Remember how I’m redoing my bedroom? My theme?
I know, not for everyone. But it’s coming together. Here’s how it looked before:
It was never really ugly. Just kind of basic. As I said when I started this process: it was the leftovers. Whatever I didn’t use in the rest of the house or whatever I had to spare.
Teej and I put in some long, hard hours…
Kind of… I mean, as hard as moving things around can be… and now the after:
We’re still working on a rather big wall project and the lamp I ordered is backstocked. I’m still going back and forth on the fox pillow. We want to hang a rather large piece of art on the wall to the right of the arrow, but once that is done… I’ll be pretty close to my vision.
The lamp, you may remember, is a bit of a DIY. We bought the bronze bottom from Target and I got the birdcage thing from a yard sale. I thought it might look kind of cool to try and make an open lamp shade from it. It was way easier than I thought. Here’s how we did it:
Teej took an old tapered lampshade and cut off the shade part, leaving us with just the wire structure that sits on top of the lamp base. Then, we simply superglued the circular top to the inside of the metal. Add a pretty edison bulb and woweee. It creates the prettiest reflection of light on our bronze-y walls.
You know what made the biggest difference of all? Cleaning the damn room.
It’s officially fall in Minnesota. It’s truly one of my favorite reasons for living here. The fall colors are always outstanding, the air has this wonderful crispness to it and I can finally open the windows without roasting.
Of course, seasonal changes mean I start craving cinnamon and dream of warm sweaters. With my taste buds calling for new flavors and the cooler temps taking hold - there are a couple key changes I make at home just for fall.
Here’s my 3 must haves for autumnal happiness at home:
1. Apples: Minnesota is also home to some incredible apples in the fall. In fact, my alma mater is responsible for inventing a whole bunch of delightful varieties. The Honeycrisp and SweeTango are two personal favorite. With peanut butter, in pie or just for an afternoon snack - these apples are only available this time of year. And truly, they kick other apples out of the water. Jana Gold? UGH. Nasty.
2. Soft, warm blanket: I tend to hunker down and read a ton and catch up on unseen TV during the fall and winter months. As a result, the warmest blankets come out of storage. Every great couch needs an equally great blanket.
3. Frittata recipes: For whatever reason my tummy craves delightful egg dishes in the fall. And Frittata goes right to the top of the list. They are great for breakfast or dinner. And they are one of the few egg dishes that I love left over. Here’s how I make mine:
12 thin slices of prosciutto
1 cup milk
Shaved or shredded Parmesan
1 small sweet onion
2 cups spinach
1 clove garlic
Salt and pepper
Mix your eggs, milk, Parmesan, chopped onion, chopped garlic, spinach and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Whisk well.
Take out a muffin tin and place a slice of prosciutto inside each muffin hole. The prosciutto is going to bake into a little cup, so make sure it is wrapping the tin. Pour in your egg mixture.
Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees.
What makes you happy in the fall? Is there a recipe you have to make? Or an item you just need out at home?
Phan is the designer of “modern, eco-friendly terrariums, Zen gardens, and marimo pet aquariums.” I’m sorry, what aquariums? (My first thought.) Basically, a marimo pet aquarium is a fuzzy green algae ball that you keep in a glass of water at your office to foster joy and peacefulness. Scientists refer to them as Cladophora Aegagropila, fyi. As you poke and prod them around 2:35pm, feel the stresses and slight boredom of your day melt away.
When Phan was young, she and her family immigrated to the US from Vietnam. She graduated with a graphic design degree from California State University of Long Beach and began freelancing. Soon after, Wendiland was born.
Here’s a bit more from Phan:
Q: What inspires you in the world?
A: Nature, my love for gardening, architecture, modern interior design in homes, and lying next to Lotus Phantastic (Phan’s dog), listening to her snoring.
I view the world as one big studio that cannot be confined to a specific time or place. There are so many inspirations for me — traveling through buildings, the mountains that surround me, or simply jumping into the ocean. Colors, movements, and sounds can inspire all of us.
I scour the world for objects of interest, gather funny little plants and dig into some dirt!
Q: What has led you to your passion?
A: My aunt shared her collection of Japanese bubble gum wrappers when I was about 5 or 6. Each wrapper had illustrations of girls in different customs. After I saw them I picked up a pencil and began designing dresses and evening gowns. Since then my creativity has bloomed and flourished.
Q: Where would you like to be in ten years?
A: I would love to have a boutique that offers design services for special events, provide yoga classes, and sell my terrariums and special desserts.
Post by Emma Bauer, who works as BGC’s official intern. Clearly, she’s got great taste. She is a PR enthusiast, history scholar, tea drinker, fashion devotee, and of course, aspires to Be Geek Chic. On twitter: @emmalynnbauer
I love fall. And indeed, the air smells of autumn in Minneapolis. As a result, this evolution of my sleep zone is even more perfect. Why? Because in my weird head, I came up with a kind of fictional tale of how this bedroom came to be. I mean, we all know that I went shopping and researched products and sewed and painted - but that’s boring. Instead, fall is when things change. People come anew. And I’ve always moved apartments and residences in the fall - so it’s only natural I would think of new things this time of year.
In my head, this is the bedroom of a Parisian woman who moved to Ely, Minnesota many autumns ago and opened a bed and breakfast.
Then somehow, it was transported to my townhouse. Details, details.
Why Ely? It’s beautiful. Like brain numbingly beautiful. All you can do when you are in the Boundary Waters in Ely is sit in your canoe and zen the hell out. It’s not possible to engage your brain in stressful thought while there. Plus, Parisian women are just damn chic. So if this chic person was just living in a zen-like, naturalistic state - well, to me, this is what she might like to have around.
So what is here?
1. Pillow, Feather tchochtke and Bronze Lamp from Target
2. New polka dot sheets and giant geode from Home Goods
3. Feather print from RiverLuna
4. Travel print from Being Geek Chic’s Society 6 Store (P.S. You can totally buy it!!!)
5. Frames from IKEA
6. Coral on glass block is a gift
7. Glass test tubular statuette from Anthropologie
8. Wire shade thing from random garage sale
Here’s some of the other products that I hoped to acquire, as a reminder. The arrow has been ordered and I’m SO excited. After seeing the tripod lamp - it bored me. So, I’m rethinking that. I’m clearly short on animal crap - so I’ll have to repair that ASAP.
The bedroom redo is far from being done, but I’m feeling good about it. I’d like to get some more specific nerdiness in there somehow. I had visions of a Sherlock Holmes cameo pillow, but I think my boyfriend would probably veto another man in the bed.
No, it’s not your bed. It’s not your desk. It’s not your office chair.
It’s where I write when I can’t stand sitting at the desk anymore.
It’s where I cuddle up and read.
It’s where I watch new movies and old movies.
It’s where I play video games with my brother.
It’s where I eat when I’ve filled my dinner table with too many crafts.
It’s where I call my mom and gram-mama to chat for hours and hours about life.
It’s where I sit with my girlfriends to discuss boys and have a drink.
It’s where I page through old photos.
It’s where I fall asleep watching crappy TV virtually every Friday night.
Yeah, you probably didn’t think about it, but the couch is freaking important. If you’re a Big Bang Theory fan, you know Sheldon is totally on my side with this one.
So what the hell is the point of all this? In part, I just want to share my strong feelings for my couch. I love that couch. I bought it in 2007 when I got my first bonus ever and it’s been the best $1800 I’ve ever spent.
The other major reason I want to share this is because I feel like when I was in my early 20s, no one ever gave me advice about where to spend my money when I was setting up a nest. Here’s my new theory: invest in pieces that you will use everyday. Skimp on the items that are decorative or short-term. For example: bedside tables and coffee tables. Later in life, you’ll buy art or invest in a nice china cabinet - but in your 20s, it’s all about the couch.
And when I think about all the things my couch and I have done together - I get sentimental! All the books I’ve read on it. All the movies I’ve seen. It’s stupid, but it’s true.
How to pick the couch of your dreams? It should be:
1. Comfortable, but not too cushion-y. You should have a fair amount of back support.
2. Versatile. Stay away from trendy couches. Go for neutrals.
3. Easy to clean. Certain fabrics just hold up better than others.
4. Long enough to lie down if you ever want to nap.
5. Large enough for multiple sitters. Go with a friend to ensure that multiple people to can sit comfortably without the couch losing shape.
6. Smell it. Seriously. Many cheap couches are made from materials that keep the cushions firm, but certain foams are just stink-hell. And how do you air out a couch?
Do you agree? What’s the most important piece of furniture in your home?
(Photo above is not my couch, but it’s remarkably similar. This is Room and Board’s Holden Sofa with Chaise.)
Maybe it’s because I’m just returning from the woods. Or maybe it’s because I’ve been doing the wedding registry gift buying routine. Or maybe because I’m seeking simplicity in everything in my life. Either way, I think this is a topic we must discuss.
You totally don’t need that quesadilla maker.
Or that waffle iron.
Or that specialty donut hole cooker.
Seriously, I mean it. You don’t have the space. You won’t use it. If you don’t think at least once a week, “shoot, I really wish I had X,” then you probably don’t need it.
Repeat after me: I will not buy specialized home items that are/were created for one highly specific food-related task which could otherwise be replicated by the normal kitchen tools that society has already deemed totally workable and usable for multiple food cooking and prepping activities.
This became a weird - pseudo public service announcement. For that, I apologize. However, now that I’ve saved you approximately $80 in unnecessary kitchen appliances, let’s talk about what you could buy instead.
Star Trek Sporks. Really, sporks. I know you miss these delightful products of your bygone cafeteria going days. It’s a SPOON AND A FORK FOR GOD’S SAKE. MULTI-TASKING UTILITARIANISM.
This Benedict Cumberbatch art print. Oh the joy this fills me with. Yes, the non-caloric joy of this poster is more beneficial to your health than a donut cooker.
A LEGO Lord of the Rings set. I mean, does this require argument. Look at those cute little mini hobbit legs?!
Ray-Ban Sunglasses. Because every girl should have a pair. Your eyes deserve it.
Essie Nail Polish. I say screw cooking. Get a manicure instead.