over and ended up with the dog on his lap. Before, whenever I said to Paul, "I have a great present for you!" he says, "A dog?? A puppy??" so I got this for him.
Does he have a name?
Luke. Sometimes we think we'd name our kid Luke, partly because it's like naming him after me, Lucy. Paul really likes the gospel of Luke in the Bible, and in addition to being a biblical author, Luke was also a doctor.
Do you make most of the decor decisions?
Oh, yeah, definitely--so, whenever Paul likes something, I always get it. He picked this photo [above] at a street fair. He didn't know why he liked it, but I was like, "Done, let's buy it."
What's the story behind the Buddha?
My dad had a smaller version. I asked him if I could have it, and he said, "You can have it when I die." At that stage in my life, I thought that was a really weird answer, so I got my own so I wouldn't have to get his when he died.
Where did you buy it?
I first saw this in a store in Boston. The story is that the buddha's sad because he's taking on everyone's troubles. I was actually really sad at the time, so my mom bought it for me and wrote a little card saying, "This buddha is going to take on your troubles."
I know, it was really cute.
Did it work?
Not at the time. (Laughs)
Where did you get these paintings? They were painted my grandmother and aunt, who live in England. They show my grandparents' Cornish fishing village, where we spent all our childhood summers.
How did the photo wall come about? My friend Andy Smith and his wife have a photo wall. When we visited, I spent lots of time looking at it and wanted to do the same thing.
What do guests think of yours?
They always say, "This is so cute." You end up talking about parts of your life you would never have otherwise talked about.
Where is it in your home?
The front hallway. I have pictures of myself in places and with people I love, so when I walk into my house in scrubs after staying up all night, I can think, this is who I really am, not the tired, boring person that I feel like right now.
How's your first year of medical residency going?
Hopefully this is the hardest year of our lives. We work crazy hours at different hospitals. For example, I saw Paul on Monday morning and I won't see him again until Thursday and we live together. I'm working days and he's working nights.
How do you feel about living in California?
I love it for three reasons: 1) The mountains are here, the oceans are here; you can ride your bike across the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin, where it's big country. 2) I love how people are interested in nature: Everyone recycles, farmer's markets are everywhere. 3) You don't have those horrible winters where you feel like your life is on hold until the spring. And people are more relaxed. In the hospital, we call our attendings by their first names and not everyone wears a tie.
That's four reasons. Do you want to say anything to Paul in case he reads this?
I would say anywhere I live with him will be my home. I'm excited to live in my home for the rest of my life.