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.)

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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!

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!)

DIY: PVC Pipe Christmas Tree

Last year, I saw this fun tree made out of PVC pipe in Martha Stewart Living. I said something to my dad about making me one and then promptly forgot all about it… until he showed up at my apartment last week with a surprise!

I am OBSESSED with it! He even made an upgrade to Martha’s design by adding lights.

DSC01851

It just happens to fit perfectly above my bar. (We tried the entryway bookshelf first, but it was too big.)

I filled with it ornaments I wasn’t using on my live tree, mostly a mishmash of vintage pieces that I’ve inherited over the years from my mom’s collection. But I’m excited to see how the tree evolves every year – and even as the season goes on.

What’s really fun is that it doesn’t even need to be an ornament to go “on” the tree – it can be memorabilia, knickknacks, maybe even food. The possibilities are pretty endless. Maybe I’ll have to throw a party at the end of November next year, and the idea would be that everyone has to bring one “ornament” for the tree!

DSC01859-textWant to build your own PVC tree? For a list of supplies and the step-by-step instructions, head over to Martha Stewart.

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I Want That Wednesday: Carry On Cocktail Kit

I hope everyone out there is arriving safely to their Thanksgiving day destinations. It took me three hours to get from Chicago to my parents’ house, a drive that usually takes less than an hour and a half… Let’s just say I was extremely cranky and in desperate need of a drink when I finally made it.

Those of you hitting the airports for transportation, I stumbled upon a great solution for your in-flight cocktailing needs—just in time for the holiday season!

d5179df5dffd3690aec94c8e4b371795The Carry On Cocktail Kit provides all the makings for two Old Fashioned cocktails—just add ice and whiskey. (From what I gather, it’s illegal to drink your own mini bottles of booze on the plane, so either risk it or buy from the flight attendant.)

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 10.03.26 PMAs you can see, the components included are: carry-on tin, recipe card, spoon/muddler, aromatic bitters, cane sugar and linen coaster.

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 9.59.45 PMSo even if you’re stuck sitting on the tarmac or that toddler won’t stop kicking your chair, at least you can have a nice cocktail to take the edge off. Cheers my friends!

The Carry On Cocktail Kit, $24, carryoncocktailkit.com

(Images: The Carry On Cocktail Kit)

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.

Kitchen Revamp: A Work In Progress

A few weeks ago I gave y’all a sneak peek at the new kitchen paint job – however, prepare to be underwhelmed at the reveal. We painted a white kitchen… white. BUT, in person, it’s soooo much better! These pictures do not do it justice. There were nasty greasy hand prints from when the management company replaced my furnace and what looked like smoke stains behind the stove (thankfully, it’s been replaced since then!). And the paint itself was the same stuff that was used everywhere else in the apartment – chalky, cheap crap.

So here’s what it looked like before I moved in:

kitchenAnd here’s what it looked like after I gave it a bit of attention a few months ago:

DSC00584And here’s today:

kitchen_overviewI thought I was decluttering, but now it almost looks too sparse next to the previous pics. Well, it’s still a work in progress anyway. There is A LOT I’d like to do (those hideous beige outlets!), but of course there’s limits given that I’m a renter.

kitchen_window_commentThis kitchen is definitely lacking in the counter space category. That spot next to the fridge is pretty much it when I have my dish drying rack out on the little sliver of counter next to the sink. So one thing I bought to combat that is a magnetic knife rack – magnetic on both sides so it can hang on the fridge! While I can drill into my walls (as long as I fill the holes before I move out), a lot of renters can’t so is a great solution to eliminate the boxy knife block. Plus, it was less than $20!

kniferack_commentI so rarely use my microwave that I’ve considered getting rid of it, but I just can’t get myself to do it yet. (It’ll die one of these days – it’s a hand-me-down from a former roommate, so I can’t imagine it has much time left by this point.) But what would be ideal is if I could replace this makeshift microwave cart (really an iron outdoor table that I made a cushion for) with some kind of shelf that has a butcher block on top.  Bonus counter space!

YUMsign_commentThere’s plenty of that type of kitchen cart out there, but finding one that will 1. fit the microwave on the higher of the two shelves (so it can be plugged in when needed), 2. is wide enough to take up this wall space, and 3. still has a butcher-block top… not so easy to find. It maybe need to be a custom job (hint, hint, dad…). I’m thinking something like this (it has adjustable shelves) with a custom-cut butcher block top. That may be too cost prohibitive though, so I still need to do some research there.

vintage_apronsOther areas I tackled: cleaned out and wiped down the fridge; completely emptied the pantry and reorganized with the addition of storage tubs; went through the cabinets and donated items I no longer use; and re-hung my vintage aprons!