Monthly Archives: April 2014

apartment therapy feature!

It’s still amazing to me, almost six months after the fact that my home and work space was featured on Apartment Therapy.  Every year instead of making a New Year’s resolution I try to make a list of ten goals for myself for the year.  Some are semi-attainable like “visit a new country” and some are kind of a stretch like “pay off student loan.”  They are work-related, personal, financial, anything goes, as long as it gives me focus for the year ahead.  One of the goals that I wasn’t sure was possible last year was to get my apartment published.  After living here for a year and spending all of it scouring thrift shops, painting, refurbishing and hanging things I was pretty proud of my 1,000 square feet of urban living. chicago wedding planner

 So here she is!  First the living room that bleeds into the kitchen.  A cheerful yellow, a velvet blue couch, some handmade black and white striped curtains that my sweet mom made for me because I HAD to have giant horizontal stripes.  The bookshelf was in my room growing up and when I repainted it, on the back an “E, I love you!” painted by my dad when he was getting it ready for my kiddo room.  My late grandpas’ end table and my late grandmas’ coffee table plus a few new accent pieces to tie it all together.

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The kitchen and the living room are basically one in the same.  I found my kitchen table for $50 at a thrift store and once I stripped that sweet hunk of wood down, she turned out to be really beautiful.  I stained the top and painted the legs grey.  The only other thing I could really fit in the kitchen was my Mad Men-esque booze table and a couple of cheap Target stools I gave a mini-makeover to and painted the legs black.  A couple of easy additions in the form of pictures, a shelf of knick-knacks, changing out some knobs and my up-cycled spice rack and that’s about all the little baby kitchen could handle.

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There’s only so many pictures of a tiny bathroom I can show you.  But here is mine. It’s pink and it’s girly and it’s all good because Walter dog doesn’t even care. Also, I pretty much designed it around the shower curtain and the gold trash can. Not even mad about that.

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The bedroom is where I took on the project that took BY FAR the longest but probably my favorite part of my house.  I painted the whole room a dark grey and then stenciled gold flowers on top of it.  IT. TOOK. FOREVER.  It’s so imperfect but I love it.  My favorite thing is when people in the comments section of the blog said it looked like wallpaper!  A frame wall on top, simple white bedding and a wall of windows: another one of my favorite things about this place.  I refinished a chest-of-drawers (also from my childhood room) and painted them peach, I knew I wanted to incorporate peach curtains which were absolutely impossible to find so I bought white ones from IKEA and dyed those babies in the washing machine.  I have no idea how I did it but they came out so perfectly, but they were exactly the shade I had hoped for.

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And finally my tiny little porch.  It was the last thing I tackled and I don’t want to say an afterthought, but since I moved in in November so I honestly don’t think I set foot on it until Spring arrived in May-ish.  I bought a bunch of plants that I eventually killed, repainted some hand-me-down furniture from my parents a bright red and strung up some lights and an IKEA mosquito net.  It’s most definitely gotten the most love on Apartment Therapy and has been re-posted an absurd amount of times including being the poster child for cheap in the “7 Sources for Budget Outdoor Furniture” article. In addition it was named one of the “Best Balcony, Rooftop and Patio Gardens” and was first on the list of Apartment Therapy’s “Best of 2013 Outdoor Spaces.”  What do you think?  Which of my four rooms is your favorite?

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While Alexis shot one room I nervously sat in the other wondering what she was shooting and if I remember to dust there.  I was so worried everyone would attack me and the space in the comments, but I was pleasantly surprised that most people (who cared to comment) were so kind and complimentary.  You can read the whole interview here and see a list of sources of where I got almost everything in my house on Apartment Therapy.  Thanks for reading along and helping make one of my 2013 New Years dreams come true!

indie wed wedding show at ravenswood event center

Indie Wed is the alternative to traditional wedding expos.  From their website “For those in the midst of wedding planning, Indie Wed offers a one stop shop for all the best wedding artisans and professionals around the country.  Indie Wed is the longest running independent bridal fair in the U.S.

So what exactly does Indie Wed mean? Not only is our focus on promoting and supporting small, independent (indie) businesses, but also couples with an independent spirit. For some that may mean a full-blown unconventional fete while others may simply want to incorporate handmade items from local artisans. Indie Wed is wedding planning… redefined.  Indie Wed is not just a show but also a market where many of the artists will be selling their wares on the spot.”

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 I’ve had the privilege of doing this show three times and I love taking a moment away from planning and timelines and vendor confirmations to come up with something totally creative with no boundaries except for the size of the table. Styling a booth that gets couples’ attention and makes them stop by to chat makes for one of my favorite events every year.  Here are some photos from the lovely Tuan Bui from my handmade fabric tassel booth from the summer 2013 show at Zhou B Art Center:

wedding planner websiteThen in February we headed back up north to Ravenswood Event Center for the 2014 winter Indie Wed and I took a lot of terrible pictures of my awesome “Let’s Party” booth!  Laura saved the day by running out to get a new “P” balloon when the first one popped.  “Let’s Arty” just didn’t have the same ring.

tented wedding at the chicago botanic garden

Lauren and Phil were married at Chicago Botanic Gardens in September.  Katie lead the charge and coordinated their wedding like a boss!  This weekend happened to be the weekend we had three weddings and Katie, Laura and I kept in touch through the rain, the traffic and attempted to meet for a drink afterward: we failed.  Luckily, Lauren and Phil succeeded in being crazy planner website

 Lauren got ready at her parents home and I love her simple yet stunning choices.  As a human being who has a “more is more” philosophy, I envy her ability to pull back on the reigns and put together such a simple and lovely fete.

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It rained in torrential bursts but Katie and High Society Orchestra adjusted like pros, making their tent wedding happen and no one was ever the wiser (especially not in these pictures, how lovely are they?)

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A few rustic details perfectly complimented the gorgeous Asrai Garden flowers and plenty of drinking, dancing and love ensued.  It makes me so happy to know what wonderful people Lauren and Phil are and to hear how wonderful they thought Katie was and that we could be a little part of their best day.

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*eye candy courtesy of one of the coolest ladies behind the lens, Azuree Wiitala

Lauren + Phil’s Vendors
Ceremony: St. Patrick Church
Reception: Chicago Botanic Gardens
Day-of Coordination: Anticipation Events
Catering: Chicago Botanic Gardens
Band: High Society Orchestra
Cake: Deerfield’s Bakery
Photography: Azuree Wiitala
Florist: Asrai Garden
Make-up: Sonia Roselli
Transportation: Illinois Classic Trolley Rentals & Limos Alive
Rehearsal Dinner: Lovell’s of Lake Forest

handmade barn wedding at byron colby barn

Sarah + Jamie were married at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church and hosted their reception at Byron Colby Barn.  It was the second wedding of the year I had the pleasure of working with Brian Kinyon Photography.  One of my favorite things Sarah, Jamie and Brian did together was take some bridal party photos at Pickwick Theatre, how great is that space?wedding planner organizer

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I loved seeing the dramatic photos of the ceremony because I was at the barn all day unloading and setting up the trailer full of DIY decor that Sarah made.  The set-up was an all day project, but it turned out so great, all of Sarah’s crafty work and DIY projects really turned the barn into a cozy backyard wedding full of the story of their love.

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Lots of backyard games, framed photos, custom built wooden centerpiece boxes, Hoosier Mama Pies, flowers in ball jars that Sarah arranged herself, their wedding was truly a labor of love.

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*eye candy courtesy of one of the kindest gentleman in the business, Brian Kinyon Photography

Sarah + Jamie’s Vendors
Ceremony: Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church
Reception: Byron Colby Barn
Day-of Coordination: Anticipation Events
Catering: Dave’s Specialty Foods
Photography: Brian Kinyon Photography
Florist: Kiko’s Flowers
Make-up: Tara B Artistry
Transportation: American Coach Limo
Pie: Hoosier Mama Pie Company