at home with victoria smith. / sfgirlbybay

i never really thought i’d buy my very own home. i had always envisioned doing it with my future husband or partner, but never all on my own as a single woman — it seemed too daunting a task and the thought of upkeep and remodeling by myself frightened me. but then there came this moment where i felt less fearful and more self-assured that i could do it on my own and i could do it well by just taking it step-by-step. don’t get me wrong, i still wonder what the heck i’m doing sometimes, but i’ve learned so much from friends, family and experts and taught myself a lot along the way. and the best part of owning my own home is getting to design and decorate it exactly as i want. having never been able to do that in the past, i can’t tell you the joy i get from making my home exactly as i’ve always dreamed. from adding my floor to ceiling bookcases (a lifelong goal!) to growing a vegetable garden, to painting the exterior scandinavian-inspired black, owning my home is the most gratifying thing i’ve ever done. it doesn’t make the obligations of home ownership any less important, but i’ve partnered with Esurance to share how to make those ‘grown-up’ responsibilities a little bit easier to manage.

victoria smith at home with her dog lucy. / sfgirlbybay

i was told right off the bat was i needed to have home owner’s insurance — in fact, you must have it to buy a home, but a handy tip? you can also lump your premiums in with your mortgage payment so you don’t have to think about it every month, and i have that payment deducted from my bank account each month just so i don’t ever forget (or have to ever write that big number on a check!). essentially the main function of Esurance for your home is similar to that of auto insurance: to protect your home’s structure and other structures on your property, along with your personal belongings. as you live in your home awhile, you begin to accumulate new furniture, pieces of artwork, and things like appliances that are costly, so you want the reassurance and comfort that comes from feeling protected. lucy’s a good watch dog and housemate and makes me feel safe — but bless her heart, that furry beast can’t cover the cost of a major repair!

victoria smith at home with her dog lucy. / sfgirlbybay

along with owning your own home, you really want to maintain it and have a sense of pride in it, so you might want to keep on hand a list of repair people you can trust — from painters to plumbers i’ve tracked down a great list of resources for myself by asking neighbors and other professionals for referrals. i try and learn how to repair what i can on my own, but there’s always going to be those things i haven’t the skills for. so just like the comfort of having that kind of homeowner’s arsenal, Esurance is helping me as a homeowner feel more confident, too. From quote to claim, Esurance is working to help you make smarter, more efficient choices with your home and auto insurance. Using state-of-the-art technology, they offer a seamless online and mobile experience along with intuitive tools that help take the hassle out of insurance.

white washed living room with pops of color on bookshelf. / sfgirlbybay

white linen sofa with throw pillows and oversized art. / sfgirlbybay

bohemian modern rattan daybed. / sfgirlbybay

white built-in bookcase with color blocked books. / sfgirlbybay

white built-in bookcases. / sfgirlbybay

rose gold bar cart with vintage photos and decor. / sfgirlbybay

black and white details at home. / sfgirlbybay

white entryway with gold wall decor and round woven rug. / sfgirlbybay

vintage gold mirror and candlestick holders / sfgirlbybay

entryway with bohemian modern decor. / sfgirlbybay

floral arrangements and houseplants with neutral decor. / sfgirlbybay

bohemian modern bedroom decor. / sfgirlbybay

bedroom with black headboard and white bedding / sfgirlbybay

leather moroccan slippers with pom poms at foot of bed. / sfgirlbybay

• photography by lily glass and victoria smith for sfgirlbybay.

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Esurance and all words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep sfgirlbybay going with fresh content every day.