Time Inc. Launches Decor, DIY Hub for Millenials

diyNot to send you all away from Urban Nesting, of course, but yesterday Time Inc. launched The Snug, a new shelter site (or social aggregator, in their words) targeting millennials. I’m happy somebody is recognizing our potential and not just ragging on us. (Don’t even get me started.)

Anywho, I’m a fan of The Snug’s concept: To bring together content from across Time Inc. (which includes Real Simple, Southern Living and This Old House) and their partners (like Apartment Therapy, CasaSugar and HomeTalk), and merge it with original content in the form of how-tos, videos and lists on home design, decorating and DIY.

That’s pretty much all of my favorite things/sources in one place. Yessss.

But now some caveats. While I’m not a big fan of the design of the site itself (and in fact, there’s some definite issues in mobile view), I’m hopeful that’ll improve over time. For instance, is it just me or do the IKEA ads look low res? (Not that it’s the ads I should be concerned with, mind you.) Also, one of the subheds is this: “LC is the boss, applesauce.” Seriously? Lauren Conrad may think that’s cute, but the rest of us are rolling our eyes. And apparently millennials don’t like capital letters?

Grow up, Time Inc. I want to like you.

(Image: Time Inc.)

Onward and Upward! Goals for 2015

sunset2015 is definitely starting off with a bang! Not only is it so cold that the boss has us working from home (the real feel was -24 when I woke up this morning…), but I’m enrolled in a couple graduate classes this quarter that are bound to keep me busy, and I’m doing a juice cleanse that has me craving – of all things – deli sandwiches, something I rarely eat anyway. Luckily, the cleanse ends tomorrow, but the other two will be sticking around for awhile.

What else do I have planned for 2015? Well, not much at this point, but I’ve put together some goals. I managed to tackled all of the items on the 2014 list, though the storage area is kind of a mess again and could use some TLC…

Lately I’ve been thinking about things I should cross off my bucket list before I turn 30 in 2016. I’ll try to keep the goals for 2015 and the holy-crap-I’m-almost-30 list separate, but some of these are probably a bit of both (and if you have suggestions for me, please send them along!).

1. Return to regularly scheduled programming. I was doing so well there for awhile, posting to Urban Nesting about four times a week, but lately I feel like my life has been so scattered, and I haven’t devoted the time to UN that I really should. I want to get back to contributing on a regular basis again. Let’s get to 200 followers! (We’re at 196 right now, for the record.)

2. Especially Foodie Fridays. Last year I blamed marathon training and I’m sure this year I’ll blame class (and maybe dating), but I’d really like to try a new recipe each week and share my findings with y’all on Fridays. Here’s to more culinary adventures in 2015! Nobody is going to make me a better cook but me.

3. Carve out an office space in my apartment. My coat closet is prime territory for this, but I’m not sure I can devote all that space to a desk. At the very least I’d like to set up some kind of landing strip to put mail and paperwork because last month’s gas bill may have gotten misplaced…

4. Transform my bedroom into a cozy retreat. I’ve definitely ignored my bedroom in lieu of rooms that are more public, but when it comes down to it, how many days a year am I entertaining versus home by myself? I should do something for me! The bedroom design is kind of all over the place right now, so it’ll definitely take some work. I’ll keep in mind Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams’ advice. (First project: Buy an alarm clock and move my phone away from the bed!)

5. Take a big trip. I know “travel more” was on the list last year, and I feel like I did do a few smaller trips that fulfilled that requirement (and we’re totally fun!). But I’m finally starting to feel like an adult with a real job and real PTO time and a (somewhat) real budget to take real vacations. It’s been awhile since I’ve been out of the country (minus Mexico). I think it’s time.

6. Ride my bike – or a bike – more often. Do you know how many times I rode my bike in 2014? Zero. I didn’t even get it out of the basement storage. If I’m too lazy to maintain it, I can get a Divvy bike sharing membership for something like $50/year. That’s just stupid cheap. I realize it’s not possible in the tundra, but I definitely want to keep this goal in mind for spring.

Sure, there’s some smaller things floating around in my head (have to get rid of those grubby kitchen rugs!), but these are the big picture items for 2015. What’s on your to-do list this year?

2014: A Year in Review

Can you believe it’s 2015?! Last year just FLEW by, but when I go back and review all the posts from 2014, it really is amazing how much happened. Thanks to all of you who have stuck around and continue to offer your advice and words of encouragement – I love you all!

I’ll create a to-do list for 2015 tomorrow, but first let’s take a look back of some of the best posts of 2014:

DSC00473Most popular post: A step-by-step look at how to turn an IKEA Ribba frame into a bar tray garnered the most clicks this year – and it was even picked up by IKEA Hackers!

Most commented on post: Remember when y’all helped me pick out a new living room rug? Great job, by the way.

DSC01014Best before/after: I’m so happy I finally bit the bullet and gave my living room a navy accent wall like the ones I’d been admiring on Pinterest forever. Will I regret it when I move out and have to paint it back white? Only time will tell…

Still on my wish list: This may just be the year that I tackle my first upholstery project, so I better pick up “Spruce: A Step-by-Step Guide to Upholstery and Design” to prepare.

11Best trip: Sometimes the best trips are the ones that are last minute and random and cheap – that happened to be Kansas City for me this year.

Best purchase: I know this is a home design blog, but this Kipling tote has been a godsend this past year. The blogging fashionistas of the world certainly don’t have anything to worry about, but I know a good bag when I see one.

friendsgivingBest party: I finally pulled off a Friendsgiving this year! The place looked great, and I hope it’ll mark the begin of many dinner parties to come. I love hosting.

Greatest accomplishment: I trained and ran a friggin’ marathon. 26.2 miles. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would ever say that. Hell, I could barely run the 5 miles during soccer two-a-days in high school! It felt amazing.

DSC00683Best recipe: I just made this Parmesan Ranch Snack Mix for a New Year’s Eve party… so, so good – and ridiculously easy!

Before and After: Bathroom Revamp

I decided to tackle one more project before year’s end: a revamp of the bathroom. I mentioned back in August that I woke up one day and decided I hated everything in there. Not sure where that came from, but I definitely think I’ve made some improvements.

Here’s what it looked like before:

IMG_1392Now, this is not a dramatic reveal – there’s still a lot I’d change, but you can only take a rental bathroom so far. (For instance, I am DYING to replace that mirror/light fixture, and I’d get rid of the checkered floor too.)

Here’s where I’ve landed for now:

DSC01981While I still need a few things (top of the list: a basket of some kind to put on top of the toliet), it already feels more spa-like, and I love that. The white shower curtain allows for more light to come through, and I bought these awesome new towels – Hotel Collection from Macy’s, if anyone is curious – that have made a huge difference.

But my absolute favorite part of the “new” bathroom is my gallery wall. I took a series of photographs in college in different barbershops around Bloomington, Ind., and I’ve always wanted to display them. I finally made it happen, and I couldn’t be happier! Plus, it meant I didn’t have to buy expensive artwork and could splurge on those towels I mentioned.

Maybe I’ll paint someday; there’s no doubt it could use it. I also attempted to recaulk part of the bathtub – turns out caulking is not my foray. I still have a lot to learn… I’ll save that for 2015!

On My Mind: December Edition

xmascards

1. In a similar vain to October’s “It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers,” I’m loving The Concourse’s “2014 Hater’s Guide to The Williams-Sonoma Catalog.” I guess this is the third annual guide, but this is the first I’ve seen of it and it’s right on. So, so funny. Here’s a taste:

“You are safe from the outside world here. It’s just you, your $685 Vitamix blender (“No waste and plenty of extra fiber!”), and no possible way for city residents to access your neighborhood via public transit. While the world burns outside, you will be snug and secure with all your loved ones, talking about your times at Princeton (I assume all of you went to Princeton), breathing in the scents from a literal Dutch oven, and spooning out fresh cassoulet from one of your MANY Le Creuset cooking dishes. Isn’t life FABULOUS?!”

2. What TV shows are you guys watching right now? I feel like I need some fresh material for 2015. It doesn’t need to be anything new. I gave The Newsroom a try recently, and it didn’t hook me (despite my journalism background). I’m not into fantasy or sci-fi; I like comedies, but I’m in the mood for suspense. True Detective maybe? The Good Wife? Fargo?

3. One can never take too many design quizzes in my opinion. If you’re of similar mindset, here’s a new one for you from the folks over at Domaine Home. I think it might be the most accurate yet in terms of my decor style. You’ve seen my place. Do you agree with this?

California Eclectic: You love the combination of midcentury modern lines with organic pieces, ethnic textiles, and plenty of plant life. An expert at layering, you never met a brass accent piece or large-scale photograph you didn’t like.

4. I don’t normally talk about my personal life on the blog, but since it does affect my living situation I’ll go ahead and tell y’all that the boy and I broke up (a few months ago now). I won’t go into details, but if I have one piece of advice from this situation it’s that you should move your things out of your significant other’s place as soon as possible. Do not drag it out; it only makes things worse. Luckily, he didn’t have much in the way of furniture or home items, so I didn’t have to reconfigure the apartment or acquire anything new. However, I definitely still took some advice from Apartment Therapy’s 5 Redecorating Steps for the Recently Consciously Uncoupled. The best thing about this whole situation? I no longer have to put up with the cat from hell. Hallelujah!

5. I can’t believe tomorrow is Christmas! This entire month, I’ve never felt like “I can’t wait for Christmas to be here already”—instead, it’s felt like the month has flown by. But now that I’m off work and spending time with the family and can see all the presents under the tree (my parents STILL haven’t realized that I’m an adult yet), I’m definitely ready. In true Peters family tradition, I’m watching SNL’s “I Wish It Was Christmas Today” to get in the spirit. Merry Christmas to all!

Status

A Last-Minute Christmas Wish List

xmaslist

  1. “Be Dazzling” Scented Candle, $40, Kate Spade
  2. Buzzed Cocktail Napkin, $32, August Morgan
  3. Decorative Leopard Pillow Cover 18×18 (other sizes available), $42, MakingFabulous
  4. Osito 2 Jacket, $99, North Face
  5. Gilded Portable Charger, $40, Nasty Gal
  6. Dali Llama Mug, $12, Urban Outfitters
  7. Dry Gin,  $15 (200-milliliter bottle), Koval Distillery

(Images: 1. Kate Spade, 2. August Morgan, 3. Etsy, 4. North Face, 5. NastyGal, 6. Urban Outfitters, 7. Chicago magazine)

“New” Living Room Wall Art

I’m finally getting around to doing a couple small projects around the house, and one big thing on the list has always been to get some artwork up on the living room walls. I’m having a hard time figuring out what I want to put on navy accent wall (it’s such a beaut on its own!), and I’d quickly DIY’d some wall art for above the couch before a party – a temporary solution that’s now been up for months. Far too long. (It was inspired by this, but I just drew on some butcher paper instead of burlap.)

DSC01036Outside of indecisiveness, I’d also been running into a budget problem – as in I didn’t have one. This time of year money is tight! So I started brainstorming about what I could make or what I already had.

And it hit me: My postcard collection. When I studied abroad, I decided to start collecting postcards. (I didn’t have much room in my suitcase to take back anything else.) Since then, whenever I travel, I pick up postcards – not usually the cheesy skyline shots but something more artistic, and a lot of the postcards are prints of famous photographs that I like (I was a photo minor in college).

An individual postcard doesn’t make much of an impact on an expansive white wall like this, but there’s some power in numbers. Check it out:

DSC01887I didn’t have the money to buy frames for each one (that’s the goal down the road), but I also didn’t want to ruin the postcard by using some kind of adhesive on the back. I used clear photo corners, and they’re holding surprisingly well! I thought maybe they’d peel off, but this has been up a few weeks now, and I haven’t had to replace any of them yet.

DSC01903One of my favorite things about this is that as my collection grows so can the gallery. I can also easily swap them out whenever I feel like making a change.

DSC01895Ready to embrace your collection and show it off? Apartment Therapy has A LOT of thoughts (including this and this) that might help you take the leap. Let me know how you’re displaying your collections!

(Images: Please don’t judge too harshly. The sun hasn’t been out here in what feels like a month!)