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    diy, for the home

    2016 Year in Review & Best of

    Last year around this time I posted a round up of my top 6 posts and some 2016 goals.

    These were the goals.

    1. Home tours: I want to start doing home tours of other people’s homes. If you live in the Chicagoland area send me an email!

    I actually did this one! Woo! Check out Sam’s Dallas Apartment and Christie & Josef’s Evanston Condo


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    diy, for the home

    DIY Painted Bookcase

    bookcase before

    Yikes. That’s a messy bookcase. Mismatched baskets. Books out of order. Apparently since I’m short I figured that since I couldn’t see the top shelves they didn’t matter…

    I recently decided that my bookcases were in need of some major love. Organizing it is one thing, but they are still pretty blah. My first idea was to wallpaper the back of the bookcases with Daydream by Julie Rothman. The only problems with that idea were (1) it’s expensive and (2) I didn’t want to cover up gorgeous wallpaper with books and other things.

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    diy, for the home

    2015 Year in Review

    In some ways I can’t believe it’s almost 2016, in other ways I’m wondering how it isn’t almost 2017 (I work in marketing, we work months in advance). Either way, 2015 is coming to an end and I decided to put together a “best of” post to celebrate. But first, here’s what it would look like if my blog sent a cheesy holiday card:

    happy 2016

    A quick look back…

    I started this blog in October 2014 because I wanted a place to house mood boards I was creating when I was desperate for a home of my own to decorate. Since then, it has definitely grown, but has always been more of a hobby for me. I post when I have content I want to share. I’ve never really put a content strategy or plan in place or set goals for how often I want to post. 2015 has been a pretty great year for this little blog of mine. I was featured in Apartment Therapy, Front + Main, Design*Sponge, House Beautiful and more. My condo finally came together (and stopped echoing). I had 4x the amount of traffic in 2015 vs. 2014 (woot woot!). Now on to the best of 2015…

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    DIY Cactus Wall

    diy cactus wall

    If you follow me on Instagram, you may remember this photo from Create + Cultivate:

    Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

    Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

    That picture wasn’t even the whole wall. It was all the way to the ceiling. Amazing. It inspired me for a blank wall in my dining room. Of course, I didn’t want to spend all my money on cacti, so I had to adjust the size. I decided to make it ombre, but you can barely tell.


    I started with clay pots from IKEA (so cheap) and sample sizes of Behr paint. I chose three Glidden colors: Island Shores, Bay Blue and Echo Lake Aqua.

    The shelves are also from IKEA. I wanted something basic. At first, I was going to spray paint the brackets gold but I changed my mind. I like the light wood. Then, I had to pot the cacti. I can’t take all the credit, a friend helped. I did manage to prick myself multiple times. Those cacti aren’t leaving their new pots.

    I’m really happy with how it turned out, even if you can’t tell it’s supposed to be ombre.

    IMG_9030 IMG_9113 IMG_9114 IMG_9031 IMG_9116


    For more inspiration, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest.

    diy, for the home

    Hanging a Gallery Wall Around a TV 2.0


    People think I’m weird. Most complain about wanting a bigger TV, I complain my TV is too big. #designproblems?

    When I first put in my gallery wall, it was around a tiny TV and I guessed where the future larger one would fit. It was fine, but the first thing you learn about art when you start hanging it: 8x10s are tiny. Really tiny. I had a couple issues with the original gallery wall:

    – The art was too small, making the TV look huge

    – The art was very close together

    – All the frames were black

    I was recently at a local shop in Evanston and came across this tree bark print. It was a great size and a great price. I immediately bought it and decided enough is enough, I’m redoing the gallery wall. I took more time than the first time around to hand pick the art from different places. I bought two Warhol flowers from the Crystal Bridges Museum, ordered some cacti and floral prints from Etsy, DIY’d a couple pieces, and let two from my last wall remain.

    I used my go-to gallery wall process: see it here. I always forget how long it takes. It’s always worth it though!

    Let’s take a look at the before & after:

    before & after

    SO much better. The larger art and placement helps make the TV not look as huge. The art itself fits my style much more and I love the mix of frame styles and colors. I also like how the art is a bit uneven versus the “before” picture where it lines up parallel to the ceiling.



    Here are the art sources:

    gallery wall sources

    one. DIY // two. Andy Warhol Daisy in Pink (I got mine at the Crystal Bridges Museum in Arkansas but they are available on AllPosters too) // three. I found this at a local shop called Paramour Bungalow // four. Andy Warhol Campbell’s Soup Can (Green and Purple) // five. Cactus print from Melinda Wood Designs // six. Chicago World’s Fair poster // seven. Floral Cluster in Blue from Yao Cheng Design // eight. Cactus print from Melinda Wood Designs // nine. DIY // ten. Andy Warhol Daisy in Blue

    For more inspiration, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest.