Monday, May 19, 2014

House Tour Inspiration

My mom and I went on a house tour this weekend of 5 beuatiful homes in Lincoln Park.  It was a fundraiser for a local school, but mostly, my mom and I are both home design obsessed, and it was a fun thing to do together.  Before I learned that I was not allowed to take photographs, I snapped three images that I wanted to catalogue for myself.

#1 is a kitchen that I unexpectedly really liked.  The counters were a green polished granite (!), the backsplash was stainless, and then there was a ledge above the backsplash of the same green granite. Awesome.

#2 is an unusual, pretty way of venting the door to a laundry closet.

 #3 is an antique light fixture that reminded me of something I want to do with my own cheapo foyer fixtures (i.e. diy update the beading).

Monday, May 12, 2014

Master Bedroom Nook Styling

It is so satisfying to finally (read: 10 months after moving in) style a little built-in nook that's been sitting neglected for nearly a year!  After an offer from a photographer friend to come shoot the apartment, many of these long-neglected areas were finally styled.  Certainly, there  is still room to add some additional touches, but the improvement is amazing!

Here is the little master bedroom nook before:

And here it is after:

Of course, there are some minor things that you'll notice still need some attention.  First, there is a plant that still needs a planter, and also, a planter, that needs a plant - obviously. Second, there is one file box missing from the top shelf.  But it has some great items that are true necessities, for example, the magenta geode and empty blue vase - ha :)

Somehow, I made this built-in area feel not only calming because it is simple and organized, but also very functional.  It holds files that we rarely need to access on the top shelf, freeing up valuable space in our single file drawer office.  It has a box to hide random odds and ends, pictures that need framing, and other things I am hanging on to for one reason or another.  Any I've hidden the cable cords in a mediocre way.  I'd call that a wild success :)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

just a little peek

So excited that a friend/photographer came over yesterday to shoot our completed apartment.  It was so much fun to finally see all of our work on film.  I also learned so much already about what shots to capture in an interior design shoot.  More images to come once they are edited.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Privacy in the bathroom

For starters, I don't get any.  No privacy in the bathroom for me.  I have three little kids, and we just became okay with no privacy.  Occasionally I insist on it :)

However, I've been showering in front of a window for almost a year now, and was starting to feel like I shouldn't be okay with that.  I see neighbors through our bathroom window.  I still stand naked in front of it.  Routinely.

I finally motivated to change that situation and here's how it went.  I bought this frosted film for windows (I'd used it before in our first home), and went ahead measuring and cutting it to fit the master bathroom window.  Here is a shot in progress, with the top half frosted and the bottom still clear.

And here it is completed:

The bathroom looks really dark in this photo because I'm a total amateur.
Also, the pulls on the window look ridiculous because they're too close together. I know. Not my fault.

I now have privacy from the neighbors at least.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Back to reality

Jetlag sucks.  Hard core.  It's one thing as an adult to fly overseas and adjust to new time zones. With three small children? It's torture.  We are waking up at 2-3am FOR. THE. DAY.  That means each day lasts approximately 18 hours - and that's when I fall asleep at 8pm!!!

I know.  It's temporary.

After all, the last two weeks looked mostly like this, so I'll stop complaining.

Monday, March 31, 2014

First birthday, big trip, and my first design gig!

Lots of exciting things this week! Yesterday we celebrated my baby boy's first birthday.  I feel so bittersweet since he's probably our last baby, but he is the sweetest guy.  He's wild and cuddly - a wonderful combo.

This weekend, we leave for a 2 week trip to Israel!  My husband's family is from there so we try to visit every 1.5 - 2 years.  This is getting increasingly challenging as our family grows, but we are doing it :) This will be our first overseas flight with 3 kids - wish me luck! I've already started packing.  I've learned the only way to feel calm about preparing is to pack for one of us each night for the whole week preceding the trip. Crazy, I know.

A parent of a child in my middle daugher's preschool class has asked me to help to design for her new home in September! I know it's far off, but I can't believe I am actually having a design job fall in my lap.  I've been on this long, slow, meandering path toward interior design as a source of income, but it feels like I'm actually getting somewhere.  This only happened as a result of her seeing our home :)
So satisfying and flattering.  I can't wait!

Monday, March 17, 2014


I'm full of inspiration.  I know that this is good.  It's a place to start.  But what to do with it? I have so many sources in real life and on the internet, and I just wonder how to let these inspirations take me somewhere. I devour design blogs as though it is my job.  Because I want it to be my job.

Here are the blogs I've been reading for the past 4+ years as I've taken baby step after baby step in this direction:

Little Green Notebook
Style by Emily Henderson
Cup of Jo
Design Mom
Making It Lovely
CopyCat Chic

I love how I feel as though I know these people.  I love that they somehow blend quality writing, design, and imagery, with personal glimpses into their lives in a way that draws readers into their stories.  Oh, to be a design blogger...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

2 weeks in

Ditto to the last post.  Still feeling totally blissed out by my new freedom and proud of myself for making a change.  No micromanaging boss to please anymore, just some overly-grateful relatives that are so completely overwhelmed but the growth of their business, that literally ANYTHING I DO is an amazing help.  It's kind of great.  I mean, it's nearly impossible to disappoint them (I'm sure I'll figure out a way eventually), and I have even more flexibility than before.  I'm still making about the same amount of money, so our finances are stable, and it feels promising that this could lead me toward working in design and real estate projects.

Now to my new pipe dream: find a cheapo property either here or in the country that requires a face-lift but not a total gut renovation, and buy it cash for flipping or investment and rental.

In other news, this delicious 10 month old has a fever. Boo.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New year news: I did it.

I did it. I can't believe I quit my public health contract.  I'll finish out the month, and of course do anything I can to help with the transition for my employer.  However, it feels like such a good way to start this new year. I want to work hard on taking care of myself and doing more of the things I enjoy this year.  Ending this part of my work like seems like a perfect first step.

I hemmed and hawed about this decision for months and months.  Ultimately though, doing more of the things that make me happy, made this decision feel easier.  That work does not make me happy.

I'll be helping out my husband's growing construction business while I figure things out.  I also will continue teaching the women's health class I've taught for a couple of years now, because that, does make me happy. This seems to be a pretty straightforward way to think about my next work choices.  Of course, money, time, and financial obligations play a big role in these decisions as well.  I'm lucky to have a back up option that I think I'll actually enjoy more than my old contract.

Other areas I want to focus on this year include:

  • starting to exercise again
  • cutting back on my sugar intake
  • continuing to purge and beautify my home
  • yelling less
  • and of course...finding a way to make a living from my design obsession

I'm feeling proud of myself for taking this important step.  Finally.