Monday, September 22, 2014

DIY Blog Tour

Happy Monday! If you’re an avid blog reader like I am you may have noticed other bloggers participating in a DIY Blog Tour. Well last week the sweet girls at My Only Sunshine posted their blog tour and tagged me to do my own this week, so it’s my turn to give you a little peak behind the scenes of Blue 11 Interiors!

IMG_9223

1. What are you working on?

October is going to be a super busy month for me! I’m attending the KC Bloggers Workshop on the 4th, going to Go Blog Social’s pop-up conference in Chicago on the 11th, and spending a week in Washington D.C. with my hubby later that month! I’m also focusing on getting my decorating business going. I’m taking Kirsten Krason’s e-design business course so I hope to start offering that service very soon. I just started working with a friend from college on her new house which I am super excited about! I’ll be posting about our ideas for her house this week.

Before we sell our house in the spring, I’d like to tackle a few projects, like replacing the backsplash in the kitchen, so I’ll be sure to keep you posted on that!

2. How does your work differ from others in its genre?

Blue 11 Interiors is primarily a decorating and design blog, but I, like most people, don’t have a ton of money to spend on decorating, so I like to share budget-friendly finds and ideas. I also throw in a few lifestyle posts about what I’m up to and liking at the moment (books, movies, etc). I have a lot of local readers, and I adore Kansas City, so I like to highlight local places and events as well.

3. Why do you write/create what you do?

I became hooked on design blogs several years ago. I would read Apartment Therapy and see the home tours and DIY projects and just feel so amazed and inspired at others bloggers’ style and creativity and I wanted to be part of that world. I started Blue 11 Interiors around the same time I was transitioning out my job at a bank and into interior design school, which was also around the same time we bought our first house, so I had lots of inspiration/ideas/projects to share. Two and half years later, I love blogging even more and I’m still finding lots of fun stuff to post about.

4. How does your writing/creating process work?

I’d love to say I’m very organized and plan out my posts weeks in advance, but that isn’t true. For the most part I really just post whatever I’m working on or liking on that particular day. I do keep track of ideas that pop into my head by keeping a list of post ideas on my iPhone and by pinning ideas onto a secret board on Pinterest.

I have a nice office that I should work from but most days I blog from the couch while watching reruns of Gilmore Girls and How I Met Your Mother (although today I’m proud of myself for taking my laptop outside and working from the deck while listening to my Backstreet Boys Pandora station Smile ).

------------------------

That’s it for the tour! I’m tagging Erin from Color Me Styled to participate in the tour next Monday.

I met Erin at Go Blog Social in April and she is as cool in person as she seems on her blog. She focuses on fashion but she does a few DIY projects as well, including this hanging geometric wall art project that I adore:

DIY Paper Cut Out Wall Art Craft Easy

Thanks so much to Brittnee and Skylar from My Only Sunshine for tagging me in the tour! Make sure to check out their blog for all kinds of cute DIY projects. These girls have only been blogging for a couple months but they are seriously talented. And also make sure you pop over to Color Me Styled and look out for Erin’s blog tour post next Monday!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Favorites 9.19.14

Hello friends! Sorry for the slow week, I’ve been pretty busy the last few days but I promise I’ll have some good posts to show for it soon. In the meantime, here are a few of my favorite things from the interwebs I’ve found lately.

This Blog Post

My friend Kari  at This, Too wrote the sweetest post this week titled “The Ladybug.” It’s hard to describe, but I promise it’s worth checking out.

This Collection

nate berkus fall collection

The Nate Berkus collections at Target are always amazing, and this fall’s collection is no exception. There are so many killer items that would make any home gorgeous and glamorous. Check it out here.

This Facebook Account

Smart Girls

I, like most women on the planet, adore Amy Poehler, so I obviously had to check out Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls when it popped up on my facebook news feed. The Smart Girls group, according to their fb page, is

“an online community for young girls and the young at heart, which encourages women in volunteerism, activism, cultural exchange, and self-expression through the arts. Founded by best friends, comedian Amy Poehler and producer Meredith Walker, the organization is dedicated to helping girls cultivate their authentic selves. Our motto is: You Change the World by Being Yourself.”

What a great mission! They work towards this vision by sharing articles every day about women doing interesting and inspiring things in their community. I don’t read every article they post, but I really enjoy the ones I do read. I’d definitely recommend following along!

These Rooms

JA rooms

I have a deep, undying love for anything and everything Jonathan Adler, so of course I love following him on Instagram. I’m obsessed with these rooms he’s posted recently, they’re so pretty! For more prettiness follow Jonathan Adler on Instagram.

 

That’s it for today! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I’m hoping to check out the Plaza Art Fair, what do you have planned?

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Perfect Kansas City Saturday

This weekend I got together with some of my closest friends from college for a book club weekend. We’ve been doing a book club for a few years now, which serves two purposes: we get to read and discuss a new book, and (more importantly), it gives us a reason to get together.

Since my group of friends is spread out across Missouri we usually choose to meet somewhere in the middle, but this weekend we gathered in Kansas City. I hosted the group, and as the host I wanted to make my friends feel welcome and show off some of my favorite spots in KC.

A few of the girls met at my house Saturday morning for breakfast. I made these pumpkin muffins from Today’s Momma to go with our coffee. I also decorated the house with this Oh Joy! banner and some dollar section chalkboard coasters, both from Target.

muffins and coffee

us at home

We met up with the rest of the group for lunch at Chez Elle, the cutest and most delicious creperie ever. We each got our own savory crepe for lunch and then split three dessert crepes between the group. If you haven’t been there yet I highly recommend it, everything was amazing!

chez elle

savory crepes

dessert crepe

For the actual book club part of the day we headed to Amigoni Urban Winery to discuss The Mark of the Dragonfly. Amigoni is housed in a gorgeous old building that is perfect for spending an afternoon in whilst sipping wine. Wine + good friends + discussing a great book, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Book Club Group

DSC_0706

We finished up the night with dinner at Jerusalem Café followed by more wine and games back at my house. I had such an enjoyable weekend, I’m so thankful that I was able to get together with my friends for our book club.

Are you part of a book club, or another “club” that gives you and your friends a reason to get together?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Ikea Wish Lists

On my tour of Ikea last week as I was struck at how many things jumped out at me and screamed “buy me right now!”. This was, of course, in addition to the running wish list I already had in my head. I think Ikea is a wonderful resource for certain items, like storage furniture and accessories, but I would use caution when buying larger pieces of furniture like sofas. Go to the store and feel the materials and sit on the furniture to make sure it feels comfortable and sturdy. Even if it’s only $400, you don’t really want to throw away $400 on a junky couch that you’ll have to replace in two years.

Here are some items I would love to get for my own house or that I just think are really cool. I had too many things to fit onto one board, so they’re split between accessories and furniture.

ikea accessories wish list

 

Stockholm Chandelier, $99 // Lappljung Ruta Cushion Cover, $10 // Riskorn Plant Pot, $5.99 // Bumerang Curved Clothes Hangers, $3.99 // Idyllisk Table Runner, $9.99 //Areca Palm Potted Plant, $14.99 // NÖDVÄNDIG bowl, $12.99 // Ribba frame, $7.99

ikea furniture wish list

Holmsel Chair, $69.99 // Tobias Chair, $79 // Vejmon Coffee Table, $149 // Strandmon Wing Chair, $279 // RÅSKOG kitchen cart, $49.99 // Kallax Shelving Unit, $64.99

 

Are any of these items are your shopping list as well? What else will you be shopping for when the new Kansas City Ikea opens tomorrow? I’m also curious to hear your thoughts on the quality of Ikea furniture if you already own any pieces. Discuss in the comments!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Ikea Press Preview

File this under yet another “Perk of Being a Blogger:” last Wednesday I got to be part of an official Press Preview of the brand new Kansas City Ikea! The store doesn’t open until September 10 but I got to join press and bloggers from throughout the city for a special preview event a week before the opening. How cool is that?!

We were treated to a buffet lunch of Ikea’s signature Swedish food items (smoked salmon, pickled herring, deviled eggs, and of course, meatballs) plus sparkling cider and lots of pretty desserts.

Ikea Food

The store manager and the marketing director addressed the group and told us about the upcoming promotions for the Grand Opening. Here’s the scoop on the giveaways:

September 10: The first 40 adults in line will get a free sofa; the next 100 adults will get an armchair; the first 100 children will get a stuffed toy; the first 2500 customers from 9/10-9/14 will get an envelope with a surprise gift of a gift card between $10-$250 or a BOGO food voucher; and if your birthday is September 10 you get a free $40 gift card!

September 12: The first 40 adults will win free meatballs for a year.

September 10-September 14: All customers can enter a drawing for a $1000 gift card.

After the speeches we were split into small groups and escorted on a tour of the store. If you’ve never been to an Ikea before, let me tell you: this store is massive! The whole building is 359,000 square feet, and the warehouse takes up 2/3 of the building, so the shopping area is over 100,000 square feet. I’ll tell you now that if you go, you’ll want to make a day of it. Good thing they have a restaurant there so you won’t starve during your 3+ hour shopping trip (3 hours is apparently the length of an average shopping trip at Ikea).

ikea chairs

ikea kitchen options

You’ll start your shopping journey upstairs, which is where all the big stuff is (furniture, kitchen cabinets, closet systems, etc). They have just about anything you could ever need in a variety of styles, from traditional to ultra-modern and everything in between. They also have 37 fully outfitted rooms and 3 complete model homes, with the largest clocking in at almost 600 square feet. Small for an actual home, but huge for a display inside a store.

ikea room 2

ikea room 3

ikea room 4

ikea room 5

ikea kitchens

They have a great kids section with tons of furniture for every age from baby to teenager and lots of colorful toys and accessories.

ikea room 8

ikea kids collage

ikea toys

The downstairs is where you can pick up all your accessories, from dishes to duvets to picture frames and lighting.

Ikea Accessories

ikea dog hooks

ikea lighting

ikea rugs

Something else to note if you’re an Ikea novice like I was is that while you shop for your furniture you’ll keep a list of what you’re going to buy, and then take that list to the warehouse to pull your own items. If you don’t want to spend your time wandering through an enormous warehouse you can pay them to pull the items for you and then deliver everything to you no later than the next day. If I was buying more than a couple small things I would definitely choose this option.

ikea warehouse

Another interesting feature at Ikea is the free supervised play area. If you have kids and you don’t think they would enjoy shopping with you for hours, you can drop them off at there for an hour while you shop in peace. The kids just have to be between the posted heights and they have to be potty trained.

ikea smaland

On the way out of the store you might stop by the food market to pick up some yummy Swedish food to take home with you. Although not exactly Swedish, I recommend the cinnamon rolls (a package of which was given to us as a gift for attending the preview).

ikea food market

And so concludes my virtual Ikea tour. The Kansas City Ikea opens this Wednesday morning at 9:00 a.m., will any of you be there for the big festivities? If you go this week let me know what you think, hopefully it won’t be too insane.

P.S. come back tomorrow to see what’s on my Ikea wish list!

 

**Linking up at Life of Meg**

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Favorites 8.29.14

Happy Friday, my friends! Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway for the West Elm gift card! The winner was chosen and notified.

Now it’s time for my Friday favorites, where I share a few things I’m loving that may or may not be on your radar. First up:

These Rooms

My first favorite of the week comes to you courtesy of Instagram. I follow Lindsey from The White Buffalo Styling Company on Instagram, and this week she headed up a group of bloggers that shared their favorite rooms this week in the Blogger Stylin Home Tours roundup. I followed along on Instagram with #bloggerstylinhometours, and wow, were there some gorgeous rooms! These are a few of my favorites.

                   

Nursery by Charming in Charlotte

Entryway by Dimples and Tangles

Living Room by Desert Domicile

These Books

book collage

I love reading, but I go through phases where I read, like, 5 book in a month and then I don’t read anything again for another 3 or 4 months. Is anyone else like that? Well now I’m back in one of my reading binges and I’m loving it. I’m reading This is Where I Leave You for Sarah’s bookclub, I’m listening to Where’d You Go Bernadette in the car (for free courtesy of my local library and Overdrive), and I just received A Beautiful Mess’ new book, Happy Handmade Home on Tuesday. I’ve only had a chance to flip through it a little bit but it looks fantastic! You may have seen my Instagram pic of the book; I was so thrilled when Emma Chapman (one of the authors) commented on it! How sweet is that!

This Drink

watermelon ginger sparklers I howsweeteats.com

I’ve been dreaming about these Watermelon Ginger Sparklers Jessica shared on How Sweet Eats. I haven’t made them yet, but they sound like the perfect summer cocktail. I’m loving all things ginger right now, so this is right up my alley. Oh, except Jessica is pregnant so she made this drink a mocktail; I would definitely be adding some vodka to my drink!

And on that note, cheers to the long weekend! I hope you all have a spectacular Labor Day!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Trending: Black and White Stripes

Last month I mentioned that I love browsing through my Pinterest boards to see what trends are sticking out. In addition to colorful kilim rugs, another trend I’m seeing on my board is black and white stripes, especially on upholstery.

via Little Green Notebook

via Rue Magazine

Dominique-loungeroom-angle

via Sydney Home

Gorgeous Backyard Makeover

Backyard Makeover by The Hunted Interior via Home Depot

via Schappacher White

I love the graphic look a black and white striped piece adds to a room, especially combined with a bit of color. My black and white chevron rugs in my entryway are some of my favorite things in my house because they add such great pattern and style to the space.

If you want to bring the look into your home here are a few pieces that’ll do the trick. If you’re just dipping your toe into the trend, try the Target basket or the Ikea pillow, or if you’re ready to dive in buy a bigger piece like the chair or the headboard. Just don’t add more than a couple of these items to one room or people will start calling you Beetlejuice!

Black and white stripes moodboard

 

From top left: Striped Velvet Accent Chair, Staples, $210 // EIVOR Throw blanket, Ikea, $20 // Two Drawer Cabinet, Houzz, $278 // Canopy Stripe Elsie Headboard, World Market, $450 for a Queen // Black and White Striped Dhurrie Rug, $230 for an 8’x10’ // Cushion Cover, Ikea, $5 // Large Coiled Rope Basket, Target, $25