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.)

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!

“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!)

On My Mind: November Edition

grace-71. Back in August, I talked about how I woke up one day and decided I hated my bathroom… Well, I’ve finally gotten around to giving it a bit of a refresh (reveal to come soon!). I’ve been looking around for artwork, and I happened upon Grace Lee, a Toyko-based Australian artist. Her drawings are so whimsical and fun. I thought the one above would look adorable in a bathroom, but I also really like this one and this one.

2. I’m sure people have moved on to the next big thing in impractical footwear by now, but I have to admit: I kind of still love UGG boots. (For the record, I was NOT one of those college girls who wore ’em with yoga pants and a North Face jacket… I was way too broke for that nonsense.) For someone whose feet are always cold, they’re a godsend. But after last year’s polar vortex madness, my pair got so much salt in them that the left boot literally cracked… I’m thinking it’s time to upgrade. Luckily, UGG just came out with a water-resistant boot. It’s about damn time! What took so long?

3. Kudos to Linda Merrill of Decorative Surroundings for putting together an awesome Pinterest board of design resources, including guides to pillow sizes, molding styles and chair backs. Ever wondered the difference between a camelback and tuxedo sofa? She’s got ya covered.

4. Do you guys have a morning routine to kick off your day? Not like brush your teeth (hopefully you do do that), but, say, take five minutes to stretch or download a news podcast to listen to in the shower? I’ve started making the bed as soon as I get out of it, and I’ve really grown to like it – it brings a sense of order to one little corner of my life. I’ve been debating moving my phone away from my nightstand… haven’t gotten there yet. Apartment Therapy’s 10 Things to Do the First 10 Minutes of Your Day offers some good ideas, but I’d love to hear yours.

5. And, of course, how could the holidays not be on my mind? The stores have been pushing Christmas on us for the past three-plus weeks already! When do you think it’s appropriate to bust out the tinsel? Tomorrow is Dec. 1. I know what my plans are : )

(Image: Lamington Drive)

Hosting Guests Without a Guest Room

BEDROOMfinalSpring is finally here so you know what that means—the start of travel season! Summer in Chicago is THE BEST. It’s what makes people put up with the terrible winters (though I know some people are teetering on the edge after this last one…). I can’t really blame anybody for not wanting to come visit me November-April, but I hope to play host a few times over the next six months or so.

There’s only one problem: I don’t have a guest room. I can barely afford a bedroom for myself, let alone another one that’s only used a few days out of the year (though don’t get me wrong, I’m sure I could find plenty of uses for it on the other days). Do you host overnight guests without an extra bedroom? Any tips or tricks to make their stay more comfortable (for both you and them)?

Here’s one Apartment Therapy writer’s suggestions:

First things first: Find a “bed”. If you want to prioritize hosting overnight guests, you need somewhere to put them. Pull-out sofas and daybeds are the obvious choice, but they’re not to everyone’s taste or budget. I love the corner sofa-turned-bed in my living room (in a furnished rental) for its hosting abilities, but would I buy it myself if I were furnishing my dream flat? Probably not.

Luckily, there are other options. A good air mattress is comfortable and doesn’t take up too much room (store it inside a suitcase when not in use). Or, depending on the guest and the length of stay (I’m thinking in-laws, and two nights max), you could also have the guests in your room and take the sofa yourself. If you’ve got kids, consider putting guests in their room while having the kids bunk with you or sleep on the sofa (little people take up less room, after all).

Remember, guests come with stuff. Think ahead to where your friends are going to put those pesky suitcases they arrive with, even if it’s just clearing a generous area on the floor. If you can allocate a small table, a shelf on the bookcase and a section in the coat closet for hanging things, all the better.

Consider your non-bedroom like a bedroom. Maybe you fall asleep on the sofa occasionally, but your guests will be trying to get some serious rest in this room, so think about it like you would your own bedroom. Do the curtains keep out enough light for your pals to get some shut-eye? Is there a draft coming under the front door that makes it cold at night? Is there street noise? There are simple, temporary fixes for most of these issues (even if they are just extra blankets and earplugs).

Throw in some extras. In addition to the basics above, adding some luxe touches to the “bedroom” area will go a long way to making it seem more inviting. My best friends always have fresh flowers in their apartment when I come to visit, which never fails to make me feel welcome. On the more practical side, a power bar for charging phones and Ipads is always appreciated, as is your wifi password written on an easily-accessible card.

Privacy… for everyone. If your guests will be staying awhile, try to afford everyone in the household a bit of solitude. A folding screen can lend a little privacy to an open plan living area turned bedroom, which is ideal in the mornings or evenings if everyone has different routines. Working out a shower schedule is another necessity that feels like micro-managing at first, but helps everyone feel more comfortable.

This Goes Out to my Homies

homiesWhat are The Homies, you say? It’s Apartment Therapy‘s annual web awards for blogs in the home design and home cooking space. Past winners include some major players in the home blogosphere including Young House Love (whose book I talked about here) and design*sponge (who also has a book I’ve discussed). I’m not saying I’m anywhere near that level, but just to be nominated would be an honor.

Which is where you come in. If you’ve gleaned some inspiration from one of my round-ups, attempted one of my DIY projects or whipped up one of my recipes—or you’re just a fan of my witty banter—please go over to Apartment Therapy and vote for Urban Nesting in the Home Design & Inspiration category. You have between now and THIS Friday (Feb. 21) at midnight EST to vote. You don’t have to write a paragraph explaining why you like the blog or anything; you just have to paste in the URL (https://urbannesting.wordpress.com).

Please vote now! (I’m sorry, you do have to sign-in, but please, please do it for me! It only takes a minute, I promise. xoxo)

(Image: Apartment Therapy)

Design Inspiration: Amy’s Vintage Jewel Tone Apartment

On this dreary and frigid day, I thought we could all use some color in our lives. I ran across this house tour on Apartment Therapy a few weeks back and was waiting to share it with you until a day just like today. Meet Amy apartment:

52a7ecc3697ab0072100b5d7._w.540_s.fit_I don’t know this person (though I did used to live in Andersonville!), but I imagine her being bubbly and sweet and pulling off vintage dresses like nobody else (especially me). We should really be friends. She has such an eye for matching patterns and textiles! I would never have the guts to paint a place like this, but it works in this vintage charmer. Here’s part of what she had to say:

52a7d392697ab0071900b175._w.540_s.fit_I am often inspired by nature and the colors of a changing day. I make a conscious effort to bring the outdoors inside… Amazingly, many of nature’s boldest colors can also be found in all things reminiscent of the late 60’s and early 70’s-another source of my inspiration.”

52a7d513697ab0078b00afce._w.1000._h.1000._s.fitRead Amy’s interview and see many more pics of her gorgeous place here.

52a7ec84697ab0077000b561._w.540_s.fit_