On My Mind: December Edition

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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!

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Quoted: Jeffrey Alan Marks

787b0f7e01aaa6eaa7cc97c01f8b735c“We’re really into comfort. Not some abstract idea of what a comfortable room should be, but real comfort—the kind where you can happily drift off for an hour or two with your dog at your feet.”Decorator Jeffrey Alan Marks

JAM -  SF 3175-1024x819Editor’s note: Usually I illustrate these quotes with a hodgepodge of pictures, but I went with all of the designer’s own spaces this time because they really do look comfortable. Do you agree? Check out Jeffrey’s book for more eye candy and insight.

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(Images: Jeffery Alan Marks)

New! Nate Berkus Fabrics at Jo-Ann

So I’ve kinda sorta maybe become obsessed with finding the right throw pillows for my living room sofa… #sorrynotsorry

I have a ton of inspiration pinned to a secret board that I’ll unleash one day, but I have to say that I’m not really finding exactly what I’m looking for in stores or online—or I am, but it’s prohibitively expensive. It’s essentially two pieces of fabric, people!

So I think I may go the DIY route and make ’em myself. Or in an ideal world, I’d find a friend with a sewing machine who will make me some pillow covers in exchange for a few cocktails… Any takers?

The good news is that Nate Berkus just came out with a new line of (budget-friendly, $20-$55/yard) home decor fabrics at Jo-Ann Fabrics. I love his high-end stuff and his Target collection, so I expect more of the same at Jo-Ann.fabricsAnd I’m liking what I see so far! Especially that mint one with the flowers. Drool.

Check out the full line here.

(Images: Jo-Ann Fabrics)

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A Happy Home-iversary!

Aug. 1 came and went so quickly that I didn’t even have a chance to celebrate my two-year home-iversary! I resigned my lease, so I’ll be in my current apartment for at least one more year (barring any major life changes). There was a bit of a rent hike, but it’s only an additional $20 a month—not something I’m excited about, but definitely not worth the expense (and hassle!) of a move. Plus, the consensus seems to be that my place is a steal for the amount of space and the neighborhood (Chicago’s North Center). I do love it!

Let’s take a look at how far it’s come:

Living room

Dining room

Bathroom

Kitchen

Bedroom

It’s not perfect. It never will be. Design is a constantly evolving process—and that’s exactly what makes it fun!

Outside of a few little things here and there, I’m VERY happy with the living room and dining room. But putting everything side-by-side here makes me realize that the kitchen and bathroom are kind of a different style than the rest of the apartment… Looks like I know where my next projects will be! Stay tuned.

Finally! Living Room Reveal

I know I teased the new living room rug more than two weeks ago now… I’m sorry to leave you hanging for so long! My laptop has been on the fritz so it hasn’t been easy working on the blog from home, and I’ve been really busy at my 9-to-5, too, so I haven’t been able to sneak in much Urban Nesting time in the office.

Plus, it turned out not to be just a new rug, of course, so I needed a bit more time…

So here goes! This was the living room before, right after it was painted:

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During the rug back-and-forth…

DSC00909And finally, now!

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Thank you to everyone who chimed in on the rug choices! Your advice was much appreciated because it was no easy decision. As you can see, I ended up going with rug No. 3! I really wanted No. 7, but I couldn’t justify the cost when the bf has a cat that barfs just about every day… Gross.

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I’ll post a “Shop This Space” next week because I have new curtains now, too! That round tray on the coffee table was a thrift store score, but its paint job is a bit of a work in progress. More on that later.

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I’m absolutely smittten with the calm, cool vibe of the space, and I think the mood of the room will really be swayed by artwork. It’s still pretty bare in there right now. The three “prints” above the couch now are just drawings I made and threw up there so it didn’t look so bare at the Garden Party. I’m planning to replace them eventually, but art isn’t something I like to just buy to fill space—it’s expensive, so I want to love it with a capital L!

DSC01036So what to do you think about how the space is coming together? I hope you like it as much as I do—but I’m always open to suggestions!

Design Inspiration: Pink and Gold Home Office

I’ve touted the merits of Adore before, but this latest issue really puts it over the top. Everything is so bright and cheery and beautiful!

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The theme is workspaces, which doesn’t usually interest me, but lately I’ve been dreaming of a home office (and a pink one at that!).

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This is blogger Monika Hibbs‘ home office. I’ve been lusting after those Kate Spade nesting boxes (I’m partial to the polka dots and stripes set), and I love that she DIY’d her coffee table and bookshelves from IKEA’s Vittsjo series. Chic and affordable. Who said it couldn’t be done? I think that’s why I like it so much. It’s gorgeous… and not completely out of reach.

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Even if you’re like me and don’t have room for an office, I still think you can still glean some inspiration from the fab spaces—office and otherwise—in the June/July issue. I swear I found something to love on every single page—even in the ads!

Flip through the entire issue here. And Adore editors, bring that new book of yours stateside, pretty please! I can only imagine the eye candy in there..A91Q9627 copy

Aside

Design for You

I don’t often dole out advice on here—an expert, I surely am not—but I (accidentally) learned a valuable lesson recently, and I think it’s important to pass it along.

I’d been going back and forth for a few weeks about where to hang two photographs—beautiful images I bought while traveling in Cambodia. They were originally part of the gallery wall but, as you know, I dismantled that after painting the dining room.

So my idea was to move them to my little foyer. Option 1 was to hang them on the wall you see as you as you open the front door, a great first impression for guests. Or Option 2 was to hang them on the wall to the right, next to the bathroom door and perpendicular to the front door.

Before

Option 1 on the left, Option 2 on the right

While Option 1 seems like the obviously choice, there didn’t seem to be enough visual space for both images on that wall. It’s a little narrower than Option 2, and they’d have to contend with a light switch.

Finally, I stopped humming and hawing and just went for it—Option 2. I wasn’t crazy about the fact that guests would be getting a side view of the frames when they walked in instead of the images themselves, but I could always change it later, right?

AfterThen the next morning when I woke up and opened my bedroom door to hit the shower, there they were. I realized that every day I get to start my morning with these serene images and memories of a great trip long past. It’s been about two weeks, and still every single morning, I take a second to look at them.

after2So here’s my advice: Don’t forget to design for you. Think about how many days a year you live in your home without guests, and then think about the number of days you entertain. Unless you’re a socialite or run a business out of your home or something, the time you’re there alone probably greatly outweighs those days when you’re playing host.

So don’t just think about what would make others happy. What would make you happy?