Category Archives: Home

Entryway Wish List

Where do you focus your design-energy in your home? There are the obvious spaces — like creating a zen-like bathroom or a kitchen that feels cozy enough for guests to gather around the table. But lately, I’ve been feeling inspired to add a little of my aesthetic to our new entryway. As I mentioned in this post, it’s the first design project I’d like to tackle in our new abode. After all, it’s the first thing folks see when they walk in your house!

So far, I’ve got these hooks hung and a runner rug laid out. (Shout out to my mom for choosing the rug!) I took to Amazon to track down some other pieces that are now wish listed for the project …

This shelf, sitting long-ways, can display my bits and bobs, but also offers a storage solution by tucking a basket or two in the bottom cubbies.

A director floor lamp to cast an inviting glow.

I could add texture by sticking an oversized plant in the mix and housing it in one of these mid-century modern planters.

Ya gotta have a mirror so you can check your look before leaving.

And maybe a large print in a gold frame for the DRAMA.

Finally, I’d like to add this piece to my bar cart (which is what you see as you walk down my self-created entryway) because I’ve considered tons of small wine racks and I always land back at this one.

For little touches – I’m all about a giant candle with sweet matches at the ready, succulents nestled in terra cotta pots, and maybe a thrifted crate to house muddy shoes.

How have you decorated your entryway? Tell me in the comments! 

P.S. Since we’re renting this home, I’m following these tips.

We moved! (+ an empty house tour)

Hi friends! I am finally coming up for air after our big move to Alabama!! I certainly didn’t mean to be absent from the blogosphere for this many days… But between the multi-day drive (our movers were SUPER late and that put us behind schedule), getting settled in the new house, AND going without internet for the first week (obvi not by choice!!)–it’s taken me a minute to get back in the swing of things!

But now I’m back! And comin’ atcha from a sweet lil blue-doored house on a quiet road in Alabama. While our furniture arrived just a day after we did (the moving company told us it could take as many as 7!), I thought it might be fun to show ya around the place as we saw it on our first day. *Apologies in advance for the poor photo quality and lighting.*

Living Room

We brought our tv and a couple camp chairs just in case our furniture didn’t arrive right away. Now that our couch is here, it is oriented in much the same way (but the tv is on a stand and up against the wall, lol). I’ve chosen to use the space you see behind Chet as a sort of entryway.

Kitchen

The kitchen is super bright and open with room for a table and chairs beneath a window. And can we talk about that subway tile? Obsessed. The storage space is a little lacking compared to our last place but we’ve gotten creative with solutions — including getting one of these guys to fill up some open wall space. Wink likes the flooring. 😉

Chet’s Office / Guest Room #1

This closet situation means the master bedroom closet is ALL MINE! Mwahahaha! This room is at the front of the house with all sorts of beautiful trees right outside the windows.

My Office / Guest Room #2

I can’t tell you how excited I am to have a space for my desk/computer that isn’t about a foot from where I sleep at night!!! This room looks out at the backyard and is bright and quiet and as far away from our bedroom as possible (work from home WIN!).

Laundry

Another huge upgrade for us? Our very own washer and dryer right behind those closet doors! (The open door is the guest bathroom.) Sure our apartment in Miami had access to laundry facilities on every floor but a) it was $3.00 to wash and dry a load and b) everyone and their mom wants to do laundry on Sunday afternoons…and now I won’t have to wait my turn.

Master Bedroom

Finally, our master bedroom! This room proved to be a bit of a conundrum once our bedroom suite arrived. It is very rectangular and I’ve only ever set the furniture up in more square spaces. So, the bed and dresser have to go side by side. Not sure I love it…but the movers assured me lots of people do it this way, LOL! I DO love the room though…and that giant closet.

And there you have it! While much of our furniture and *stuff* is set up at this point, there’s still a long way to go when it comes to decorating! The first area I want to tackle is the entryway as you come into the house through the front door. Shall I show you an update once it’s complete???

Oh, and since I have home decor on the brain, I’d love to know —

Where do you go online for home decor inspiration? Any favorite blogs or YouTube channels? Any tips for decorating a home on a budget? What are your favorite stores? LEAVE IDEAS BELOW! I’d appreciate it a lot! ❤ 

Office Design Tricks to Up Your Productivity Levels

*This post contains affiliate links.*

The place you choose to work makes such a big difference to your productivity levels. Thankfully, if you work from home, you have maximum creative control to design your work-space exactly as you see fit. (Score!) In this post, I’m gonna lay out some aspects of home office design that will make your home work-space a hive of productivity. Many of these changes are simple and don’t require a huge investment, while others may take a little more time and expense. Find the fixes that work best for your working flow and budget…

Light the Way

Office lighting can make such a big difference when it comes to your productivity. Bad lighting can lead to headaches, fatigue, eye strain, and tiredness. Conversely, natural light can play a big role in boosting your mood. So consider positioning your desk nearby a window where it is going to attract as much sunlight as possible. Rather than having one main overhead source of lighting, having a lamp or two allows you to adjust the brightness as necessary.

Alabaster Mini Orb Lamp // Globe String Lights // Petite Perla Chandelier

Ergonomically Check Your Chair and Desk

If the position of your chair and desk ends up leading to neck and back pain, this is inevitably going to impact your productivity levels. There are a couple of quick ergonomic checks which are easy to perform. First of all, the top of your computer screen should be around eye-level. Your feet should either be able to rest comfortably on a foot rest or on the floor. Make sure that your chair is slightly reclined to minimize lower back pain. Investing in a good-quality chair is one of the best purchases that you can make for your office.

Mesh Desk Chair // Gaiam Balance Ball Chair // Adjustable Foot Rest

Sights, Smells and Sounds

Your senses all come into play when you are creating a comfortable office space. Starting off with what you’ll spend the day looking at — the room color. Studies have shown that the color blue helps with productivity. But whatever you choose, make sure it’s a shade which isn’t too harsh on the eyes. You can also hang some pictures to give yourself something fun (and maybe motivational) to look at during the day.

Interior Paint in Blue Bayou // Calming Art Print // Ayo Mirror

You may never have thought much about the smell of your office, but the right scents can actually help to focus your mind and boost your mood. Fresh flowers are a great way to provide a scent in a natural way. It is worth going for some which you can easily smell such as Alii Hawaiian Tropical flowers. Another option is to use candles or essential oils. Otherwise, you could always try simmering a few herbs and spices in the kitchen to fill your whole house with pleasant smells.

Hawaiian Flowers // Stress Relief Candle // Stone Essential Oil Holder

The type of noise which works best for your productivity levels varies from person to person. Some people prefer complete silence. In which case, it is worth looking into soundproofing options in the room. Others like to have some background music, so it check out wireless speakers so you can cut back on the need for wires criss-crossing around the room.

Sound Proof Panels // Noise Cancelling Headphones // Wireless Speaker

Clutter Clearing

While you may create a lot of clutter in the creative process, you should make it a habit to store away the things that you need and throw everything else away. Mess is generally not helpful when it comes to productivity levels. Make sure that you have enough storage systems to contain everything comfortably. And don’t forget your digital clutter as well. The best way I’ve found of keeping on top of your clutter (actual AND digital) in a home office is to schedule time each week to organize. Pick a day and time and jot it down in your diary weekly. You’ll likely just need a half hour or so each week to go through papers, computer files, etc and get it all sorted. Consistency is key!

Poppin 3-Drawer File Cabinet // Paper Organizers // Wire Wall Grid

Bring in Nature

There are plenty of ways that you can bring nature into your indoor office space. We already talked about fresh flowers, but house plants are also a great option. They will last longer and are usually straightforward to maintain. Open the window on a regular basis to allow fresh air into your office space. If you can’t see anything natural outside, the next best thing is to put up some “nature pictures” – think: a picture of you and a loved on a recent hike in a pretty frame on your desk or a painting of the sea!

5 x 7 Frame // Gradient Cement Planter // Mid-Century Turquoise Planters 

Achieve an Optimum Temperature Balance

Achieving the right temperature balance is one of the best ways of boosting your productivity levels. Studies have shown that people tend to work better when it is a little warmer inside, but you don’t want to make it SO warm so that you feel drowsy. A smart thermostat will give you maximum control over the temperature in your office. And you can always bring in some extra heaters or fans when you feel like you need to adjust the temperature up or down.

Nest Thermostat // Urbanjet Desk Fan // Portable Radiator

As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to creating a work-space that provides maximum productivity levels. Essentially, you need to create an environment which works best for you. No two people work in the same way, so it is important to learn as much as you can about your own working habits. Good luck!

Do you work from home? An office? What changes have you made to your working space to increase productivity? 

How to Spruce Up Your Neutral Rental

When it comes to home decor, you can’t go wrong with light neutrals. Shades like light grey, beige, or even plain white can all bounce the light around making any space look bigger or brighter- plus the colors work with any style of decor. In my vast rental experience, landlords love painting their properties this way as it appeals to the most amount of tenants, allowing them to get people in and renting their places as quickly as possible. However, while there are great benefits to a neutral, blank canvas- it can feel very impersonal and can take a bit of sprucing up to make it feel like YOUR home.

Here are some of the ways you can liven up a rental without changing those neutral walls and flooring…

Add Wall Decoration

Landlords can be funny about their tenants putting holes in the walls, so it’s worth speaking to them first and getting permission. (If you’re not allowed to make holes, you can always use command hooks.) You could hang anything from a piece of art that you’ve carefully selected to a gallery wall made up of framed prints that you switch up every few months. Either way, wall decor is an easy way to add personality to a room without paint or wallpaper. Round out the look with a statement clock and a mirror, these will also break up the bland walls but they’re of course functional, too!

Choose Statement Furniture

When the rest of your decor is  plain, you have the freedom to be a bit more adventurous with other items and your furniture is one place you can go wild. How about choosing a statement coffee table, or upcycling your tv unit or sideboard for a unique look? A plain sofa might be best as it’s an investment piece that will need to stand the test of time. But pair it with a brightly colored or patterned chair or a funky footstool. Choose one or two key pieces to stand out and go with bold and unusual styles. A fantastic way to show off your personality!

Think About Lighting

Lighting is something that’s often overlooked and left as an afterthought when it comes to decor, but it shouldn’t be. Lighting is such an important element, and it’s another way you can inject a little extra personality into the room. It could be anything from a chandelier to an industrial looking fitting with exposed bulbs. And don’t forget to add lamps! If you purchase smart bulbs, you can adjust the brightness and warmth of any room’s glow right from your phone. Plus, colorful or interesting lamp bases, shades, or both can bring in a little extra something to a room that’s decorated in neutral colors.

Consider Accessories

Your accessories are what will bring the room together, show your style and allow your personality to come through. Add cozy cushions and throws to spruce up sofas, chairs and beds. Patterned or colored rugs to make floors feel more comfortable and to tie rooms together. Let your interests and hobbies shine through! Whether that includes a place to display your geode collection, a Viking axe hung on the wall, or a beautifully aquascaped aquarium! Don’t just choose things for the sake of it, instead have a good think about not only what will work well in the space but what really reflects YOU. Your home should be a curation of the things that you love. Just remember – it’s quality over quantity when it comes to things out on display.

Add Plants

Any home (whether a rental or not) will benefit from the addition of plants! Not only does the color and texture liven up a home but they’ve even been shown to boost mood. You could go with some larger standing varieties in pots, a few mini cactus, smaller plants on tables and desks, and hanging plants. If you’re bad at keeping plants alive, go for low maintenance varieties, or there’s even some rather realistic-looking faux varieties on the market these days. Vases of flowers are another option. You can buy bunches from supermarkets very cheaply, and they will brighten your home for days! Plus, it’s a fun way to treat yourself. 

How have you spruced up a neutral rental without upsetting your landlord?! 

A Rustic Bohemian Inspired Balcony

Ol’ Punxsatawney Phil just predicted 6 more weeks of Winter. Yikes! But down here in South Florida it’s the perfect temperature to lounge outside. In the Summer months, it’s way too hot to think about hanging out on our balcony. But now that the days are getting longer, and there are more hours of sunlight to take advantage of, it’s the perfect place to be. I guess you could say Phil’s decree is a GOOD THING for us. (Sorry guys!) Bring on the additional balcony weather!

In honor of this auspicious Groundhog’s Day, I thought I’d do some make-believe interior decorating. I’d love to give our outdoor space a makeover in a Rustic Bohemian Style. Our balcony is narrow, but runs the whole length of our apartment, and is completely screened in (no bugs!). The view is mostly of other buildings but when the sun sets, there’s still lots of colorful sky to behold. Oh, and of course palm trees a’plenty!

Here’s what I’d add to give the space a boho reboot with a touch of rustic charm…

A terra cotta and brass moon to hang on the wall and watch over us.

A set of roman shades to keep the afternoon sun out of our eyes (and nosy neighbors out of our business).

A wooden bowl to store a stack of limes for evening gin & tonics.

A throw pillow or two to make furniture feel like a cozy oasis.

A couple of planters shaped like cubes to house our plant friends.

A thrift-store-find side table that we can “antique” with a coat of paint and a few squares of sandpaper.

A gaggle of colorful tealight holders to really set the mood.

And an outdoor sectional that’s just as comfy as a living room couch (with a much better breeze!).

What styles or spaces are inspiring YOUR interior design daydreams? I’d love to hear! 

[IN THE MOOD FOR MORE MAKE-BELIEVE? A PALM LEAF PRINT INSPIRED BEDROOM!]

P.S. Are you following me on TWITTER? Let’s connect.  🙂

A Palm Leaf Print Inspired Bedroom

Today is super dreary and we’re bracing for an endless string of days with thunderstorms in the forecast. So, to cheer myself up, I’m gonna do a little make-believe interior decorating! Palm Leaf Print seems to be everywhere at the moment. (Seriously, check out Pinterest.)

While I’m going for a more beachy vibe in my current bedroom (with light blues and greens and calming touches), I can see loving this decor in a future home. Maybe one where we don’t have NATURE’S palm leaf print right outside our bedroom window. 😉

Until then, commence the daydream interior design:

A palm leaf duvet cover serves as the anchor for the room and is perfect for cuddling up in on less-than-tropical mornings.

A wallpaper to create the illusion of an exposed brick accent wall.

A pair of round bedside tables to flank the palm leaf-ed bed.

A zig-zag wall shelf as the perfect place for plants to live.

A lamp for the dresser on copper tripod legs.

A sunburst mirror to make a bold statement.

A marble ring dish and agate boxes for storing tiny treasures.

A bright hamper to keep dirty clothes off the floor.

And a metal basket stows extra, cozy blankets and a stash of just-for-fun magazines.

What elements or prints are inspiring YOUR interior design daydreams? I’d love to hear! xoxo

P.S. Please take a few minutes to fill out my READER SURVEY. I will send you 10,000 virtual hugs!!! Thanks. 🙂

Does your decor need some sprucing up?

modcloth decor sale

Great news! ModCloth has an amazing sale on decor starting TODAY. Use the code DECOR8 from now until August 4th and get 30% off all home decor delights. They have everything from dreamy bedding to unique desk accessories. If you’re on the hunt for a few affordable pieces to give your space a new + improved look,

here are 10 of my favorites on offer…

Frida Kahlo Oven Mitt
Frida Kahlo Oven Mitt
Lively Blue Rug
Lively Blue Rug
Desk Plaque
Desk Plaque
Wire Gems Wall Decor
Wire Gems Wall Decor
Hosta Throw Pillow
Hosta Throw Pillow
Copper Wall Clock
Copper Wall Clock
macrame wall hanging
Macrame Wall Hanging
Boss Lady Mouse Pad
Boss Lady Mouse Pad
Sparrow Planter Magnets
Sparrow Planter Magnets
modcloth1
Retro Glasses Tray

// Thoughts? Check out ModCloth’s full range of home decor, if you’d like. //

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A Cute Guest Room Round-Up!

There’s something about a guest room that feels particularly “adult-ing” to me. Friends rolling through town? Not a problem! Family dropping by for the holiday? Mi casa es su casa and all that. While our space for guests is technically Chet’s office that doesn’t stop me searching for inspiration amidst my favorite home decor corners of the internet. Here are a few of my top picks…

guest room 1

via All Things Thrifty 

guest room 2

via Studio McGee 

guest room 3

via The Daily Nest 

guest room 4

via Miss Alice Designs

guest room 5

via Dear Lillie 

guest room 6

via Style Your Senses

What do you think? Which room would you like to lay your precious head? 

February favorites.

february favorites

With the turning of the calendar page from February to March, it’s time to bundle together the best products, places, media and everything in between from the last month. Here are 9 things I found myself loving in February…

1. Tom Bihn backpack

I was floored when I opened this early Valentine’s Day present from Chet. I just couldn’t get over the adorable pattern and perfect pocket placement. I’ve been wearing it around the whole month and it does NOT disappoint. You can read my full review of the bag and see some pictures of me sporting it in the wild HERE. I can not thank my thoughtful dude enough for this spectacular present. We have many day-trips and ultra-light adventures ahead of us. And we shall be so wonderfully well-equipped!

2. Downton Abbey

While I had previously seen most of the first three seasons of this show, I convinced Chet to watch it from the beginning with me. We just started the 5th season and I never want it to end! In case you’ve been living under a rock, the British drama follows the lives of the Crawley family and all its servants as they go about their business, upstairs and down, in the large country manor estate known as Downton Abbey. The show begins with the 1912 sinking of the Titanic but now in season 5 we’re all the way up to 1923. It’s quite fun to track the actual historic events that play out alongside the fictional lives of the Crawleys. Bonus to our nightly viewing? Chet does a bang-up impersonation of Mr. Carson, the Crawleys’ beloved butler, and will often chime in with his own commentary.

3. WKU forensics alums

In February, I traveled to Bowling Green, KY to spend some time with the current WKU Forensics Team and a small group of alums. We had a great weekend coaching speech and catching up. This team was such a big part of my life for 7 years that I love any excuse to step back into that world for a few hours. I saw some amazingly passionate, intelligent, and inspiring speeches and even played a few rounds of flip cup. (When with your college pals in a college town…..amirite?)

4. He Named Me Malala

I was selected this month by 21st Century Fox to receive an advanced screening copy of the documentary, He Named Me Malala. I pretty much cried through the whole film and really hope lots of people tuned in to watch the TV premiere. It was a profoundly impactful film made by filmmaker Davis Guggenheim exploring the life of Malala Yousafzai before and after her attack at the hands of Taliban. You can read more about the film HERE.

5. Save-the-Date cards

Initially, I wasn’t too on board with the whole idea of sending Save-the-Date cards. Wouldn’t it just be easier to hop on the internet to spread the word about our selected date and send out invitations later? But then again…I LOVE sending and receiving mail and I just couldn’t let the opportunity to send some mailbox cheer pass me by. I ended up designing them myself with the free photo editing site PicMonkey. I’m REALLY happy with how they turned out and think using PicMonkey and printing them on cardstock was a wonderful budget-friendly option. I’d be happy to post a tutorial about how I whipped them up if you’re interested!

6. My notebook

I snagged this notebook from Target when Chet and I were in Lafayette for Christmas. While I’m a huge fan of Moleskines and the Baron Fig Confidante, I’d sort of come to the conclusion that I wanted a hard-back spiral-bound for my day-to-day, planner-ish notebook. I like to have my To-Do list out all day and while other notebooks claim to “lay flat” they don’t always do so, or they do but they take up too much desk space. I also like to dedicate a whole page per day which can seem a bit wasteful when using a higher end notebook. I started this notebook, along with a new notebook system, on January 1st and it’s been really helpful and easy to stick to. I use a modified version of the Bullet Journal system. I prioritize daily spreads over anything else and I don’t index but I implement a lot of the other strategies. When this one is all used up I think I’ll continue to stick to this type of notebook!

7. Shakespeare’s First Folio

The book that made the bard made it’s way to Florida International University this month! Chet and I got dressed up and attended the opening of the first folio exhibit at The Frost Art Museum. It was amazing to see so much Shakespeare programming and hype occur at the university and in Miami while the book was on display. We loved taking a peek inside but only wished we could hold it in our hands and flip through the pages. Think of all that history!

8. New living room couch

Arriving into our humble abode just in the nick of time to make this favorite’s list is our new couch! We headed out early last Saturday morning to beat the crowds at Ikea and came home with all sorts of goodies. I’ve had my eye on a grey couch for some time now and I think we chose a great one! We poked around online to find a few contenders before heading into the thick of things but then ended up going with this one instead! It is super comfy and a great place to lounge with the sliding glass doors pushed open for a cool breeze. (Don’t mind the wrinkles in the photo above. It was only just born when I snapped that pic!)

9. Rooibos Chai Tea

My mom is always hooking me up with fair trade goodies and in February I was loving this chai tea she sent. I love brewing up a mug when the weather is a bit dreary or for an evening treat when there’s no dessert in the house. It’s just the right level of spicy and sweet with delicious notes of vanilla. YUM!

 

Showing off my new home workspace!

IMG_1189

home office

The folks at WeWork, a co-working company that builds communities to empower people to do what they love,  inspired me to share my current workspace and what I love about it. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect! This past weekend, after a morning trip to Ikea and a good few hours of flat-pack furniture assembly, I got to work setting up my NEW home workspace! I thought I’d give you guys a peek at the finished product. I’m already SO in love with it! I can’t wait to spend my days creating and writing at this gorgeous command center. I knew I wanted a color palette of white, gold, and Tiffany box blue so the Micke desk was a perfect fit for that aesthetic. Add to that my custom desktop computer, a few gold trinkets, and some stationery from the Target dollar spot and – wam BAM – the perfect little corner for productivity. Shall I show you around?

Mounted monitor.

IMG_1201

My monitor was painted white to match this mounting arm, a feature which allows me to position based on my viewing needs. And since my work-space is in our bedroom, those needs CAN include watching Netflix in bed.

Bits and bobs to keep me smiling.

bits and bobs

I’ve picked up quite a few desk accessories from Target over the past few months, including; post-it notes, page flags, bulletin/chalk board, and owl pushpins. All super affordable. I believe everyone should have a few desk trinkets to personalize their space. The stone was a gift from a co-worker. It says “Trust” and is the perfect size and shape for rolling around in your hand when you’re having a good think. The dino skeleton was a present years ago from my friend, Katie. And the gold wheel was thrifted. I’m sure it used to belong on a contraption that spun around but I just liked the way it looked and it functions quite nicely as a coaster. The bird mouse was a must-have as soon as I saw it.

Custom computer.

IMG_1212

Chet built me my very own computer, including painting it to my aforementioned color scheme, and presented it to me for Christmas last year. I’d say not many people are lucky enough to have a computer cute enough to proudly display on top of their desk LET ALONE such a tech savvy individual as their BETROTHED!

Plenty of drawer space.

IMG_1215

IMG_1217

A big selling point for me for this particular desk were the 2 large drawers that run the whole length. They’re the perfect place to stow my notebooks, stationery, cords, current reading materials, folders, and adult coloring book(!).

Thanks so much to WeWork for encouraging me to share this post. I always find other people’s creative spaces quite inspiring so it’s fun to have an excuse to show off my own!

If you’re a freelancer (like me), run a small business or startup, or work remotely, and you’re interested in joining a coworking community, do check out WeWork. They have lovely office spaces located all across the world and offer tons of benefits.

Details – Desk/Ikea, Office chair/Ikea, Bulletin board/Target, Owl pushpins/Target, Mouse/Amazon, Wedding notebook/Moleskine, Purple polka dot notebook/Moleskine, Grey notebook/Baron Fig, Kindle case/Amazon, Blah blah blah folder/Target, Secret Garden coloring book/Morris Book Shop

P.S. Check out Chet’s home office setup, too!