The Universe Is Telling Me Things

Lately I feel like the world is throwing a very specific reminder at me from all directions. From Julia Marcum’s ‘Don’t wait’ to Shavonda’s advice that curating your home is a marathon, not a sprint to Whitney McGregor’s interview with Anne Smith on the But Not All at Once podcast, the universe really wants me to remember that I need to love my house as it is and create a sacred, loving place for me and for my family. There’s a children’s hymn, Home Can Be a Heaven on Earth (which I freely admit has never been my favorite), that reminds you in a sickly sweet way that your home should be as close to a sacred space as you can create. Who doesn’t love the feeling of walking into your home, dropping your bags, and just feeling that bone-deep release? You are home. You are loved here. You are in a safe place.

I hope that all of you have somewhere that you can embrace that feeling. We will be doing our best this holiday season to embrace the space that we are in, in its current state ,and enjoy it as fully as possible.

Taking the Leap

Do you ever pause to savor the excitement of starting a new project? It’s such a heady feeling. Inspiration and creativity creep in and you just can’t wait to dip your toes in, to watch magic unfold.

From projects big to small, I can feel my creative energies flowing again. We have a plan for the dining room that I am both excited about and terrified of. I have a few little projects in mind (bathroom curtains, a painting series, a photo ledge) that we are easing into. In general, I can’t wait to see what is just around the corner.

I hope 2019 is also treating you to some creative inspiration. Good luck with your magic, friends!

Confessions of an Overthinker: I Can’t Make a Decision

How do you keep yourself from getting overwhelmed by your To-Do list? I know I’m not the only person who struggles with this. Between work, unpacking, bills, and attempting to keep up a healthy social life and relationship… it’s enough to make anybody bury their head in the sand, ostrich style.

This has been my place for the past two months or so. On the one hand, I’m just SO excited to be a homeowner. On the other… everything now feels SO much more permanent and overwhelming. What if I make the wrong choice? It will be ruined.

My husband has been watching me spiral in my own indecision-land and finally got fed up. Picture me, having a tailspin of how important it is to pick just the right thing for every little thing and take pity on the man. He grabbed me by the shoulders, stared into my eyes and said “JUST PICK ONE THING.”

This did not calm me down. At all. I did not want to just pick one… I’d hate it later for sure. So many things could go wrong based on my one choice. He amended his statement. “Just pick one thing to do tonight. Hang one piece of art or arrange one drawer.”

For some reason this clicked, Cool, that I can handle. We had lift off. I picked my one thing. For the most part, we’ve graduated to 5 things a night. Focusing on a few things at a time makes everything seem much less daunting. It’s hard to come home after work and think, “I have to get the entire kitchen done.” All I really want is Netflix, some dinner ,and to laze a bit with my family. If I convince myself that the lazing around can start just as soon as I do A, B, C, D, & E, I am conned. I’m sure there’s some science back there somewhere.

Do you have some kind of magical way to get everything done without giving yourself a migraine? What’s your secret?

Chchchanges aka That Time We Bought a House

It’s not official until it’s on the internet right? Well, here’s our announcement: we bought a house! Unless you have directly seen us, we’ve been keeping it a bit quiet. It felt like a jinx to announce before the actual move (we’re very optimistic people, we promise). We’ve officially been in the house for about two weeks now and I can say it’s exciting and chaotic. It seems like this entire month has been utter madness and it has been non-stop, but with the help of some fabulous friends and family, we are finally getting settled in.

I can’t wait to really dig into making this house ours and turning a house into a home.

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I’m Sorry for the Things I Said When I Was Cold

The past few days of pretty weather have made me obsess over spring. It is the season on new possibilities, the season of flowers, and the season of allergies. Two of those are exciting. One is a necessary evil. And please don’t be that person and crush my dreams, don’t point out that I live in South Carolina, and there’s still at least one cold snap coming. I realize this; I enjoy my denial.

How do you make it through that last stretch between winter and spring? I’m over here  trying to convince myself to come out of hibernation and get back to exercising and get over missing the festivity of Christmas decor.

What are your default ways to celebrate the new season? Music? Flowers? Spring Cleaning? We need some inspiration over here!

 

 

I Resolve Not to Resolve

It’s the final countdownnnnnnn (and if you didn’t start singing in your head, I’m disappointed in you). Does anyone else feel like 2017 has mastered how to be ridiculously slow one second and moving at the speed of light the next? It’s hard to believe it’s almost a whole new year. We have been flying by the seat of our pants over here, but it’s been a good year- a year of growth.

Normally, this is the time to make resolutions for how you’re going to improve yourself in the coming New Year. As if in a day’s time, you’ll suddenly enjoy eating all those healthy foods, getting up early to exercise, or whatever it is you promise the world. I don’t know about you, but I do not change that quickly. I have to over-think everything, discuss it with my group, and then quietly drag myself into accepting things. I am a quiet and thoughtful decision maker. Who will then rethink her decision 3 or 4 times.

To that thought… today I’m resolving not to make a resolution. Not to make sky-high promises to myself that I will then berate myself for breaking. I want to improve, don’t get me wrong.  I have scads of goals and plans for the coming year, but I want to embrace the things life has coming for me. I want to be able to sit in the quiet and know that my life, my family’s life, is moving in the direction it should be.

So on January 1, 2018, don’t look for me in the gym at the crack of dawn. I’ll still be in my bed. I’ll improve myself, I swear. Just not at 6am. Y’all have fun with that.

2018… we’re ready for you!

 

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