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.


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.


Trolling Craigslist

Sometimes all you need is a good Craigslist troll to return balance to your life. OK, balance may not be the word I’m looking for here. Tranquility? No, that’s far too deep. It’s more like that feeling when you have a long day at work and come home and just flip on some bad reality TV… You know there’s something better you could be doing with your time, but your brain just needs a break.

That reality show is my Craigslist. It’s like the most interesting random catalog ever. I love it. I’m not really looking to acquire anything – in fact, I’m in purge mode right now! – but it’s just fun to see what’s out there. Here’s a few gems I ran across:


Two Mid Century Bucket Chairs, $350 – It makes me a little nervous that the description of these chairs says they’re “rust orange”… but I’m hopeful it’s actually a warm cognac leather. I picture them in a space like one of my favorite Pins of all time.

Bookcase, $40 – The price is certainly right if this is solid wood! Imagine the styling options… But it’s also very practical with the two storage areas. It kind of reminds me of my bar.

Set of Vintage Chairs, $100 – Cane and bamboo? Well, I’m sold. These obviously need to be reupholstered (I’m picturing the palm leaves motif I’m seeing everywhere), but I’m absolutely loving the details.


Large School Chalkboard, $160 – I know the chalkboard paint trend set sail awhile ago, but I’m kinda still on board, especially when it has a fun vintage schoolhouse feel.  Get the price down, and this could be a lot of fun for kids and adults alike.

(Images: Craigslist)


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…


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!


Spotted: Twin Mirrors

I was checking out this fab San Francisco apartment over on Refinery 29 the other day, and I happened to spot something familiar.

Their apartment:


My apartment:


Well, what do ya know? Mirror twins! I’d love to hear how this couple acquired their mirror because I scored mine on Craigslist for, I think, 35 bucks or something ridiculous. Someone else may think that’s a total ripoff, but I LOVE the shape of it. I figured even if I moved away from the antique gold/brass (what is this color exactly, anyway?) accents down the road, it’d be easy enough to salvage with a quick coat of spray paint.

So, what do you think: Who does it better?

(Click here to see more pics of this couple’s Mission District apartment partnered with some of their favorite DIY tips!)

Chicago’s Best Vintage and Consignment Shops

I have yet another addition to the Summer Bucket List: Explore new (or new to me, anyway) Chicagoland vintage and resale shops! There has to be some gems out there that are just waiting to be discovered. But where do I begin?


Enter Chicagoist’s list of The 7 Best Vintage and Consignment Shops in Chicago. Sure, these are some tried-and-true favorites, not diamonds in the rough, but it’s a start. And sadly, I’ve only been to one of them!

Modern Cooperative
Pilsen is home to Modern Cooperative, where owners Mike Biersma and Tiffany Paige have created one of the funkiest consignment shops in Chicago. Whether you’re looking for vintage furniture, kitschy yet functional wall art or tasteful accents for your home, Biersma’s and Paige’s fondness for 1950s design never fails to find the right piece for you. They work extensively with local designers and consignors and even open up their shop during the Chicago Art District’s 2nd Friday art walk, featuring the works of two local designers each month. Modern Cooperative is located at 1215 W. 18th.

Lulu’s Vintage
Lulu’s on the Avenue is a dream for ladies who love elegant vintage. They carry dresses, jewelry and other accessories all the way from the 1920s to the 90s, all hand selected by the owner, Laurie Davis. Shopping through the racks is like flipping through a catalog as each article of clothing is hung in its own clear garment bag. Their knowledgeable staff will help you pick the perfect attire for whatever event you’ve got coming up, even your own wedding. With vintage bridal gowns and other alternative wedding dresses, Lulu’s could be a one stop shop, or the spot you pick up that one special accessory from Davis’s extensive collection (or her own jewelry line). These styles are not for the faint of heart though, they’re suited for ladies who like to stand out in a crowd. LuLu’s Vintage is located at 900 N. Michigan on the 3rd Floor.


Broadway Antique Market
I love a good treasure hunt so an afternoon digging around in an antique mall is an activity passed on from my mother and grandmother that I still enjoy. But I don’t want a heap of trash with my treasure and prefer a more curated collection, which is why I always find myself heading to Broadway Antique Market (BAM) when I need my vintage fix. There is a ton of variety but the one thing I’ve found consistent that I appreciate is everything in the store is exceptional quality. From the furniture to the wonderful display of bakelite, everything I’ve found at BAM is in excellent condition for vintage merchandise. I love being able to dig through old photographs, buy a pair of mint condition pumps from the 60s, marvel at the amazing costume jewelry collections and daydream about being able to afford the marvelous designer furniture. If you love a good dose of kitsch, BAM serves up a lot of that as well. One of my first gifts from my boyfriend was an Art Deco style ring from BAM and I still get loads of compliments years later. For quality, variety and a fun time shopping, head north and visit BAM or peruse some of their wares online as well. Broadway Antique Market is located at 6130 N. Broadway.

Lost Girls
Not all vintage shops are stationary: Lost Girls Vintage operates their business out of Winnie, a 1976 RV-turned mobile vintage shop that contains some of the chicest old school clothing in Chicago. Art Institute alumni Sarah and folk-musician Kyla are behind the wheel, selling high-quality, edgy items for both ladies and gents. Last summer, I scored a 90’s-tastic pair of lavender velvet sneaker heels made in France. Aside from having an ever-changing, always exciting inventory, the girls are awesome and will match you up with something that suits your style. Follow them on Instagram and Twitter to locate Winnie. Lost Girls is a mobile shop in Chicago. Check their website for locations.

Click here to see the rest of Chicagoist’s picks (including the fab store featured at the top). If you have suggestions of your own, please leave them below!

(Images: Chicagoist)

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.


Urban Nesting’s Year In Review

I just took a quick look back at all of the blog entries of 2013, and it’s really amazing how much happened! I’m so happy I have Urban Nesting to tell my story (really helps to get stuff out of my head and on “paper” sometimes!), and thanks to all my readers for the comments and encouragement. Love you guys!

Here are some of my favorite UN entries of 2013:

Best DIY revamp: Entryway vignette

Best purchase: Craigslist dresser turned TV console

Biggest design inspiration: Tom and Christopher’s Home Tour

Favorite Chicago shop: Andersonville’s Brimfield

Best I Want That Wednesday: Retro chic trailer

Tastiest homemade meal: Fried chicken sandwich with pickle slaw

Favorite restaurant meal: The Lobby at The Peninsula Chicago

Entry that got the most hits: IKEA Time

Favorite article: NY Times’ Living With Less. A Lot Less.

I’ll-tell-my-grandkids-about-this moment: Plunging into a (nearly frozen) Lake Michigan