Entries Tagged as 'decorate'

workspace wednesday | makeshift photo studio.

Posted on: Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Creating a Makeshift Photo Studio | Ann-Marie Loves

Aside from the fact that I love clean-lined white furniture, a big part of the reason that I wanted this dresser for the office / nursery was because I knew it would make the perfect makeshift “photo studio.”

Creating a Makeshift Photo Studio | Ann-Marie Loves

Given the dresser’s close proximity to the window and the fact that it’s so easy for me to clear an open space by removing the changing pad, I’m positive that even after the baby arrives and starts napping in her crib, I’ll be able to quickly and easily utilize this space for all kinds of photography purposes. (P.S. How ridiculously cute are those hand-knitted teddy bears? $0.79 each at the thrift store…!)

Creating a Makeshift Photo Studio | Ann-Marie Loves

I’m a big believer in making use of what you have! There’s no need to invest in fancy studio equipment as long as you have access to a clean white surface and plentiful natural light. And even though I hate the look of those terrible vertical blinds that came with our apartment, I love that they allow me to control the amount of light entering the room so I can photograph at all different times of day. #silverlining

Creating a Makeshift Photo Studio | Ann-Marie Loves

Of course, my only problem right now is the giant bump that seems to photobomb all of my overhead shots – ha!

P.S. You can read so much more about my tips for creating eye-catching compositions and taking blog-worthy photographs in my e-course Styling | Shooting | Sharing!

that nesting instinct, though.

Posted on: Thursday, July 10, 2014

Nesting | Ann-Marie Loves

These last few weeks definitely feel like crunch time as I try to wrap up work projects, make sure we have everything for the baby’s arrival, and most excitingly, deep clean this whole house into oblivion. The nesting instinct is NO JOKE, you guys. I wish I could bottle it up and save it for a rainy day…it’s the stuff of dreams.

Yesterday I dedicated most of the day to reorganizing the linen closet (finally found a place to store extra diapers!), the bathroom cupboards, and a few drawers in the office. I like my days to feel busy and productive, because like I mentioned before, our bedroom gets insanely hot at night and when it’s insanely hot, I turn into a bit of an insomniac. Ay papi. But don’t worry…I’m really not working THAT hard. I stop every so often to chug a glass of water, rest my super-puffy feet, and revel in baby hiccups (because my goodness if that isn’t the cutest experience of my life).

As I check off more and more items from our giant to-do list each day, the realization that a tiny little gal will be coming to live with us in a matter of weeks is blowing my mind.

P.S. Tomorrow is the last day to take advantage of my 37% off sale on e-courses and printables using the discount code: THIRTYSEVEN :)

nursery progress.

Posted on: Thursday, June 26, 2014

My apologies for the radio silence yesterday. I had grand plans of photographing a few projects and drafting some blog posts on Tuesday, but all of that was derailed when I found out my dog needed to be put down. Needless to say, Tuesday was spent at home with my family, bawling my eyes out. I always try to keep this blog positive and upbeat, but man, this year has been TOUGH. We’ve had four deaths of loved ones (two humans, two animals) in just four short months and it’s hard to put a positive spin on any of those losses. I keep thinking of that quote by Zora Neale Hurston: “There are years that ask questions and years that answer” and I’m thinking 2014 just might be another year of questions. xo

Dresser in the Nursery | Ann-Marie Loves

As I’m quickly beginning to realize, this baby could come anytime. Like, ANYTIME. Ideally, I’d like her to stay put until 40 (or heck, even 41!) weeks, but should she have other plans, I want to 100% ready. Maybe not in the parenting sense, but definitely in the decorating sense ;)

Since her room is part nursery / part office, I wanted to make sure that the parts that belong to the baby really make a statement. The white dresser and shelves were purchased at IKEA and help act as a great minimalist canvas for the rest of the decor. I should also note that instead of a cloth changing pad, I decided to go with a foam version that will (hopefully!) lighten our laundry load the slightest bit.  Plus, it was half the price of the Giggle version that I originally had my eye on AND it came in my favorite color. Thumbs up.

Dresser in the Nursery | Ann-Marie Loves
Dresser in the Nursery | Ann-Marie Loves

The shelves are an ever-changing mix of books, photos, plants, and adorable baby sunglasses…!

Dresser in the Nursery | Ann-Marie Loves

I think it goes without saying that this kid would get a woven wall hanging in her room, right?

Dresser in the Nursery | Ann-Marie Loves

Some baby accessories are just too cute not to display. These teeny tiny gold sandals and heart hair clip make me smile every time I look at them!

Dresser in the Nursery | Ann-Marie Loves

There was some awkward open space between the shelves and the dresser, so I decided to loosely tape up a couple of my favorite wedding photos and my second baby shower invitation. I figure she will eventually be able to rip them off the wall, but in the meantime? They’re staying put.

Dresser in the Nursery | Ann-Marie Loves

I thrifted this basket a few months back thinking that it would be plenty big for all of the baby books I’ve collected / been gifted. Yeah, I was wrong. This baby has more books than I do. Now I’m on the hunt for a bigger basket…

Dresser in the Nursery | Ann-Marie Loves
Dresser in the Nursery | Ann-Marie Loves

One of my favorite baby shower gifts was the round brass wall hook from Anthro. I never would have thought to add it to my registry, but I think that’s part of the reason I love it so much! I decided to use it as a hook for hanging a simple yarn tassel mobile over the changing pad.

Dresser in the Nursery | Ann-Marie Loves

I had maternity photos taken in the nursery last Friday and have already changed up a few decor elements…I don’t see myself ever being finished with this space!

P.S. Don’t forget that tomorrow (June 27th) is the last day to stock up on rubber stamps before I retire them :)

three design tips + guest interview.

Posted on: Monday, June 9, 2014

Ann-Marie Loves

Happy Monday! Today I thought I would share three of my best tips for home design from my guest interview on the Pepper Design Blog:

1. Try thrifting. I realize that not everyone is keen on secondhand goods, but there are so many treasures to be had if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and dig in! I frequent my favorite local thrift stores a few times a week and sometimes I walk out empty-handed while other times I can barely fit all my finds through the door. I never know what to expect and that’s half of the fun! (P.S. more thrifting tips found here!)

2. Stay inspired. I think the key to producing good work and broadening your creative horizons is to know what inspires you and return to that source time and time again.

3. Don’t be afraid to experiment. With the exception of a few home design projects (major renovations, knocking down walls, etc), decorating should always be approached with a sense of experimentation and playfulness. Since our personal styles are constantly evolving with the changing seasons, why not let our homes be a reflection of that growth? If you find that a room or a design is no longer working for you, mix it up! A change of scenery can do WONDERS.

You can read the rest of the interview right here!

hanging wedding photos.

Posted on: Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Hanging Wedding Photos | Ann-Marie Loves

I’m so happy I got married when I did. Not just because John and I were both in a great place with our relationship and our professional lives, but because photography is JUST SO AWESOME these days.

I love that our amazing photographer, Katie Pritchard, was able to share a sneak peek with us the day after our wedding. I love that we had a full hashtag of Instagram photos that our guests contributed to during our celebration. I love that I have been able to easily blog and share different images that tell our story. I love that a simple picture conveyed a BIG message this past Christmas. And now, I love that I have finally printed out three of our favorite shots from the big day and hung them in our home.

Hanging Wedding Photos | Ann-Marie Loves

On Friday afternoon (at rush hour, of course), I got the urge to jump in the car and drive over to IKEA to buy a few things for the house. While I was there, I picked up three white frames and a handful of other super necessary (unnecessary) items. What is it about impromptu IKEA trips that fill my heart with my delight?

Hanging Wedding Photos | Ann-Marie Loves

When I got home, I sat down with John and we chose our three favorite photos from our wedding that we knew would look great grouped together as a series. Then, I resized them in Photoshop, printed them out on glossy photo paper using my plain old HP Photosmart printer, and popped them into the frames! I put John in charge of the hanging process, because eventually we would like to be able to move out of this place without having to pay for 4,000 holes in the wall ;)

Next step: design a wedding album!

nursery wall hanging.

Posted on: Friday, May 16, 2014

Nursery Wall Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

In my never-ending quest for nursery inspiration, I recently stumbled upon this impossibly cute room tour. The first thing that drew me in was the impeccable styling and color usage, but what ultimately stuck with me was the mom’s theory on decorating a room for little ones:

“I keep redecorating and changing their rooms. I see it as a never ending challenge and a good reason to keep on looking for new and fun things for the girls.”

Ahh, I love that. I’ve been putting an awful lot of pressure on myself to get this room “right” the first time. (Something about having a baby makes everything feel more “final.”) But the truth is, I’ll never stop decorating and redecorating, especially since we don’t plan on living in this apartment for more than another year or two. There will be plenty of opportunities for my style (and hers!) to grow and evolve over the coming years. Thinking of the nursery as an ongoing project vs. an item I have to cross off my to-do list, is so much more freeing and inspiring!

Nursery Wall Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

So in the spirit of decorating however I want to in this exact moment, I decided to make yet another yarn project and create a simple wall hanging above the glider. Much like the card I made last week, I used this awesome tutorial as my jumping off point to pair a stick and a skein of thrifted yarn together.

Nursery Wall Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

The whole process took a little over an hour and cost less than three dollars. Just how I like my DIY projects!

Nursery Wall Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

I’m still undecided as to whether I want to hang anything on the wall space directly over the crib. Since we live in earthquake territory, there’s no way I’m going to suspend something heavy or sharp over a sleeping baby (or sleeping adult, for that matter), but I have been contemplating a few paper projects that might look cool.

In the meantime, I’m going let my ideas percolate for a bit. There’s no rush, right? ;)

 

coveting for baby | nursery edition.

Posted on: Thursday, May 8, 2014

Coveting for Baby | Nursery Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

left to right, top to bottom:

Little Minty Plant // Pink Hippo // Embroidered Mini Banner // Moth Original Lampshade // Vintage Modern Bunting // Box Frame in Spring Tones // Gold Dots Pillow Cover // Handmade Shelf for Plants // Rabbit No. 0039

I’ve been perusing Etsy and other handmade sites quite a bit lately (as my PayPal account will attest), trolling for anything and everything baby-related. I’ve been stumbling upon so many gems, it’s only fair that I share these talented artists with you.

P.S. The first installment of my handmade baby finds!

nursery progress.

Posted on: Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Nursery Progress | Ann-Marie Loves

This past weekend included a Friday night run to IKEA, an all-day cleaning / organizing / furniture building / decorating session, and several cool down breaks to sit in front of the A/C and wonder whose idea it was to have a summer baby? ;) We made some serious progress on the office / nursery and IT FEELS AWESOME. Here’s how the nursery side of the room is shaping up:

Nursery Progress | Ann-Marie Loves

I picked up this Nate Berkus pillow at Target on a whim and I love how it sets a Southwestern vibe for the rest of the room. The crib (as I mentioned before) was the same one my brother and I slept in as babies. Keeping it in the family ;)

Nursery Progress | Ann-Marie Loves

I picked up this dog hook from Anthro back in November and now I am so excited to finally have found a home for it.

Nursery Progress | Ann-Marie Loves

My thrifted rocker! Maybe one of best finds to date. As for what the animal is, well…that’s a bit of a mystery. Is it a horse? A goat? Maybe a llama? We may never know, but I love it in all of it’s ambiguous wicker glory.

Nursery Progress | Ann-Marie Loves

This is the little corner by the window where the glider, the dresser, and the internet modem currently reside – ha! Like I said, we still have ways to go before everything will be ready for baby.

Nursery Progress | Ann-Marie Loves

This little pup is one of my favorite toys that my parents saved from my childhood. Plus, I think he looks pretty cool when paired with Elise’s awesome print.

Nursery Progress | Ann-Marie Loves

Well, there’s no shortage of leggings for this girl. That’s for sure.

Nursery Progress | Ann-Marie Loves

I moved this gold table from the living room to the nursery and I am loving the way it brings in my favorite metal to the space! P.S. how cute is that wooden canoe from Kid Firefly? I’m going to make a mini canvas teepee to pair with it :)

Even though there’s still plenty left on my decorating to-do list, this room has instantly become my favorite part of the whole house.

little by little.

Posted on: Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Art for the Office / Nursery | Ann-Marie Loves

Top print: Elizabeth Mayville | Bottom print: Clare Elsaesser

Yesterday was one of those days where absolutely everything on my mile-long to-do list seemed insurmountable. So what’s a girl to do? Target. Always Target.

In an effort to snap out of my overwhelmed funk, I picked up a new pillow to decorate the crib (and no, I won’t leave it in there once the baby arrives), power strips, iced coffee packets, heart-shaped baby sunglasses, Greek yogurt, and white picture frames to finally (!) house two of my all-time favorite prints. All the essentials for a successful retail therapy trip.

As soon as I got home, I immediately popped my two prints into the frames and hung them in the nursery / office. I bought both prints long before I knew a baby was in my near future, but when I found out I was having a girl, I knew these two female portraits would work swimmingly in her room. Later on when John got home from work, we tore the room apart in an attempt to divide up the space equally between the nursery and office. But if you saw the room now, it would appear that all we did was make a gigantic mess in the process. I keep reminding myself that like all moving attempts, it will get worse before it gets better. And right now, it is most certainly worse. While the mess didn’t exactly assuage my feelings of being completely overwhelmed, it did remind me that little by little, everything will come together, be it items on a to-do list or the organization of a dual-purpose room.

But if all else fails, there’s always Target.

thrifting for baby.

Posted on: Thursday, April 24, 2014

Baby Thrift Finds | Ann-Marie Loves

Before I got pregnant, I never truly appreciated just how much fun it is to shop for babies. I’m talking SERIOUS FUN. I also never realized just how expensive (!!!) baby gear is and how much of it you have to buy right off the bat. Stroller, bassinet, crib, blankets, diapers, burp cloths, bottles, breast pump, carriers, car seat, rocker…the list goes on. Luckily (or is it unluckily?), I’m not a big spender by nature and am more than willing to thrift and DIY as much as possible!

Baby Thrift Finds | Ann-Marie Loves

Needless to say, my thrifting habits may or may not have gone into overdrive recently. I’ve been hunting down all sorts of baby ephemera, including everything from clothing to toys to books to decor to a glider in excellent condition. Like all thrifting, the secret really lies in going frequently. There are many days when I walk out of the store empty-handed and then there are other days when I can barely fit all my finds through the door (mkay, slight exaggeration). I never know what to expect and that in and of itself is half of the thrill.

Baby Thrift Finds | Ann-Marie Loves

While thrifting for little ones, I ask myself two questions:

1. Am I attracted to this because I genuinely love it and not just because it’s a killer deal?

2. Would Emily Henderson approve of this?

If the answer is YES to both of those things, then I snatch the item up immediately. But if I’m only being seduced by the price, then back on the shelf it goes. So far, the glider has been the biggest baby item I’ve invested in through thrifting. Even though it’s not as sleek as my dream rocker, it was a mere $65 which allows for more room in the budget to splurge on other must-have, well-designed items. If there’s anything I’ve learned over these past six and a half months, it’s that having a baby is all about patience and compromise!

P.S. If you’re looking for more (non-baby) thrifting tips, check out my e-course!

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