Blog Archives

Benches in the Bedroom

In addition to a tufted headboard, I’d like my redecorated bedroom to feature a bench at the end of the bed. Our bedroom is quite large and there is plenty of space. Plus, I always thought they looked like the perfect cozy spot to sit and put on shoes (or, they can travel into other rooms for additional seating!)

The question is which:

As you can likely see, I’m into the idea of fun accent fabric on this bench. Given the relative size and positioning in the room, I think this is the perfect place to go a little crazy. Plus, crazy hides stains, right?


Tufted Headboards: Me Likey

I have a new obsession for the bedroom.

No, not like that.

It looks like a new bed is in the upcoming plans chez moi. While I love Will with all my heart, sharing a full-size bed is starting to make me very aware of how little space I have to stretch out. Upgrade time.

I love the idea of lounging against the headboard and reading on a lazy weekend.

Luckily, Will and I share a certain aesthetic and I think I’ve sold him on the tufted headboard idea. Granted, we are very likely to have a more rectangular one than a scalloped, embellished model.

Fabric is still to-be-determined. Our current bedroom color scheme is mostly grey, but I’m leaning towards a bright teal color for the new headboard. This will likely come as news to Will as he reads this – I think I mentioned brown or a houndstooth last time we talked…

Anyone have a tufted headboard? Thoughts on mattress size when it’s double occupancy?


Bookworm Chic

I have a lot of books. This is nothing new. I’m on Bookmooch and GoodReads and consider myself quite the reader. I’m also quite the aspiring owner-of-a-well-decorated-condo. The two don’t always mix.


I’ve actually Googled “styling a bookcase” because I’d like mine to look a little less like I’ve crammed every book I could find in there sideways. Unfortunately, most tips for beautifying bookcases involve getting rid of your books and replacing them with faux souvenirs or woven baskets. One decorator advised getting rid of “unsightly paperbacks.” If I did this, I’d lose most of my collection.

I am culling. I get rid of books (via swap or donation) as soon as I finish them. I just seem to acquire them at a phenomenal rate. Input is far exceeding output.


My life is not a magazine. I need my bookcases to hold actual books. Actual paperback books. I know. I dream of wall-to-wall shelving (especially with a sliding library ladder), but until that day, I need to figure out creative storage. My bookcases are full to the brim and books are currently residing there both horizontally and vertically – however they best fit.

In addition to two busting bookcases, I have one of these:

Thus, a stack of five or six hardbacks becomes wall art. I’ve considered getting several more (they’re cheap!) and making a floor-to-ceiling “stack.” I also love this herringbone bookcase, but I was indecisive and West Elm sold out.

Do you have a home full of books? How do you display them? Suggestions, please.

Surroundings: Where We’ve Been

Will and I have a tradition about which I’m quite proud. Whenever we go someplace together, we purchase a commemorative piece of art from Etsy upon our return to grace our growing “Travel Wall”.

{Etsy Stores: SeattleMinneapolisSan DiegoPortland}

This way, we both have something by which to remember our trip and support Etsy, a site I completely love. We pick out the artwork together, so the process is collaborative and fun. Granted, some of the places we’ve been (Aberdeen, Maryland for a cousin’s wedding; Cambridge, Massachusetts for a baby shower) are too small to have Etsy-artists dedicated to their preservation, but the larger trips are represented.

The more we travel, the more this wall will grow. I have visions of our artwork taking up impressive vertical real estate some day.

Upcoming Projects

Lately, I’ve been fit to burst. Too much creative energy, not enough time to get it all out. That’s about to change. I have some around-the-house projects that I want to tackle in the upcoming months. Of course, if I had an unlimited budget (both time and money) there are a million things I’d do. The bathroom, for instance… needs help. For now, I’m tackling the small things I know I can handle solo (I don’t do plumbing).

Here they are (in order of difficulty – not necessarily in the order in which they will be completed):

  1. Paint the frame of the bulletin board above my desk. It’s currently plain “wood” – likely MDF. It needs pretty-fication.
  2. Stencil the front of my white desk. I have grey paint left over from painting the walls, and I want to add some pizzazz.
  3. Hang a shaving/mascara mirror in the bathroom. He uses it to shave, I use it to apply mascara. Win/win.
  4. New pillow covers for the couch throw pillows. I have the fabric I’ll be using, so this project is ready to go.
  5. Make a new lampshade for the lamp on my desk. The current one is off-white (and wobbly – it refuses to sit straight). Lampshade-creation is fairly straight-forward – especially since I will keep the frame from the existing lampshade and just swap out the fabric.
  6. Replace the towel rack in the bathroom. The one right by the sink (where you would hang a hand towel) is preposterously large. It will be removed (and repurposed in the closet!) and a smaller (sleeker) one will be hung. This project involves drywall patching, so it’s not as simple as it should be.
  7. Upholster a chair in the bedroom. Yes, that’s right. Currently, we have an ugly-ish black “leather” armchair in the bedroom. It needs a nicer cover. Some extra padding would help, too. This weekend I picked up the upholstery fabric and batting I’ll be using – I’m really excited to start.

The biggest struggle for me with decorating and design is maintaining patience. I can’t afford to throw all my current furnishings away and start over and, for the most part, I want to do it myself. Therefore, it will be a slow process. An evolution.

Decorating with Antlers

Lately, I’m loving the look of antlers on the wall.

No, I’m not going for lodge-chic in my urban loft condo. No, I’m not looking to start a trophy wall. I just love the fun, organic feel they add to a gallery wall:

{via The Architecture Blog}

I also love the idea of hanging a pair in my bedroom and using it to hold (some of) my necklace collection.

While I’m not even going to wade into the morality of hunting, I do wonder if it’s appropriate for someone like me – an urban non-hunter with a soft spot for animals – to decorate with animal “parts.” I don’t wear fur – should my home wear antlers? I’m torn.

My conscience is assuaged, however, by the array of cute fake ones available, like these resin gems from Graham and Green:

And hello, adorable cardboard ones from Cardboard Safari!

I’m even completely in love with Milly the Mousey Moose from the brilliant Etsy store Anatomically Incorrect Creatures. How adorable would she be in a nursery?

Thoughts? Is antler-art OK for animal lovers? Do you love it or hate it regardless?

Covet: Fresh Flowers

As we know, I’m a shelter blog/magazine enthusiast. While certain interiors are purely aspirational, there’s one thing all shots-of-perfectly-decorated-rooms have in common: fresh flowers. Isn’t it amazing what a vase of peonies can do to a room? The sunny weather has me craving bouquets.

In search of floral inspiration, I came across The Green Dandelion. Sarah, the flower-arranging mastermind, lives in Portland (one of my favorite cities ever). Look at this loveliness:

Up until, oh, five minutes before stumbling upon this blog, I would have told you that I didn’t like white flowers. Sure, they provide texture, but I want color! Clearly, I was completely wrong. Dead wrong.

Sarah’s friend Rachael was also playing with flowers during that photoshoot.  Look at these “living” earings made out of lichen!

(Sidenote: not sure which lovely lady is the model in this photo, but oh my word, those eyes!)

During the Summer, my favorite source for fresh flowers is the local Chicago Farmers Markets. It’s early still, but later in the season there are booths awash in all manner of botanicals. I tend to gravitate towards bouquets comprised all of one kind of flower, but now I’m inspired to be more bold and play around with mixing and matching. I want to try monochromatic arrangements (for texture) and using non-standard materials (twigs, branches).

Results to follow.

I Heart Pinterest

At this point, the internet-cat is out of the internet-bag. However, I still want to join the masses and stand up and shout, “I Heart Pinterest!”

What is Pinterest?

With the help of a wee download, Pinterest allows you to “pin” inspiring bits and bobs you find about the internet to online “boards” and then share these boards with the community. It’s an online inspiration board. I currently have fourteen boards – one for each room of the house (kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom inspiration) and other miscellany. Feel free to follow along.

While organizing your own pins is fun, scrolling through those of online friends and tastemakers can take up the better part of the afternoon. When you see something you like on someone else’s boards, you can “like” it, comment on it, or “re-pin” it to your own board. The name of the original pinner (and, more importantly, a link to the site hosting the original image) are retained.

When I first heard about Pinterest many moons ago, I was quick to jump in. See, I’ve been Pinterest-ing since before Pinterest existed. Here’s how it works, old-school style:

1. Look! Something nifty in a magazine!

2. Quick! Get the sissors!

3. Glue Stick!

4. Now I have it forever!

With Pinterest, I can now do all that with the click of a mouse. Technology, eh? I will likely always be cutting and gluing bits from magazines into notebooks. I’m tactile like that. Pinterest, however, will be my online notebook.

Cork Art (or, I Used to be Crafty)

I’ve never been good at video games. Ever. I have terrible hand-eye coordination. Or something. Something that keeps me from being good at most sports as well. I have, however, always been good at crafts. That’s right, you can keep your insufferably hard MarioKart! As a kid, I was whipping out friendship bracelets en masse, puffy-painting every t-shirt I owned, and turning popsicle sticks into all manner of art.

Lately, however, I’m all supplies and no inspiration. Namely, I have a ton of corks. I think I have the cork from every bottle of wine that was ever uncorked in my presence. It’s a disease. They are so small and easy to pocket. At this point, my haul seems too mighty to merely chuck in the bin (and, since I’ve already started the collection, it doesn’t make sense to stop, does it?). I must do something mighty with them! I must craft!

However… what to do?

I made six of them into little place card holders by cutting a slit in one side. I was so proud of my momentary cleverness that I made one for each of the cats.

So, eight of them were sacrificed to a higher purpose – but what about the rest? Believe me, we will never have more than six people to dinner at one time (and Will won’t let me get more cats).

I was going to hot-glue some of them all jazzy-like to the side of this wooden wine rack thing I had… but then I gave that wine rack away. I should have gotten my hot-glue on before the wine rack passed from my possession, but, well, hindsight and all.

I thought of making trivets… but I don’t need trivets. Ditto, DIY cork-boards.

Then, I was walking past Anthropologie and saw cork-art in the window! The creative minds at Anthro had constructed these little cork balls, like this:


In a fleeting moment of crafy haze I thought, “I CAN MAKE THAT!”

But then… what the hell would I do with it?

I know, right?

Is the problem that I’m less crafty – less creative – than I was as a child? Or is it that my general aesthetic is a little less homespun these days? I’m all for doing it myself (unless it involves plumbing or electricity – know thy limits), but I want whatever I make to have some function. Some purpose.

For now, I will troll the internet looking for cork-spiration. Do share if you have any ideas (or have a need for corks for your own project).

Oh, and P.S. – did you see this? Jessica Quirk is so many shades of amazing.

I am not a Dork

I have a subscription to Elle Decor.  I regularly read House Beautiful. I save West Elm catalogs to read as though they were magazines. I follow several home-decorating blogs and Twitter accounts. Basically, I’m a lover of all things interior design. It wasn’t always this way. It started last summer, shortly after purchasing my condo. I’ve lived in apartments for years, but now I can paint the walls! I’ve discussed moving a wall! I’m planning on completely re-doing the bathroom! It’s mine, and I want it to be beautiful.

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