For a few weeks I’ve been doing a round-up in my Instagram Stories every Sunday; things like my favorite new people to follow, bestsellers, my new finds of the week, most asked questions, etc. So I thought that I would do something similar on a monthly basis. Not only bestsellers, but also some of everyone’s favorite posts of the month, maybe a favorite reels of the month! But also maybe some things that I have found/learned over the weeks. We’ll see how this evolves, and if you have any requests or suggestions to include, please leave a comment below!
MY FAVORITE FINDS + PURCHASES OF THE MONTH
TOP POSTS OF THE MONTH
One thing that I have LOVED about the last few months, actually, is that my love for DIY projects has been shared with all of you!! It makes me so excited that something that I just geek out over is something I can share with everyone. And while I am now in a small apartment so that makes things a little more difficult, I can still plan some and knock them out at my parent’s house when I go visit! Also, my mom has all the tools ;-D But I was so excited about the final product of this side table because, to be honest I wasn’t sure how it would stay together because unlike other projects I didn’t have anything to model it after. But it was so easy and required so little tools that if you are in an apartment you could totally do this one too! You can check out the details in my reels, as well as shop the details below.
If you can’t tell, I’m a planner, in life. I love to plan my days, my weeks, my living spaces, etc. so when we moved into a new apartment where we had to start from scratch I started planning immediately. And these plans have changed sssooooooo much over the months, we were originally supposed to move in in June and if we had our place would look very differently if we did!
I originally thought that super light and fresh was what I wanted: all whites and light neutrals. But over the past few months I have loved playing with dark and moody colors. Plus, my husband isn’t the cleanest eater in the world :-/ Now we already had a few pieces so I had to find a way to include these darker and more colorful pieces, which to be honest is the best way to do it! If you don’t want it to be a super moody room but still want hints of it, the details to top it off are the perfect place to do it! Meaning, a top-layer rug, throw pillows, maybe a coffee or side table.
Our living room is obviously going to be the most-used room in our apartment, and I’m sure it will even change from the design concept above seeing as I have about 7 rug swatches sitting in front of me right now 😀 But our living room has so much natural light that I knew that having a darker rug and accents wouldn’t make the space feel overly moody. That’s something to really keep in mind when picking colors and hues. If you want some color and mood, but don’t want it to be overwhelming, consider how much light the room has as well as the height of the ceilings! Lower ceilings and minimal natural light are features that immediately make a room darker/moodier already. So since our ceilings are 12’ and we have floor to ceiling windows, I wasn’t too worried about these features being too dark.
Still thinking over the light fixture though, we might have to wait a while and live in the space until we pick that one.
We do have two bedrooms, but unfortunately for future guests, that second bedroom is not for you. We needed a dedicated space for a desk and in-home workouts, so that’s what this bad boy’s gonna be! We also know that since we’re in a much smaller space from our house in MN, and quarantine isn’t quite over, we need other spaces to be able to escape to: a comfortable bedroom to hang out in, a functional kitchen table, maybe a reading corner to change up the scenery.
I started with the linens in the bedroom. While I already had the headboard from Target, I wanted the linens to make it feel stylish and comfortable. I think people minimize the importance of bed linens and that is a huge miss! Linens can completely change the feel of your bedroom, and check out some of my picks and finds below.
Also don’t assume you need fancy nightstands for a nice bedroom. I got ours from Amazon and changed the hardware. If you don’t need a drawer or want a minimal look? Consider an open side table or floating shelf! That’s a great way to add some style to your room.
I’m also super excited about our entryway. I really like how you can turn a small and otherwise empty space into a totally functional and stylish corner. Entryways are actually the best area to do just that! You can get creative not only with the artwork and maybe wallpaper, etc. but with hooks and shelves too! We have a rather large entryway for an apartment so we’re lucky enough to have the space for some items, but it’s key not to overdo it. Sometimes doing too much with a space just because you have the room for it can undo any aesthetic goals you have.
The office plans are super bare bones and to be honest because that space is going to be so multi-functional I think that the majority of the pieces of that room are going to be small organizational tools to keep that small space feeling uncluttered. I’ll share more on Instagram as it comes to life!
I keep changing my mind like crazy on the kitchen table!! At first we were thinking that we would forego a kitchen table, but other than the living room and office it would be the only other place to sit! So since we are spending 99.999999% of our time at home these days, we figured we could use the extra functional design. All I know is that I really want an industrial looking table, round, and comfy and casual/farmhouse slip covered dining chairs. These are the top three variations I have right now, but check out the links to some of the items below too!
I’ve been in major DIY mode! I’m sure it has something about being stuck at home all the time and wanting to redecorate, constantly. But I started scouring Instagram a few weeks ago with easy and small DIY projects that would be a fun way to decorate the house here and there.
If you haven’t been following Bre Bertolini on Instagram, then you’ve been missing out! You’ll probably immediately recognize her mudroom because it has been circulating social media for years! And she has some great DIY projects that anyone can do, like these planters. She actually used this method for a lamp base, but I thought this would be a cool look for some small vases for herbs in the kitchen. I loved the shape of these terra cotta vases that I got from a greenhouse in town here in Minneapolis, but the color was a little off from the rest of the room, so I followed her tutorial step by step, except I did actually do a light coat of clear topcoat spray paint just to give it a little protection. The dried mud doesn’t smell at all, but obviously if you touch it or if it gets wet, that can be tricky and will mess up the “stone” vibe that the mudding gave it.
I might try and find a more permanent way to get this effect that doesn’t include getting mud all over the patio :-/ But these were fun and easy!
or you can check these out too!
A Minneapolis photographer that I follow posted her friend doing these and ohhhh my gosh I knew right away I needed to try it out!! I am obsessed with dark and moody colors for this fall, so this was the perfect way to get some decor pieces for fall and not spend a bajillion $$’s on a ton of new vases. I went to TJ Maxx and Home Goods and found a few great vases whose shape would compliment each other, then got the following colors from Sherwin Williams. I followed the tutorial here which is really quite simple: mix two parts paint and 1 part baking soda, adding more baking soda if you want it to be a thicker “paste”, then paint away!
or you can check these out too!
I combined the methods from the mud planter and textured vases to make this lamp! It had tons of grooves so I filled it in with plaster and finished it with a grey paint + baking soda mixture and got a stone-textured lamp!!
CANE DRESSER + CABINETS
So I was first inspired by @brepurposed and her IKEA desk hack, but to be honest the more that I thought about it and the more that I looked into her tutorial, it felt a little involved for me. I am lucky enough to have a mom and some friends that have wood cutting equipment, so I enlisted their help to cut the drawers and cabinet doors of these pieces below to get the effects that I wanted. By getting unfinished wood you are able to paint/stain however you want to, which is much easier than finding/cutting/affixing plywood like Bre’s IKEA hack. Her desk looks AMAZING! I just know that’s way out of my capabilities right now.
I got this dresser from IKEA which is only $40 and this cabinet is $70. The cabinet is actually a part of a shelf unit that you can put together, but I decided to buy some legs and make it a stand-alone.
I measured and marked the drawers/doors so that the wood would create a frame for the cane. After the wood is cut, you can stain all of the pieces the way that you want. I chose black because I love the contrast, but I also love the look of a natural stain too, more of a neutral vibe. You could also stain the cane if you wanted a more cohesive look and less contrasting colors.
Picking the hardware is really fun too! I love pretty much anything that is antiqued brass, and Home Depot has some great options, even Anthropologie has some cool finds too if you’re cool with spending a few more dollars.
or you can check these out too!
CANE + SHERPA OTTOMANS
These almost deserve a post for themselves! And they were much more involved since I built the structure and everything from scratch! Below I included a picture from my stories that broke down how I built the structure and what dimensions I used. I kinda worked with what I had, getting the wood from my mom’s stash. But the really tricky part was when I cut the frame. This was put over the stapled cane for a super clean look, and of course it took me a while to find enough of the 1/4” poplar boards to cover both ottomans, and took even longer to cut them all down!
*what I learned: poplar is not the best for staining. The colors are so different with the boards and tend to blotch, so if you use poplar I would only use it when it’s being painted.
I followed Ria’s tutorial in her stories practically exactly when it came to making the cushions as well! The sherpa was on sale and I have to say it is ssoooo soft! I loved this pick! I layered batting underneath the sherpa to give it more cushioning and volume. I used scotch spray and it worked really well! Just be careful because it will get your work surface (and hands) sticky. For more info check out my DIY stories!
I cannot wait to do these frames for our apartment in Nashville!! There is an antique store down the street from us here in Minneapolis that always has great vintage prints that would be perfect for this! Not to mention there is cane in a few of the pieces of furniture that we have in there so it will be great to tie it all together. Check out Cynthia Harper’s Instagram too, she is where I got this idea and has some amazing other DIY ideas and overall amazing style.
I also have enough Cane left over to make a few of these trays! And these are gonna be so fun because I can play around with the hardware. Right now I’m going with these because they’re so fun, but simple brass handles could be great too.
I don’t think that I knew how much rug layering was going on in my house until recently. To be honest it just seems normal to me now, but I realized that for a lot of people, layering rugs can be daunting. And I have proof of that by seeing some of the layering that’s going on that, well, just doesn’t work. So I’ve done some research and put together some graphics to help you out, that way if you have layers in your house you can double check and make sure they’re all good, or fix them :-/
I think the biggest upside to layering rugs is the texture, color, and a element of surprise to your room! For instance say you’re wanting a little color but the idea of an 8×11 colorful rug is super daunting, this way you can still accomplish that. By having a neutral base (the larger rug underneath) you can then have a smaller, more colorful rug on top to fulfill that color that you’ve been looking for!
I also find picking the size rug for your space can be difficult at times too! So there is a huge section dedicated just to the right size and furniture orientation for reach room for your rugs.
you have to decide if the room of choice can even accommodate layering. Meaning, is it large enough to have two different rugs, patterns, and textures? Or will it completely overwhelm the space? Living rooms, bedrooms, large offices and front doors are great spaces for layering. We have our living room and front door layered up! But let’s say your living room is rather small, and you have large and dark furniture? If you are dead set on layering your rugs in this case, then I would recommend lighter colors and minimal (if any) patterns. But my personal preference and style would say “no”, but of course everyone’s style is different.
Let’s say you have a carpeted area? Me? I hate carpet. Hate it hate it. Our entire second floor is carpeted and if we were going to be here longer I would put hardwood floors down. So if you have a carpeted floor but want a rug, there are a few questions to answer. 1. Is the carpet a texture that would accommodate? Meaning, if it’s a long pile then the rugs would move around, fall into the carpet and just not work. But shorter and firmer carpets might. 2. How large is your carpeted space? A hallway runner? Great! A large rather open/empty room? I’m gonna say you should rethink it. If your room is medium-sized, has a good amount of furniture and the rug either covers most of it or compliments the furniture in there (specially), then sure! But throwing a small rug in the middle of a larger/open carpeted space? Just random and not a good idea. Bedrooms with carpet would work great as long as you get a rug big enough (see graph below) which is an important thing to keep in mind anyway.
size does matter. Hahaha sorry. But it’s incredibly true when it comes to your rugs! I eluded to it a bit above when talking about a small rug in a large carpeted area, but even when there isn’t carpet you still have to be very careful as to how large/small your rug is. There is actually a home/decor blogger/influencer that I follow and absolutely LOVE. I adore her style, however I even noticed her dining room table rug is a no-go. Most of the time when picking your rug you think about how it is going to fit under the furniture in the room. Let’s break it down:
You can either have part of the living room furniture on the rug, meaning front half or 6 inches of the couch, front legs of the chairs, etc. or you can have the entire piece of furniture fit on the rug with a little extra behind it. But make sure all the furniture can apply to this rule.
This one is a tricky one and tends to intimidate people when you add the element of fallen food. However it is becoming more common and softens a space making it easier for you to have a wood table on hardwood floors. However the ratio is crucial. All the chairs need to be able to be on the carpet when they are pulled out. So if the legs of the chairs fit on the rug when they are placed neatly under the table, but come off the rug the second you pull it out to sit down, no dice.
Also a tricky space because a lot of homes tend to have carpeted bedrooms. So take note of the convo above about the texture of your carpet and size of your space, but if all of those boxes are checked, find a rug that fits almost completely under the bed leaving a bit of space in front of your nightstand and a significant distance past the foot of the bed. Putting a rug in the middle of the floor between the foot of the bed and furniture or a wall is just plain weird. You can add coziness another way than a rug island in your bedroom. You could also add runners on either side of the bed too!
When picking the sizes of rugs to layer, area rugs are the best way to go. Let’s talk living rooms for a second. You could do an 8×11 rug or 9×12 (depending on the size of your room) with part of your furniture sitting on it, maybe the front half or so with a smaller more decorative rug on top framing the inside of where your furniture lies. Meaning none of your furniture (except for the coffee table) touches the top rug. This is the cleanest way to do it in my opinion. But playing with the space of the top rug that is under the furniture isn’t the worst thing in the world, it will just make it look a little tighter, and busier. And you’ll lose visibility of a lot of the bottom rug. Hides are also amazing to use as a top layer on a natural rug for decoration and texture. Because hides are usually smaller they work great on larger area rugs. Much better in my opinion than having it lay alone in a larger space.
You can also angle the hide rug if you like that better. Just make sure that when you do you can move it a bit so one corner of the bottom rug isn’t more exposed than the other. might make the room feel uneven.
Doormats are the most common rugs I see layered these days, which makes sense! They are smaller, more affordable and easier in regards to the dimensions. Just find an indoor/outdoor rug, generally the 3’x5’ sizes work best and layer it under your doormat! I LOVE this because you can easily change the layers and the look for every season if you wanted to. Maybe a darker buffalo checked pattern for fall? And then a lighter striped pattern for Spring/Summer? Great options! But one thing to make sure of is that your doormat fits completely INSIDE your outdoor rug. Meaning you can see the outdoor rug (bottom layer) on all four sides of the doormat, like the graphic below. Also make sure that your doormat isn’t insanely small. Mine is from Studio McGee and 2’x3’, but I know a lot of the ones you find on Amazon are smaller. And yes, mind is on the more expensive side, but it has sat outside on our front porch for almost three years through every single bit of weather and season and still looks amazing! I’ve gotten the cheaper ones, and they fade within months. So maybe consider it an investment over time so you won’t have to replace it later.
What NOT to do…
Time to pick your colors and designs. My go-to is a neutral and natural base, usually a jute weave layered with a colorful vintage design. This is where you can get that pop of color in your room without overwhelming the room. Below are some great options, but start with figuring out the colors in your room! Maybe you want a hint of blue, or just accentuate the neutrals? Pick those colors and start from there!
This is also where you might decide whether or not the room can accommodate it design-wise. Sure you might be able to fit a rug in your room spatially, but would two layered rugs be too busy? Or is the room not necessarily a “cozy” one that you need to layer? I think layering rugs adds a cozy factor because of the additional material, so if your room is on the formal side I would say either just go with one rug or find the most minimal layers possible. Otherwise the designs and feels of the room might conflict with each other.
Take a look at some of the finds below that I think would go great to layer together!
I’ve noticed that this year I have found a few things that I will 100% vouch for, whether that be skincare that I freaking love, or a cookbook that has been a huge hit, or a piece of our home gym that is used over and over! I thought I would share these things with you all in hopes that you love them as much as I do!
One Love Beauty Products – you guys I cannot tell you how much I freaking LOVE this combination! It is legit one of the best parts of my day, and gets makeup off better than ever! I always use the cleansing solid, followed by #5 (face halo’s), cleanse my face then finish with the serum. Best yet? 70% of the cleanser and 93% of the serum is from organic farming!!
Not only is this water bottle adorable? But it is a great size to reuse over and over again without having to refill every five minutes 😀
These dumbbells are the best for home gyms because in just two square feet you’ve got 10 – 55 pounds of dumbbells! They are super durable and really easy to change, plus they have a 2.5 – 5 lb add-on too!! They have been great in our home gym.
This dryer brush has actually made me love drying my hair! Seriously that used to be the worst part of styling my hair and now I freaking love it! I actually wore my hair down/straight the other day, WHICH I never do! Combine it with the Southern Bell volumizing mousse? MAN! I can literally see the difference between days that I do and days that I don’t use the mousse. Adds just enough lift to give my hair a nice boost.
These need no introduction, because… well, I’ve already talked about them. Let’s just do the math here, okay? You could spend $22 on 114 ct. Neutrogena Makeup Removing Towelettes, OR you could spend $22 on 3 Face Halo’s that give you around 3,000 washes!! Now, THAT is math I can do! Each Face Halo you can wash 200 times, but you can get about 4-5 uses in between each wash. And these get off more makeup than any other product I have ever used! Don’t even get me started about how bad they are for the environment: made of non-biodegradable plastic fibers, massive sewage backups, and they can end up in our oceans and choking/killing wildlife. Need I say more?
I used this cookbook almost solely for Christmas this year! Every single thing that I have made has been so dang delicious and a huge hit with anyone that I make it for. I highly suggest it.
When you taste the coffee made by the pour-over method instead of your Keurig, you will never want to go back. Now, I still use my Keurig a ton because of how quick and easy it is, but when I want a really good cup of coffee, I use this bad boy!
I resisted on the Air Pods for a while, I always used those bluetooth headphones that wrapped around the back of your head when I worked out. I never anticipated Apple making a set of headphones that you could work out in because their old ones, well, sucked! But I run in these and do HIIT workouts and they are amazing! Even when I want to do yard work and listen to my podcasts!
I post about these bangles in my stories all the time because I use them several times a week during core workouts. Even when I want a little extra to my leg work when I’m doing bodyweight tabata work, these bad boys are probably wrapped around my ankles/wrists at some point!
I have five of these candles currently in my house, two in storage, one currently burning, and two already burned through. This is THE scent of our home for this time of year. And of course it’s by Magnolia… duh!!
Although I have about a bajillion sweaters, I always wear the same few in rotation. Which begs the question why I keep buying more sweaters?? It may be best if we don’t pull on that thread :-/
If you are unlike me and, in fact, do need some more sweaters, here are my favorites that, yes, I do wear on rotation. Whether it’s because they are oversized, soft, or stylish, they’ve all got a special place in my heart <3 and closet!
Here are some other sweaters that I’ve been loving lately!
I fully believe that if I had the merchandise in my closet, I could go a whole month wearing a sweater dress and not wear the same outfit or look once. These pieces are ones that you need to have in closet! And they are such versatile pieces that if you want to get one that’s a little more expensive, it would be well worth the investment.
I live in cold-weather places. Like… frigid-weather places, at times. So sometimes comes the struggle of looking cute or fashionable, and not freezing your tootsies off. I mean, I love to bundle up but sometimes a parka and ear muffs don’t scream ‘style’.
I bought a few sweater dresses from H&M last year which began my interest. Then one day I wore a grey turtleneck sweater with black tall booties… and the obsession grows. So this season I decided to try some new ones.
*want an insider’s secret? If you look for things like this around the mid-summer months, odds are they will either be on sale, or you will be able to find some really cute styles for not-so-terrible prices. Now, you won’t have the most recent styles of this piece, but you’d be able to adjust how you wear them easily enough that you won’t have any regrets.
Sweatshirts and sneakers? Ummm, yes please! I love these looks for the weekend. Whether it is for brunch, you want to look cute while running errands, or visiting friends, this is the beyond perfect look! And you can change it up! Same dress, different style! Who doesn’t love versatility?
I really think I use that word too much :-/
I know I have a ton more of these pieces in my closet, so I am positive that you will see more of these styles on the blog soon! Whether they are colorful, neutral, simple, styled, turtleneck, or hoody, you’ll be able to see them all here! And I cannot wait to share them with you.