Dating can be a challenge. Sure, technology keeps us more connected than ever before, but nothing can replace the one-on-one connection that fosters a relationship’s growth. I’m fortunate to have a heck of a guy who lives a few blocks away from me, but others aren’t so lucky. Up until a few months ago, the Tans were separated by thousands of miles. Nat Tan was living in Florida while his partner, and mixed-media artist, Juni, called Singapore home. Three years of Skype dates were starting to wear on the pair, and with their impending nuptials right around the corner, it simply made sense for them to finally live together in the same country.
“Having to date long-distance certainly honed our communication skills, but choosing our first home together over text and Skype was still a huge curveball,” the couple says. Throughout their apartment hunt, Nat would view each rental and then share pictures and floor plans with Juni over text and through video chats. It was Juni, however, who stumbled upon this Miami, FL rental that would eventually become their home. She had a gut reaction to the cheery space’s listing photos and immediately sent Nat out to take a peek. He, too, loved it so much that he cancelled all of his other viewing appointments and rented the place right there on the spot.
With a tight, post-wedding budget, the Tan’s had to be very careful when it came to picking out furniture and decor for their first home. To save money, Juni and Nat relied on a few clever, DIY tricks to get the look they wanted for less. As you’ll see, they’ve done an amazing job making IKEA pieces their own. The two are also self-professed homebodies, so creating a cozy and comfortable space was paramount. That coziness and ease doesn’t only benefit the pair — they cherish their time with friends, so they crafted an adaptable space ready for entertaining. They even made a dining table for dinner parties! Every room has gotten the Tan Family’s personal touch, but according to the couple, there is still a thing or two they would change if they weren’t renting. There is so much joy in the newlyweds’ home, I personally wouldn’t tweak a thing. And to think it’s only their first shot at decorating together. Enjoy! —Garrett