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Tour a Digital Nomad's Tiny Paris Apartment + Get Affordable Decorating Tips

Damon Dominique has traveled the world as a digital nomad but is currently ensconced in a cozy, elegantly decorated Paris apartment. Damon shares his tips for decorating your temporary digs on a budget.

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Photo: Damon Dominique

Creating a Sense of Home on the Road

As a digital nomad, a travel influencer and an author, Damon Dominque has spent most of the last few years living out of a suitcase. While there are definitely perks to such an adventurous lifestyle, it's not exactly easy, or practical, to decorate each place in a string of short-term rentals to suit your own style.

I know this firsthand. A few years ago, I moved out of my apartment in Boulder, Colorado, packed a big duffel bag, and hit the road as a freelance travel writer. But after a few years of trying to create a sense of home that fits inside a backpack, I missed quite a lot about having a more stationary life. I've since settled in London.

Damon, too, has now found a long-term home base. While he still travels quite a lot, he now comes back home to this gorgeous apartment in Paris, a city that has captivated him since he was a teenager. I asked him to show us around and share his best tips for creating a sense of home on the road. But even if you're moving to a new home across the street from where you've lived for 20 years, you might just find these tips resonate with you, too.

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Photo: Damon Dominique

Shopping Secondhand Keeps Costs — and Attachments — Manageable

Damon's apartment has high ceilings with tall windows and no shortage of natural light. He's always loved gallery walls, he says, so he created this one with artwork he mostly found at thrift stores and flea markets. He shops secondhand for two main reasons: First, it keeps down the cost of decor. Second, he doesn't get as attached to things. "Everything in here, I'm ready to throw out if I need to," he says, so he's ready to pack up and hit the road again whenever the mood strikes. "I'm attached to it in the sense that I find it aesthetically pleasing, but I don't need to keep it. While my place might look like I'm a hoarder in training, I also feel like I'm a minimalist in the way that I don't feel attached to objects, because I got them all at the thrift store."

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Photo: Damon Dominique

Sometimes Literal Trash Is the Ultimate Treasure

That mirror against the back wall? It's the true embodiment of one person's trash becoming another's treasure. Damon found it on a visit to Paris about 6 years ago, in a trash can. "I was just looking out the window, down the courtyard, and I saw this beautiful orange mirror," he says. "I went down and picked it up and put it in my Airbnb." He stashed it in an ex-boyfriend's basement for about two years while he traveled. When he moved back to Paris, he retrieved it and painted it white.

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Photo: Damon Dominique

Capitalize on the Excitement of a New Home to Design Your Place

When you move into a new place, Damon says, you have a few months of a honeymoon phase to get your design and decor in order. "I feel like when you're designing your apartment, you have about three months," he says. "You have three months because you're excited you're in a new place, and then whatever your apartment looks like after three months, that's what it's gonna look like."

It was during that three-month "sprint" to decorate his new place that he went on a hunt for a green desk blotter like this one. He wanted to thrift one but couldn't find what he was looking for, so he caved and ordered one from Amazon. Of course, "I go to a flea market that next weekend and I find the perfect one," he says. Luckily, they fit perfectly together and the layering provides a great bonus effect.

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