Thursday, 3 July 2014

Quick Design: Beautiful Rugs

I was perusing RugsUsa the other day (as one does around the holidays--crraaaaaaazy deals!) and came across several rugs that were too beautiful not to acknowledge in a post.

Here's a quick design around my three favorites:

Quick Design: Pretty Rugs

Happy long weekend everyone!

Monday, 30 June 2014

Year-Long Clothing Budget Update: June Purchases

May completely flew by for me--I can't believe it's already time for another closet budget update!

As a quick refresher, this year I outlined my clothing budget to add closet basics to my wardrobe each month, putting together a list of items I need to help fill in the holes in my closet and assigning each item to a particular month of the year. I've capped each month's budget at $200 total. Here's what my calendar looks like:

Year-long Closet Budget

And here's what I ended up with this month:

July 2014 purchases

Price: $28 (on sale from $50 )
Notes: I've been on the lookout for a comfortable, basic black pump for ages. I picked these up at Nordstrom Rack; they're nothing special, but they are the 'little black dress' of my shoe collection--they go with everything.

Price: $13
Notes: I know what you're thinking--gasp, this is how you tell us you're pregnant? No, no it's not. I have a secret for you: Target's maternity section has great hidden gems for us non-preggo's too. The only difference between this maternity tank and their similar non-maternity versions is that this one is a bit longer and softer--win/win for me :)

June Budget Total:
$41 for $63 worth of items
Over/under on June $200 budget: -$159
Over/under for the year since March: -$580.96 (under budget by two items)

Since I had room in the budget, I supplemented my closet a bit with warm-weather items. 
Although not on the official list, I added these fun printed shorts from Francesca's ($38) to my wardrobe and have been rocking them with tanks, tees, and light sweaters. I've also been riding my bike to work a few times a week, so I need easy outfits that don't wrinkle in my bike bag. I bought theeee most comfortable short-sleeve dress from Target and have worn it 3 times since Thursday...but can't find it online! The pattern is similar to this one. $25. Lastly, my favorite black Old Navy capris that lasted shockingly long (like, multiple years being worn multiple times a month) finally bit the dust. I replaced them with these Athleta Chaturanga capris, which are the capri version of the long black ones I love so much. On sale for $40 today.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Quick Home Design: Neutral Abode

Although I love immersing myself in interior design, sometimes I get a bit of 'inspiration overload' to the point that nothing is inspiring anymore--does that make sense?

In an effort to counteract this feeling, I'd like to start to start posting some quick designs--pulling together room ideas without thinking too hard on them. Here's my first stab at that:

Quick home design

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Summer 2014 Capsule Wardrobe: Inspired by Gaby of the Vault Files

If you were to ask me to name one person whose wardrobe I'd most like to steal, with very little hesitation I'd probably name Gaby Burger of the Vault Files.  Her style is deceptively simple yet always put-together, she never looks like she's trying too hard yet is perfectly dressed for the occasion, and without fail whenever I see something on Pinterest or Instagram that I want...she's the one who posted it.

Thus, I thought for my Summer 2014 Capsule Wardrobe I'd pull together a closet inspired by Ms. Burger's style. First let's take a peek at the style I'm talkin' (all photo credits per Gaby's Instagram).

Screen shots wardrobe

As you can see, Gaby's style is very consistent with several themes appearing in her outfits (in fact, see an explanation of her style DNA in her own words here). I'd say her style is made up of the following things:

  • pattern mixing: spots go with stripes go with florals...etc.
  • mostly neutrals paired with very select colors
  • texture plays heavy into bringing interest to basics, as does layering layering layering
  • statement necklaces serve to further jazz up basics
  • shoes are either flats or amazing statement heels
  • common themes: stripes, eyelet, leather, dots, leopard, and chambray
  • classic with a twist
Here's my own spin on how Gaby's style can translate into a summer capsule wardrobe:

Gaby Burger Capsule Wardrobe

For my spring 2014 capsule wardrobe, I organized things based on staples, colors, and patterns. This time around, I picked common themes from Gaby's own wardrobe and selected a wardrobe item for each theme: denim, white, and black as the major colors, and stripes, leopard, and nature as the patterns.

Given the easy mix-and-matchability of these themes, the possibilities for remixing your wardrobe are virtually endless:

Gaby Burger Outfit Options

I think I could pretty happily live all summer with the items from this capsule wardrobe.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Summer stillness: home and closet

With the arrival of summer comes the desire to reduce everything in my life to the least common denominator. Life gets simpler, dressing gets easier, and 'decor items' become clutter when the sun finally shines its warm light.

All of the above images imbue a certain mood, I think, one of stillness, relaxation, and wallowing in the summer sun. Hits of wood, camel tones, leather, mixed metals, and white are brought to life with greenery and mellow florals.

If I were to recreate that ambience in my home and closet, it might look a little something like this:

Summer stillness

What mood are you in lately?

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Year-long Clothing Budget Update: May Purchases and a Weekly Wishlist!

May completely flew by for me--I can't believe it's already time for another closet budget update!

As a quick refresher, this year I outlined my clothing budget to add closet basics to my wardrobe each month, putting together a list of items I need to help fill in the holes in my closet and assigning each item to a particular month of the year. I've capped each month's budget at $200 total. Here's what my calendar looks like:

Year-long Closet Budget

As you can see, May called for black booties and a pair of sneakers. Unfortunately for this post, but fortunately for my budget, I made no purchases this month. I had a big month of travel (a trip to Philadelphia and another to Minnesota), plus I purchases a $700 plane ticket to be in a friend's wedding in July and paid off my hip surgery from March, so my 'clothing budget' became my 'travel/medical expense budget' (and then some :-/ ) this month.

The only purchase I made were these fun silky mint shorts from H&M, which I brought on vacation with me. Therefore, May's planned purchases will be rolled over into other months this year.

May Budget Total: 
$0 for 0 items
Over/under on May $200 budget: -$200
Over/under for the year since March: -$421.96 (under budget by two items, though)

Although I'm going to try hard to stick to my updated schedule, I also don't plan to purchase items just for the sake of a blog post. I'd much rather be realistic and honest about what I can afford, and right now between all this travel and my surgery expenses, I need to take care of myself and cut down on non-essentials!

Here's the updated calendar:

Year-long Closet Budget

But, so as to not make this a completely boring post, here's this week's wishlist! My style tends to be an even mix of neutral-loving minimalism and color-loving bohemian. Here's an example of how that plays out in my weekly wishings! 

Weekly Wishlist: B&W/Boho

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Moving on up: musing on a new home

As I mentioned previously, I'm counting down the days until I move out of my current home and into a new abode with my boyfriend and puppy dog. Although I have zero clue what sort of place we will land in (apartment? condo? single-family home? duplex?), it hasn't stopped me from thinking about how I'll shake up our existing decor by mixing and matching and supplementing with a few new pieces.

Here's a quick mockup of what we're working with currently:


Notes on the existing decor (clockwise from top left):
  • Upstairs living room: this room is comfortable but a bit heavy-feeling. The bright pillows my mom made help things a bit, but they're almost tooooo colorful in contrast to the rest of the vibe our of place. The white-striped rug has seen better days thanks to our black puppy's constant shedding, and we've never really had a nice coffee table or TV stand. 
  • Downstairs living room: this room has some nice pieces but is mostly a mish-mash of leftovers from the rest of the house. I'd like to combine pieces from each of the living rooms and swap in and out some of the textiles.
  • Bathroom: I also still love the Claire Elsaesser prints I bought for our bathroom and the Girl and Parrot legs print I added to the mix, so I'll likely keep things pretty similar and just update with accessories.
  • Bedroom: clearly we haven't given this room much thought or care. We need a dark-ish duvet cover because of our dog, but the current grey situation is getting me down.
Our next place will hopefully be a two-bedroom, 1-2 bathroom home with only 1 living room. Here are some ideas I've been throwing around that combine our existing pieces with a few new items to create a whole new look in the living room:

Living Room Updates

New Living Room Ideas:
  • New stuff needed: 3 throw pillows, coffee table, tv console, rug. Potentially new sectional.
  • Color palette: wood, neutral, gold, green, and grey...predominantly neutral with hits of green.
  • I like the clean lines of the coffee table and TV console here, but we also love propping our feet up on our current (ugly) ottoman. Maybe we should sell our sofas and replace them with a small sectional?
  • Bringing the white end tables and lamps from our current bedroom, as well as the map currently hanging over our bed, fits with the new color scheme and opens up the possibilities for a new bedroom design :)
  • Instead of our ill-suited rug situation, I think I'd like a rug made of patterned cowhide. I've heard that they stand up well to wear and tear, are virtually stain-proof, and since they're made of hair already you won't notice our dog's hair!
I'm a person who's equally split between wanting lots of beautiful color in her life and craving calming, neutral spaces. To counter the neutrality of the living room, I'd like to create a colorful guest bedroom using the beautiful pillows my mom made for our current living room:

Guest bedroom

New guest bedroom ideas:
  • New stuff needed: nothing! This whole room pulls pieces from our existing guest room, bedroom, upstairs and downstairs living rooms, and bathroom. 
  • My boyfriend and I work slightly different hours; I often have to get up about an hour or two before he does. So I'd love to turn our second/guest bedroom into a dressing room of sorts, with our clothes, jewelry, makeup, etc all in one place.

Essentially our entire bedroom would be dismantled and spread throughout the rest of the house (dresser, side tables, art, lamps...), leaving us open to create a new bedroom haven all to ourselves. Plans are still ruminating for that space (and will inevitably change 15 times before we even move ;) so stay tuned!