How my mood board keeps me inspiredNow, I’m a huge fan of Pinterest, and I have my fair share of project inspiration folders scattered all over my desktop… and my phone. 

But even still, there is just SOMETHING about tangible, physical inspiration that stands the test of time. This is why I still buy design and art books, and it’s why I couldn’t wait to put up an inspiration board in my office! 

Today we’re partnering with our friends from Canon USA to share why making a mood board in your workspace can keep you fresh and inspired! 

As per usual, I used my favorite printer—the PIXMA iP8720. I love it because I can print a whole bunch of photos at once on my 13×19 paper, which is perfect for making mood boards! I typically use the Luster paper because the color comes out so lovely on it. 

How my mood board keeps me inspired This is my autumn mood board. It’s full of memories, color, texture and photos that are inspiring to me right now! 

The best advice I have ever heard about keeping a mood board (and forgive me, I can’t remember where I picked this up) is to change it up whenever you stop “seeing it”. You know how if you leave something in a room for long enough (whether it’s beautiful or a mess), you eventually stop noticing that it’s even there? That’s when you know it’s time to refresh your mood board. 

I like to do it every season, but if I’m designing product or in another big project, I might do it as often as every month. 

Keep your mood board personalized, fresh and surprising! 

How my mood board keeps me inspired How my mood board keeps me inspired Here’s a list of the kinds of things I collect for my mood board: 

-Favorite photos and memories 
-Vintage inspiration 
-Textiles and colors that inspire me 
-Color, pattern and texture 

How my mood board keeps me inspired How my mood board keeps me inspired I hope this post inspires you to set aside some time to create a mood board for your own workspace. The older I get, the more I realize that my dad’s frequent quote, “You don’t have time, you make time.” is so true. I never HAVE time to do fun creative projects, I have to set it aside and guard it with a vengeance! 



11Some of my favorite DIYs have been born from the need to solve a problem. In this instance, my problem was needing more tabletop space in a studio that was always needing to be rearranged depending on the task at hand. As it usually happens, I realized it would be easier for me to build my own and get exactly what I needed than to pay top dollar for something that mostly worked. I thought about it for weeks before coming up with a way to make a transformable desktop that would not only be easy to adjust by myself, it would be simple enough for you to build without owning a lot of power tools. I’m so proud of how this one turned out!

12Some days I need as much floor space as possible to work on a DIY, so a corner workspace made the most sense. Other days my husband needs a space to have a conference call or finish a project for grad school, so we both need a clear work surface at the same time. I’ve also been using this space for my first employee (yay!) to put together fiber packs and package looms, so I need a long surface for those assembly line days. This transformable desk is perfect because it is made of two pieces of plywood on each side that overlap like a perfect puzzle piece in the middle. You can have a corner workspace one day and an extra long workspace the next. Thanks to the beauty of powder coated hairpin legs, my new desktop space looks like a million bucks and retains that light, airy feel needed in such a small room.

-one 3/4″ x 4′ x 8′ sheet of Purebond plywood. This specific plywood is thick enough for a beautiful desktop but is also formaldehyde free, so you can breathe easy. You’ll want to get this cut in half lengthwise so that you get two 2′ x 8′ lengths. Then cut each of those lengths at the 5′ mark so that you end up with two 2′ x 3′ cuts and two 2′ x 5′ cuts as shown above.
–six powder coated hairpin legs
–24 #6 x 3/4″ flathead screws
-10 #6 x 1 1/4″ flathead screws
–four 1/4″ 20 x 13mm threaded insert nuts
–four 1/4″ 20 x 1 1/4″ flathead machine screws
–1 qt. Varathane Triple Thick Polyurethane in semi-gloss or preferred sealer
–Gorilla wood glue
–3″ natural bristle brush
–power drill
-5/16″ drill bit
-1/8″ drill bit
–orbital sander (optional)
-80 grit sandpaper
-120 grit sandpaper
-clamps (optional)
-2 to 4 clamps (optional)
–carpenter’s square ruler

1Here’s a visual on the threaded insert nuts that you’ll need. They allow the two pieces to be screwed together and unscrewed a number of times without stripping the wood. Shout out to Dustin Stewart for introducing me to these little workhorses.

1-2Your one sheet of 3/4″ x 4′ x 8′ Purebond plywood should already have been cut at the lumber store so that you end up with two 2′ x 3′ pieces and two 2′ x 5′ pieces. This plywood has a birch veneer (blonde), but you can see the other side has a reddish finish. Pay attention to the sides you want to use as you are glueing and screwing all of your pieces together for consistency’s sake.

Step One: This step is merely to double check your angles are all nearly perfect before gluing in place. Place one piece of 2′ x 5′ on the floor. It doesn’t matter which side is up since this will be the bottom piece and it will not show. Then place a 2′ x 3′ piece of wood on top of it so that three of the edges are flush. Be sure you have the blonde side up.

Step Two: Place your second 2′ x 3′ cut of wood down so that it creates a right angle with the 2′ x 5′ cut of wood from Step One. This bottom piece will not show so it doesn’t matter which side is up.

3-Step Three: Place the second 2′ x 5′ piece of wood on top of the piece from Step Three. Be sure the blonde side is right side up. Check to see that all edges are flush with each other and fit tightly together where they overlap.

4.Step Four: Repeat a similar process with all of your pieces but instead of placing them at a right angle, overlap them so that they form a long 2′ x 8′ desktop. Again, you are merely checking to make sure all of your angles are straight and right so that there are no gaps. If there should be one piece that is shorter than the other, fit things together so that there are no gaps where everything overlaps and just sand down or cut off the overlap on the outer edge.

5-6Step Five: Pull your separate puzzle pieces apart. Place Gorilla glue intermittently around the space where your 2′ x 3′ cut of wood will rest on top of your 2′ x 5′ cut of wood. Gently place your 2′ x 3′ cut of wood on top of your 2′ x 5′ cut and make sure your three edges are flush. You can clamp these together if you have clamps available, but you can also skip that and move quickly to the next step.

Step Six: Measure in 6″ x 6″ from each corner of your 2′ x 3′ and pre-drill a hole that drills into the 2′ x 5′ plywood beneath it but doesn’t go through it. You don’t want holes coming through your desktop! You can measure about 1 1/4″ from the bottom of your drill bit and mark that spot with tape so that you don’t press to far. Repeat this process of measuring and pre-drilling holes in all four corners of your top 2′ x 5′ cut of wood (which is the bottom of your table on that side), and then make a mark in the center and pre-drill a hole there as well.

7-8Step Seven: Use a screwdriver or the appropriate bit to screw five of your #6 x 1 1/4″ screws into these holes. This will secure the two pieces of wood together. If any glue squeezes out between the two pieces, quickly wipe it off with a wet paper towel or sand it off later. Repeat the process with the two other pieces of wood. You will likely have to flip them over at some point in this process to get to the bottom sides where you’ll screw them together. Just be sure you keep the blonde sides of the wood on the unscrewed side of both pieces.

Step Eight: Fit the two pieces together so that they overlap at a right angle. They should both be upside down at this point. Measure out a perfect square so that it’s centered where the two pieces overlap. It needs to be perfectly centered, so measure twice (or three times).

9-10Step Nine: Just for visual’s sake, I’ve drawn where the square needs to be positioned when you remove the two puzzle pieces so you can see how you’ll be drilling through the top one and halfway into the bottom one.

Step Ten: Prep your drill with the 5/16″ drill bit and mark it with tape so that you only drill down about 1 1/4″. With your two puzzle pieces still overlapping, pre-drill a hole in each corner of your square. Wiggle it around a bit as you drill out of it to give yourself a slightly larger hole. This will help your threaded inserts to go in but still fit snugly.

11-12Step Eleven: Separate the two puzzle pieces where they overlap. Set aside the piece that you drilled straight through. Hammer your threaded inserts into the piece that you didn’t drill all the way through. They need to be flush with your wood.

Step Twelve: Place the two puzzle pieces back together as they were in Step Ten and screw the two pieces together with your four 1/4″ x 20 x 1 1/4″ flat head screws. This will bolt your two puzzle pieces together in the center. You should be able to unscrew these, place your two table pieces into a long table shape, and bolt them together again through the same screw holes as long as your measurements were centered.

13-14Step Thirteen: With your tabletop still upside down, measure 1 1/2″ in from each corner on both short ends and mark where your screw holes will be for those four hairpin legs.

Step Fourteen: For a stable table, you’ll need two hairpin legs attached to the area where the pieces overlap. For this design to look nice and be stable in both a corner position and a long position, I suggest placing your last two hairpin legs centered over the square you drew so that they are about 1/2″ away from the square and facing each other. Mark your holes, pre-drill about 3/4″ deep, place your legs in the appropriate places, and then screw them in.

The final steps include sanding your table down on the tops and edges with an orbital sander or by hand using two different grades of sandpaper. Then wipe the table with a damp cloth and apply your stain, paint, or polyurethane following manufacturer’s directions. I chose a poly because I love the look of natural blonde wood, but you may prefer a darker stain or even a painted tabletop. Just be sure you stain or paint all of the edges when they are not bolted together because if you transform them, different edges will be showing.

89I designed this table knowing I’d use these beautiful mint hairpin legs from DIY Hairpin Legs. I’ve always used vintage black legs but have noticed my style moving away from such an industrial feel. These still have that mid-century charm with a bit of polish, and since they are powder coated, the color won’t scratch off like they would if they were just spray painted. This table may look dainty, but it’s a workhorse!

67Once you are ready to transform your desk from one shape to another, clear your desk top, unscrew the four center bolts, reposition your two ends so that the holes align again, and screw it back together. It allows for a beautiful desktop space by keeping it’s lovely lines in either position.

12All in all, this project may end up costing about $225 as long as you already have the power tools and a brush. You’ll end up with tons of polyurethane left over for other woodworking projects, too. The legs are the most expensive part of this table, but I also think they add the most impact for making this look like a polished, finished piece of furniture. THE GOOD NEWS is that DIY Hairpin Legs is offering 10% OFF every purchase over $50 through the end of January 2017 when you purchase through this affiliate link.

If you’re not into hairpin legs, you could easily use the same tabletop design and attach a variety of IKEA legs (here, here, or here), or even a drawer unit for an even more customized end result.

I’m so pleased with how this project turned out and hope some of you will enjoy how functional this design is as well! 


Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!) If you are a serious or novice crafter, you probably have some sort of craft room or corner of your house devoted to your DIY stash. My office also doubles as my craft room, and since making things is a full time job for me, you can believe I have quite a few supplies on hand. When we first moved into the house a year and a half ago, it took a while for me to figure out where everything should go in the new space. So it was a bit unpleasant working in here until I got it all sorted out. Organization makes life so much easier, you guys! I know it’s a pain to actually DO, but I’m always glad I took the time to do it. Here’s are the top things I use that make my DIY life so much easier…

Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!) Add some shelves: There’s a bit of an odd cubby shape in one wall due to the bathroom closet on the other side, but a previous owner was smart enough to make use of the space by adding in some really simple shelves from floor to ceiling. Shelving is great because you can spread them throughout a room wherever you have the space, and you can stack several above each other like I have. Mine hold a ton of storage boxes and bins, and they have been a big help overall in the hunt to find storage space.

Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!) Group (and label) by category: It took a night or two to organize, but I basically spread out all my boxes and containers and then grouped all my items into categories like paint, sewing supplies, tape, glue, jewelry making, leather tools, beauty product ingredients, etc. And yes, it’s totally OK to have a few “miscellaneous” boxes as well if there are items that don’t fit anywhere else. It’s a good idea to have a variety of box sizes since not all your categories will have the same amount of items, and you can also group all your items first into piles, and then go out and get containers in the appropriate size and number. Don’t forget to label your boxes (especially ones that you don’t use everyday) so you can find items quickly when needed.

Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!) Keep most used items accessible: There are a few categories that I use the most that I chose to put into drawer-type cube storage for easy access. Having smaller stacked boxes on my shelves keeps items together and organized, but would be a bit annoying if I had to get a box on the top shelf (that’s also under two other boxes) every time I needed glue or tape. So keep your most utilized items within reach.

Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!) Make use of hanging storage: Making a large scale pegboard was probably one of the best things I could have done for the craft room overall. There are some items like cutting mats and rulers that are a little awkward to store (they don’t really fit in boxes), so hanging them from the pegboard is the perfect solution. Just use a crop-a-dile or other punch tool to punch one or two holes in a mat and it’s ready to hang! It’s also good for hanging sharp objects like scissors, especially if you need to keep them up high and away from little hands.

Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!)Use large baskets for rolls: For a while I didn’t really know what to do with large pieces of paper, vinyl, and leather, but I discovered that rolling them up and then using a large basket on the floor is a great way to keep them all together and organized. Some people will store rolls laying down on long shelves so there’s no weight directed on one end of the roll like there is when it’s standing up, but I think you probably don’t have to worry about that unless it’s really special material. It’s also a good option for craft paper or wrapping paper rolls as well.

Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!) Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!) Find unique storage options: Most craft areas will have their share of easy-to-find storage solutions like shelves, boxes, and cubes, so it’s a good idea to throw an unexpected storage solution into the mix as well. I got these lockers from Elsie when she didn’t have a need for them anymore, and they’ve been such a cute addition to my craft space. I added shelves in some of the compartments to create more levels, and it’s a great place to store some larger items I have like sewing machines, my overhead projectors, print and art papers, or some taller objects that wouldn’t fit into a box. Items like old lockers, card catalogs, or even dressers can be an unexpected way to stay organized while getting a cool piece of furniture into the room as well.

Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!) Spread out when needed: If you don’t have a whole room to devote to DIY supplies, no worries! You can also spread your supplies throughout your space, and as long as you know where to find what, you’ll still feel just as organized. This is a great example of when it might be helpful to have a piece of furniture (like lockers or a dresser) double as craft storage. If you have to keep them in a living room or bedroom area, they will blend right into a room without sticking out as a storage solution. I have a few decorative boxes around our home that are rather unnoticeable to others, but in reality they contain craft supplies I didn’t have room for in the craft room (I have scrapbook supplies and stamps in the grey boxes above). No one needs to know…

Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!) Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!) I really do think that the more organized you are, the easier simple tasks and life in general becomes. Knowing where to find things and having a home for all your supplies will help you max out on your creative hours instead of spending half of it going, “Now where did I put that…?” Whether you can use one or all of these tips when it comes to organizing your supplies, I hope that it helps you find the best craft space that works for you! xo. 


Love this! Acrylic Hologram Calendar DIY (click through for tutorial)              I don’t know about you, but my life and schedule has felt extra full lately. Maybe it’s because I’m 7 months pregnant, working full time, preparing for baby, completing side projects… phew! I’m tired just thinking about it! Anyway, there have definitely been more appointments and events than usual, so I’ve been wanting to make a calendar for my office to keep track of all the activities. And why make a plain calendar when you can make one with holographic glitter and gold accents?? That’s exactly what I thought too…

Love this! Acrylic Hologram Calendar DIY (click through for tutorial)           Supplies:
–18×24″ sheet of acrylic (x2)
-hologram paper (like this or this)
-1/2″ long brass machine screws (x4) and corresponding hex nuts (x4) (Your local hardware store should have them.)
-1″ long brass s-hooks (x2)
–gold card stock paper and white card stock paper
–glue dots
–X-Acto knife, metal ruler, and cutting mat
-washi or thin painter’s tape
–1″ circle punch
–drill and drill bit set
-thin brass chain (optional)

See all our must-have craft tools here!

Love this! Acrylic Hologram Calendar DIY (click through for tutorial)            You’ll want to start by removing the protective film from one side of your acrylic sheet. Using washi or painter’s tape, tape off a 12×22″ area at the bottom of your calendar. Cut your hologram paper into 35 rectangles that are 2.25″ wide and a little less than 3″ wide. Space them into 5 rows of 7 and use glue dots to secure them in place. When spacing out things like this, I like to get the top and bottom rows spaced evenly and lined up with the tape marks, then fill in the first and last vertical rows, and then do the middle squares. It helps keep them all spaced out nicely.

Love this! Acrylic Hologram Calendar DIY (click through for tutorial)
Punch out 35 paper circles with your paper punch and use glue dots to affix them into the top left corner of each rectangle (this will be where you can write the date for each day).

Love this! Acrylic Hologram Calendar DIY (click through for tutorial)
Use your gold paper to cut out large letters for the first day of each week. You can also use large gold stickers if you like. I traced some chipboard letters I already had in my scrapbook pile, but you can also pick a font and size you like in Word or Photoshop, reverse the letters, and then print them on the back side of your gold card stock (when you cut them out they will be facing the right way!). 

Love this! Acrylic Hologram Calendar DIY (click through for tutorial)           Use glue dots to adhere the letters in place. 

Love this! Acrylic Hologram Calendar DIY (click through for tutorial)           Now that your squares and days of the week are attached, peel off one side of protective plastic from your second piece of acrylic and place it exposed-side down on top of your calendar. Use clamps or painter’s tape to hold the two pieces together while you drill. Use your drill and drill bit that matches the width of your 1/2″ long machine screws (mine were 1/4″ wide so I used a 1/4″ bit) to drill 4 holes about 1″ in from each corner (you can just mark each spot with a marker).

To drill into acrylic, you just need to drill with the drill in reverse and apply a moderate amount of pressure to the plastic as you drill. Speed up if you don’t feel it’s going anywhere, but try not to go faster than you need, as too much speed can melt your plastic a bit (although the head of the machine screw will help cover up hole imperfections). I like to drill with a scrap piece of wood underneath the hole so the drill has something to hit once it’s gone through the plastic. When you have all 4 holes drilled, you can add your hardware to keep it all together.

Love this! Acrylic Hologram Calendar DIY (click through for tutorial)           Peel back the remaining protective sheets from each corner of your calendar and use a machine screw and hex nut to secure each corner together. If the screw needs a little help going all the way through the hole, you can actually use a screwdriver to screw it in as far as it needs to go (it will self thread into the plastic). On the top two screws, add an s-hook between the back of the acrylic sheet and the hex nut so you have something to hang your calendar from. If you want to add a gold chain, you can also cut a section and hang it from these two hooks as well.

Love this! Acrylic Hologram Calendar DIY (click through for tutorial)      Hammer in two nails to hang your calendar from, and you’re ready to write in all your important dates!
Love this! Acrylic Hologram Calendar DIY (click through for tutorial)           Love this! Acrylic Hologram Calendar DIY (click through for tutorial)           Love this! Acrylic Hologram Calendar DIY (click through for tutorial)           I simply love how this project came out! The glitter effect is even prettier in person, as I’m sure you can imagine, and I think it adds a little something special from just having a plain color or white behind each day. And in case you’re wondering, I know this calendar doesn’t have a month space across the top. I kept playing with proportions to fit the month area and just felt like it looked so much cleaner without that area added, and it makes the big gold day letters the star of the top space. You can totally shrink the size of the squares and the day letters though if you want to add a space for the month—go for it! I always feel like it’s a double win when I can make something that’s helping me keep my life organized and looks pretty too, so this was a big success in my book. xo. Laura


5 Ways to Update an Old Photo Frame (via Ways to Update a Thrifted Frame (via’s start off with a confession: yes, I am changing around my home office area AGAIN. What can I say? I’m one of those types that just loves rearranging furniture or painting things over and over again. My mom and my sister are basically the same way. If you live alone and have an unlimited budget, then this habit is no problem, but for the rest of us, this can sometimes be annoying to the people we live with. And of course, you can’t redo the whole house if you’ve already depleted your decorating budget for the year. Ha! And if you hate to redo things, well, I don’t know what you tell you. 🙂

So, I’m changing around my home office area again. I’ve been working on it for a few months already. If you want to see what it looked like before, check here. I’m not 100% done with the new look, but I promise I’ll share (whether you want me to or not) when it’s done. But today I want to talk photo frames. So get ready! I moved my desk area around, so there’s a LOT more room for bulletin boards, to-do lists, photos, and artwork.

I partnered with our friends from Canon USA on this project. I used my PIXMA TS9020 to print all of the photos in the frames I’m about to share. Most of the photos are black and white, and I love how sharp the blacks print, but a couple are colored and the bright colors truly POP as you can see from the golden creme brûlée photo (a recipe in our upcoming cookbook). But not only is it a great at-home printer for photos and documents—it also matches my new office color scheme (black and white!). So it gets bonus points for that too. 🙂


Canon printer5 Ways to Update a Thrifted Frame (via 5 Ways to Update an Old Photo Frame (via As you can see, I created a kind of mini gallery wall above my desk area. I love it! It’s bold, stimulating, but also super functional as I check the calendar and to-do lists I hang on the bulletin board daily to keep myself on track. I am a hardcore list-maker and goal-setter, so having places where I can SEE it all at once is something I always like to have in my work spaces.

All of the photo frames in my mini gallery wall I thrifted. I knew I was OK with a few random sizes (and in fact I knew I didn’t want it to look exactly uniform), so I thrifted and used the following few techniques to update the frames. The techniques are SIMPLE. Anyone out there who is all, “I’m not crafty,” this project is still for you. It’s easy and fun.

Ideas for updating a thrifted frameHere are the frames before. They are pretty mismatched and were mostly one or two dollars each. The main thing I look for when thrifting picture frames is that the glass and frame are in good shape (dirt is no problem, but if anything looks cracked or broken, avoid that) and that the back looks easy to open for swapping out the photo/art. Some frames will have hanging hardware or even the entire back papered over. If it’s a great frame and you think you can handle it, go for it, but I tend to stick to frames that look super easy to swap the art out. Just my two cents.

After taking the frames apart and cleaning them, here are five techniques for updating their look.

Add wallpaper1. Add wallpaper.

I like to buy wallpaper samples sometimes just to use for projects, as wrapping for small gifts, or even to hang as artwork itself (see the eye design in my gallery wall, that’s another wallpaper sample). Just use an X-Acto knife to cut the wallpaper to fit the frame and glue in place. Some wallpapers are removable (they are like giant stickers), so those may not need glue at all.

How to marbleHow to marble a picture frame2. Marble the frame.

This one was probably my favorite if I had to pick one. I just love the process, and it’s so fun to pull your frame away and see the results because each time looks a little different. Just follow the directions here for your photo frame. One thing to keep in mind is the colors. If you plan to marble with black and dark colored nail polishes (like I did), then you may want to prime your frame with a coat of white paint first. Otherwise it may not be visible.

Tips for painting a picture frame3. Speaking of priming the frame with paint—the third technique I used was painting the frames.

I know, super simple. But I love that this can give the frames a whole new feeling! Since I was sticking to a mostly black and white theme, I painted my frames part white and part black by using painter’s tape to mask off areas. This gave them a more modern feel. And when you use a little spray paint on an already inexpensive frame (that you thrifted), you end up with a super cute AND super affordable piece.

Add tile4. Add tile.

You can buy just one sheet (one square foot) of tile and get quite a few frames out of it! I bought a sheet of these small, rectangle marble tiles and simply glued them to my primed frame (use a glue that says it works with ceramic and wood). You could use other tile shapes or colors to give this a fun mosaic feel. Easy!

Add moulding5. Add embellishments.

This could be any number of things, like adding hardware, or (in my case) adding a bit of moulding. This was a moulding accent I bought at the hardware store, but you could easily add moulding trim to a frame as well. You could leave it raw or paint it to match other frames you might already have and plan to display in the same area. Lots of possibilities depending on the look you want.

Funny couple portraits5 Ways to Update an Old Photo Frame (via Here’s one of my favorite prints and frames from the bunch. Reminds me to keep taking myself very seriously.


5 Ways to Update a Thrifted Frame (via That’s it for my little wall, but if you want even more ideas for updating a frame, try these: wood burned photo frames, add a belt to a circle frame, and why not add paint and patina.



8 Ways to Use Removable Wallpaper! (click through for tutorial)When decorating a space, the sheer amount of decisions you have to make can be overwhelming to say the least. Every choice you make affects all the other choices in a room, and it’s stressful to make lots of decisions that you can’t go back on (or at least not very easily) once made. It’s also tough if you are the type of person that changes their home design a lot or gets tired of visual things faster than others. But if any of these situations describes you, I’ve got just the solution—removable wallpaper! It’s a great way to add a pop of color or pattern to your home and it’s easy to remove, so you can feel free to change it up as needed. It’s also great for renters who can’t make permanent decisions for the space, but want to liven up the existing area in the meantime. And, there are so many ways you can use removable wallpaper too. Here are a few of my favorite ways:

Decorate a desk: I got this inexpensive desk to use in my new workroom because I liked the clean lines and shape, but the faux wood veneer was just not doing it for me. A few strips of speckled dot wallpaper later and this desk became too cute for words. Such a difference, don’t you think? Two thumbs up!!

8 Ways to Use Removable Wallpaper! (click through for tutorial) Give your built-ins a bold look: Built-in bookcases can be a great addition to a room for either storage or display purposes, but pulling off the shelves and adding a fun pattern to the back wall (like this black and white stripe pattern) can really take a simple built-in shelf from functional to just plain fun!

8 Ways to Use Removable Wallpaper! (click through for tutorial)      Dress up your drawers: I gave our bedside nightstands a little makeover when we first moved since they got rather dingy in transit from one state to another. Using this palm paper to cover the fronts of the drawers added a giant punch of personality to the project and it took only minutes to apply. Quick and cute—my favorite kind of DIYs!

8 Ways to Use Removable Wallpaper! (click through for tutorial)       Create statement stairs: If you really want to add some pattern in an unexpected way, try covering the bottom half of your stairs! It’s a great way to showcase a staircase and it really adds a modern feel to your steps. Do each the same or alternate with coordinating patterns as well!

8 Ways to Use Removable Wallpaper! (click through for tutorial)     Make random nooks notable: Lots of people have those odd little cubbies or nooks in their house that they aren’t totally sure what to do with. For me it’s this phone cubby in the hallway. I mean, it is an adorable reminder of a time when you only had one stationary phone per house, but I’m not totally sure what to do with it in 2015. So, rather than let it sink into the overall hallway, I decided to highlight it instead with a pretty pattern and this cute little ceramic phone planter. Couldn’t be a more appropriate spot for that planter for sure!

8 Ways to Use Removable Wallpaper! (click through for tutorial)  Cover up some cubes: What are the three most important words when you blog out of your house? Storage, storage, storage!! I can’t get enough of it. Since the closets are quite a bit smaller in this house than the last one, I’m doing more storage furniture in the rooms and wanted to make a basic storage cube setup a little more personal. Once I covered the outside of a few foldable storage boxes with a pattern that matches the desk across from it, it made the whole setup look much more custom and fun.

8 Ways to Use Removable Wallpaper! (click through for tutorial)   Look inside for a surprise: Don’t forget that the inside of drawers can be an ideal place to hide a bit of pattern that’s just for you to see! Desk drawers, kitchen drawers, bathroom drawers…if it opens, you can decorate it! For an art room desk, what’s more perfect then a brushstroke pattern inside?

8 Ways to Use Removable Wallpaper! (click through for tutorial)    Wallpaper a wall: OK, yeah, this is the most obvious one of the bunch, but if you have a hard time keeping bold choices for a long time or don’t have the budget to wallpaper a whole room, just doing one wall of removable paper is a great choice. I’m head over heels for this black and white palm print wallpaper and it’s the perfect vibe since we are going for a midcentury California feel in our current house. Love it!

You may have noticed that I already used the “removable” function of the wallpaper on those nightstands next to our bed. I loved that green palm print on the drawers, but when I added the black and white wallpaper to the wall recently, the patterns were a little too much to be right next to each other. Since it was removable though, it only took about 10 seconds to make the change back to white. Yes!

Now that you know there are so many ways to use removable wallpaper, there’s no excuse not to add some print and pattern to your space as well. Since it comes off so easily, you don’t have to keep it forever, but take it from me, you’ll enjoy it while it’s there! xo. Laura



In progress- collecting colorful glassware!Today, I’m excited to share the progress I’m making on a rainbow glassware display in our breakfast nook. 

If you watched my empty home tour, you might remember that this rainbow glassware display was one of the things I had planned since pretty much the day we first saw this house. We already have plenty of other spaces for our white dishes and clear glassware, so this little built-in in the breakfast nook was the perfect spot to do a fun pop of color! 

I don’t thrift shop or visit flea markets as much as I did in my twenties (which was once or more weekly), but I still have a soft spot for vintage. So it’s been fun for me to have one focused collection to work on this year. Sometimes I just like to go and browse on a Sunday afternoon, and this collection has given me something to search for so I don’t bring home knick knacks (or as my husband would call it, “clutter”). 

In progress- collecting colorful glassware! I’ve enjoyed the slowness of this collection. I probably could have done it faster, but I gave myself a budget for each piece (I try to keep each piece under $3, and $5 when it’s an extra pretty/special one!) At flea markets, depression glass (and fake depression glass) can be pretty pricy…sometimes up to $20 for one piece in Missouri. I skip over those, reminding myself that I’ve already found plenty at the thrifts for .25 cents each! 

In progress- collecting colorful glassware!  In the beginning I planned which colors I wanted to collect. I skipped red because it’s just not my favorite in this kind of glassware (too goth?), and I skipped orange because it’s really hard to find. 

I’ve put extra effort into finding pink, turquoise and bright yellow (not amber) because those are the colors I think I will use the most for table settings. By the way, in case you are wondering, I 100% plan to use this glassware for parties and cocktail nights. It is a pretty collection, but it’s not just a collection. 

In progress- collecting colorful glassware!   The details on the individual pieces are really fun! This goblet with stars makes me smile.

In progress- collecting colorful glassware!    As you can see, I still have some gaps and holes to fill. I’m fine with it being a long-term collection. Maybe by the time I have the breakfast nook tour ready to share, it will be full, but maybe not. 

In progress- collecting colorful glassware!      Here’s where I am today. You can see they still have tags and stuff on them. I was just kind of putting them up so I could see what colors I need more of. Basically every color, huh? Green and yellow are filling up. Pink and purple are more challenging to find.

Anyway! That’s my little flea market/thrift project. I’m looking forward to seeing it come together! 

Anyone in the Nashville area have any suggestions for the best flea market and thrift shops? And while I’m at it—places to buy plants? 🙂 

Thanks for letting me share! A lot of you guys have requested that we share more progress reports instead of just waiting till the big before/after reveal. So I’m going to do more of that with this house. I hope it will allow you to feel more involved in the process from start to finish. That would be awesome! xx- Elsie 


above: living room of designer Antonia Hutt featuring William Haines’s Brentwood Chair

Hollywood Regency is known for its glamour, drama and new twist on old classics. The style became popular in the 1930s during the golden age of Hollywood. William Haines designed homes for movie stars that made them larger than life with sleek low-lying furnishings and sumptuously dressed walls and windows, while Dorothy Draper’s larger-than-life personality filled great halls and hotels with bright colors and big, bold patterns. Hollywood Regency gradually entered homes across America with the popularity of key elements, like tufted sofas and modern Greek and Egyptian influenced fretwork, patterns and furniture silhouettes. The style has been going strong since the 1930s and has evolved a bit with each decade that it endures.

above: entrance to William Haines Interiors


Known as the father of Hollywood Regency, William Haines was first an actor who was eventually ousted from Hollywood because of his refusal to deny his homosexuality and enter into a sham marriage for the sake of the studios. His friendships with Hollywood starlets launched him to popularity as a decorator for the elite, eventually designing furniture that is still available to the trade today, like the beloved Brentwood chair that was inspired by the tapered, splayed legs of Grecian chairs.

Brentwood-chairs-william-hainesabove: Pull Up chairs, a variation on the Brentwood chair, designed by William Haines

William-haines-time-capsuleabove: William Haines time capsule home as seen at LA Home & Style

Key elements in Haines’s Hollywood Regency include neoclassical elements, rebirthed from mid-19th century European designs, as well as rich textiles, sumptuously tufted seating, and dramatic elements like oversized sculptures, bold colorways, or over-the-top feminine touches. His later work became more streamlined and a glamorous variation on mid century modern styles, as seen in the Brody house pictured below.

William-Haines-Brody-House-1950above: Brody house living room designed by William Haines

Annenberg-sunnylands-homeabove: original master bedroom at Sunnylands designed by William Haines

William-haines-interior-modern-productsAdd some Haines Hollywood glamour to your space with these modern pieces:

1. Trellis Pillow
2. Ivory Keystone Pillow
3. Slipper Chair
4. Golden Age Lamp
5. Nesting Tables
6. Dog Statue
7. Brentwood Curved Sofa
8. Gold and Acrylic Bar Cart

Greenbrier-stairsabove: The Greenbrier Hotel designed by Dorothy Draper, photo by Gemma & Andrew Ingalls


Dorothy Draper, the mother of Hollywood Regency style, was a decade-defining decorator of the 1940s who freshened dark and tired period styles with fresh coats of white paint, black lacquer, and loads of oversized botanical prints and stripes. Her bold and often feminine color schemes modernized baroque and regency styles, softening and simplifying them to create a unique, Americanized version of traditional period style.

Draper’s Regency style was a bit more traditional, though perhaps bolder, than the sleek, glamorous styles of William Haines that became more mod as the decades passed.

Dorothy-draper-interiorsIn Dorothy’s day, if you weren’t a modernist, a decorator’s goal was usually to perfectly copy period styles of bygone eras. Dorothy took a bold twist on traditional decorative elements, playing with contrast and scale. Ram’s head pediments were simplified in their form, enlarged, and given a fresh coat of bright white paint. Paneled doors were simplified with simple contrasting squares in black and white color schemes. Stripes, floral chintz and banana leaf prints were exaggerated to add a bold vibe to carpets and wallpaper.

The bold, quasi-traditional style of Dorothy Draper transformed the interior landscape of America, her influence injecting homes and public spaces with a fresh jolt of color. She also helped create the profession of interior designer and had a tremendously successful career in a day when ladies just didn’t work outside the home. Draper’s work was popular in high society and graced the halls and gathering rooms of the era’s popular hotels, clubs, and Manhattan row houses. She also wrote for Good Housekeeping, influencing other decorators and housewives all across the U.S.

Greenbrier-hallways-2above: Greenbrier Hotel by Gemma & Andrew Ingalls / Victoria Magazine / below: Michel Arnaud for The Baltimore Sun

Greenbrier-orange-roomGreenbrier-hallways-1above: the Greenbrier Hotel by Cooper Carras for Matchbook Mag

Dorothy Draper’s work can still be seen gloriously displayed at West Virginia’s Greenbrier Hotel, as shown in the color images above. If you’d like to add some of her style to your home, check out this Dorothy Draper inspired collection of interior elements below:


1. Banana Leaf Pillow
2. Baroque Mirror
3. Floral Curtains
4. Brass Table Lamp
5. Slipcover for Ikea Ektorp Sofa
6. Campaign Nightstand
7. Geometric Pillow Cover
8. Tall Lidded Urn
9. Short Lidded Urn
10. Tufted Slipper Chair
11. Copley Chair in Dorothy Draper’s Brazilliance
12. Mirrored Brass Tray


Hollywood Regency has become a far reaching style through the decades, donning many faces along the way. In the ’70s it blended well with mid century modern styles particularly in California, à la Palm Beach style. Check out Trina Turk’s dining room below to see an example of this, as well as the later work of William Haines.

Trina-Turk-1970s-Home-Haines-Chairsabove: home of Trina Turk featuring William Haines chairs above: Ford home designed by Darren Brown in the ’70s

Ford-bedroomHomes from the 1970s are known for their heavy doses of pattern—to put it nicely! Pattern on the walls, patterns on the windows and patterns on the furniture. David Hicks was a British designer who masterfully blended the funky pattern-laden ’70s style with preppy tailored Hollywood Regency designs.

David-hicks-patternsHicksonian, a fabric design by son Ashley Hicks / Hicks’ Grand Wallpaper / La Fiorentina, a fabric design by Ashley Hicks

David-hicks-roomsabove: designs by David Hicks

Check out that carpet in the room above! Pretty bold. Hicks’ style is so iconic and really blends well with the aesthetics of stylish cult movies from the ’70s, like Harold and Maude and The Shining, movies most certainly influencing modern film makers like Wes Anderson (think The Darjeeling Limited) and David Lynch (Twin Peaks—think The Red Room).

David-hicks-bedroomabove: bedroom design by David Hicks in the ’70s


Designers are still infatuated with the drama and glamour of Hollywood Regency style. For modern interpretations, check out the spaces below. Popular modern designers who’ve put their own spin on classic Hollywood Regency designs include Jonathan Adler, Kelly Wearstler, Miles Redd, Nate Berkus, and many more.

Jonathan-adler-and-Miles-Reddabove: Jonathan Adler / Miles Redd

Elle-decorabove: Elle Decor above: home of Marjorie Skouras via Apartment Therapy / Lonny

Joe-Nahem-Greenwich-Home-for-Architectural-DigestJoe Nahem design via Architectural Digest

Modern-dorothy-draper-4above: Tobi Fairley / House of Honey / below: Domino

Modern-dorothy-draper-domino-magazineA-beautiful-mess-dorothy-draperabove: Shannon Smith for A Beautiful Mess / below: House Beautiful / House Beautiful

Modern-dorothy-draper-house-beautifulSo much glamour and tons of inspiration! Does this inspire you to add a little glamour to your home? 


above: Hooper House by Marcel Breuer featured in Dwell


The world was shocked by the simple, industrial style that came out of the Bauhaus design school in the 1930s. Coming fresh off the heals of the arts and crafts movement where simplicity and craftsmanship were key, designers in the modern German design school believed form should follow function. Furniture designs of tubular steel and glass were created to be mass produced and easily affordable, without the fuss of superfluous decoration.

Due to the political oppression in Germany and Austria (home of the famous Weiner Werkstätte), the Bauhaus closed and prolific designers were scattered across Europe, some fleeing to the U.S. for a chance to successfully produce work in their new style. This prompted the birth of new design schools like Black Mountain College in North Carolina and Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. The early 1930s began to see collaborations between designers who would become world famous for their iconic furniture designs, architectural endeavors, and even the creation of a groundbreaking design style called International Style. The new look was marked by buildings with large expanses of glass windows, tubular steel frames for furnishings, sleek materials like leather, steel and plastic, as well as generally sparse decorations. Though this modern style movement began in the 1930s, it wasn’t until the 1940s that it began to become more widely accepted by the typical American home owner.

above: the Gropius house from the Historic New England Properties photographic collection and Martha Stewart Living

Philip-johnson's-glass-houseThe above space is a room in the Glass House retreat of Philip Johnson, which really is one wide-open space with glass walls to create a sense of oneness with nature. The large panes of glass, boxy design and minimalist furnishings make this space a great example of International design. Similar styles can be seen in other works by Philip Johnson as well as in the work of his mentors, friends and collaborators such as Mie van der Rohe (whose Barcelona chairs are pictured above), Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius (founder of the Bauhaus, whose home is shown above this one), Marcel Breuer and even Frank Lloyd Wright.

above: the home of Walter Gropius from the Historic New England Properties photographic collection

International-styleIf you’re not into modern architecture, an easy way to grasp the style of the Bauhaus and International Style movements is to take a look at the furnishings that came out of this movement. Many of the iconic modern pieces you see in design magazines these days were created by architects and designers from this period of design history. Above left you can see the Barcelona chairs and tables as designed by Mies van der Rohe, and in the image to the right you can see a bent tubular steel chair design by Mies van der Rohe, who was also famous for utilizing a new cantilever style with his MR10 chair design pictured below. Marcel Breuer created his own version too, which became extremely popular with interior stylists in the 1970s. In general, the minimalist furniture designs of the International Style movement most often utilize materials like tubular steel, leather and glass, but you can find softened versions with the introduction of rattan and wood, as seen in both van der Rohe and Breuer’s famous chairs below.

Cantilever-chairsYou can buy new licensed versions of famous Bauhaus and International furniture designs at stores like Design Within Reach, or you can troll Craigslist and eBay for vintage versions. Usually they’ll be pretty pricey, but sometimes a seller doesn’t know the value of what they’re listing and you’ll stumble on a deal.

Here are some classics from the Bauhaus and International Style movements available at DWR:


1. The Wassily Chair by Marcel Breuer
2. The Barcelona Couch by Mies van der Rohe
3. The Barcelona Table by Mies van der Rohe
4. The Barcelona Lounge Chair by Mies van der Rohe
5. Adjustable Table E1027 by Eileen Gray
6. The Womb Chair by Eero Saarinen
7. Laccio Tables by Marcel Breuer
8. LC4 Chaise Longue by Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret
9. LC2 Petite Modele Two-Seat Sofa by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand

Bauhaus-textiles-anni-albersEven within the utilitarian design mindset of the Bauhaus, you can find softer styles that work well to soften the hardness of the steel and minimalist International Style designs. Though still modernist and simple in nature, the art and textile designs that came from Bauhaus students help make a cold environment much softer and cozier.

Bauhaus-textilesGunta Stölzl and Anni Albers  (work shown above) are two of my favorite textile designers that came from the Bauhaus, and Josef Albers (Annie’s husband) is definitely my favorite print maker— famous for his color studies in Interaction of Color as well as his print and type design, as shown below.


The-design-files-modern-homeabove: Sean Fennessy for The Design Files


Most of the time you won’t see a room full of cold, industrial-styled furniture, unless you’re looking at a masculine, high style apartment of a power broker or something like that. The colder minimalist designs that came from the Bauhaus and the International Style movement are usually seen mixed with warmer pieces that have soft textures or wooden surfaces. These homes show a more widely accessible interpretation of International Style—clean lines, sturdy materials and a functional arrangement without much fuss. The wood tones and textiles help to warm up the space.

Though it isn’t a contemporary space, the home of the Bauhaus founder, Walter Gropius, is a great example of a warm interpretation of International Style, thanks largely to the influence of his wife whose love for textiles softened the cold style of much of the home’s furnishings. (See the home in the below right image and elsewhere as noted in this post.)

above: Elle Decoration UK / Gropius House via Martha Stewart Living

Dwell-neely-living-roomabove: Drew Kelly for Dwell / below: Knoll Laccio table styling

International-style-knollI love the image below, found in a Sydney real estate listing. You’ll find tubular steel chairs, a poster design in a style you’d see come out of the Bauhaus school, and a color scheme that fits in perfect with the Bauhaus and International Styles as well—black, white, red and yellow. But the space is warmed up tremendously with a rustic farmhouse table, an antique side chair and cabinet, as well as a funky chandelier. Such a unique mix of styles that work well due to the simplicity of the room and color scheme.

International-style-modernInternational Style encompasses a lot of modern designs that can work well alongside vintage and contemporary pieces, and it also flows really well into one of my favorite styles—Mid Century Modern. We’ll talk more about that soon! 


Dala horses in a Scandinavian dining space

above: House & Home via Bright Bazaar

If you’ve been on the internet lately, you’ll know that Scandinavian design is having a moment. And it’s easy to see why! Traditional Scandinavian style is simple, clean, cheerful, and very achievable for basically any budget. When you think about this style, usually lots of white springs to mind, but the reality is that Scandinavian design can also have lots of vibrant color and fun patterns.

Rustic Scandinavian dining room

above: promotional image from retailer Gudruns Joden / below: Sandra Freij

Marimekko covered sofa


The patterns you’ll find in traditional Scandinavian designs are typically simple, botanical illustrations in a symmetrical style. Animals are also common themes, such as the traditional dala horse (as seen in top image), most commonly seen in a poppy red hue. Modern Scandinavian patterns usually have bold colors and graphic, high contrast styles, like the oversize prints and patterns from the Finnish company Marimekko. (above sofa upholstered in Marimekko fabric)

Marimekko patterns

above: Marimekko fabric

Marimekko and Josef Frank patterns in interiors

above: unknown with Marimekko wallpaper / unknown via homedit

A favorite Scandinavian designer is Austrian born Josef Frank whose patterns exhibited the folk-style traditional to Scandinavian style, but with a mod flair. You can purchase Josef Frank wallpaper and fabric for your home these days, but be ready to pay a pretty penny! Sometimes just investing in a yard or two will give you the perfect pop of pattern in a pillow or chair cover.

Josef Frank wallpaper in a kitchen

above: La Maison d’ Anna G. / below: Josef Frank prints available from Svenskt

Josef Frank patternstraditional Scandinavian kitchens

above: Anna Kern for Svenska Dagblaet / Sweet Paul Issue 2

Dutch bedroom and hallway

above: House to Home / image from the book Scandinavian Designby Lars Bolander

Scandinavian style has a long history, traditionally marked by simplicity, bright whites, natural wood tones, folk style ornamentation, and color washed furnishings and trims. Hues of medium blues, bright reds, and pleasant greens, pinks, and yellows are common throughout Scandinavian design. In old Dutch homes, folks used to build their beds into warm, closet-like spaces, and to save space, would hang spindle-backed chairs on the walls when they weren’t being used. The modern version of Dutch and Scandinavian design isn’t always about efficiency and space-saving solutions, though it is still both practical and beautiful. A lot of modern, Scandinavian-style homes showcase a mix of the traditional style of almost rustic simplicity alongside the sleek designs of forward-thinking designers who emerged in the 20th Century.

  Classic Scandinavian pieces for modern interiorsSCANDINAVIAN MODERN CLASSICS

A lot of iconic modern designs came from Scandinavian designers in the 1900s, and above you’ll see some of the most popular pieces. 

1. Wishbone chair by Hans J. Wegner (knock-off linked to down below)
2. Panthella lamp by Verner Panton
3. Artek stool by Alvar Aalto (knock-off available at Ikea)
4. Egg chair by Arne Jacobsen
5. PH5 hanging lamp by Poul Henningsen
6. Tulip side table by Eero Saarinen (knock-off linked to down below) 

Happy Scandinavian living room interiors

above: Better Homes and Gardens/ flodeau

How to get the Scandinavian look


Want to add some Scandinavian style to your home but don’t know where to begin? These things are a great start, and are pretty affordable too!

1. Bentwood pendant light
2. Flip clock (knock-off of the Karlsson Big Flip clock)
3. Marimekko teapot
4. Candle holder
5. Marimekko cereal bowl
6. Mongolian fur pillow
7. Panton floor lamp
8. Tulip side table
9. Wishbone chair
10. Grid pillow cover
11. Dala horse ornaments

Scandinavian dining room and bedroom

above: House & Home / Anna Kern for Svenska Dagblaet

Simple Scandinavian dining room with lots of white and touches of green and black

above: Nordic Days


Paring down the color palette in your home and utilizing pops of color amidst a more neutral background is a great way to get the Scandinavian look if you can’t really afford to do much redecorating. Instead of dark wood tones, try natural wood colors or painted wood instead. Combine sleek modern pieces like the iconic Panton chair with soft, rustic elements for the effortlessly chic looks shown here. Or it might be easier for you to find an old spindle-back chair and paint it a glossy black for a touch of Scandinavian charm. A classic windsor alongside streamlined pieces (think Ikea if your budget is anything like mine!) is a look that works wonders.

Feminine Scandinavian interior style

above: Real Living / Martha Stewart / below: Dust Jacket

Modern Scandinavian kitchen in blue and white

If in doubt about how to go Nordic, your best bet is to just keep it simple! There is always elegance in simplicity, and I think that’s really what we all love about Scandinavian style.