Sean and I have been together for five apartments, two degrees, two cross-country moves, and many trips to IKEA. Or in other words, four years. Over this time, we have collected a hodge-podge of housewares. Some of our stuff is gorgeous and irreplaceable. Handmade original walnut Mid-Century Modern credenza from Craigslist? Keep forever! That embarrassing knife set from one of those big box stores with edges so dull they can’t slice tomatoes? Time to upgrade. There comes a time when you need to tell your apartment to start #adulting.
When Sean and I first met, I was working at a restaurant and finishing my undergraduate degree, and he was in his third year of teaching fifth grade. It didn’t matter that we had no money to spare; our first apartment together could be anything we wanted, and we were eager to make it feel like home. Resources were slim but we could not be happier to embark on the adventure of living together. If I have learned one thing, it’s that moving in together is more than cohabiting a physical space—it means having the opportunity to define home with your partner. It means talking about values, light, form, function, and feel. Is home a quiet retreat? Or is it the perennial gathering place? Minimal or ornate? Dark wood or light? No matter what sort of resources you find yourself with, there are infinite opportunities for creativity and resourcefulness. Every house can become a home.
May the odds be ever in your favor
When we got engaged last year we were immediately like, “Meh, we have everything we need! We’ve lived together for so long. Let’s not register for stuff. Who needs stuff? We want experiences.” But my mom, the voice of maternal wisdom, chimed in: “You know, if you don’t register for some physical things, people are just going to pick something for you. And it’s going to be something weird.”
We knew we had to revise our concept of what a registry could be. We shivered at the thought of receiving something awkward as a wedding present—like a red ruched duvet cover, or a family “heirloom” that Aunt Jennifer re-gifted because it didn’t sell at the garage sale.
let me upgrade you
Enter Crate and Barrel.
We had long drooled over Crate and Barrel’s glossy magazine spreads, and maybe even waltzed through one, longingly smoothing the velvet of a throw pillow, or caressing a carafe a little too intimately. Okay, okay. We had to admit it to ourselves—there were definitely things in our apartment that needed upgrading. And our wedding registry was how it was going to happen.
We had the pleasure of participating in a Crate and Barrel Private Registry Event and actualize our dream of replacing those useless knives, and mismatched cutlery with things that worked and looked fabulous while doing it. Could we upgrade it? If yes, then on the registry it went.
There was also license to add things that we just simply wanted. One cannot just walk by the Le Creuset collection and not FEEL SOMETHING. Or at least imagine whipping up some no knead bread in one of those iconic cast iron Dutch ovens. Oh, that’s just me? Well… Anyway, we added it to the registry list.
Sean and I couldn’t help giggling with delight as we scoured the kitchenware side of the store, pointing out things that we knew we always wanted (hello, mini spiralizer and handheld citrus press) but just never got around to investing in. “How much would this change our lives?” said Sean, holding up a vegetable peeler. “Oh my god so much,” I said, adding it to our list. “Better get two.”
It takes a village
From copper Moscow Mule mugs, to flatware that gasp all belonged to the same set, we slowly added to our registry items that would revamp our living space. It’s not every day that your community comes together and asks to become part of your conversation about what defines your lives together and the physical space you inhabit.
We began to realize that’s what a registry helps you do—it helps you invite your guests into your unique conversation about your joint meaning of home. If you treat it as such, the registry is a guide to your sensibility as a couple, what you want represented in your home: clean lines, light, warmth, splashes of color to remind you that the smallest things can bring joy. It’s an invitation for your guests to understand your version of home.
As we walked around the store, warm Sunday sunlight streamed through the windows. It was glowing, we were glowing. We smiled. Our community loves us, we love each other. Sure marriage won’t be easy, but when you pour your heart into something, it’s always worth it.
But damn, if it won’t be a little easier with those two fine vegetable peelers… and probably that Le Creuset. And don’t forget that carafe.
This post was sponsored by Crate and Barrel Wedding Registry. With Crate and Barrel, it doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out, or if you’ve already built a home together, they’ve got something for every stage of your relationship. Plus, get like-price guarantee, free shipping, and exclusive pieces from Crate and Barrel’s artists and designers, when you sign up for a Crate and Barrel Wedding Registry today. Click here to learn more or sign up for a live Crate and Barrel registry event near you.