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!

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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.

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The Fashion Challenge Returns!

I know fashion advice isn’t what you normally visit Urban Nesting for, but hear me out. Last year, I did a Fashion-A-Day Challenge and even had the guts to post a selfie of my outfit everyday… I admit that was a little overkill. So I won’t be posting a pic every day, but I will challenge myself again: Every day in the month of May I’ll dress in something I’m proud of. I do have a sense of style (I swear!), but so many days I just wake up and throw something on. There’s a much better outfit lurking in that closet; I’m just too lazy to fit all the pieces together. I know I look like a schlub most days, and I’m honestly ashamed. I can do better!

I encourage you all to join the challenge too. It’s only one month. How hard can it be?

You do not have to buy new clothes by any means. The challenge provides an opportunity for you to “shop” your own closet, discover items you may have forgotten about or didn’t realize go together, and weed out stuff to donate, throw away, swap with friends, etc.

I already have one item on my challenge to-do list: Take a pair of jeans that I’ve literally had for years to get hemmed. I only wear heels about twice a year. What’s the point of having a pair of extra-long jeans at that rate? (You know what I’m talking about, ladies.)

There really isn’t much of a time commitment to the challenge. I’m not one to pick out my outfit each night before work, but during last year’s challenge, I did force myself to try to get a few key things out for the week each Sunday. I’m sure you’ll find a system that works for you (and when you do, let me know—I may want to steal it!). This would also be a good time to do the backwards hanger trick.

OK, are we ready? Get set… go!

IKEA Hack and Quiz

SUPER exciting news, guys: Urban Nesting is on IKEA Hackers!!! Remember the RIBBA frame that I turned into a bar tray a couple weeks ago? It’s featured on their landing page today!

IKEAHackersI don’t think I’ve ever been picked up by another blog so I’m thrilled! If you ended up here from IKEA Hackers and you do this “hack” (really it’s just more of, say, a reconfigure), please leave a comment or send pictures—I’d love to see how yours turned out. I’m thinking about making another one with a larger RIBBA for the living room. It’s just so cheap and customizable—two things that so rarely go together.

RIBBAframe

Speaking of IKEA, I’m loving the “What’s Your Spring Style?” quiz they sponsored over on Lonny. I know I’ve been really into quizzes lately, but I’m not apologizing—I’m stressing over the painting I’m hoping to do in a few weeks! I’m dreaming about paint colors at night, and needless to say, I’m constantly looking for inspiration. But I think this quiz totally hit the nail on the head:

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 12.29.36 PM

I don’t know if I’ll be putting up a flag anytime soon (though I’m not opposed to it), but seersucker? Yes. Stripes? Yes. G&Ts? Please!

Now, who wants to go to Cape Cod with me?

I Want That Wednesday

Is anybody else excited for Sunday’s Golden Globes ceremony? I’m not usually one for awards shows, but I am a big fan of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. In fact, I watched all of the Parks and Recreation episodes on Netflix over the last three weeks. That’s five season worth. Maybe it wasn’t the most productive way to spend my holiday break…

But anyway, a friend asked me the other day: If you could have any one designer create a dress for you, who would it be? I immediately said Elie Saab. I am not nearly as in to fashion as I used to be (too busy studying House Beautiful and the latest West Elm catalog—which has some great new things in it, by the way—to dilly-dally with Anna Wintour and Vogue), but every single red carpet event seems to have a least one Elie Saab number. I’ve never seen a dress he’s designed that I didn’t like!

eliesaab_frontSooo, if I were going to the Globes, I’d wear this, from the fall/winter 2013 couture collection.

483d411616bed6dc980fcf80f8da222dIt’s so elegant! Especially the back. I’m in love with the way chiffon (or maybe this is some kind of fancy version of chiffon that I don’t know about, but you get my point) moves—have been ever since I first saw Dirty Dancing, of all things.

abe4ea542168ef185b6565690cf6c4ceI’d definitely need to get my tan on for this dress, but that wouldn’t be a problem if I was a glamorous movie star living in California. Instead, I’ll just be here. Watching it on TV. Bundled up in sweats.  Hibernating in Chiberia.

So if you were going to the Globes, who would you want to design your dress?

(Images: Style.com, Pinterest, fashionrightnow.co.uk)

Design Inspiration: Wright Chairs

Where do you fall on the comfort versus style debate? And I’m not just talking flats versus heels here. (I’d, without a doubt, choose flats in that fight.) What about, say, a couch? Is it more important for it to have great lines or be able to double as a twin bed? Well, hopefully nobody is asking, “WWFLWD?” Frank Lloyd Wright, that is.

IMG_3967-editFrom the Chicago History Museum: Wright designed these chairs for the Glencoe home of his lawyer, Sherman M. Booth. Originally part of a dining room suite, the chairs are more striking in appearance than they are comfortable. As Wright later confessed, “I found it difficult … to design it [furniture] as architecture and make it ‘human’ at the same time—fit for human use. I have been black and blue in some spot, somewhere almost all my life from too intimate contact with my own early furniture.”

Um, ouch! I think these chairs are beautiful—I’m a sucker for pretty much anything cane—but I don’t think I could go so far as to buy them if I thought they’d give me (and my dinner guests) bruises. I guess that’s why they’re in a museum now: They’re only pretty to look at!

Fashion-A-Day Challenge: The Recap

Well, the Fashion-A-Day Challenge is over, but I hope to keep the habits I’ve developed over the last month and pay closer attention to my style selections (at least during the work week). It’s not really as hard as I thought it’d be (because I’m so incredibly good-looking… just keeding), and I got a lot of good feedback, which always helps.

So what’d I learn over the past month? Here’s a top 5:

1. I buy a hell of a lot of things at Macy’s—and there’s nothing wrong with that (though it’s still no Marshall Field, RIP). I think I like the idea of going to one place and getting everything I need as opposed to store hopping. I don’t have the time/energy for that anymore. When you recognize a place you buy from often, it’s usually worth it to sign up for their card (assuming you’re a responsible credit card user). Done.

2. I have some good pieces in my closet. Sure, there’s a few things I need to buy (straight leg jeans, casual jacket, tote, etc.), but I didn’t even wear probably half the items I own during the challenge month. It just goes to show I don’t really need a lot of those things.

3. It’s time to purge! It’s already begun actually. I took some clothing and shoes into Buffalo Exchange (a Plato’s Closet kind of place), and I got almost $60! Not bad, right? Whatever they didn’t want to buy, I donated right away (so as not to pick through it and keep anything). But that was about halfway through the month, and now I feel like I could do another comb through and really keep what I know is quality/I’ll actually wear.

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