Apartment Refresh

This edition of Apartment Refresh contains one pretty big update that I can’t wait to show all of you. It’s one of those changes that you can’t believe you never made earlier—keep reading to find out what it is!

Ahh, I can’t get enough of our new straw pendant! It was on my wish list for as long as I can remember and I finally made this one mine a couple months ago. I love how it brightens up our dining room, even when the light is turned off. All that’s left now is to install a dimmer.

Also in the dining room, we removed the photograph we had behind our table to make the space feel even airier and lighter. While it seemed empty for the first few days, we’ve since come around to the negative space and actually like it much better this way.

I’m a huge Gray Malin fan, and am now the proud owner of his coffee table book, Beaches—just in time for summer.

I wrote about this bohemian addition in my last post, but am including it here as well because we’ve found a new home for it between the chairs in our living room. Since it holds two blankets, it’s super practical to keep it here for those chillier nights.

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts about these updates in the comments!

Toiletry Talk

Let’s talk toiletries, shall we? Since I love beauty and skincare and pretty much always think that I am sick, I have quite the collection of toiletries. Though as I’m sure you know by now, my bathroom is teeny tiny. As such, I have to be incredibly diligent about going through my toiletries just and clean out the old in order to bring in the new.

Even if you have all the space in the world however, I’d still recommend making it a point to review your toiletries every couple of months. You’d be surprised what can pile up in the back of the cabinet when you’re not looking! Here’s how I tend to my toiletries:

Check Dates: Because we often forget when we bought that bottle of Advil, it’s always a good idea to check the dates to see what is past its prime.

Check Quality: Even if something passes the above test and has not yet reached its expiration date, I still like to do a quality test. By this, I mean that I will inspect the item to make sure it still feels and looks as good as the day I bought it. If my nail polish color is hardening and drying out, for instance, I’ll go ahead and toss it. Combine Bottles: Maybe it’s just me, but I always seem to find duplicates in my toiletry collection. When possible, I like to combine these duplicates together to make for more space.

Throw Away Excess: When cleaning out my medicine cabinet, I’m also searching for items that I simply haven’t touched in many months. If I haven’t reached for a moisturizer in a while and didn’t like the way it made my skin feel, for example, then I’ll get rid of it.Are you ready to give your own toiletries an inspection? I hope so!

A Guide to Entertaining

I’ve always loved entertaining, but haven’t always found it easy. In the beginning, I used to panic and stress over every little detail and inevitably went overboard in all of my planning. Over the years though, I’ve learned that entertaining is in fact the perfect blend of art and science and now approach it much more casually.No matter what type of event I’m hosting, this is generally the schedule that I follow:

1 day before: The day before my bash, I head to the grocery store to pick up the essentials. Doing this one day in advance means that I have more time on the actual day to prepare, while still knowing that the food is fresh.

4 hours before: On the actual day of the party, I start my routine by cleaning up my apartment. From vacuuming and dusting to ensuring there’s a full roll of toilet paper in the bathroom, I cover all of the basics during this time.

2 hours before: About a couple hours before party time is when I start preparing the food. Of course, there are items that you don’t want to do until immediately before guests arrive (such as setting out a cheese plate), but do anything that you’re able to during this window. Also, don’t forget to refrigerate white wine and champagne!

1 hour before: Just about one hour before showtime is when I do the bulk of the work. I’ll light a candle in each room, put on some tunes, and finish prepping all of the food. As a finishing touch that helps with those casual vibes I was talking about at the start, I’ll mess up the throw pillows on my couch a bit to make sure people feel comfortable when they arrive.

15 minutes before: Ahh, we’re so close! At this time, I set out all the food (for this soirée, I opted for a casual cheese plate in the living room). Then I sit back, relax, and wait for my friends to arrive!

For more of my entertaining tips, head over to this post.

National Clean Up Your Room Day

 Happy National Clean Up Your Room Day! Despite what you might be thinking, I did not make up this holiday—and if you don’t believe me, just go check Twitter.

To be sure we’re all celebrating this day in all of its glory, I made a list of everything I’ll be doing to tidy up my bedroom today. Hope you’ll celebrate in style with me, too!

Make the Bed: I’m a huge advocate for making your bed every single day, but if there were ever a day to really make it a priority, that day is today. Click here for all of my bed making tips.

Refresh Nightstands:  I love to play around with the decor on my nightstands, and you better believe I’ll be doing just that today. Whether it’s placing a new book to read on them or buying a candle you’ve been wanting, there’s so much you can do to freshen up your nightstands.

Dust and Wipe: A big part of the cleaning up is the actual cleaning itself, so don’t forget to dedicate some time to that!

Clean Curtains: Oh and while you’re at it, bust out the vacuum cleaner to get the dust that collects atop the curtains. I hardly ever remember to do this, but it makes such a difference.

Spray a Nice Scent: As a finishing touch, give the room a sweet smell by spritzing some room spray.

Travel Treasures

As I’m sure you’re well aware by now, travel and interior design are two of my biggest passions—well, those and organizing, of course! Every year, my boyfriend and I aim to visit brand new places, and to buy trinkets from each place to forever remember them by.

Through all of our travels, I’ve collected quite a few treasures. From pottery and art to clothing and jewelry, so many pieces in my home were purchased while traveling. And while I love just about all of them, the below pieces are the ones that I know I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.

How stunning is this blanket from Oaxaca, Mexico? As soon as we saw this blanket in Onora Casa in Mexico City, I knew it had to come home with us. The soft color palette and intricate woven design caught my eye and I love thinking about where it could end up in our future home. From being folded along the edge of the bed to be draped over a sofa, this blanket will look perfect anywhere it’s placed.Also in Mexico City, we found this gorgeous hand-painted vase in El Mercado de la Ciudadela. Because I want this vase on display at all times and not just when it’s filled with flowers, I’ve found the perfect home for it atop cookbooks in our kitchen.Who could possibly say no to another stunning vase? That’s what I thought when I saw this gem in Koh Lanta, Thailand. We’ve been collecting blue and white sponge-wear pottery for a few years now (as you can see on our bookshelf here), so when we saw those same colors in this piece of Thai pottery, we instantly fell in love. As if it weren’t perfect enough on its own, I cannot get over how amazing it looks sitting right on top of Rebecca Atwood’s book.  Last but certainly not least: the patterned pillow of my dreams, also from Thailand. Funnily enough, the fabric of this pillow was not complete when we bought it—the woman making it still needed to dye and color treat it. But we loved it just the way it was and decided to buy it right on the spot from her worktable. Even though we didn’t know exactly how we wanted to use the fabric (maybe a table runner or a wall textile), we knew we would find just the place as soon as we got home, and we were right.

P.S. Check out my blog posts on Mexico City and Thailand to find out even more about our trips.

Apartment Refresh

About to say something pretty shocking: It’s been almost 6 months since my last apartment refresh—can you even believe it? As soon as I realized that, I knew I needed to check in with you all on the latest additions to my apartment. Keep reading to see what I’ve changed!

While we used to have three succulents situated above the glass cabinet our dining room, they were not getting the best light and I was having to replace them quite frequently. Finally, I decided to move them and replace them with cookbooks and my favorite wine.

One of the plants has now made its way to a sunny corner of our kitchen.

Couldn’t help but brag about just how big my Vogue magazine stack is getting!

Current nightstand essentials: A delicious candle from Candlefish in Charleston and my Beatles book.

These colder nights call for an extra quilt on the bed.

I’ve had my eye on this straw basket for quite some time and I’m so happy it has found a home in our living room.

1 Chair, 3 Ways

I have been loving challenging my inner designer with this series, plus reading your comments both here and on Instagram make me so so happy. I’ve been scoping out all the furniture in my apartment and decided to try out styling my living room chair for this edition of 1 piece, 3 ways. Keep reading to see how I did it, and don’t forget to share a comment with your favorite!

Chair 1: Seeing as I can never get enough shibori, I decided to layer the two pieces that I have. The end result is a very boho, relaxed vibe that I’m sort of loving.

Chair 2: Talk about another piece I just can’t get enough of: the sheepskin throw from IKEA. I have 3 of these and I just love layering them all over the house—on the floor of my closet, over a comfy chair, over a dining table chair, you name it. So it should come as no surprise that I decided to try one over the chair in my living room for a comfy, cozy feel.

Chair 3: If you’ve followed the blog for a minute, then you know that this is usually how I have things set up. It just about sums about my favorite things: soft cashmere, Vogue magazine, and diptyque candles.

Can’t wait to hear which option you like best!