The Year I Discovered Halloween

I’ll be honest, I’ve never been big on Halloween, at least not since I stopped trick-or-treating. I am a shy introvert who is scared of people in masks. I don’t like scary movies. I can’t seem to be creative about costumes. Other than chocolate…  this holiday and I have never especially jived. Halloween is my sign that Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming.  That being said, I feel like this is the year, we’ve discovered each other.  I wore a legit costume, not just a cape thrown over all-black clothing. We hosted a small party this weekend. We are heading to a friend’s house tonight to see some actual trick or treaters. I decked out the interior of the apartment. I give myself an B+ for this year’s holiday.

And now I feel like I get it.

We had a lot of fun. Here are some photos of a few of us celebrating (last minute selfies because I 100% didn’t think about documenting. Shout-out to our prepared friends) and the Halloween decor we embraced this year.

 

Next year I will not only embrace costuming more… I will take more photos. Sorry to all the fab costumes that we forgot to document! And thanks to everyone who could join and help us eat all that food and play irreverent games!

Happy Halloween!

Gallery Wall Debut and My Duh Moment of the Week

It’s an ever evolving thing, but it’s time for an update on how the apartment has been coming. The gallery wall is ready for its debut.

This is probably the space I had the clearest vision for when we first toured the apartment, which is funny considering it’s been changing since March.
When Chris and I got married, we realized we had a unique situation. We had very little furniture (mostly from Chris’s bachelor days that had been moved 5 times) but there was SO much art. Chris worked with a vendor at San Diego Comic Con for about eight years and in the course, collected a whole bevy of art. I have artwork I made as well as pieces I’ve collected over the years. A sofa? You’re asking too much. But enough art to hit up every empty wall possible? Easy.

To get oriented…

The decision to do a gallery wall was an easy one; its the only way we’d be able to even remotely display everything (and we actually still have pieces set aside that have no home yet) but figuring out the configuration was trickier. I fell back on a handy Pinterest hack: we traced each piece of artwork and taped it up to the wall. Now, normal people use craft paper or something plain. Impatient people whip out Christmas wrapping paper and start maniacally cutting at 1 o’clock in the morning. Three guesses which person I was…

I rearranged options for a few days, sending photos to friends and family to see if they saw any major holes or unfortunate pairings (This is actually why I turned the wrapping paper around, the first response I got was “Too many snowflakes.” Thanks guys).

 

 

I wish I had a good photo of the snowflakes. Bless it. 

 

Tip: It’s vital to consider your art as a whole, as well as each piece. Lay all your pieces out near each other on a big flat surface and check to make sure your color palate coordinates. Are any of your frames clashing? We had some chunkier frames that had depth to them, so we knew those couldn’t be near the geometric shelves. We also had several frames that were very close in size, so we tried to keep those distant from each other.

Then came time to hang everything. Let me tell you, that is the moment you will be thanking your lucky stars that you made the paper grid, it honestly made this step a breeze. We had one snaffoo: the deer. This painting has traveled with me since I was in 4th grade. It’s actually the first watercolor painting I ever did (Some of you may recognize this piece from Instagram, it’s the one my husband called a goldfish. I will give him props and say the painting was upside down at the time. He now refers to it as the “Not Goldfish”). This painting was framed when I was 11 and has just leaned on top my dresser since then. It never hung on the wall. I honestly never considered checking the back of the frame, but when we went to hang it (last I may add) we realized that particular frame has no spot to add a wire or bracket, it goes straight from cardboard backing to the angle of the back of the frame.

 


I set it aside and spent a few days (weeks, I’ll be honest) admiring the wall and just left my wrapping paper place holder up. I considered buying a new frame but wasn’t sold. I considered putting something else there and just continuing to lean “Not Goldfish” on top of a bookshelf, but I didn’t want to buy something new because the whole issue was having So. Much. Art. So I left it and became obsessed with a different project.

The little abandoned guy

Cut to a few weeks ago, my husband asked why I’d never published about how the wall turned out. I pointed to our stylish snowflake paper and said I was putting it off. He scoffed, told me to hang ‘the thing from the bathroom’ and get to writing. Y’all. It was a face-palm moment for me. It took him two seconds. This illustration of Howard’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry fits perfectly. And who doesn’t need more Harry Potter in their life?

We’re so excited to have one section of our new home “done.” Can’t wait to get started on another project!

How Do You Choose Your Design Style?

Does this question burn anybody like it does me? Maybe it’s from an interior designer standpoint, but trying to put a label on my personal style feels kind of like being asked to solve the formula for time travel. I got nothing. Or, more accurately, I have options galore. I’m transitional. I’m eclectic. I love Art Deco. I tend towards Mid Century Modern. The choices!

This is normally where I tell a client to start making mood boards. Whether it’s on Pinterest, a bulletin board, or a stack of ripped up magazine pages, gather and cultivate the things that appeal to you. I’ve trapped my husband in this stage. We’re trying to make a semi-longterm plan for a dining set and a sofa and and and. While we plan and save, I obsessively send him photos. And then nitpick through the photos.

I, personally, adore this stage. I’m not so sure Chris does, but he indulges me.

Here are some images that we’ve been loving:

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Image via loversofmint.blogspot.com

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Image via Rose Poupre

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Image via Curated Interior: Emily Jackson’s Home

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Image via ChrisLovesJulia

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Image via Jason Oliver Nixon & John Loecke, Madcap Cottage

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Image by Summer Thornton Interiors

Trends of the Future

When you think of the future, what do you picture? Flying cars, shiny clothing, the ability to teleport? What do you picture for your home?

That answer could go so many directions. Design is such an intensely personal thing, everyone’s picture is different. I can tell you my husband’s mental image is streamlined and heavy on technology. My sister loves the classics. My father wants sustainability. My mother favors designing with handmade items and antiques. For me personally, I picture a feeling more than anything. I want family and friends to feel comfortable in a space and for everything to be functional.
I think the future honestly has an amalgamation of all of these.
1) Technology: There has never been such a great time to introduce technology to your home. Do you remember Disney’s Smart Home? You can basically have that, minus the manic episodes. Control can literally be at your fingertips. From your phone or tablet, you can start the laundry, dim the lights, lock the doors. You can speak with delivery people from great distances. You can change the thermostat, check for water leaks, make sure you turned the stove off, water the plants, check to see if your dog is on the sofa when you leave (the answer is always yes). Honestly, I can’t even list all the different ways your home can embrace smart technology, but it’s definitely a trend that will only grow in the future.
2) Art: With websites like Etsy and Minted, it’s easier than ever to find meaningful, personal artwork for your space. You can lounge on your sofa and find art that speaks to you and your home without breaking the bank or settling for a mass produced piece that maybe isn’t your favorite. And you get the bonus of helping up and coming artists get their work out there. And you’re not limited to art. What’s not to love? Look at some of these fabulous pieces I’ve lusted after:
3) Accessibility: As people are becoming more and more aware of disabilities. designers are embracing creating spaces that are functional and beautiful. You can get an ADA approved design without breaking the bank or sacrificing style. Hallelujah, it’s about time and may it spread.
4) Environmental Design: It used to be when you said you wanted to go ‘green,’ your options were incredibly limited. Now, so many home designers are on point, you can stay environmentally conscious without losing any style points. Have you looked at Pottery Barn’s eco-friendly home line? West Elm has committed to sustainable sourcing.  Companies like Crate and Barrel and Target have come out with green initiatives. Some key things to look for when shopping include certification by the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), furniture made from reclaimed, reusable or recycled materials, and furniture that will be long lasting (thus reducing your carbon footprint). Go be a mean, green machine!
I can’t wait to see what other fantastic things the future of home design holds. No matter what your style, you have a lot to look forward to!
This blog post is a part of Design Blogger Competition organized by CGTrader

Take the Plunge

Have you ever been shopping online or standing in a store, seen a shirt and just had an AHA moment? A moment where you are absolutely certain that this thing was made for you? The angels are singing, the birds are chirping and that shirt is coming home with you?  Have you ever then gone home, put on the shirt and just felt deflated at the total disconnect? Sometimes what looked fantastic on the model just doesn’t translate to your body type. Sometimes that particular color or pattern doesn’t flatter (or in my pale case, makes you look like a walking corpse… shout out to all the white clothes I think are cute but really wash me out). Sometimes you were just feeling boho that day but in reality that’s not your style. It happens. The same is true of design.

Recently I’ve been catching up on blogs galore and a few things have stuck out to me: making decisions is hard. It takes trial and error to find the perfect fit for you. Design is an intensely personal thing. It’s influenced by so many different factors. These can include everything from look to budget to lighting to durability to what’s on sale. And that’s before you even factor in tastes and needs of the other people in your household. It can be tricky. And that’s ok.

Never be scared to make  a change to your space. It’s your home. You spend so much cumulative time there… why shouldn’t you enjoy it? If you can take a chance on that shirt, you can take a chance on your home! Try that paint color; the worst that happens is you have a good laugh and then you repaint. Change up your furniture if you don’t love it… that’s why the internet invented Craigslist. Somewhere out there, someone is going to love that piece. If something doesn’t make you happy, help make your life easier… then bite the bullet. Admit your ‘white shirt’ isn’t for you. You love blue anyways.

Take the risk

Pretty much the only white I’ve ever loved… and it’s ivory!

Trash vs Treasure 

I admire minimalists. I do. To have that superpower must be amazing. It is not something I have ever possessed.

Here’s my confession: I like stuff.

I am a collector, a curator if you want to make it sound classier. A hoarder if you aren’t feeling so charitable. I find comfort in having the familiar around me. And my familiar happens to be more than most. As a young girl, I collected rocks and anything to do with cats. As an adult, I still have these collections…and then you when add in artwork, my grandmother’s tea sets,  oh so many books and whatever else catches my eye, you have a lot more boxes to unpack after moving.  This doesn’t even account for the fact that my husband is also a major collector. He has comic books galore; he owns statues and figures and sports memorabilia out to wazoo.  Everyone has their “thing.” The key comes in figuring out how best to display the items that you’re passionate about.

This tendency to collect is something I have and will continue to struggle to accept about myself. It’s not a bad trait, but sometimes I get so caught up in how much stuff I have that I forget the joy of certain pieces and the reasons I fell in love in the first place (usually when I need to dust, if I’m fully honest). Collecting is all well and good. A well-displayed collection can be a focal point and conversation piece in any space. It can add interest, bring joy (or horror depending on the collection) and just plain look cool… if it’s well edited.

This month I’ve tried to focus on how to display my collections in a way that brings us happiness every day. My husband’s collections are more extensive than mine and one of our biggest challenges as we blended our belongings was finding ways to organize and display all our stuff in a cohesive way. Honestly I think this will be a lifelong puzzle.

Here are some ideas that we’ve fallen in love with:

The options for displaying collections  seem endless because there are just so many different paths you could take. You really can go many directions. The biggest thing to remember is to you make sure to enjoy the process. Drop a comment telling me what you like to collect and why… let’s compare tips!

 

Moving On Up

We’ve officially been in our new apartment for about 3 weeks, and it’s really starting to feel like home. Many boxes are unpacked, we’ve started getting some art up on the wall, and the place looks a little less like a fire hazard. 

What’s your first priority when you move in somewhere? For us it was clothes and the kitchen. Those we had up and away in a hot minute. I gotta admit, I just unpacked the majority of our bathroom stuff today. Why do we own so many products when we only use a few? Life’s questions. 

Here’s a few photos of what we started out with. I can’t wait to share what we do with this place long term. 




I love all the windows in this place. The gray brings a calming effect and some instant atmosphere that we adore. It feels like home already.

It’s time for the Honeymoon: Year 2!

2017 with a Vengeance 

Just a quick drop by to assure everyone that I still exist and I’m still ready to rock this year. After some careful thought I decided to take a step back over the holiday season and try to simplify. Working in retail, last year felt like I missed out on some of the most important aspects of the holidays and I wasn’t ready to do that again. Now that Christmas has passed and New Year’s and this year’s snow day… I feel ready to attack what’s coming in 2017 with a vengeance. 

Today is my best friend’s birthday and to celebrate we are going thrifting to find treasures for her new house. Who else can say their Thursday will be this fun?  

Photo cred to Google

Holiday Cards are here!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving Week! I’m excited to say that Moqqup Studios is ready to launch this year’s holiday cards and we can’t wait to show you!

We have created 5×7″ Holiday Cards featuring 6 different hand-painted watercolor designs that have been digitally reproduced on high quality linen paper stock so that no detail is lost. Each card is blank on the inside, making them ideal for your personalized holiday message.

The six designs include a Wreath, 2 types of Holiday Ornaments, a Holly Branch, a Snowman, and a fabulous Christmas Tree.

If you are interested please check out here!