Closet Makeover

The biggest part of my life is my clothes.

Sure, that may be shallow, but think about it. Every day requires you to dress, at least if you work in a locale that ISN’T a nude beach. Most of us, including myself on a lot of my earlier mornings (aka WORK DAYZ), dress solely for function and comfort.

But mostly, I dress for form. I dress for art, for beauty, for fun. I dress for myself, and I dress to express whatever that self is thinking or feeling on a given day.

So screw family and friends, the biggest part of my life is clothes.

(Just kidding, y’all. You know I’d go nakey before I went without you!)

In the house of a lady whose clothes take precedence over every other chore, however, the closet is KINDA a big deal. It has to be large enough to house all the ammunition, and no matter how big it is, it has to be organized and clean, else you forget you own that fabulous crochet dress next time summer rolls around.

Enter the issue with our current rental: the closet, while a walk-in, is so narrow and horribly designed that neither of us really have room for anything. When we moved in, I just kinda threw everything inside, so it looked like this for a long time:

IMG_4187 IMG_4188

I didn’t even edit these because I wanted my emotion about this closet sitch to come through 100%: PURE DARKNESS, AGONIZING CHAOS, CLAUSTROPHOBIC WALLS CLOSING IN, PANIC ATTACK SETTING IN……..

So over the past few months, I’ve tried really hard to do a lot of things: pare down, move things around, buy helpful organization tools, and replace old, crappy hangers with new, slimmer ones I can use forever (that won’t hurt my garments).

While it won’t ever be perfect, lest a wall gets torn down and expansion becomes an option (NOT AN OPTION), here’s what I’m working with now:


I crated up half of my shoes so they won’t scatter the floor of the already cramped space.


For the more sturdy, expensive shoes, I installed a shoe rack and utilized the under bar of the (poorly chosen and installed) shelves already existing in the closet.



I turned a lot of my old crates into viewable storage for more stackable items, like my workout clothes and purses.


More boxes turned viewable storage. Can we talk about that HORRIFIC florescent lighting? Should never, ever, EVER be an option, let alone in a CLOSET!

This is the best I’m gonna get, I’m not too upset with it, AND I’ve decided to just let it go. We’re moving out in a few months–I maintain this closet is one of our top 5 reasons why we’re itching to get the hell out–so what’s the point? As much as I love organization and home decor, sometimes the best thing one can do is recognize a lost cause when you see one.

And Project Appleberry? The biggest lost cause of all time. You know what, though? That’s okay. The best lesson I’ve learned from this project is that some things are better left undone so you can focus on projects worthy of your time.


Master Bathroom Makeover: Phase 1

When we first moved in, the house was in pretty good condition. Buuuuut we couldn’t help but want to make it “us,” so there’s STILL a lot of painting we want to do and additions we want to make. After a ton of moving (think around 40 moves total) between us, we know we should take our time picking the perfect colors/furniture/etc. rather than just slapping a bunch of crap into our house and saying “GREAT!” We’re not 19 in our first college apartments anymore; this ain’t our first rodeo, ya know?

When I move, I move in stages – THREE to be exact. There is the preliminary unpacking/ cleaning/sorta organizing stage where I get it homey enough to not want to hide under a comforter all day. I will ONLY ever show you this stage as a BEFORE picture (see below), so phase 1 is actually step 2 (DURING), and phase 2 is actually the final step (AFTER). KEEP UP, OKAY?! The second stage, the stage I’ll show you today, is the “Alright, let’s get it TRULY organized and start brainstorming schemes.” Sometimes I even work on the schemes during this stage, but it’s a rarity.

Here’s where we were in step one aka BEFORE:IMG_4581.JPGNow we’re in phase 1 (step 2) of the moving in process. This is my “here, I baked you a cake, but I royally fucked up the icing, so come back for the real-deal next week” phase aka DURING:IMG_3971.JPGTo segue from our bedroom, we’re keeping it simple with adding white and black (our bedroom colors) to the already installed brownness of everything in this house (and every other rental house on the planet. Is this some horrific, unspoken rule!?). We kept the shower curtain-free to make the room seem bigger AND so the space wouldn’t feel fabric’ed down since we’d already added this amazing Ikea curtain to cover the large, but awkwardly placed and ugly, shelving space.IMG_3972.JPG



Hopes for phase 2: white paint, organizational bins in the storage space, and {hopefully} a more bright and welcoming floor aka ANYTHING BUT BROWN/SWINE/TAN/WHAT IS IT WITH YOU AND YOUR HOUSES, AMERICA?!

For phase 2 aka “AFTER”, check back soon! There will even be… GASP!… quality photos from the DSLR.

Lust List: For the Home

I’m full of lust for so many home-y things these days as we STILL try to settle in our new place. Below is the photo list of drool-worthy items I’ve snapped during my many shopping trips!






Globes and NYC map {World Market} + everything else {Target}

What kind of items do you crave for your house when you move in or the seasons (of your decorating) change?

November Wishlist

This month, I’m honing in on all things cozy and homey! {Purchase links are below.}November Wish List

Old Navy faux coat

Old Navy zip vest

Butter London black lipstick
$52 – theiconic.com.au

Silver mirror
$470 – alexanderandpearl.co.uk

Black home decor

Project Appleberry

After a whirlwind couple of weeks, we’re finally settled (and settling) into the new place. Right now, everything is in functional order, but far from looking decorative. Therefore, Project Appleberry commences. Here are the “befores.” Can’t WAIT to share the afters and the afters after that, and then some MORE afters! {Please forgive the cell phone photos as we wait for Internet to arrive.}










How-To: Live Together

Cohabitation ain’t easy. It really brings out your inner control-freak diva (both of ya’s) and some tension can form. But if you love each other and you love the space, that eventually fades away. In fact, I think living with a man (and preparing to do so again) taught me a lot of important lessons on how to live in general.

1. You really don’t need all of those clothes.
I know it’s hard to imagine your closet less-than-overflowing or (GASP!) partially empty, but it’s really for the best. My man used to laugh at the sheer volume of clothing in my possession, but I would just retaliate by pointing out that I never, ever had to do laundry. Eventually I realized something about it really was funny, but maybe not in such a good way. Do I really need 5 dresses that don’t fit me anymore? Do I need 10 shirts that are just “okay?” No, no I don’t. I’d much rather launder my special, oft-used pieces than stare in disdain at a 50% lackluster wardrobe. Quality, not quantity. (And god bless the Goodwill trucks!)

2. Organization isn’t just about cleanliness, it’s about efficiency.
I love being organized. (If you’ve ever read this blog, you know I have an inner-voice that might, in reality, be OCD.) I love it because I like the way a space looks when it is in order. However, if aesthetics take precedence over functionality, there’s not much point to organizing at all. A kitchen might look amazing with stacks of rainbow ceramics stacked along the countertop, but what do you really need there? Probably something like a cutting board, not another cute vintage vase. At the end of the day, it’s wasted space if it doesn’t make sense for how you live in it.

3. Neutral isn’t bad.

In fact, neutral is amazing. You might start out with earth tones to please one another, but if you really put in the time, you can makes some beautiful spaces that never cross the color-war border. (I’m still of the school that all colors have at least one hue everyone can love, but that’s a whole other entry, y’all!)

(via flickr)
4. Woman caves are more important than man caves. (Or “Don’t Be Greedy”)

At the end of the day, I would rather have one room all to myself than fight over the rest of the house. Why? Because having one beautiful, perfect space is more important to me and certainly more than enough. Besides the sheer labor required when trying to cram two strong designs into a whole house full of rooms, it’s just greedy. Each person should get their own, independent space to decorate where they can be completely themselves. The rest of the shared house space can be that easy, clean, and beautiful neutral I mentioned a minute ago.

5. Compromise.

Contrary to a bad stereotype, not all men have poor taste. In fact, some of them have pretty amazing input. The only problem is when two people have strong opinions, sometimes things get messy or left undone in order to end the design debate. The tried and true art of compromising is really all you can do. I’ve learned that I don’t need to control as much of a design as I’d thought. I’ve learned that I don’t necessarily have the best ideas out of all the ideas all the time. I’ve learned that purging yourself of things is good and all it does is make way for better things. Compromising can teach you a lot about your partner, but most importantly, it teaches you about yourself.

Thanks to a headstrong partner, I’ve come to the table with a very clear vision of what I love, and a much better grasp on flexibility, simplicity, and form.

What did you do when you moved in with your partner? Any better tips out there? 

Little Spaces: My Vanity


Little spaces in my home often feel like bigger havens to me than the large ones. I particularly feel this way about my vanity, a vintage piece from the 70’s passed down to me by my mother.


Little spaces, I feel, also help ground me in remembering to feel positive when I’m damning my apartment for its lack of natural lighting (which I’m sure you’ve noticed in these photos, eh?) or its horrid cell phone service. I look at those little spaces I’ve spent time creating, and I just feel… zen. I mean, how could little hedgehogs NOT do the trick?!


It doesn’t hurt that this is the place I go to make myself feel beautiful and healthy. I’ve packed it full of my favorite products AND my favorite trinkets, most of them gifts from people I love dearly.


I’ll talk about my go-to beauty products soon, but for now, just bask in the glory of little spaces!


I love getting to look at the gifts people have given me from all over the world – Japan, Mexico, India, and of course, right here in the USA – as I throw on my rings and spray my Caudaile on my face.


Let me know if you want any information about the items pictured here! What are your favorite little spaces?