Friday, July 25, 2014

Tiny Workspace DIY

Minimalism and living small are huge right now (see what I did there?). After reading this post, I have been hunting down ideas for how to make better use of the space that I have. Here are a few tips that I have figured out from my own research.

Weed Out: When you're trying to fit your stuff into a small space, it's important to realize that you can't fit in a gazillion things. Before you try to cram everything into your small space, go through and get rid of anything that's not essential. After that, go back and do it again! 

Organization: Keeping everything organized is an important part of fitting into a small space. It's easy to just keep everything out on your desk, but not having any space to work really ruins a workspace. This is a great way to get creative. Make the things you use the most the easiest things to get to, and tuck the less important things away. One of my favorite ideas for creative organization is to make use of vertical space. It might seem easier to just put everything in drawers, but shelves about your workspace can really make things look interesting, while allowing you to see what you have (because if you're anything like me, you are constantly forgetting about the random miscellaneous things that are tucked into the backs of your drawers). My other favorite idea is this DIY project on Remodelista, which was originally intended for a knife rack, but could be used to store rulers, scissors, and other office tools.

Be Bold: Finally, the best thing about creating your own workspace is to add your personality to it. Put up some pictures that inspire you, use a chair that looks awesome, or make the wall into a bulletin board. The important this is to make it into a space that you enjoy going to get work done, whether that means making it bright and colorful or darker and calming. 

I don't know about you guys, but now I feel bad about all the junk I have laying around in my workspace. Time for a little summer cleaning!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Color Wheel: Red


Contrary to popular belief, the color red was not named after Taylor Swift’s 2012 album Red (sorry T-Swift). The color red has been significant throughout history, being the first color, after black and white, to have a name. It has been used by royalty, brave warriors, and in many countries flags.

Red is usually associated with fire, passion, honor, anger, love, confidence, and joy. Because it is capable of making us feel such strong emotions, the color red really sticks out; most the time in a good way, that’s why it is commonly used in fashion and art.

Check out the top picture for some fashion/d├ęcor inspiration and check out the video below for some Taylor Swift, because why not!

Friday, July 18, 2014

DIY: Painted Memo Board

Whether it’s used for organizational reasons, pictures, or just notes, a memo board is a handy thing to have around. However, some look kind of tacky (my attempt at a pun on thumb tacks). If you have an old bulletin board sitting around that you’d like to use, or if you decided to go out and buy one, we have the perfect guide for painting yours! My awesome coworker Hanna made an amazing board for our new office in Cedar Rapids. So you can check out our process pictures along the way!


So first thing you’ll need is the memo board. You can go out and buy one or reuse an old one if still functional. Next up you’ll want to grab some white primer (optional) and different colors of acrylic paint. We used 3 colors on ours, but the colors and amount used is completely up to you. The primer is optional, it just depends on whether or not you’d like the cork to show through. Lastly you’ll want to grab some sponge paintbrushes and tape. Painter’s tape can provide better lines, but any type of easily removable tape should do. 

Ok, so now that we have our materials you’ll want a nice open space to paint. Be sure to have towels present just in case things get messy. We were able to do things with out a mess, but it’s always good to be careful! 

 1) If you decided to use primer, you’ll want to apply that now
  • Wait for this to dry before proceeding!

2) Place your painter’s tape where you’d like for your first area.
  • We liked the angular look, but this is up to you!

3) Apply your first coat of color to the board
  • We went all the way to the edge, it is easier than avoiding the boarder
4) Apply a second coat of your first color when the first coat is completely dry

5) After your first section is dry, remove the tape and proceed to the next area

 6) Now that the paint is dry, lay down the tape for your second section where you’d like.
  • Place the tape on the edge of the painted part. You will be applying the tape on the paint here to avoid gaps
7) Repeat steps 2-6 for the remaining colors.
  • You don’t have to paint the whole board; leaving some cork exposed can look interesting!
8) Let dry for 24 hours, or until dry

You now own a beautiful hand painted bulletin board! Now that large corkboard actually goes with your room! You can now post your notes, pictures, and whatever else you’d like on there.

For more inspiration check out
Happy designing!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Style Spotlight: French Country Eclectic

In June, I had the incredible opportunity to visit Normandy, France with my family. While we were there, we stayed with the sweetest French couple in their home, a chateaux that was built back in the 10th century. It was one of the most beautiful homes that I've ever seen, and I've been trying to pull inspiration from it since I got back. While it's probably not possible to transform your apartment into a 10th century manor, here is a list of some interesting things that you can learn from their style.

 Step One: Bring on the Green

One of my favorite things about the chateaux was the greenery. The home was on a farm, which inevitably leads to some greenery, but I really loved the plants around the house too. Some were a little wilted, but that didn't really pull away from the overall effect that the bits of green did. Everything seems a little bit more fresh when there are some plants around. 

 Step Two: Function Over Form

Because the chateaux was also a working farm, there was definitely a feeling that function came way before form. Things were mismatched and sometimes in various states of disrepair, but that really just added to the charm. Their home felt lived in and comfortable.

Step Three: Pay Attention to the Kitchen

Well, they were French. Things were a little messy and chaotic, but you could tell that a lot of wonderful things were being made in here. Even if you aren't big into cooking, having a little bit of French inspiration definitely won't hurt. So throw some bread in the oven, toss a towel over your shoulder, and yell out "oh la la!" when whatever you're making feels right. Maybe listen to this song while you're doing all this too.

 Step Four: Don't Be Afraid

One of my favorite things about this house was all of the color and ever changing styles. There were beautiful blue tiles in the bathroom, bright green accents on the walls of another room, and then draping red curtains elsewhere. It was clear that the people who had lived here over the years were not afraid of anything. They put up the colors they felt like at the time, they put out strange and fantastic paintings and decoration. It didn't matter if it didn't quite go together, because a home is not about impressing other people, it's about feeling at home yourself.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Indigo Week DIY + Friday Outfit Post

Here we are at the close of Indigo Week. It's been fun, and if you haven't play along with us, this weekend is the perfect opportunity to join in on the fun! 

For this DIY post, Lance and I took a little break from our regular office duties to dye some stuff indigo. Ahead of time, I purchased two dye kits (which you can find online or in any store with a craft section, really), plastic wrap, and a couple of items for us to dye. The dye kits came with gloves and rubber bands, so if you get a kit that doesn't have those, you'll probably want to get your hands on some of those too. If you want to do a DIY and not break the bank, this is a great one. For all of the supplies, it cost about $15!

After that, the whole process is relatively simple. Follow the instructions on the dye kit (which for us meant filling the little bottles up with water and shaking to mix the dye), and get somewhere you can be messy. We chose the grass, but a parking lot or even a (tiled!) kitchen floor with some newspapers or towels for clean up if you're really brave.

Our kit suggested that we wrap things in plastic wrap and tie it off with rubber bands to dry, but I think this step is sort of optional. If you want something to have more of a tie-dye effect, then definitely use this method. Otherwise, you can just let stuff lay out to dry. We waited about 6-8 hours for ours to get dry, and even then they were still a little damp.  Just make sure that you give it ample time before you mess with it!

From there, dye away! We only roughly followed the instructions and it all worked out great. Anyway, if you hate how something turns out, you can always dye it more indigo ;)

Here are our finished results!


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Indigo Week: Thursday Outfit Post

Only one outfit post left to go! Lance and I are seen here, being very professional. Although Lance may be getting a little tired of my general silliness :P


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Indigo Week: Wednesday Outfit Post

Another outfit post for your viewing pleasure! Lance is feeling a little under the weather today, but clearly I am at the top of my game. 


Color Wheel: Indigo-Blue

STELLA McCARTNEY faux suede wedge sneaker / Etnia Barcelona wayfare / La Kasa Dei Kolori acrylic hat, $56 / Oxyo steel patio chair, $225 / Nautical theme home decor / Sur La Table serving pitcher / Deep blue lighting, $32 / Linen table napkin, $31

Indigo-Blue is one of my new favorite colors these days. It's kind of a difficult color to truly pin down. Indigo dye is dark, almost like a midnight blue, and some people would argue that indigo-blue is more on the purple side of things. For our Indigo Week celebration, we've been leaning more on the side of the dye color, but honestly any shade of indigo-blue is great in it's own way. Whether you wear it, sit on it, or paint it, Indigo is a great color to get into.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Indigo Week: Tuesday Outfit Post

Another day, another goofy outfit post. Today we mastered the "jump photo."

Happy Indigo Week!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Indigo Week: Monday Outfit Post

Clearly, Lance and I are taking our made-up holiday very seriously. Enjoy some photos of our Indigo-chic outfits!

Very serious.