Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Trending: Colorful Kilims

I love Pinterest. Before Pinterest, if you wanted to keep track of inspirational photos you either had to tear out pages from magazines and keep them in a folder or notebook, or you bookmarked websites with pretty images on your computer. Now with Pinterest, you can put all your favorite home images on one board that is easily accessible and quick to scroll through.

When I’m feeling uninspired, I’ll browse though my “Inspiring Rooms” board to see what kinds of rooms I’ve been pinning lately. If you scroll through the board quickly you can pick up on certain trends: for instance, there’s a lot of pink, a lot of blue, more living spaces versus kitchens, etc, and lots of fabulous light fixtures.

I also noticed I’ve been pinning rooms with bright and bold patterned kilims. A kilim is simply a flat-woven rug, traditionally made in Turkey and other countries in the eastern part of the world, but now made commercially all over the world. I love the impact a brightly colored and patterned kilim can add to a room. Take a look:


Amber Interiors via House Beautfiul

inspired living room

via Inspired by Charm


via Young House Love

JG rug

Kimberly Genevieve via A Cup of Jo

at rug

via Design*Sponge

There are loads of fabulous vintage kilims available on Etsy and Ebay, but if you want a brand new one from a retail store here are some great options for you.

(P.S. I really had the urge to title this post “Kolorful Kilims,” but I refrained. You’re welcome.)



From top left: Phoenix Wool Dhurrie Rug, West Elm / Recycled Silk Flatwoven Rug, World Market / Saville Stripe Indoor/Outdoor Rug, Pottery Barn / Torres Wool Kilim, West Elm / Karter Kilim Rug, Pottery Barn / Safavieh Suzani Rug, Rugs USA / Monaco Horizon Sari Silk Pink Rug, Rugs USA / Aqua and Black Medallion Rug, World Market


Do you think you would use a bright kilim like one of the above in your house, or do you like to stick to something more traditional? And I’m curious to know if you guys prefer using vintage rugs or new rugs in your home? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Dorm Room Décor On a Budget

Happy Monday my friends! I hope you all had a splendid weekend!

It’s getting to be “back to school” time, which has got me thinking about when I started college 10 years ago (I can’t believe it’s been that long, eek!).

me and renessa

Me during my first semester in college, look at that long blonde hair!

I loved college, and even though dorm living can be challenging I kind of loved it. I lived in the dorms for the first 2.5 years before moving into a house during my senior year. My dorm room freshman year was not very cute though: I had a solid red comforter with yellow jersey sheets and very little wall décor. I don’t know what made me think the red and yellow combo would look good, but it sucked. Sophomore year I upgraded to a really cute light blue floral bedding set I bought on clearance from Urban Outfitters and lined the wall above my bed with pages from a Monet calendar. Much better Smile 

So in the “back to school” spirit, here’s a mood board for a colorful girl’s dorm room with a few things I would love to have if I was going back to college. And since most kids don’t have a ton of money for dorm room décor, I kept everything on a budget: everything pictured below adds up to just $208!

colorful dorm decor

  • Paisley Birds on Wire Wall Decal, $32 from Urban Outfitters. This is a great way to add some big impact style (literally, it’s 60” wide!) to your walls for very little money. The vinyl decal should work on most dorm room walls and shouldn’t violate their rules about what you can and cannot hang.
  • Magical Thinking Triangle Chain Duvet Cover, $20 (on clearance) from Urban Outfitters. Love the bright pink geometric design balanced with the white, and $20 is an absolute steal for a duvet cover!
  • Chevron Sham, $10, and Embroidered Leaf Toss Pillow, $17, both from Target. It’s fun to mix and match your bedding a little bit, plus it’s good to have extra pillows to make your bed a comfy place to study or watch movies.
  • Squirrel Jewelry Tree, $20 from Target. A jewelry stand is a great way to store and display your jewelry without taking up a lot of desk space. Bonus points if you know why I picked the squirrel one!
  • Cavallini Vintage Eiffel Tower Gift Wrap, $4 from Paper Source. Cavallini gift wrap is one of my favorite sources for cheap wall décor. It might be slightly more delicate than a poster, but it looks just as nice, if not nicer, and the designs are fantastic. I would have loved this Eiffel Tower print (I was a French minor and I studied abroad there during my junior year), but there are a ton of other options if French isn’t your thing.
  • Locust Neon Denim Rug Rug, $10 (on clearance) and Kilim Arrow Rug, $20 (on clearance), both from Urban Outfitters. I never had a throw rug in my dorm rooms but I think they’re a great idea, especially when they’re as cheap as these are. Use the denim one as an oversized welcome mat and the kilim in the middle of the room to add pattern and comfort to your floor.
  • 4-drawer storage cart, $20 from Target. Storage is very limited in a dorm room, so an extra cheap dresser like this is essential. I lofted my bed just high enough that the plastic drawers would fit underneath and it worked perfectly. You’ll especially need the extra storage if you join a sorority or any other college association from which you’ll accumulate approximately 195 t-shirts.
  • Pink & Gray Marble paper, $8 from Paper Source. I’d recommend dressing up the plastic dresser with a pretty paper like this one. One sheet should be all you need to cover the front of the drawers, and it will make a big design impact while also hiding the contents of the dresser. This tutorial from LW Designs does a great job of walking you through the process.
  • White 3-shelf Bookcase, $22 from Target and Pink Fabric Bins, $10 for 2 from Bed Bath & Beyond. Like I said earlier, storage can be a huge problem in the dorms. A cheap bookshelf like this was a huge help for me. It can pull triple duty as a side table, bookshelf, and extra storage for small items when you add the fabric cubes.
  • Microfleece blanket, $15 from Target. A comfy throw blanket is essential, especially during the colder months (which in Missouri was 7 out of the 9 months we were in school). If you’re a good kid who makes her bed everyday (I was definitely not), this would look good draped across the end of the bed and it would help break up the big hit of pink from the bedspread.

This mood board obviously doesn’t include everything you’ll need (sheets, pillow, sham, duvet, bathroom storage, laundry basket, etc), but it gives you a great start.

For more info on how to cleverly outfit a dorm room, check out this Buzz Feed article, “17 Super Simple Dorm Room Organization Tips.”

What was your dorm room like? Is there anything you especially loved or hated about how it was decorated? Are there any essentials you think I left off this list?

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Visit to the Hermann Wineries

Last weekend we went to Hermann, Missouri for a friend’s wedding. We stayed at a super cute B&B and we had a great time at the wedding, but it isn’t a trip to Hermann without visiting a few wineries!

First up: Stone Hill. It was established in 1847 and at one time it was the second biggest winery in the United States. Now of course there are a lot of wineries bigger than Stone Hill but it’s still the second biggest winery in Missouri. It has a great location on top of a hill overlooking the town. They have a ton of wines available to sample for free, and after you’re done with the tasting you can buy a bottle and break out a picnic basket (or buy snacks there) and have yourself a perfect afternoon. 

Stone Hill

Stonehill building


Hermann has a group of adorable trolleys that will take you around town to all the wineries so you can indulge in some wine without worrying about getting back to your B&B safely.


How cute is this little vineyard! They grow their Norton grapes here, but they’re also practical: the grapes prevent drunk people from hanging out on and then falling down the hill during Oktoberfest.



They served wine slushies when we there on Saturday afternoon! The slushy on the left is the Jacquesse Kick’n Kolada and the one on the right is the Jaquesse Kick’n Berry. I’m normally not a fan of super sweet wines but they were delicious in slushy form!

Sunday we came back to do the tour. We got a closer look at the vineyards…vineyards 2

And toured the cellars, which were pretty cool. Stone Hill actually has the largest vaulted underground cellars in the country.


The pictures below show an old 600-gallon barrel (it was huge!), and the racks they use to store their champagne-style Blanc de Blancs until it’s ready to sell.

Stone Hill cellar

After taking the tour of Stone Hill we headed to Adam Puchta winery. It is much smaller than Stone Hill but it was really cute and their wines were delicious. It was founded in 1855 and it is the oldest continuously owned family winery in the country; pretty impressive don’t you think?!

Adam Puchta

This winery was located a couple miles outside of town so it had a really pretty country setting.

view from AP

My favorite wine there was the Dry Vignoles: it was light and fruity without being particularly sweet, a perfect wine for the summer.

Have any of you been to Hermann before? Which was your favorite winery there?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hermann Getaway Weekend

I mentioned on Friday that we were headed to Hermann, Missouri for a friends wedding. We had a wonderful time! We stayed at a cute little B&B called Meyer’s Hilltop Farm. It was just outside of town but it felt like it was nestled away in the middle of the country. The owners, Maggie and Eldon, are super sweet and chatty and Maggie made everyone a delicious breakfast both mornings.

The house was decorated with antiques and country collectables, which wasn’t really my style but I guess that’s what you get with a B&B. I loved the outside of the home and the property though. It had a huge front porch from where we could watch the hummingbirds, an old-fashioned hammock, lots of flowers and huge trees, an old barn, and even an old hollowed-out tree on the road up to the house.

It was super affordable too: the attached suite is $120 a night and the two bedrooms inside the house are only $80. What a great deal!


B and B collage

humming birds




cabin 2


B and B collage 2

We had a little time Saturday to sample some wines at Stone Hill before the wedding on Saturday, and Sunday we went back to tour the property before visiting Adam Puchta winery. I’ll be back later this week with photos from that part of the trip, stay tuned!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday everyone! Here are a few things I’m loving right now.



I’m loving green smoothies lately. If you’re a newbie Simple Green Smoothies has everything you need to get into the trend, and if you want to get a little more intense try signing up for their 30 Day Challenge. I’m sort of doing it now, and by sort of I mean I’ve been very inconsistent.

Although I’ve tried many combinations so far, here’s one of my very favorites:

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 T. ground flaxseed
  • 3 ice cubes

If you don’t have a fancy blender (I use an inexpensive Oster blender) make sure to follow a couple tips: blend the spinach and milk first so you don’t have any spinach chunks, and defrost the frozen fruit for 30 seconds so it’s easy to blend but still cold. Enjoy!



I absolutely adore Mindy Kaling,so I was thrilled to come across this article called “Everything I Need to Know, I Learned From Mindy Kaling” on Hello Giggles.  If you love Mindy even half as much as I do you owe it to yourself to read this article. Even if you don’t particularly care for her, give it a read: she has some great tips for being a smart, strong woman.



All the free printables on Oh So Lovely. Audrey’s a local girl who has created a ton of beautiful art that’s available for anyone to print and display for free! One of my favorites is this “You Are Beautiful” print, but there are many other wonderful options to choose from.



The Nordstrom Anniversary sale. So many good deals! I am in dire need of new tennis shoes so I’m thinking about getting these Nike shoes. They’re super cute and only $67 (marked down from $110). I also really love these Kendra Scott earrings that are on sale for only $34, though I definitely don’t need them.

shoes and earrings



photo via Experience Hermann

To Hermann, Missouri. One of Ben’s good friends from college is getting married there on Saturday so it’s the perfect reason to get away for the weekend. Hermann is a really cute small town about 3 hours east of Kansas City that’s known for its many wineries. We’re staying at a little B&B for the weekend and we’re planning to check out one or two wineries before we head to the wedding. Should be a great time!

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Eight Mirrors Under $300

Mirrors are a great design tool, and a really special and unique mirror can make the room. If you need proof, look at these gorgeous photos:


via House Beautiful


via Centsational Girl


via Recently

There are a lot of beautiful mirrors out there that range in price anywhere from $20 bucks to $2000 and up, but most of us can’t afford to spend anywhere close to the top of that range. Here are eight lovely mirrors in a variety of styles and all under $300. They’re all pretty substantial in size as well: I think the smallest is 32” in diameter and the largest is 46” tall.


From top left: Champagne Burst Mirror, Pier 1, $103* / Gold Medallions Mirror, Pier 1, $225* / Sana Mehrab Mirror, World Market, $130 / White Faux Bois Mirror, Wisteria, $297* / Gilt Moroccan Mirror, Wisteria, $237* / Nicola Venetian Mirror, Ballard Designs, $299 / Zhu Mirror, Pier 1, $129 / Mughal Mirror, Wisteria, $297*

*current sale price as of 7/16/14

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Etsy Explorer: Hometown Love

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love living in Kansas City. I’m from a small town in central Illinois and I loved growing up there, but at this point in my life I’m so thankful that I live in a city like KC. There’s so much to do here: live concerts, festivals, sporting events, lots of shopping, and so many good restaurants and bars.

So if you love your hometown and/or your state as much as I do, why not express it in the form of some great art? Etsy has many amazing artists that have created some awesome prints in the form of map art, paper cutouts, skyline silhouettes, and much more. And if you don’t live in Kansas City, don’t worry: just about all of these shops have art for cities all across the country.

KC art collage

From top left: Missouri State Letterpress, Paper Parasol Press / Kansas City from Liberty Memorial, alibubba / Kansas City Skyline Watercolor Poster, Inkist Prints / Kansas City Map, Paper Finch Design / Kansas City, MO print, Albie Designs / KC Cut Out City Scape, Cropacature / Kansas City Print, Evelyn Henson / Missouri Map, Paper Finch Design / Union Station, Art by Joseph Dalton / Kansas City Travel Print, Just a Bit Outside

Which of these do you love? I’d be thrilled to have any of these in my home, but I think my favorite is is one by Albie Designs.

For a DIY option, check out my DIY State Love Art!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Look What I Found at the Bookstore

Happy Friday friends! I hope you all have had a fabulous week. My schedule this week has been a little off due to Ben working noon to 10 p.m. all week. I didn’t think I’d mind it too much but I really hated it. Luckily he’s back to a normal shift next week so my schedule can get back to normal as well.

Wednesday night I went out with one of my really good friends who just moved to Kansas City. We had sangria and snacks at Bravo and then went to see Chef. I didn’t know much about this movie but I had read Meg’s glowing review, so when Rachelle said she wanted to see it I was game. It was wonderful! It was one of those rare feel-good movies that isn’t the least bit cheesy. I would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a good movie to see.

After the movie I stopped in to Barnes & Noble just to look around. I was walking back to the children’s section to check out The Mark of the Dragonfly when some design books caught my eye, so I decided to browse the interior design section. That’s when I came across this beautiful guy:


I was introduced to Scalamandre last year when I worked on Dining by Design and I fell in love, especially with the iconic zebra print. But the main reason I pulled the book was to check out this page:



It’s the table I worked on at Dining by Design! The design was all by Katy Sullivan, I just assisted in gathering and assembling all the materials, but it was a really exciting project to work on nonetheless. Seeing a gorgeous photograph of our table in this big beautiful book was a little surreal.

For a better look at the table, here are I few of my photos from the event:





Next time you’re browsing at a bookstore I would suggest flipping through Scalamandre: Haute Décor, it really is a gorgeous book!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My Best Friend’s Wedding

This weekend I went home to central Illinois for one of my oldest and best friend’s weddings. I was honored and thrilled to be a part of the wedding party as one of her bridesmaids. It was so much fun and such a beautiful wedding, probably the most beautiful wedding I’ve been to.

Here are just a few pictures to give you a hint of the gorgeousness of Kari and David’s big day.

dresses collage

How cute are these hangers Kari got the bridesmaids?

Starbucks collage

We had to start the day right with some Starbucks!


How stunning is this bouquet?! And it’s just the bridesmaid bouquet, the bride’s was even bigger and more gorgeous!

Me collage

We had some awesome ladies do our hair and makeup so we could look perfect in our beautiful Amsale bridesmaid dresses. The MOH Kelley, the bride and I have all been really good friends since middle school, it was wonderful to celebrate with both of them this weekend!

Kari collage

Kari was the most gorgeous bride! Isn’t that train insane?!

table 2

I was obsessed with the gold sequin table linens Kari selected, they looked so beautiful with the flowers and the candles!

The next two pictures are from the Pear Tree Estate, the ceremony and reception venue. They also did all the catering; all the food was incredible! If you live in the Champaign, IL area I would highly, highly recommend them.


Venue 2

It was a magical wedding, and it even included fireworks (a coincidence but still awesome) and sparklers for the bride and groom’s departure.

I hope all of you also had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend!