When we opened our kimono store, co-founders, sisters Tiffany and Renee Tam, knew they wanted their space to tell their story. As children growing up in Chinatown, San Francisco, their story is woven into every part of their neighborhood. The Tam sisters’ parents had their own shops along Grant Avenue, where the girls played and later worked. Not only this, but the two young girls would go on work trips with their parents to Asia — getting a close up look at the traditional kimono-making process, which instilled in them the love of the traditional garment. They saw their parents work with artisans and suppliers, and saw the fruition of those efforts back at home in their Chinatown storefronts.
When KIM+ONO became a brick and mortar kimono store, creating an energy and space around the Tam family story seemed obvious to the sisters. From the mural on the back wall, which stands for family, sisterhood, and heritage, to the location of their kimono store with their women’s silk robes being situated on Grant Avenue, every part of their kimono store tells a part of their story. To be reminded of where they came from and the story that brought them to this moment was an important part of building their storefront business.
And this isn’t just something that a small family business can do. In fact, wherever you live, your surroundings tell a story. You can take a look around your home now and see the stories that are being told by a pile of shoes, or a beautiful piece of art, or even the state of your kitchen! If that inspires a little anxiety in you, remember that you can tell a new story at any moment. So today in the journal, we’re exploring four ways your home tells a story and inspiration to tell a story that is meaningful and inspiring to you.
Each room has a focal point, whether you’re totally aware of it or not. In the living room, it’s usually the television. In the bedroom, it’s usually the bed. Tell a story about what’s important to you by picking a focal point in each room that brings inspiration or beauty or humor. Perhaps it’s a funny poster in the bathroom. Or maybe you hang up your women’s duster robe on the back of your closet door for a bit of artwork on display. Whatever you choose, you’ll be telling a story about what’s important to you and what you want to focus on.
Your home has a feel to it. It might be minimal and breezy, or maximal and full of color. From end to end of the wide spectrum, there are many gradients of a home’s “feel”. This is exactly as it sounds — the way you feel when you enter the space. Do you feel calm? Uplifted? Anxious? Nourished? One way your home tells a story is with its feel. So decide what works for you. At our kimono store, we have palo santo, candles, singing bowls, and other home decor goodies that can instill a sense of ease and comfort. And although our style is minimalist, we also appreciate the colorful maximalist approach. At the end of the day, letting yourself have a home that feels like you and tells your story is the most important mindful interior design element.
Your home tells a story about what’s important to you, and at KIM+ONO, we hope that includes yourself! Self care is so important to our overall well-being. It gives us a chance to slow down, notice our own lives, and acknowledge all we do throughout the day. So tell the story of self care in your home by creating “care spaces” — places in your home where you can really unwind and just let go. For many people that may be their bedroom. Creating a sanctuary for the end of the day in your bedroom is a beautiful way to prioritize rest. You could also create a care space in your bathroom as it’s the first place you start your day. Slip into your silk bathrobe, light your favorite scented candle, and wash your face each morning. These little rituals can create a care space that reminds you that taking care of yourself is an essential part of your story.
The items that you bring into your home tell a story too. So let the items you own, the clothes you wear, and the small businesses you shop tell the story of what’s important to you. One reason we created our women’s duster robes was to weave our founders’ own family history and heritage into every piece. There are lots of small family businesses that make meaningful items like our silk bathrobes, and learning about the stories behind all of the products can bring even more meaning into your home. Tell the story of resilience, family, inspiration, and beauty by intentionally filling your home with meaningful items.
The first thing to recognize when telling a story with your home, is that it’s already telling a story. Figure out what story you’re currently telling and then decide what story you’d like to tell instead. Whether you’re bringing in more intentional items like those you might find in our kimono store, or building a care space with a women’s silk robe, or creating a feeling of calm in your home by applying a minimal aesthetic, you are always allowed to tell a new story. As long as it’s true to you, and makes you feel at home, it’s the right story to tell. So don’t be shy! Test it out and try some of these tips. Then let us know how it goes by tagging us on Instagram @kimandono_ and #swaythisway so we can celebrate your story, too.