Shear(ling) Genius

Shear(ling) Genius

As we know by now, being almost the end of October, fall is in full force. That means everything is coated in pumpkin spice and that we’re just heading closer and closer to the holidays and the new year!

With all of the craziness going on, I finally had a chance to get my annual pumpkin patch trip in and took it as an opportunity to premiere a fall look. Albeit a bit dressy for the suburbs of Illinois, I  couldn’t help myself and decided to debut this shearling bomber that I recently found from Lacoste, via Macy’s.

435B7C3C-668E-454E-B57B-ACE39344DE34.jpeg

I’m the last person on earth who needs another coat, much less a bomber, but this one was too good to leave. The shearling collar gave it an aviator vibe which I love. In order to feature the collar more, I decided to pair it with a brown turtleneck from Uniqlo.

My ASOS suede boots are another shade of this burnt brown and definitely are my new favorites for the season. To break it up, and not go with jeans, I  paired it with gray corduroys from Club Monaco. The result: perhaps one of my most fashion forward fall looks yet. Or maybe I’m just thinking that because I  looked so dressy for a pumpkin patch.

This fall I’m really trying to keep most of my looks 1-2 colors. Monochromatic moments usually look a little more stylish and in my opinion, put together. I’m excited to start dressing in more fall looks now that the we’re finally enjoying crisp air and the leaves changing.

Until the next look,

TW

Apartment Budgeting 101

Apartment Budgeting 101

Moving is expensive…. like… really f****g expensive, and I’m learned that very quickly! At the beginning of the year, I laid out my goals for 2019 and budgeting for an apartment move was a the top of the list. (and thank god I did)

Budgeting for a new home is a two step process. The first being the rent itself, but something that’s equally as important, the furniture! Although I’ve loved IKEA since birth, this felt like a time to graduate to other brands. With that said, saving, refurbishing and keeping my eyes peeled on the best deals was very important.  I had to get creative and also embrace that this is a lot harder than just grabbing a top at Zara on sale.

What and How to Buy New:

Based off my space size increase, I did have to buy a large amount of new items. Those big items included an area rug, couch and the bedroom furniture. Although more expensive than I was used to, they are pieces I’ll be using everyday, so it didn’t take long to get over the initial hit to the credit card I had to take.

Websites like Article and Birchlane were both reasonable and easy to find exactly what I was looking for. I also referenced this article, which helped me understand the price points I should be expecting for certain pieces of furniture.

I’d also say that buying new linens, pillows and prints are easy and quick ways to change up your space without totally breaking the bank.

IMG_8233.jpg

Where to save:

Just like shopping for clothes, never count out a consignment shop! All of the armchairs I wanted a big box stores were basically double or triple the price of what I found at my favorite antique shop in Chicago. I’ve got a bunch of items, big and small from flea markets and such that have really pulled my place together. There’s a lot of charm to be gained when you mix newer modern pieces with older, more one-of-a kind pieces.

Framing art is another potential money pit that can easily be avoided. A craft store like Michael’s or local framer can charge you hundreds per frame, but never fear, IKEA is always here. For my gridded gallery wall, I picked up these 9×9  frames for $10 each and bought matt board from a craft store and did this myself. This was at least a third the price if I had a professional or online company do it for me.

TWHome-7367.jpg

Things to keep:

One of the best parts about this move was that I had the chance to look at everything I own, and make sure that it had a purpose if it was taken to a new space. Although I’m not an avid reader, by any stretch, I have a great collection of coffee table books from travels and friends that serve well in a more design sense than they ever would to read. Any cute book has a chance to serve as decor on your table or side board like it does for me.

Those little side tables you got in college, keep them! I almost threw out a $20 black table from IKEA but you never know when you’ll need another surface next to your couch, bathroom, etc. The same goes for picture frames too, as they can easily be repurposed if need be.

The best advice I can give is to think practically when you’re decorating an apartment. You can dream, but you have to be realistic. You know what’s trash, you know what’s overpriced and you know what you need. Only spend the money when it’s something you’re using everyday. Don’t buy the $300 couch and the $70 designer coffee table book! (Even though I’ve probably done the latter before)

IMG_8238.jpg

A list of my favorite places to shop for this apartment below:

Article

At Home

Birch Lane

Crate and Barrel

Edgewater Antique Mall

Foursided

IKEA

Randolph Street Market

West Elm

Color Me Complete

Color Me Complete

If you haven’t already figured out by now, color is EVERYTHING to me when it comes to my personal style. I’ve always been drawn to colors; bright and bold. When it came time to decorate my apartment, especially my living room area, incorporating colors in a seamless way was imperative. That didn’t mean just a couple of throw pillows and calling it a day.

IMG_8229.JPG

The Walls: The first question I’ve been receiving about my apartment is usually in reference to the paint color. As someone who usually migrates towards painting a room blue, I’d been seeing green pop up more and more when looking for inspiration. I  picked my paint color by Backdrop.com, Weekend Upstate, which hints at olive green, but a touch more blue. The reason I chose a half wall style, was because cheats the idea that this new construction building has any sort of architectural detailing, like wainscoting.

Processed with VSCO with e1 preset
A half wall style adds instant charm and detail to an otherwise basic wall

The Rug: 

Rugs are probably the easiest place to incorporate color, and my splurge from Pottery Barn did just that. This modern taken on a oriental rug has so many colors to pull from, and tied in the green from wall perfectly.

Furniture: 

Perhaps one of the best finds for my house were my red velvet chairs. This vintage find was truly a diamond in the rough. In a hot red color and an unbeatable price ($295 for the set), they were just too unique to leave behind. My biggest fear was that a green wall and red chairs would read Christmas, but the colors are so different, that they end up standing out enough on their own.

Processed with VSCO with e1 preset

I  choose my couch, from Article, in a chocolate brown, to add a rich and masculine tone to a rather busy color palette that’s already been established. As my living space also shares my dining room, instead of color matching every surface, it was easier to mix. Luckily a black dining table goes with any dark wood, including my side table.

The Artwork: 

Art might be one of the harder things to find for a space, but it can really be the perfect way to incorporate color into the room. Instead of the typical gallery wall set up I’m used to, I  did a gridded style behind my dining table. These are colorful vintage luggage tags from Louis Vuitton, one of my favorite designers. Each brings a hint of color that really picks up tones from the wall, carpet and other parts of the room. Framed rackets, vintage artwork and a few pieces of my own pull it all together.

 

TWHome-7367
Love how this gallery wall of vintage travel tags pulled through even more color

Accessories: 

Tying all these colorful puzzle pieces together really comes down to accessorizing. The easiest way I brought color through smaller pieces was my exorbitant amount of coffee table books, each with a different spine, typography and punch. I like stacking them horizontally and placing other pieces on top, for different heights around the space.

I  also picked up a few inexpensive vases in bold hues and added more muted fake florals to each for a sharp contrast.

With essentially a giant white box, there were a lot of directions I could have gone in, and I’m thrilled with the mature and grown up, yet colorful decisions I’ve made in this living room space. The end result is equal parts playful and refined.

I’ll be sharing more on my bedroom design and the how to my best hacks very soon!

Keep reading!

TW

/All photos shot by Jenny Connors/

 

Cool, Calm and Collected

Cool, Calm and Collected

With a living room dedicated to color, I figured it might be a wise decision to not follow the exact same formula when it came to decorating my bedroom. Where a living room is a showpiece to share with friends visiting, your bedroom is a more private space, one that doesn’t need all the bells and whistles that your living room or dining room might need.

IMG_8240.JPG

The one thing I  wanted to make sure this bedroom did have, was its own personality. Where as my living space embraces every color of the rainbow, I decided to keep things calmer and more streamlined here. My last bedroom was a deeper charcoal, but with so much natural light (and more space) in this one, I  decided to lighten it up with this Italian Plaster color. This allowed for virtually any color to really pop against it.

Processed with VSCO with e1 preset

As a big fan of blue, I  really wanted to incorporate a rich navy tone and that worked beautifully in the form of my tufted headboard. I  scooped up this one on sale. If you’re not in the financial place to buy a whole need bed, sometimes a headboard is a cost effective solution. I  went with the velvet material because it gives me that hotel vibe.

In my last space, I didn’t have room for a proper side table or dresser, so these items were must haves. I typically don’t like matching sets, but because I  fell in love with the midcentury color blocked style of these, I let my own preferences slide. Having the white cabinets helps give that hotel feel to space and keep it bright.

Processed with VSCO with e1 preset

With a really calming palette, I  wanted to keep artwork and other bedding in blacks and whites. Although the space doesn’t use a pop of color, the scale of photos and decor pieces help. From the oversized paint brunch to personal artwork and photos, it feels polished but casual. I’ve really been loving the look when you don’t even hang your artwork, instead just you just lean it up against the wall or shelf.

My bedding sticks to the classic hotel style, another on sale find from West Elm, and I found this fun tapestry, that I had converted into a pillow, during a trip to Atlanta earlier this year. A long mirror and vintage salmon leather chair complete the furnishings and make the room feel finished.

At the end of the day, literally, your bedroom should be a calming and restful space for you, and that’s exactly what this space is for me. More home tips and details to come soon,

Thanks for reading!

TW

 

 

 

I’ve got a Blank Space, Baby

I’ve got a Blank Space, Baby

Living by yourself has a lot of positives, and perhaps for someone like me, it’s the sense of independence and ownership that I can take in my space that is the best part. Of course, one facet of that ownership is the look and feel of the space. For someone that has always loved decorating my room, trips to IKEA, and has moved dozens of times during my childhood, nailing the look on this apartment was really important to me. 

Even though I don’t own his apartment, I sure as hell treated it like so when it came to decorating. After 3 years in an older, smaller space, I was so excited to make one of my goals of 2019 to find a new home and make it 100% me. At this point of my life, I feel like a lot of us are starting to find our forever homes, cities, etc and are faced with an exciting yet stressful feeling, a BLANK SPACE. 

When I found this apartment, it truly was a blank canvas, and as someone with an art background, I know exactly how intimidating that can be. Once deciding on the space, I spent nights (it felt like every night) for months looking through books, catalogs, instagrams and pintrest to see what was out there. 

Ordering paint colors, pacing over a rug, and taking things in and out of my cart 500 times, was a really fun (and stressful) experience that I’ve been wanting to share for everyone who’s been buying a new place, decorating their first apartment, or trying to figure out budgeting and their own personal style. 

IMG_6249

From Blank Space to Bright and Bold

TWHome-7309.jpg

I’ll be sharing a series of posts about my new home over the coming weeks, so keep following along as I  break it down as much as possible. I’ve learned through this process that home interior is more of a passion of mine that I even imagined. 

For now, I’ve included a few photos of my apartment but I’ll be featuring MUCH more in following posts. Can’t wait to share more!  

-TW

 

 

 

Urban Jungle

Urban Jungle

Summer for me was pretty much over when it started, and am I   complaining about that…. not really. I’m ready for fall, I   won’t lie. I    figured the best way to cap off perhaps the fastest summer yet was with a good transitional look that easily works for the summer but can definitely get by as we approach the end of the season and Labor Day coming up.

IMG_7703.jpg

If you’ve noticed, animal print truly never dies as a trend. I  feel like I’ve seen it EVERYWHERE and the interpretations are wide ranging. A while back, I  picked up this read-cheetah inspired print from a Nordstrom sale and have held onto it for some time, as I  knew it’d come in handy for the summer. To make this otherwise more going out top more work friendly, pairing it with navy dress pants and a denim jacket

 

With a pair of burgundy tassel loafers to tie in the print, it keeps the look a little more playful, which I  think is a must with something like leopard.

The Levi’s denim jacket is a closet staple, mine’s in Mugito (dark wash), and pretty much goes with everything. I  upgraded from an oversized one I  have because it started making me feel 10lbs heavier than I am.

I’m honestly really excited to start a new season and embrace whatever changes in weather and wardrobe that the fall will bring!

Happy Friday,

TW

Old Kid on the Block

Old Kid on the Block

It’s August 1st, as in… summer is already two months in, how did that happen? It’s probably been the fastest summer yet, and my attempts at consistently sharing posts just that a dream unfulfilled at this rate. But no need to dwell, I’m here now and really loving today’s old school look.

It’s been a fairly mild summer here in Chicago, which means I’ve still been able to wear long sleeves and jeans throughout the season. On a cool summer day, this TopMan (Rest in Peace) shirt felt like a must-have. This sweater-esque look has a built in collar and color blocked stripes in the perfect shades for summer.

When I  put this with a simple and classic wash pair of Levi’s, I felt equal parts touristy dad at Disney and Armie Hammer in Call Me by Your Name, a winning combo, right? There’s a 80’s vibe to this look that I can’t help but love.

Sometimes the best looks are the easiest ones. I  think we all know that a white t-shirt and jeans can be just as attractive and stylish as a bomber or printed shirt.

It’s not always about reinventing the wheel in your closet and finding the newest piece, it can be about bringing an old look back.

Hoping to bring back more old looks, and mindsets here, and soon!

Stay tuned,

TW