Home Decor: Perfectly Placed Mirrors

I am sure by now that most of you have heard about the benefits of decorating with mirrors. Firstly, mirrors are incredibly useful in many rooms of the home. Secondly, they can usually help smaller spaces feel larger and more airy. Thirdly, mirrors come in all shapes and sizes and can usually be easily incorporated into a space in a seamless, beautiful way. I wanted to share a few photos of what I deem to showcase perfectly placed mirrors.

Entryway Statement

Entryways are usually shorter on space than your average room, making the addition of the mirror nearly always a good idea. Not all entryways can have an architectural wow factor - sometimes, you have to rely on the decor to do that. I think the mirror in the entryway above is ideally placed and just looks perfect paired with the rest of the pieces. This entryway photo makes me so excited to one day own a home - right now the entryway I have is so minimal (not really an actual entryway at all) and just not nearly as welcoming as I'd like for it to be.

IMAGE VIA MEGTIMJAKEBAY

IMAGE VIA MEGTIMJAKEBAY

Expanded Living Room

Sometimes mirrors are so perfectly placed that you almost mistake them for doorways... at least, that happened to me when I was looking at the picture below.

IMAGE VIA DANIELLE MOSS

IMAGE VIA DANIELLE MOSS

I absolute love Danielle Moss's style and her mirror placement is so spot on for really making the space feel larger and more open than it really is.

Organized Bedroom

I just love this idea below - not only does it open up the space, similar to the photo above, but it really highlights the clean straight lines and organized beauty of the other side of the room - something worthy of showcasing. 

IMAGE VIA APARTMENT THERAPY

Hope you all have a lovely Tuesday!
xo, Rachel

Dog Toy Storage Update

You guys, happy Monday! New start to a new week... hopefully a good week at that. At the very least, I'm sharing some adorable pictures so it should make your Monday that much better.

One thing that I think many people don't realize when getting a pet is how much other stuff comes along with them. At least, it was something that I myself didn't really give much thought to. Now that dog toys are everywhere in the apartment, it's more top of mind. I always aimed for a nice, cute way to store such items while still having them all being accessible for Reggie.

Previously, I had been using a wicker basket to store his toys - it wasn't an aesthetic choice, but it certainly worked. Some of you may have noticed it in recent pictures of the gallery wall. If I am honest, that's when the look of it really started to bother me

Gallery Wall - A Detailed Palette

It just seemed to really clash with everything else in a way that was incredibly off-putting for me. I've changed things a bit in effort to keep the same functionality, but with a storage piece that blends more seamlessly. The storage bin was found at TJ Maxx... and Reggie seems to be quite happy about the whole thing.

Dog Toy Storage - Pet Friendly Home - A Detailed Palette

I mean, that face says it all really. Just look at him! He is such a ham around the camera.

Dog Toy Storage Update - A Detailed Palette

Hope these pictures at the very least made your Monday a bit brighter!
-xo, Rachel

Color Crush: Blush

Looking for the perfect summer nail color or maybe even a new shade for a new pair of shoes? I'm going to throw blush out there as a contender. I have a huge crush on this color right now. It's incredibly soft and incredibly feminine - something that makes it easy to wear, but maybe not so easy when it comes to adding the color to your space. 

Blush Top Picks:

Blush Interior Favorites:

IMAGE VIA POMPELI

IMAGE VIA POMPELI

IMAGE VIA CUSH AND NOOKS

IMAGE VIA CUSH AND NOOKS

MAGE VIA LAURE JOLIET

Hope these blush shades are inspiring you as much as they are inspiring me. Have a wonderful weekend!
-xo, Rachel

The Completed Gallery Wall

The gallery wall is, for now, complete. I am still unsure about one of the pieces - the multi-color, umbrella couple canvas that you can see below. While I love it, it's a bit more vibrant than I was expecting and it really steals the show... had I known both of those things before, I think I may have rearranged the layout - something I am still considering. Here is the current gallery wall.

Living room gallery wall - A Detailed Palette

All of the framed photos showcase favorite places from travels, including Chatsworth House in England. Pompeii, Ireland, Switzerland, and Paris. The black and white photo (beneath the flower arrangement) is actually a photo of an excerpt from Pride and Prejudice - a gift from one of my best friends. The gold frame, naturally, holds a photo of Reggie, while the other painting prominently features a zebra. 

Here is the before, when we first got the new TV stand:

TV Stand - A Detailed Palette

With the new TV and the new artwork, there is just so much more life in the space. We're really happy with how this all turned out. What do you think? Do you like the new gallery wall?

Living Room Gallery Wall - A Detailed Palette

Unique, Chic Ways to Store Jewelry

My jewelry collection has been slowly growing, as I am enjoying a Rocksbox subscription and I am consciously making an effort to invest in better quality pieces instead of the more affordable options that invariably begin to lose their color after about a month of wear.

In the process of curating my collection, I've also had to reconsider how pieces are stored. Rather than tucking them away, I prefer to keep all pieces in sight and in mind. Here are a few chic and unique ways to simultaneously display and store your jewelry.

A Nightstand Display

IMAGE VIA HOUSE OF HARPER

IMAGE VIA HOUSE OF HARPER

I really love House of Harper's take on jewelry storage, utilizing the ample nightstand space. While the look is overall pretty traditional, the addition of the jewelry and the stark white background makes it feel fresh and new at the very same time. And of course, I love the blue and white decor pieces - such a classic choice.

Minimal and Organic

IMAGE VIA THE EVERYGIRL

IMAGE VIA THE EVERYGIRL

I love the eclectic mix above. There's also quite a lot of storage space offered within the acrylic trays - yet the transparent nature of the trays still make it feel light and airy as opposed to chaotic or cluttered. It's the perfect balance - with jewelry that is stored in an organized and stylish way.

An Arrow in the Right Direction

IMAGE VIA POTTERY BARN

IMAGE VIA POTTERY BARN

I loved this storage/decor piece and found it to be just really fun. Definitely adds a whimsical touch and can blend in seamlessly with many different styles.

Antique Trays

Jewelry Storage - A Detailed Palette

Combined with a few other storage options, this is the method that I opted for. I love the vintage feel of this tray, and while its currently holding quite a lot of items, having a tray solely dedicated to jewelry storage is a great way to keep everything beautifully displayed and within easy reach while being mostly organized.

Hope you all have a lovely Wednesday!
-xo, Rachel

July 2016 Reads: Audiobooks for When You Don't Have Time to Read

A Detailed Palette - July Audiobooks

I am still attempting to finish up Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. I have been about 1/3 through it for months.

It has been really difficult to find time to read lately, which I think is a struggle that most people can identify with. It seems that, with my 2 hour commute every day, the only time I can actually make for it is in the car with audiobooks. So here is to reading/listening to a few free audiobooks I have found on Youtube. I doubt I'll get through all of these this month, but it's nice to have some really great options. Here they are in case you're interested in taking a listen:

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway - a Hemingway novel that I have yet to read.

No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy - considering McCarthy doens't always use punctuation (the guy has a serious problem with commas), I think that listening to this will be infinitely more enjoyable than reading it.

Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut - I actually have no idea what this is about, only that I need to read more Kurt Vonnegut.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie - because I need to read anything and everything by Agatha Christie. The woman is a master of mystery and suspense.

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie - I think this is one of her more famous stories, and I believe there was even a Doctor Who episode inspired by this book.

Happy reading/listening! 
-xo, Rachel

 

Life Lately: July 2016 Edition

Happy Monday! It was Reggie's THIRD birthday on Friday. He's getting so old! It is crazy to think that I have had him since he was just a mere 12 weeks. He was, naturally, spoiled with amazing treats throughout the day on Friday... and I may have taken a photo or two... or sixty, one of which you can see below.  

Reggie in the Home Office - A Detailed Palette

I also took a rather spontaneous and very short trip to Madison. My friends just moved and have a new place right by Lake Mendota. I was there partly to check it out and partly to head to Devil's Lake where we walked around the entirety of the lake. I also finally got around to checking out the Shorewood farmer's market - which included wild flower bouquets for $8. Yes please!

Our new art pieces arrived, meaning that the gallery wall will be done soon. One piece isn't fitting in quite how I imagined it would, so I am still debating about whether or not to go with something else. 

Lately - A Detailed Palette

I was also able to get some much needed knitting done - favorite patterns and yarn colors to come this week for those of you who are also big fans of summer knitting.

Lastly, I found some time to do some shopping. Since it was time to restock on the essentials, I ordered new foundation and a new pair of running shoes. I also discovered two new favorites: drybar dry shampoo and Chloe perfume. You can shop my picks below.

Have a great Monday/start to the week!
-xo, Rachel

 

Friday Favorites: Online Art Source iCanvas

While on my search to find the perfect artwork for my gallery wall, I came across iCanvas and knew I had to share it with all of you. Artwork can be tricky to shop for online, and it can also be incredibly expensive - something that holds true whether you're shopping on line or in person. iCanvas is really affordable though, as there always seems to be good deals. 

There's also quite a large selection of different kinds of artwork, including abstract paintings, prints, work by Banksy, and some classic best sellers. What really sold me was the fact that you can get actual canvases. While prints are great and fine, I love canvas - it makes it feel more like real artwork to me. I am so incredibly excited for the artwork we ordered for the living room gallery wall to be delivered - which should be soon.

Another really awesome feature of iCanvas - you can shop by Artist or by room. I love the fact that real artists are getting a bit more credit for their work through this, and I am happy that the shop by room feature makes the selection less overwhelming and more ideal for the situation that you're looking for.

Here are some of my favorites:

iCanvas Artwork - A Detailed Palette
iCanvas Artwork - A Detailed Palette
iCanvas Artwork - A Detailed Palette

Hope you have a great weekend!
-xo, Rachel

Trip to Lake Powell

Trip to Lake Powell, AZ - A Detailed Palette Travels

Back in May, I had the chance to visit Lake Powell. Lake Powell is one of those interesting places that actually spans two states - Utah and Arizona. We drove up from Page, AZ (which isn't a far drive at all) and stayed there to give us enough time to explore. The lake is man-made and full of beautiful juxtaposition, with sandy, desert-like canyons filled with deep blue water. It actually serves as a water reservior. 

The lake is incredibly large with many different landmarks, including the Tapestry Wall, pictured below. If you look closely, you should be able to see certain animals in the patterns on the walls.Apparently the most common for the wall below is a dragon, but I have to admit that I actually just see a lot of eagles.

Lake Powell - A Detailed Palette
Lake Powell Trip - A Detailed Palette - Travel Destinations

We also saw another famous landmark - Castle Rock - which of course reminded me of Game of Thrones.

Lake Powell - Castle Rock - Traveling - A Detailed Palette

We took a boat tour through a portion on the lake - at some points it was quite narrow, but it really was incredibly beautiful.

Lake Powell - A Detailed Palette

Lake Powell is a huge tourist attraction - something I totally understand after spending a few hours out on the lake. It's a really beautiful place!

 

Favorite Home Purchases - So Far

Favorite Home Purchases - A Detailed Palette

While everything in the apartment has been hand-picked or handed down, there are a few hand-picked/purchased items that really stand out as favorites. I wanted to share these favorite home purchases (so far) and share just why I love them so much. 

A Pair of Eames Chairs
Full disclosure, these are not actual Eames chairs, but instead just imitations. Yes, I purchased a mock one because I love the look, but didn't have the budget to get the real thing. I love the wooden legs underneath, as they really complement the flooring. At first glance, I think many assume that these chairs simply won't be comfortable at all, but that simply isn't the case. I have two; one used as a sewing chair while the other is used as a side chair/used for guests. Both are comfortable, stylish, and really lend that mid-century modern vibe that I love.

Favorite Home Purchases - Eames Chair Imitation - A Detailed Palette

The TV Stand
I don't think anything has changed the look and feel of my home as much as this. Perhaps because, without really realizing it, the TV (and by extension the TV Stand) had become the focal point/center of the room. I had always wanted a new one, but had never made it much of a priority. I wish I had because it has made such a huge difference, not only when it comes to actually watching TV, but also in terms of how put together and polished the space now looks. It's not all matchy-matchy, but there is much more balance than before

TV Stand - A Detailed Palette
Living Room with Gallery Wall - A Detailed Palette

The Elizabeth II Gray Sofa
It took forever to find a sofa that would fit in this apartment. The door frames were so narrow that finding something small enough was a bit tricky. My dad even grumbled about it once when he came to visit. The apartment can feel on the small side for those who are taller. We were finally successful with this couch from Wayfair and could not be happier with it. So affordable, small enough to fit inside (important for obvious reasons), really comfortable, and roomy enough. I can't believe we had just two armchairs for as long as we did - just crazy to me now! You can read more about our couch hunting experience on Wayfair where the story has been featured.

Light Gray Couch - A Detailed Palette

New Favorite: Bicycle Bookend Set

Bookends - Living Room - A Detailed Palette

Happy Friday! Can you believe it's JULY? Time is a strange thing.

I don't know that bookends were incredibly popular - at least not to the level are at now - even a few years ago. Of course, there is a chance that I wasn't paying enough attention, but I really remember noticing them more as I began to take more of an interest in decorating my first apartment, sophomore year of college. It was the first time that I had really seen the more playful versions - the bookends that weren't meant for a stuffy, traditional study - but instead were meant to add a bit of whimsy and purpose to your space.

To me, those are the defining characteristics of a great set of bookends - whimsical so as to bring out the more playful side of whatever reading they have caught between them, while being strong enough to hold it all up in a neat fashion. Unfortunately a good bookend set (sturdy, affordable, fun) can be tough to find.

I actually spotted the one above at Target and knew I had to grab it up or else seriously regret it later. I knew that the console table behind the sofa would be the perfect place for this bookend set because I had some magazines that needed to be displayed in a more beautiful way.

Bike Bookends Living Room - A Detailed Palette
Bike Bookends - A Detailed Palette

As it stands, I am loving this bookend set and just had to share a few thoughts on them as well as a few photos. And if you haven't checked out the edition of domino pictured above, I highly recommend it. Loved the blogger collaboration they did with Pennyweight blog.

Have a wonderful long weekend and happy Fourth of July!
-xo, Rachel

Home Tour Part 1: The Two Bedrooms

It's here! Part 1 of the long promised home tour - despite the fact that it probably has not been long awaited... :)  All the same, it's something I have been working at diligently - just trying to get the apartment to feel like home. It seems to be an ever evolving thing for me, but right now I am happy enough with it to capture it and share it. So without further ado, here are the two bedrooms.

Bedroom #1

My love for grays and golds took over in this room, while I attempted to deal with some incredibly awkward windows. I actually added in much longer curtains than necessary - this has actually helped to make the space feel much larger and as though the ceiling is actually higher. It's a strange effect, but one that is cool to note.

Home Tour Part 1 - Bedroom - A Detailed Palette

This bedroom really mirrors the color palette of the living room and dining area, but I aimed to make it a much more restful space - this means a much more limited/minimal approach when it comes to decor.

Home Tour - Part 1 - A Detailed Palette

The nightstand is, admittedly, not always this neat. The tray (from west elm) does help to keep everything much more organized. The mercury-glass lamp from Wayfair is one of my favorite elements of this room.

The gold speckled/brushed pillow is meant to complement the gold accents of the nightstand styling. A tufted velvet headboard - which was purchased after a disastrous attempt to DIY such a headboard, is the single most impactful piece in this space. It adds a touch of traditional, with button-tufting details, but also an element of luxury. I really dig this headboard and every time I see it in the room as a whole, I am reminded of how much of an impact changing just one thing can have for the total look and feel of a room.

Home Tour - Part 1 - A Detailed Palette

Golds, grays, and a mix of wood finishes play together. I think it works and helps to keep the bedroom from feeling too prescribed/matchy-matchy. That said, I recognize that mixing wood finishes is something that still causes some people to twitch - hopefully this isn't twitch-inducing!

Home Tour - Part 1 - A Detailed Palette

A storage area that acts as a sort of vanity to some degree, as it's part of my routine each morning... a huge reason why this print is placed there. It's always good to have a reminder and to put things into perspective at the beginning of every day, even if it is when you're picking out your jewelry for the day.

Home Tour - Part 1 - A Detailed Palette

The overall shelving unit is styled, but still incredibly practical.

Bedroom #2: The Guest Room / Craft Room

The second bedroom has been kind of a catch-all until recently when I decided to streamline everything and really make the most of the space that I had to work with. It is one of Reggie's favorite places to hang out, which will soon be very apparent in the photos below! :)

 

Home Tour - Part 1 - A Detailed Palette

Another favorite purchase that stands out - the Eames plastic chair. Although if I am being totally candid, it's a mock design as a true Eames is a bit beyond my current budget.

Home Tour - Part 1 - A Detailed Palette

To complement some of the more rustic wall paneling (which was not my choice), the headboard is a bit warn and a quilt-style blanket was selected for a very homey, warm, and welcoming feel.

Home Tour - Part 1 - A Detailed Palette

This sewing machine doesn't get nearly enough use, but I am determined to step up my game by attempting to sew some curtains for this space - a detail currently lacking in this room.

Home Tour - Part 1 - A Detailed Palette

This chair was giving to me by a friend who owned it previously and knew how much I loved it because I always complimented it profusely whenever I saw it. I added it to bring some more color and comfort to the room.

Home Tour - Part 1 - A Detailed Palette

Combined with a shelving unit, the chair makes for the perfect little reading spot.

I think it's quite clear to see the differences in each room, with the first bedroom having an emphasis on being restful and soothing, while the second is more welcoming, lively, and colorful. Much of this was intentional, but the rooms also lended themselves to this kind of separation, what with the different paint colors and different wall treatments. I am happy with how each has turned out.

Hope you enjoyed seeing into the two bedrooms as part 1 of the home tour. Part 2 to follow soon!
Have a wonderful Wednesday!
-xo, Rachel

 

NeoCon 2016: Trends and Some Favorites

Some of you may remember that I was able to attend NeoCon last year due to the fact that I was at that time working for a mid-grade office furniture retailer. While a lot has changed in a mere year and while I was unable to attend, Neocon will always hold a special place in my heart because it was not only my first tradeshow ever, but because it also helped me realize my love for design/styling.

Just for a bit of background: Neocon is one of the largest office furniture tradeshows in the country. It's in Chicago (in the Merchandise Market, to be specific) and all of the big, classic names in the office furniture world show up to showcase their new and their most popular designs. We're talking Herman Miller, Knoll, Steelcase - basically, if they make office furniture in any form, there is a good chance they're attending Neocon.

After taking a look at some of the coverage from the event, I collected some of my absolute favorite designs and styles from the tradeshow and noticed a few emerging trends that I am all for.

Bringing on Texture and the Great Outdoors!

Herman Miller seemed to really lead the pack on this one with an installation of plants and furniture right as you entered the building. I also enjoyed these more nuanced approaches that feel homey, yet entirely balanced in the best way possible with plenty of organic elements and lots of texture.

Herman Miller - Neocon 2016 - A Detailed Palette
IMAGE VIA HERMAN MILLER

IMAGE VIA HERMAN MILLER

The wireframe sofa above is one of my ultimate favorites! I just love both of the installations above.

Offering Modern Designs with Modern Boundaries

Nearly everything that I saw come through was incredibly modern, with straight lines and a minimalistic approach to design. That said, there also seemed to be a desire and an emphasis to capture some sort of "private space". If you will - the focus seemed to be on furniture that was modern and simple in profile with the promise of a personal bubble. A design from Haworth that definitely fit this description really stood out me. Not only was it listed as a best of neocon design, but I think it perfectly embodies the trend of the streamlined yet still separate approach.

IMAGE VIA CONTRACT

IMAGE VIA CONTRACT

Keeping It Simple

I also loved the Z-bar LED pendant lighting below from Koncept Inc. It has such a unique look - and for those of us who have had to suffer under flourescent lighting... we know just how much of an impact good, stylish lighting can have. I'd love to see this in person, and it again falls very much within the modern/clean lines trend that dominated the show.

IMAGE VIA CONTRACT

IMAGE VIA CONTRACT

What do you think? Would you take any of the above for your own office? I know I would!
Have a great Monday!
-xo, Rachel

Lately: Back from Bonnaroo

Bonnaroo Ferris Wheel - Summer - A Detailed Palette

You guys, I am back home and finally getting back into the swing of things. Bonnaroo was on the 8th-12th, meaning I was working the weekend - hence why I am still a bit behind on my regular posts. I had some time off last Wednesday, but I ended up sleeping most of the day! 

Photo van spotted at Bonnaroo!

Photo van spotted at Bonnaroo!

Working and providing social media coverage at an event like Bonnaroo was never something I thought I would have the opportunity to do, and it ended up being a great experience. Minus my sun burn and a few minor glitches when it came to internet connectivity, everything went pretty smoothly. For those who aren't sure what Bonnaroo even is, no worries - it's a four-day long music festival on in Manchester, TN. The line-up this year include BORNS, LCD Soundsystem, and Chainsmokers - happy to say that I was able to see all three while there! We also were able to take a short break to ride in the Ferris Wheel pictured at the very beginning of this post - a staple on the festival grounds.

I had actually never been to Tennessee before this trip. We drove through Nashville, so I got to see a few glimpses of it from the car, and I definitely want to go back for a real visit.  We did make one stop for lunch though; my co-worker took me to the BEST BBQ place ever called Edley's. Highly recommend it if you are in Nashville or visiting - so delicious... and this is coming from one of the pickiest eaters of all time.

In other news...

1. I am still finalizing my gallery wall. It just takes so much time to find just the right piece of artwork and the right frames. I am currently attempting a DIY artwork solution, but I am totally aware that things could go horribly wrong. If they don't (fingers crossed!), I will be sharing it all, step by step, here.

2. I got this adorable coffee mug, pictured below, from Colectivo, and it has helped to make my days a little bit happier.

Coffee Mug - A Detailed Palette

Part 1 of the Home Tour will be next week! Stay tuned!
-xo, Rachel

Bedroom Organization: Foot of the Bed Solutions

The foot of the bed: it's one of those spaces that is difficult to decorate. Some opt for leaving it clear of anything at all, but lately I have noticed some more creative solutions for this specific space. These solutions always seem to combine style and organization, helping you to make the most of your space. I am currently looking for a storage solution to add to the bedroom - especially when it comes to storing throw pillows. Here are a few options that I love.

I really love the idea of having a bench + bookshelf. Of course, I could use this and still customize it to allow for some storage space for our throw pillows. And it's the perfect excuse to buy even more books.

IMAGE VIA Apartment Therapy

 I really love the idea of having a trunk at the foot of the bed. It's the perfect storage space, and it offers a lot of vintage charm and appeal. The bedroom below is such a fun, eclectic space with a combination of modern and vintage vibes.

I really love this idea too - more open storage that tucks neatly next to the bed while keeping pillows, blankets, and a few other decor pieces organized and accessible. 

IMAGE VIA Pop Sugar

IMAGE VIA Pop Sugar

June Home Decor Trends

Here are a few of-the-moment finds that I am loving right now.

Corner Mirrors
At first glance, the bedroom below (by Pennyweight blogger Elise Joseph) is gorgeous. I first spotted it in Domino. The thing that really caught my eye? That triangle mirror in the corner - the one that is perfectly placed

IMAGE VIA DOMINO

IMAGE VIA DOMINO


Wallpaper - Everywhere
Whether on the ceiling, a DIY project, or just the plain old walls, wallpaper is everywhere. And with fun new patterns and prints, it feels fresh, new, and vibrant.

June Home Decor Trends - A Detailed Palette

Image via Apartment Therapy

Sputnik Chandeliers
I mean, all you have to do is take a look at the previous two images to see that this type of dramatic lighting has really taken the interior world by storm. I still like the look though - it hasn't worn thin. I appreciate the angles and the mid-century modern vibe - not to mention the fact that I bet these lights really brighten up a space a night.

Have a great Thursday!

Friday Favorites: Summer Shoes

Happy Friday! Sharing a few of my favorite summer shoes today for this edition of Friday Favorites.

Tory Burch Sandals
My sister gave me these as  birthday gift. I am happy that I have finally been able to wear them. These are easily the most comfortable sandals I have ever had - and I love the more fun pattern.

Tory Burch Sandals - Favorite Summer Shoes - A Detailed Palette

Michael Kors Heels
These were gifted to me by one of my favorite people. She actually had bought them for herself but never wore them. I happily took them off her hands. I have worn them a few times - even once to work - and found them to be pretty comfortable for heels.  

Michael Kors Heels - A Detailed Palette

Halogen Pink Leather Flats with Studs
Flats can often times look dowdy - to avoid this, go the pointed-toe route like these. I also love the studs juxtaposed with the pink - sweet and feminine with just a tiny bit of edge. Certainly not dowdy or boring at all!

Favorite Summer Shoes - A Detailed Palette

 

Shop this post:

Have a great weekend!
-xo, Rachel

What I've Learned from 2 Years of Blogging

What I've Learned From 2 Years of Blogging

I've been blogging for two years now - a fact that is really surprising to me. It doesn't seem like it has been that long at all. With this in mind, I wanted to share a few things that I've learned over the past two years from blogging and about blogging. As a disclaimer, I am by no means an expert and there are things I learn every day - but these are a few key takeaways that I wanted to share with anyone else thinking about starting a blog or perhaps already blogging and looking for information like this.

1. If you're going to blog, invest in a good camera. We're talking DSLR. This was the best purchase I made for my blog and just for myself in the last two years. I actually got it before I started blogging and I am so happy that I did. Use it for all of your content, whether a post for your blog or for your Instagram account. Phone cameras have come a long way, but I maintain that they have nothing on the quality photo that a DSLR camera can produce.

2. Yes, Blogging can be a business, and no, it is not easy.  I think this is starting to become more "household knowledge", but there are still a lot of people who are surprised that others can make a living off of blogging. While I am not one of them, and this blog is purely a creative outlet, I do know how much work goes into mine, so I can only imagine how much work goes into those blogs that actually support someone's livelihood.

3. My blog motivates me and keeps me accountable. I am really terrible at making these schedules/to-do lists. I promise myself that I will follow said schedule.... and because it's only a promise to myself, and I don't always follow-through. It's a different story, though, when you're sharing it with others in a blog format or when you actually need to follow through or else you won't have anything to write about the next day. It's also motivated me to explore my home city in a way that I probably would not have.

4. Having an editorial calendar really helps so that you don't have days where you have nothing to write. Of course, the dreaded "I have nothing to write about, why I am even doing this?!" has happened to me a few times, but not too often and much less now that I keep an editorial calendar.

5. Create a shot list - this is something that I've been doing since last July when I traveled to Europe. I obviously wanted to capture a few things to share on my blog, but didn't want to be so busy taking photos that I forgot to actually enjoy the travel experience. I created a shot list based on each location I was going to - images I would take and share on my blog. It made the whole photographing thing go so much faster so that I wasn't just constantly taking photos. I do the same thing now for all of my posts - I create a running shot list of images I want to get (this includes examples of angles and styling) and then have mini photo-shoots in my house every other Sunday. If I'm traveling, I have the list on hand and try to capture what I have called out on this list. It really helps so that I am not just spending all my time taking pictures and I get the pictures that I want.

6. Use the schedule function. Most blogging platforms have a schedule function. I actually write most of my blog posts ahead of time (especially if I am traveling) and then schedule them out through out the week. This helps me make the most of my time while still blogging about 4-5 times a week.

7. Blogging can help your career. If a blog is truly a passion project, I say craft it and use it when applying to jobs that fit that passion. Let's be real - every employer wants someone who is passionate about their work. Yet, it's pretty easy for anyone to declare a passion for something. You almost have to be able to show it for it to really stand out... and what better way to showcase your passion for a topic than to blog about it every day? It's a pretty compelling piece of evidence. I have my blog listed on my LinkedIn for this exact reason - and I have been working for companies with interior design focuses ever since.

8. Niches aren't necessary. I am going out on a limb by saying that because it contradicts a lot of what you may find elsewhere. Niches are recommended by many others because there are so many blogs are out there - a niche helps you stand out and find the right readers. While that can be true, I think niches can be more limiting to the blogger than they are helpful to the reader. Now, I think everyone should have a focus, or a passion, that their blog showcases. For this blog, it is clearly home styling and interior design, but that's not the only thing I write about. This is mostly because it's not my only interest. We're all multi-faceted people, and I think that it's totally okay for blogs to highlight that. Now, that is nothing against the very targeted and niche blogs. These blogs are great because you always know what to expect - it's comforting and nice to have from time to time. I just don't stand by the idea that every blog should be so specific or that it has to be niche in order to be successful.

I also just wanted to say thanks to all who read this blog, whether it's every day or just from time to time. We're all super busy, and I appreciate you taking the time to read. :) Thank you!
-xo, Rachel

A Few Thoughts on Apartment Hunting

Apartment Hunting - A Detailed Palette

Firstly, this post was supposed to be up last week... but the internet provider had other ideas. After trying to figure out for three days why our internet service had been disconnected, it's now finally back. Needless to say, blogging was out and that last week without the internet was sadly quite tough for me. It's crazy how much we have come to depend on it. So, in short, I am sorry for the radio silence that was last week. Now on to the post!

As an immediate disclaimer, the lease for the current apartment was just renewed so I will not be going anywhere. However, despite the fact that I love where I'm at, I did do some apartment hunting due to my really long daily commutes to work. Driving an hour is no big deal in the summer (I've actually found myself enjoying it), but in the winter, it is quite a different story. It's actually kind of scary and way too long, as I am sure anyone in Wisconsin can appreciate and understand.

Either way. my commute will be the same as I am staying put. Apartment hunting even for just a little bit really did make me realize that we're pretty lucky to be where we are. There are some apartment must-haves that go beyond the typical that I considered every time I looked.

1. Dog-friendly - Because I am obviously not going anywhere without Reggie. This is surprisingly difficult to find, even with Reggie being so small and, for the most part, well-behaved.
2. Natural light - this is huge for me. All of my places in college were so dark; one year, my bedroom didn't even have a window, making it a veritable cave. Lots of natural light just makes rooms look better and feel better.
3. Minimal Carpeting - this one may sound over the top, but the last time we had carpeting, I found it dreadfully difficult to keep clean. Reggie just sheds so much and the vacuum never seems to get everything on the first couple of passes. I felt like I was vacuuming my life away.
4. Access to good running paths/locations: By good, I mean not only pretty, but also safe and dog-friendly.

Apartment Hunting - A Detailed Palette

Thankfully, we get all of that in our current place. While I do wish the kitchen was more my style and that we had a new refrigerator with better shelving/organization, these things are minor to me compared with the four things above. If you're currently looking for an apartment and are more focused on the technicalities of the place, you should check out this list by The Everygirl - pretty comprehensive and what I used a few years back.

Have a great Monday!

Life Lately: June 2016 Edition

Life Lately - June Updates

Welcome to June! I hope you all had a great, long Memorial Day weekend. I did some knitting, bought some fresh flowers, and caught up on some reading, as you can see above. In effort to honor and remember, while having some quiet time with nature, I went hiking at Devil's Lake with my friend. Although I suppose I should say that it was only semi-quiet time. The lake was packed with people because the weather was surprisingly wonderful all weekend. For anyone who has never been, it's an incredible hike - quite tough too. I think it's one of the more challenging hikes that we have in Wisconsin.

Devil's Lake - A Detailed Palette

While I didn't take Reggie hiking with me, we did get in some miles on the trail. While he can't go too far, he loves running and it's so nice to have an enthusiastic running partner... even if he does get distracted/will want to stop to smell/pee on something about every 5 seconds.

I did make a quick trip to Atwater Beach in Milwaukee as well, which has one of my favorite views of Lake Michigan.

Atwater Park - A Detailed Palette

And lastly, I have to admit that I did take advantage of some of the sales - Nordstrom in particular. I've been told that they have amazing customer service when it comes to shoes so I felt okay splurging a little bit on some Halogen pale pink leather flats. I can wait to wear them when they finally arrive!

Have a great Wednesday!
-xo, Rachel