Janea Brown’s space in New York City is the definition of cozy. It’s welcoming and comfortable, and we especially love all of the greenery throughout. In this room tour below, you’ll not only get a look at her awesome space, but also feel uplifted with Janea’s positivity. Plus, her decorating and life advice is on point. Step inside and enjoy!
What made you so open to sharing your life on social media?
I’ve always been a people person with a desire to connect with women from all different walks of life. With social media usage constantly rising, I noticed genuine human discourse taking a dive and my inner social butterfly was challenged. In January of 2018, I accepted the fact that social media is not going anywhere anytime soon. So, I decided to be more intentional with my time online and focus on creating a space where women could come for encouragement, community and the reminder that they are never alone in their journey. Overall, my goal has always been to put the “social” back in social media and that required me to be open about my life with complete strangers.
You’re constantly surrounded by plants! Would you say you have a green thumb?
My plants have definitely taken over my room (possibly my life), but I wouldn’t say I have a green thumb. I have killed my fair share of innocent greenery, but fairly recently made the decision to learn how to reverse my murderous past. I figured, if people can raise babies and Daenerys Targaryen can train dragons, then I surely can keep at least one plant alive! With research on YouTube and endless questions at my local nursery, I was able to find what plants are best for my home and lifestyle. The key is to start with something that is low maintenance and capable of surviving your neglect here and there.
What are some tips you can share for people who want their rooms to feel just as cozy?
Is a room even a room, if it is not cozy? The first two elements that come to mind when I think of cozy are lighting and texture. Just like how lighting can make or break the mood at a restaurant or on the dance floor, it can do the same in your home. If you have natural light in your space, I recommend opening your blinds or curtains first thing in the morning to set the mood for the day. As for the evenings, mood lighting is everything. I was so obsessive about this back in college, that I even covered the light switch in my dorm room with tape so that no one could turn on the overhead lights. It was a lamp-and-twinkle-lights-only kind of space. The same applies now and I would easily tell anyone seeking a cozier space to add stylish floor lamps, table lamps or rock salt lamps to their space to set the tone. Lastly, I would recommend incorporating a variety of textures into the rooms in your home. Rugs, throws and pillows are the easiest ways to make a space feel more cozy. Basically, anything that you can cuddle with. If it’s fuzzy, even better!
Where do you draw inspiration from?
A lot of my initial inspiration came from a few of my favorite cafes in Brooklyn. I noticed that I happened to only go to local spots that had a ton of greenery, a lot of natural light and neutral colors. Outside of that, Pinterest is still an amazing place and personal favorite way to create mood boards and be inspired.
What do you love most about your home?
I love that my home feels like a true escape from the hustle, bustle and grittiness of New York City. I wanted to create a true place of refuge, where I can recharge each day. Also, I love that we have been here for seven months and there’s been no sight of a mouse. Praying it stays that way.
What do you think makes a house a home?
I believe a house is made a home when someone takes ownership of their space and their personal style, by being intentional with each corner. There are little things you can do to bring character and functionality into your home that will make the space fit perfectly into your daily needs and lifestyle. For example, I added art into my space that challenges me every time I look at it. One particular piece is a bold hot pink color (the opposite of everything in my home), and it says, “No one is you and that is your superpower.” Having that daily reminder right beside my bed empowers me to reroute any doubts or insecurities that try to trickle in.
How do you stay so positive?
I was not expecting this question, but I’m glad you asked! My first thought would be that growing up doing theatre, attending a performing arts school and being a competitive cheerleader are three major ingredients to learning how to “fake it until you make it.” Essentially, being on stage taught me the art of leaving my issues at the door because the show must go on! As I have gotten older, the “light at the end of the tunnel” mentality has stayed with me, but I tend to focus more on the power of perspective and training my mind. Life is downright tough and everybody has heartbreak, loss, fear, failure, doubts and dark places (including me and sometimes all in the same day). The only way I’m able to stay afloat is with my faith, staying close to my family/friends and always remembering that EVERYTHING is temporary. If it is temporary, that means I will get through it and will come out on the other side with new insight that could hopefully help someone else down the line.
What kind of message do you want to send to your followers?
I want my followers to always know that they are never alone in their journey and that they are capable of anything and everything in this life that they want to accomplish. Most importantly, I want them to remember that life is so short and they deserve to live it fully by experiencing new things, making self-development a priority, loving others boldy and always remembering the importance of dessert!
How do you motivate yourself when you feel burned out?
Dude, burnout is so real and it’s extremely tough to navigate at times. A friend quoted a book she was reading once and it really resonated with me. She said, “Motivation is fleeting and you shouldn’t wait on it.” I was shook and immediately felt targeted because I have put goals on the back-burner while waiting for Mr. Motivation before. Regarding the not-so fun parts of work, studying to improve my craft, moving my body or anything that will help me be the best version of myself, I may never feel motivated. For that reason alone, the key is in the vision and habit building. Recognizing your vision and aligning habits that will get you there is a daily effort that deserves your attention. Waiting only delays your growth. So, I try to focus on the small steps that will lead to the larger goals.
Who or what inspires you?
I am mostly inspired by the perseverance of the beautiful, intelligent and strong women in my family and in my life. They have all survived and accomplished so much while being leaders in the workplace, active in their communities, amazing moms, wives and just downright phenomenal people. I am constantly remembering the women I’ve been blessed to do life with and the wisdom they’ve shared with me. Knowing that they have beat the odds with more pressure on their backs, I know that I too am capable.
What are 3 things you can’t live without?
I cannot live without body moisturizer (think ChapStick, lotion, oils, etc). I am a walking Sahara desert and am always dry. My family and friends are next in line. They are my heart. Lastly, dessert. Without it, are you really living life?
Photography by Britt Herbert
Janea Brown – @jnaydaily
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