Summer Forecast

Okay, so, my home isn’t new to me, but I have been putting a lot of thought into designing my spaces better. I feel that we’ve finally gotten settled, gotten to know our home, and really know what works for us. Now the fun part comes. Getting each room tweaked just so, and realizing our condo’s full potential. We are traveling a little bit in May, but in June and July I think we are going to work on home stuff a lot more than we have in the last year or so.

Living Room: The living room is humming along. We are working on a wood paneling update that I’ll share more about in a week or two. We are going black and white inspired by the interior design firm Commune’s work at the Ace Hotel LA. Here is a sneak peek and a little inspiration I am working from.

living room inspiration.jpg

Bedroom: The paneling has been going so well in the living room, I think we have enough leftover to do paneling in the bedroom too. I think the recurring feature will connect the rooms, but for color I am still deciding between matching the black from the living room or going with a color.

bedroom inspiration.jpg

All of this exciting redecorating on the horizon has got me thinking back to moving into our place for the first time. Making a neutral space exciting takes a little bit of skill, a little bit of luck (if you’re a bargain/thrift shopper like me) and a dose of color. I’m finally ready for phase two of decorating, but phase one is a challenge for a lot of people. I brainstormed with Casper to come up with some essentials to make a new house feel like home.

Staci_home_essentials

Rug: Rugs are great because you can move them from room to room and house to house. They are a good investment and can cover up less than desirable linoleum or blah carpet.

Artwork: Like rugs above, artwork can be sentimental and move from home to home. Putting art up on the wall instantly transforms a room from a plain box into a place with warmth and dimension.

New Mattress and Pillows: Every room can do with new throw pillows, and moving is a good opportunity to trade in for a new mattress, too. If your mattress is doing okay, it’s still a good idea to get new bed pillows because… do you even remember the last time you got new bed pillows? I mean… you could get your dog a new bed too. Mosey asked me to mention that.

Paint: Confession, even when I was a renter I took the liberty of painting my space. Something about picking out the color you want to surround yourself with is liberating. We recently painted our living room from beige to white, an almost imperceptible change but the room just feels “right” now.

Lighting: I switched out my dining room light and have felt like a rockstar ever since. I think this usurps painting as the act that truly claims a space as your own. If you invest in lighting (it ain’t cheap) and put it up without zapping yourself… your house has truly become home.

Tool Kit: Trying to assemble furniture or switch out finishes can be frustrating without the right tools. I got this IKEA tool kit when I moved into my first apartment in college. I have used it countless times. It has just about anything you need to do odd jobs around the house—I can’t recommend it enough and I think everybody should have one tucked in their bottom kitchen drawer, like we do.

What do you think takes your living space from “house to home?” Having friends over is an instant fix–they call it housewarming for a reason. Baking something delicious and filling the home with the scent of that is another great idea. Share your move-in traditions, or must-haves, or best housewarming gifts in the comments!

Casper provided me with the infographic, but this is not a sponsored post. 

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Decorating with the Jacksons

And I’m not talkin’ 20-dollar bills (although that would help).

As usual, I have been dreaming up potential living spaces more than ever. This kind of activity has only been increased by constant stalking of real estate listings, looking for the perfect bargain (sometime late summer, maybe?) My problem is that I’m phenomenally indecisive and can picture myself in many different kinds of places, decorated in many different styles. Kind of decor-induced multiple personality disorder, perhaps?

Now, since this kind of thing is my hobby, it’s a wonderful problem to have. However, at one point I entertained the idea, “What if I really didn’t like decorating? How do people who hate thinking about this kind of thing cope?” I remembered seeing pieces and sets of furniture entitled “Jackson” at all kinds of different stores, and decided it would be really funny if that was a person’s default way of decorating. Does it have my name on it? Okay then, I’ll take it! 

Jackson, no accessories

Sectional // Dining set // Bed
Desk chair // Desk

Everything here is titled “Jackson” so it’s kind of decorating no brainer. You know, this really doesn’t look like a half bad place… The modern couch and bed balance out the industrial-style dining set… the office chair lends a kind of bachelor pad look. I suppose it’s livable; it just needs some colorful accents…

Jackson, with accessories

Pull-down wall hanging // Joshua Tree pillow // Kilim pillow
Ikat pillow // Floor lamp // Plant // Desk accessories

Ahh… much better. I couldn’t resist. I really didn’t add that much, but already it looks like a person lives here! Just think how it would be with rugs, windows, lighting options…

Am I the only weirdo who entertains these kinds of fantasies? I hope not! Am I the only one who then creates inspiration boards out of them? Maybe! Hashtag design blog problems.

Colorful Stripes!

I have felt really antsy lately with the decor choices in the bedroom. When we moved in, we plunked down the black dresser and bedside tables, then hung brown curtains to add some warmth to the white box with black accents. Our DIYed plywood headboard helps add texture, color, and interest. Here’s a pretty old photo. The Christmas lights no longer hang there although I still battle poor lighting in this room, and am stumped about what to hang over the headboard.

DIY Plywood Headboard

Truth is, the bedroom does get the best light in the whole apartment.

I brought out the gray pebble coverlet (Target) from storage and layered it over our blue and white duvet (West Elm). We have been using the duvet empty since our insert is way too warm for our CA weather; even in the winter, however it was much too thin now that it gets into the 50’s at night.

Last Sunday I got a chance to shop at the famous Rose Bowl flea market! We went with hopes of finding some patio chairs (more on that in another post) but overall tried to shop with no expectations. At a flea market, the right items seem to find you. After shopping for a few hours and coming up mostly empty handed, I found a wool Hudson Bay style blanket, with three stripes (red, yellow, and gray). I was excited to see it but disappointed that it didn’t have the punch of green–my favorite color in these blankets. We passed on it but not long after, found a booth that had three Hudson Bay style blankets!!

Since I had three to choose from, I went for the blanket with the most vibrant colors, that was also in good condition (as opposed to choosing by size). It was mine!!

Point Blanket

point blanket label

The label is Witney, a competitor of Hudson Bay. Even though it’s not the “right” brand, I’m very happy with my find.

I removed the blue and white duvet altogether and placed the wool blanket at the end of the bed. I love the perk it brings to the room!

Point Blanket

Point Blanket

My next design dilemma: finding lamp shades for those awesome brass lamps from my mom and dad. Why are shades so expensive!?

Winter, I’m ready for ya!

Psst… if you haven’t, make sure to “like” My Friend Staci on facebook! I’m only 4 away from 100!