Aside

I Want That Wednesday: Blue (Not Suede) Shoes

I feel like poor navy is underestimated in the home and fashion worlds. I’ve always been a big fan! I mean, what’s not to like? It’s like jeans—it can pair with everything! I recently made my love somewhat permanent, not by getting a heart tattoo with Navy in the middle (though I’d consider it), but by painting a wall in my living room Hale Navy from Benjamin Moore. I sometimes just stare in awe. #navycrush

But it seems navy’s momentum has been picking up over the past year or so, and I’m happy it’s finally getting some time in the spotlight. Who knows how long it’ll stay “on trend” though, so I might as well snatch up all the navy I can…

My latest crush? Navy booties. I know we haven’t really had a summer here in Chicago, but I’m still looking forward to fall anyway—and sporting a pair of these would only make it all the better. Here are my favs in the blue hue:

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1. Merona Jill, $35, Target
2. Romy, $90, Sole Society
3. Kork-Ease Natalya, $189, Nordstrom
4. Eric Michael London, $175, Zappos

Disclaimer: “I Want That Wednesdays” are a series of posts that, well frankly, are just of things (decor, fashion, food, etc.) I like. The products featured are never sponsored; they’re simply items I’ve come across that I’m crushing on and that I thought you might enjoy as well. Let me know if you love it/ hate it/ can’t get enough of it.

Shop This Space: Living Room

A few of you contacted me about sources for items in my revamped living room (more pictures here). Well, ask (nicely) and you shall receive…

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1. Curtains: Threshold Floral Grayson Grommet Window Panel in Gray, 54×95, $30/each, Target; Curtain Rod: Umbra Geo Cage Drapery Rod in Bronze, 66-120″, $33, Target

2. Sofa: Karlstad in Sivik Dark Gray, $399, IKEA; Legs: Karlstad Legs, $20, IKEA

3. Rug: Safavieh Cambridge, 6×9, $340, Overstock (wait for a sale, I paid less than $200); Coffee table: Era Rectangular Coffee Table, $499, Crate and Barrel (I purchased via Craigslist)

4. Accent wall: Hale Navy, about $40/gallon, Benjamin Moore

Pretty much everything else is vintage I’ve inherited or snagged on Craigslist, but if you have any questions, send them my way!

Before and After: Interior Accent Door

Before I painted the living room and dining room a few weeks ago, everything in my apartment was this gross chalky white. Not like a crisp, Scandinavian starkness. The kind of white that, say, you touch with a dirty finger, and when you go to wipe it off, it just disintegrates into a little pile of dust on the floor…

Like I said, gross white.

Not only did they use this cheapo crap on the walls, they also covered all of the interiors doors with it to. Why not just leave the wood stain? Or at least something other than white. I mean, look how great these accent doors look:

So that got me thinking… I did have some leftover paint from the living room…

Ta-da! Say hello to my new navy door! Now I’m probably going to regret this decision when I have to paint it back white before I move out (all those little nooks and crannies did take awhile), but I love the way the brass padlock looks. Now if only the door handle matched… oh, rentals. I guess you can only do so much!

Before and After: Living Room

I didn’t want to show off the living room until it’s in a more complete state, but the people have spoken… and they want to see pictures ASAP. So here’s what it looked like before I moved in:

livingroomOrange. Woof.

My original plan was to paint the entire living room Whispering Spring (which is now in the dining room). But since it’s such a large room with a nice high ceiling, I decided to go with something more dramatic and on just one wall (well, a wall and the tiny sliver of wall that separates the two rooms).

I landed on Hale Navy from Benjamin Moore. (Again, for those of you interested, I used the Ben series with an Eggshell finish, and it was about $40/gallon in Chicago.)

Hale NavySo before last weekend, this is what the living room looked like:

IMG_0908And for a little while it looked like this…

But now we’re here!DSC00753I am in LOVE with the color! (The landlords probably aren’t as thrilled…) It only took two coats to cover the white. I am definitely on board with buying more expensive, higher quality paint—in this case, you get what you pay for.

DSC00755I like the pink rug with the charcoal couch (it reminds me of this), but it doesn’t really fit with my vision for the living/dining space. Plus, it really clashes with my red Coca-Cola cooler that looks so fab against the navy. So I’m thinking about going for something lighter since the wall, couch and TV console are all dark colors. Those of you with experience: Is having a white or cream shag or flokati rug a terrible idea?

DSC00754Other things on the wish list: curtains, colorful throw pillows, wall art, new tray for the coffee table (that oval shape is just not working for me—perhaps a DIY RIBBA one?).

DSC00757Stay tuned and you can help me decide what’s next for the space. Leave me a comment if you have suggestions!

Before and After: Dining Room

I’d just like to start this post off with a friendly reminder of what the dining room looked like before I moved in…

diningroomGah, the horror! Who on Earth thought that was a good idea?! Sorry, I should have warned you like they do before they show something disturbing on the news. Luckily, the management company painted it white—though it was a terrible, cheap, chalky white, which was definitely one of the reasons I was eager to change it.

I started gathering inspiration and tested a few sample colors and landed on Benjamin Moore’s Whispering Spring. (For those of you interested, I used the Ben series with an Eggshell finish, and it was about $40/gallon in Chicago.)

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 6.23.42 PMWell, actually, I thought I was putting Whispering Spring in the living room, but then I decided to paint the dining room too. (Living room reveal coming soon!) So before this weekend, my dining room looked like this:

IMG_1652Certainly an improvement over the Flubber green, but nothing great. And now…

DSC00741Ta-da! I love it! It’s subtle and fresh and a little bit preppy. I really like the way the walls match—but don’t match—the inside of the pendant light.

DSC00734I figured I might as well wipe down the blinds and polish the floors since the room was nearly empty, but damn, it’s amazing how long it takes to get a room put back together after painting when you factor in deep cleaning. Oh well, it desperately needed it, and in my mind, it adds to the delightful new color!

There’s still a ton to do, like hang artwork (no, that taped-up newspaper isn’t staying), re-stain the table (don’t even ask how that happened…) and buy curtains, but we’d need a lot longer than a three-day weekend to get all that accomplished. Stay tuned for more updates!

Weekend Sneak Peek: Moore To Come

I honestly think I’m going to have a hard time sleeping tonight. It’s not that I’m excited about Good Friday or the Easter Bunny’s visit (though that candy aisle at Target was harrrrd to walk past today)…

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Me and BM are about to become good pals.

No, I’m finally taking the leap and painting! The original plan was to paint the living room, but now I’ve decided to paint the dining room and one wall in the living room. The landlord’s approved, the paint’s been bought, the holes have been patched and the ladder is on it’s way (thanks, dad!). There’s no turning back now…

Ah, naked walls!

Ah, naked walls!

Curious what colors I went with? Well, the dining room is going to be one of the colors I tested a couple weeks ago, and the living room will very soon have a dark accent wall. That’s all you can know for now : )

There’s so much to do, but hopefully I’ll have a great Before and After to show you early next week. Wish me luck! xoxo

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Weekend Rewind: Playing with Paint

So I’ve decided to paint my living room! I know people say you shouldn’t spend money prettying up a rental apartment, but in the grand scheme of things paint is a minor expense (especially when you have a dad nearby that can loan you some brushes, ladders, old sheets, etc.). The flat white paint in my apartment is so chalky and gross. I think a fresh coat would bring me much more enjoyment than the cost of a few gallons of paint. Eee, I’m so excited!

Plus, I know I told y’all that I was meeting with a realtor a few weeks back… Well, I’ve decided not to look to buy for at least another year. I feel like I’m just now getting on my feet a bit financially—yes, a good 5+ years after college. And I don’t want to go back to being poor again. I’m not exactly living the high life (unless you include the $2 High Life specials at the bar), but I like being able to buy a new pair of jeans or visit a friend for a weekend and not have to pinch every single penny for the rest of the month. What’s the point of having a nice condo when you can’t afford to furnish it or turn the heat on?

So that means I’ll be in my current apartment for at least another year and four months. Bring on the Benjamin Moore!

Don’t ask me why, but I have it in my head that I want to paint the living room a light blue. It’s kind of hard to tell anything by these iPhone pics (my bad), but the one on the left is grayer than the other brighter one on the right, though just barely. The left is Summer Shower and the right is Whispering Spring. Any thoughts?

IMG_1218This weekend, I also did one of those painting-and-drinking classes that are oh so popular here in Chicago. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, basically the idea is that you show up, buy drinks or BYOB (depending on where it’s being held) and the host will bring all your painting supplies and a sample picture. Then he/she goes about teaching you how to paint the picture. I haven’t done much painting since my 4-H days. (Yep, I was that weird non-agriculture kid that did “visual arts”…) It was fun, but now I definitely know why I stopped pursuing that hobby.

OK, so it’s not terrible, and I was also rushed. Have you ever seen pink lily pads? I haven’t, but that’s what the sample painting looked like so I followed suit…

IMG_1219I’d totally do it again. I joined three girl friends, and we had a blast—with the exception that the Michigan/Kentucky game was on. Just bad timing there. Anybody’s bracket still in tact?