Photos: Wendy Swanson Photography
What’s the 411:
I’m a Midwestern gal, wife to my one and only, and mama to my two little loves. I’m an avid DIYer who’s really into interior design and blogging. I was a model, world traveler, graduate scholar and teacher in my past lives.
A Space For Wellness
For me, home and work are one and the same and I’m so thankful for that. I love that I’m able to stay home with my little ones, blogging and doing influencer marketing from the little office I’ve created for myself in our living room. Or even from the couch, for that matter! I believe in only filling the space in your home, head and heart with the things, people and ideas that you really love. So, especially since having my kiddos, that’s something I’ve really tried to focus on.
The Amazing Fixer Upper
Our house was a foreclosure and had been severely neglected before we came along. It was built in 1962 and we were told that the former owner had always done the bare minimum to it. Apparently, it had also been empty for about five years prior to when we bought it. It needed so much work! We replaced literally everything, both inside and out, all the way down to the toilets. We also removed the non-load-bearing walls in the main living space to make it one large room as opposed to four tiny rooms.
Design Ideas I Love
I’m really into the abstract art, mixed metals, wall molding, jewel tones and velvet I’ve been seeing recently. It’s a refreshing change from what’s been popular in recent years.
Tips for a Quick Refresh
One of the best ways to refresh your space is to “shop” your home. Just moving items you already own from one room to another can really make a difference and help a space to feel fresh. Another great way to change up a space quickly and easily is with paint! The transformative power of paint is truly amazing!
My Favorite Room
I think I like spending time in my dining room more than any other room in the house because the walls are blush pink, the chairs are covered in velvet, and the chandelier is remarkably dreamy. Oh, and there’s also a swing!
Proudest DIY Moment
My proudest DIY moment was probably finishing my first One Room Challenge. Sure, I’ve helped my husband remodel our whole entire home one room at a time over the past four years, but I was really proud to have completed my ORC master bathroom project all by myself! I would say my biggest DIY tip is something my dad always says that’s so true: “If you start wrong, you end wrong.”
I’m not sure this is necessarily a secret, but one of the best tricks to avoid impulse buying is to fill your online cart with anything and everything you have your eye on and then just let it sit for a day or two. It’s kind of like faux online shopping and it somewhat satiates the need to accumulate stuff. Then if there’s something you can’t get out of your head during that time, you’ll know that’s what you should actually buy.
Hashtags for Design On Instagram
#doingneutralright is a hashtag I started almost a year ago that has become quite popular. It has almost 30,000 posts now! I’ve been doing a monthly feature from the feed with a few of my fellow interior designloving Instagram friends. Some other favorites are #vogueliving and #dspink.
Mood Boards and the Creative Process
I used to wing it when I designed a space, but recently I’ve discovered the beauty of mood boards. I’m hooked. Making a mood board really helps to ensure that what you’re envisioning actually jibes. I always thought that you had to be incredibly computer savvy to create a mood board. Then I learned from a friend on Instagram that she makes her mood boards using Pages on her Mac and a website called Clipping Magic that easily removes the backgrounds from images for you. There’s a small monthly fee, but it’s worth it!
Tips for Staying Organized
My tip for staying organized is to put things away as you use them throughout the day. However, it actually sounds easier than it is in practice. It’s something I used to do regularly that I still attempt now that I have kids, but it doesn’t always work out the way I’d like it to! Another tip is to tackle a room at a time, sort like items and get rid of extras. Then you’ll have less stuff to keep track of and put away daily.
Travel Discovery: Athens, Greece
I traveled quite a bit in my twenties, and one of my favorite places I visited was Athens, Greece. I studied ancient Greek history there while I was working on my undergraduate degree, but I also returned several times. It’s so rich in history and culture, the food is amazing, and the place is just so full of life. On top of that, the islands are a quick boat ride away and they’re so peaceful and beautiful.