So much of my time is spent in our little apartment. I love this space. It is perfect for the four of us right now, granted two of us are under 30 lbs. and can fit in small places, but it is just right. I was a little nervous when I realized we were cutting our living space into about half. We have done this the last three times we have moved, and coincidentally have lost a floor each time. From 3 to 2 to now a English Basement apartment. You can see the entire apartment here, but today I thought I would share where I sit most of the day.
A lot of my day is spent on the computer. I switch between my desktop and my laptop but when I need to design, edit, or use a big screen I tend to sit at the desk, spread out and get to work.
Since I don’t really have an office, I have had to get creative with storage, staying away from clutter, and having enough room to have my many notepads, pencils, phone, memory card reader, Wacom and more accessible. It’s crazy y’all, but I now have a system that works. And I am happy with the aesthetics of it all, which may be the OCD in me or just the fact that I like to be neat and stylish.
So come see where I spend most of my time working for the weekend!
The desk and chair are both from Ikea with a fun knob from Anthro. They really make some great office furniture, cost effective but so cute.
I thought I would also show you a picture of what Boo does during the day. He likes to keep me company, sweet puppy.
Instead of using a regular mouse pad, I use one of my “Like a Boss” notepads from my shop. It works perfectly.
If you notice in the above picture, the sweet lemon dish cloth underneath the printer… well when you pull it back you magically see all my packaging supplies… TA-DA!
Easy storage without having to display the ugly side of work.
What does your work space look like? Is it neat and tidy or an organized mess? Do you have a whole room or a nook like mine? What works for you?
Whether your home is large or small, I believe everyone needs an area to grab their favorite book, magazine or tablet and read. It helps if your space has some personality. I found this pillow at Target and immediately knew that I could cozy up to this guy with a good book and some tea.
With this pillow in mind, I pulled together some more bright and fun accessories for a great reading nook. Especially one of my favorites, Pride and Prejudice, plus the cover is absolutely lovely. Get some inspiration and a good book and cue Belle’s singing. “This is my favorite part because… you’ll see….”
Sometimes interior design can be frustrating! You know you want to make your space pretty and stylish but you just don’t know where to start or what accessories to add. There are so many fun accessories and decor pieces out there but navigating through the aisles at HomeGoods can sometimes be overwhelming.
One of the best solutions I have found to helping me decorate our home, is finding a certain style of accessory and incorporating it into each room. That way, if I want to change up the look to a room, I can always swap a piece from the kitchen to the living room, or from our bedroom to the bathroom. This helps me save money in the long run while adding some great style to the niches in our house. For me, Mercury Glass pieces have been my bread and butter. I love the vintage, glamorous look to mercury glass and it can work with most design schemes. Plus mercury glass pieces can be found everywhere from Target, HomeGoods, West Elm and even TJ Maxx and at a good price.
Find a style of accessory you like and start collecting pieces as you go along. Make sure the piece is something that can be used universally in each room so you can switch it around if you need a change in the future. If you are like me, you like to redecorate your spaces every few months.
Here are some of my favorite mercury glass pieces in our house.
And if you need a little bit of inspiration, here are some great mercury glass pieces for any home!
We own our own home but we are currently not living in it. No, our home is located in Greeley, Colorado and right now we are living in Washington, DC where seersucker, bow ties and monograms rule the world. We are loving it here but we are also living in about 700 square feet of rented space. We love our little apartment, you can see the tour here, but there is something about getting to make your own adjustments and painting where ever you want.
Lately I have been having dreams of redecorating. Yes, dreams. I love those dreams but I wake up wanting to break out the paint roller and get stuff done. As for right now, I will just continue to dream!
My latest inspiration has been coming from stationery. I have always loved Rifle Paper Co.; Anne Bond is the talented lady behind each design and everything she draws/paints/creates is whimsical and I want my whole life to look like one of her cards. This look mixed with a little vintage old schoolhouse charm vibe and you get the perfect old world charm kitchen!
Here is my inspiration from Rifle Paper. I love the muted colors, the dark wood of the recipe box mixed the the glamour of the gold. Love it all!
To accompany the kitchen, I would love to paint a wall with chalkboard paint for our grocery list, fun doodle space and for the overall vintage schoolhouse vibe. My inspiration comes from this amazing wall from the blog Burlap & Lace.
I’m a DIY Junkie. If there was a support group, I’m sure I should be going to it. I have fabric, paper, paint, brushes, etc… stashed away in a cabinet, under tables and everywhere in between. Living in less than 800 square feet, I have had to be creative about where all my DIY supplies go. But needless to say, they are perfectly on hand when the creative juices get going.
Since moving into our sweet little DC apartment, I have gotten extremely bitten by the DIY bug. Through my former job, I began to really appreciate the artistry of handmade and just couldn’t get enough of making unique pieces that I could have in our home. Here are some of my favorites.
For a simple pin board, I covered a cork board square with a plain canvas fabric and used handmade pushpins from Antropologie. It’s the perfect size for above my desk.
With a different piece of cork board and with some more of the same canvas material, I took my love of Ireland and made it into a piece of string art.
With sewing straight pins, some thread and lace tape, I made a string map of Ireland with a heart over the city where I used to live in.
One of my favorite mediums to work with is cardboard. There are literally countless ways to up-cycle cardboard into amazing handmade goods. Like:
A hanging wall frame that you can change out the photos in whenever you choose. I covered two pieces of card board with fabric, glued them together and used velvet ribbon to allow it to hang on the wall. With no glass in the frame, I can change out my photos easily.
I didn’t make these next two. They were made for us by a sweet friend in West Virginia. I love how she stamped our names onto them.
I love to read and one of my favorite ways to decorate is using books but I could never find bookends that I absolutely loved, so I decided to make some of my own.
I went to a hardware store and found some wooden shelving sconces, primer and paint and painted them to make them perfect bookends for what I wanted.
Made from scrapbook paper and an app on a website (which is not longer available, so sorry), I was able to maker my own vision chart that has our names and wedding date. Instant art done in less that 30 seconds.
I use a lot of fabric for DIYs around our apartment and used some leftover fabric to make a hanging wall saying for our bathroom just using fabric, felt and ribbon.
I love to shop! And love might even be an understatement. There is something about walking into a store and having all the magical possibilites just appear before your eyes. To me, it’s what Candy Land feels like to a child. But as much as I love to shop for clothes, there is something about dressing up a space. You can create a feel and an attitude with the change of a pillow, curtains or a new rug.
This is one of my favorite things about moving. I get to set up house again and again. While the packing and unpacking can be tedious, the chance to redress a space is something I always look forward to. Whether it’s before a move or right after, I start to visit my favorite places to gather the things to make our new home feel like “home” with a twist. Most of the places I go, I go to because I know I can always score a good deal. Having a budget helps too because then I can splurge on the bigger ticket items that would be hard to replace. Come see my favorite haunts where I go to add those special touches to our home and definitely check out one or two or all 6 of these stores when you can. You will be glad you did!
IKEA– This is my go to place for great furniture for a great price, storage solutions and colorful decor pieces.
West Elm– The sale section of West Elm is one of my favorite to scour and they never fail to have some of the best decor accents.
World Market– I love, love this store. You can always find something unique at World Market and it’s never too expensive!
Z Gallerie– Bright colors, white ceramic accents and metallic decor pieces are never in low supply here. This store is so fun!
Anthropologie– The sale section of this store is my hunting ground. I wish I could afford all the things in Anthro but every once in awhile I find an amazing deal.
We are about to celebrate our 5th Wedding anniversary! Yes, 5th! I still can’t believe it. I feels like yesterday that Andy and I were celebrating with our 400 closest friends and family (yes, again, 400, but that is because Andy’s family is huge and we both grew up in Churches that have deep roots).
I think the reason why these past 5 years have flown by is because Andy and I have lived a whirlwind of a life. An amazing life, but we just never seem to stop moving… literally. I am sitting on our couch writing this post in our 5th place of living since tying the knot. We always seems to find our selves settling in and then uprooting right back again, and we know the winds of change are coming again. It’s just how it goes when you are married to a man in the construction world (Andy manages large constructions projects for a mechanical contractor).
One thing we have learned though, no matter where you live, or go, your home is where you are. Very cliché, I know, but we have been able to make our home based on the fact of who we let into it, what we do in it, and how we love in it. When Andy and I were starting to get serious (way back in our Sophomore Year of college), we sat down and wrote out our goals of what we wanted our lives to look like. One of our top goals was to let our home be a haven to those all around. It’s been incredible the things God has done in our home, from ministering to college kids, backyard BBQs, friends crashing on the pullout and more, our residence, no matter where we go will be a home. Every place we have lived in has fit our needs, our wants and has never felt “not right”. I solely believe that this is because each time we move, we pray for our next house and when we get in it, we pray over each room. I strongly recommend doing this because when you make a place sacred, God will honor your convenant.
Now for fun. I thought I would share pictures from our past places of living! Not only has our marriage grown and matured but our interior design tastes have as well… please don’t judge our previous tastes. We just didn’t know any better.
Our Apartment in San Ramon, California July 2008 to December 2008
Things to look for:
Our old school tv
A teddy bear and monkey
Our college furniture
Our First Home that we bought, Greeley, Colorado, July 2010 to October 2011
Things to look for:
Crazy paint colors
A Baby Boomer
Andy’s Prize 4H Rocket
Again with the horribly mismatched furniture
Our house in Morgantown, WV, October 2011 to July 2012
Things to look for:
The start to furniture looking like it belongs together
Sorry the pictures are so grainy!
And our current residence, Our apartment in Washington, DC July 2012 till ?
Things to look for:
A love note on a mirror
Common items from the last 3 houses
More Tron sightings
Lemons that look real but aren’t!
This was a long post, so thanks for sticking around!
Nothing like a little Beyonce to get the day going.
I have always loved to rearrange things. Whether it’s my desk, the furniture, pillows and so on. A fresh new change can totally change a room without have to revamp the whole area and just to switch things up with the stuff you already have, keeps the price tag down. Re-design on a tight budget is my middle name and just a simple change can refreshen your space and attitude. When I was little, I used to love to rearrange my room. I think that is where my love for interior design first popped up.
One of the easiest ways to do this, is to rearrange the art in your house. Make a new gallery wall in your entry way or switch out the photos on that side table. Every few months, I will gather some pictures through out our apartment and put them in different spots. It helps keep the room new and interesting and allows me to see a picture I haven’t seen in a while.
I started to collect frames that were all one color and pretty basic, these where white. I then started to incorporate frames that were unique and color coordinated with my other simpler frames, such as silver, gold, capris shell and some wood. This way, I had frames that I could have right next to each other with little pops of fun and interesting accented frames to give a chic, modern look. Because the frames match, it doesn’t matter where I put them in our house/ apartment, they still all go together.
It’s amazing how much money I have saved and time well spent just being able to “go shopping” in my own apartment. If you are looking for a great way to style your walls and have the ability to change things up, this is a great way to start. Ikea has a great selection of frames that are all one color and cheaper than most other stores, and Target, Home Goods and T.J. Maxx are great for those unique and stylish frames.
You can see our whole apartment tour here, but here is a tour of our frames up on the wall and around our tables.
What color frames would you put in your house or apartment?
Since moving as become more like a hobby for us in our 5 years of marriage, Andy (my husband) and I have had to downsize several times. We joke about how even though we are “growing” up, our living situations seem to be going backward. We went from a 3 story house in Colorado to a much smaller house in West Virginia to now a teeny tiny apartment here in DC, see our home tour here.
Needless to say, learning how to store our things has become almost like a game. Not to mention, it gives me a fun way to decorate our apartment. Check out some of our tricks to store our things while not have to break the bank on a storage space.
Fabric is a great way to help add a dash of color but also give you a way to store some things that you don’t want to be seen on an everyday basis. We have found in our apartment, we don’t have a lot of closet space and so things that we can usually store in closets or in a basement need to be placed somewhere else. What we have done is store things under tables and have hung decorative fabric in front to cover the mess but still have it look nice.
And when you pull back the curtain, you find… no, not the Wizard but most of my crafting supplies. Please excuse the cat hair.
Ikea has these great hooks that slide on a line. For less than $20, you can hang a line under a table and it makes it easy to slide the fabric curtain back and forth. We sure do love Ikea.
We love these nifty little guys. We have about 4 different styles, but we have so many for a reason. Ottomans and benches play so many different parts. Storage, seating, decor and a great place to rest your feet. We store everything from our sheets, blankets, old financial information, and more in each ottoman.
Boxes and Baskets:
One of my favorite things to use to decorate that also serve a dual purpose of storage are baskets and boxes. We use these to store our records, papers, TV remotes and all the other junk which I have titled: Clutter. It is the perfect catch all box for all those silly things that we can’t get rid of but we don’t have a place for it.
This may seem like a no brainer but they make great storage things for a reason. They work. And no better place to find them than my favorite store: IKEA. * No we aren’t being paid to write this post, We genuinely love the Swedish Mega Store.
We have two pets, a dog and a cat and we used to store their food in our garage in Colorado and then in the basement in West Virginia. We had no idea where to store their food in DC until we came across these magic bins that roll out. They fit under our bathroom sink and we can roll them out to refill them.
While it may not really be a “bin”, these pull out shelves/bins are an excellent place to store shoes, magazines, gloves, mail… I could go on. We use them primarily for shoes but it is the perfect size for our small hallway and on the top, we store our keys and mail. It is perfect for small spaces.
Shelving, Wall Racks and Hangers:
We use a lot of shelving and hangers to keep our closet from overflowing. We went from a a walk-in closet to having two separate closets to now having to share a closet. It has been challenging to say the least. Learning to downsize is something I always struggle with when it comes to clothing, but I am learning…
We were very lucky that our closet came with some awesome shelving. I don’t know what we would have done without it. Every closet should have good shelving. It helps us store more of our, ok, mostly my shoes and pants along with t-shirts and anything else we can cram into our tiny closet.
These are life savers. You can find them at the container store, Target, T.J Maxx and more. These babies are thinner so you can fit more clothes in a closet, they are usually velvet wrapped so straps stay on the hanger and they don’t leave shoulder bumps! They are amazing. If you need more closet space. I highly recommend these.
Wall Racks and Shelves:
Andy, the hubby, loves ties, bow ties and hats. He wears them every day. Tie and Bow Tie for work and then one of his trusty Baseball Hats after work. I would say he has a collection, but I would be modest. It’s more like an obsession. And where do you store these guys? Well, on the wall.
Instead of just jamming them into the closet or having them just on top of his dresser, we decided to hang them on the wall to give them a more organized look.
Eventually, these will go in a closet… but until then.
And lastly, Use what you got!
We have been blessed with some very deep window wells. These guys are great for Tron, the cat, to sleep in and for me to be able to store more of our stuff in. Being a girl, I have an assortment of purses, scarves and belts. Rather than stuff them away, I used the window well in our bedroom to store my accessories and some more of my books. It’s always easy to find what I am looking for now! Add some cute paper lanterns and now it’s a chic accessory space.
It’s never easy to fit the storage wars, especially if you have to downsize but have to hold one to those important mementos (like shoes and purses) but I hope these tricks that we have found help you too!
Do you have any great storage solutions? I would love to hear them!
You can tell a lot about someone from what they have in their home. For me, I would like to show that we are warm, welcoming, bright and cheery. That is one of the reasons I am crazy about interior design. I like to take a space and transform it into something that express a part of who we are. While my husband might think parts of our apartment are “really girly”, I have assured him that it’s ok because he is married, I will take blame for our purple bedspread.
This is our 5th place of living since we have been married. It is amazing what you acquire over 4 different states, 5 houses/apartments, 5 years of marriage and a somewhat obsession for all things Ikea. But we knew when we moved, we would be downsizing from a house to a sweet little apartment in DC and things had to go. Plus we had to make the best use of our furniture and come up with some amazing storage solutions.
What we did come up with is our cozy little nest in a corner of DC which may happen to look like a real life Ikea showroom. So come on in, take off your shoes and stay awhile. Our house is your house.
Can you spot our cat? We lovingly call him Tron but his real name is Mowgli. He answers mostly to the sound of treats.
He is really a loving cat, although most times, he looks unamused.
On of my favorite ways to incorporate color is using pieces of fun fabric. We have our TV mounted on the wall and to cover the cords, it was actually my brilliant husband’s idea to place this piece of fabric over them. What a guy huh? Be still my heart.
One of the most important parts of our life is our love of travel. Andy and I have been blessed to have been to several places, our favorite is Ireland. I first fell in love with the Green Isle while studying abroad. Andy and I later travelled over across the pond for Thanksgiving one year. After returning, we placed the map we used on a cork board and mapped out where we had been. We love to look at it everyday and remember how amazing it truly was. We hope to someday live there…. who knows…
Tron loves to look out the window and our windowsills are the perfect little nesting spot with all his toys. He just has to share it with my massive amounts of home decorating magazines.
Probably one of the most recognizable chairs in the entire world, but it is so comfortable. We LOVE this chair, although at the moment, it’s holding most of our clean laundry.
It was such a bonus to have an amazing fireplace in our apartment. It has such great character on it’s own but there is something about hanging your favorite picture above a fireplace. This one was from our wedding. Many people ask about the saw, they think it’s a little creepy. While it may be a little out of place, it actually belonged to Andy’s grandfather who instilled the love of wood working into him. He passed away before we moved and it just seemed fitting to have it around.
These were given to us from my parents for Christmas one year. I just love the different pictures.
It may seem strange to take a picture of the mirror in the bathroom, but it’s the pictures in the mirror that are important. These are silk paintings that my uncle brought back from Vietnam during the war for my Maman (grandmother). The hung in their parlor as long as I can remember.
And a good stretch because this photo shoot was so strenuous.
It may be small, but it’s home. We love it and one of our couches is a pull out so if you are just stopping by for staying for a week, we got you covered!