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CHARMING ATLANTA HOME TOUR of Ayla Gurganus

Remember that amazing story on the pop-up flower shop in Atlanta? Well, we are back with more Soulflower love & this time it’s better than ever. Welcome to the stunning home of Ayla Gurganus, Soulflower owner & lead designer. Step inside this charming Atlanta home with amazing light, amazing decor, and so much love its unbelievable. She talks all about bringing a minimalist approach to design, creating a home your guests feel comfortable in, and the importance of fresh flowers. Plus some more amazing home advice.
stunning atlanta home tour via lauren kelpstunning atlanta home tour via lauren kelpHELLO!

My name is Ayla Gurganus & I am 29 and live in Atlanta, Georgia with my husband and pups where I own Soulflowers (ps – remember that fabulous story on the pop-up flower shop? That was her! See it again here)

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WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR SPACE?

Absolutely it’s the kitchen.

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WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE?

Curating home décor that really matches my aesthetic & having to wait for the perfect piece. Sometimes I can rush into buying something just so the space is filled and in the end I am always unsatisfied.

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HOW WERE YOU ABLE TO ARRIVE AT SUCH A COHESIVE STYLE? WE ARE OBSESSED!

Total trial & error. I am a big fan of purchasing and selling pieces if they aren’t working out for the space or if you aren’t as in love with it as you thought.

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YOU SEEM LIKE SUCH AN AMAZING HOSTESS. WHAT IS YOUR SECRET FOR GOOD HOSPITALITY?

Creating a space that is really authentic to us makes hosting that much easier. When you are comfortable in your home & get excited about the space, it’s fun and special to share with others.

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WE LOVE A GOOD ENTERTAINING TIP, DO YOU HAVE ANY UP YOUR SLEEVE?

Always set the table. Buy linens & use them. Today it’s much easier to buy paper plates and just toss them when you are finished, but there is something really nice in preparing for a dinner…even down to the silverware. And, always, always, always have fresh florals J

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DESCRIBE YOUR INTERIORS STYLE & WHO INFLUENCED IT:

I wouldn’t say that I have a particular style that I have been influenced by. I am a big fan of white. Many people steer clear of white because it supposedly shows imperfections or dirt, but I find other colors to be just the same. I recently have become a huge fan of minimalism in the home – if you don’t need it or use it, give it away. The coffee table doesn’t need a book on it, it can be bare and I think there is beauty in that.

I also love ceramics, brass, and raw wood. I try and use meaningful pieces that we’ve been given or have found and incorporate them with modern accents. Our bathroom mirror was actually part of my husband’s grandmother’s vanity set! We took it apart and attached two out sides to make our work for the space. It’s sister hands in our hallway. It’s an older piece but with a modern brass light fixture from Schoolhouse Eclectic, it fits right into our aesthetic & is so special to see every day.

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Photography by Sarah Ingram
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HOME TOUR | CARRIE WALLER of Dream Green DIY

Andrea Pesca-3Meet Carrie Waller – our latest home tour obsession  & the creative maven behind your favorite internet spots. Whether you are drooling over one of her fabulous features for the Glitter Guide or upgrading your space with one of her brilliant DIYs, Carrie is definitely someone you want to hang out with. Now that we’ve gotten a peek at her space, the girl crush has escalated to full-on love 😉 See what we mean below! 


Carrie Waller-22 HI! TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:

My name is Carrie Waller, I am 30 & I live in Waynesboro, VA where I am the Founder of Dream Green DIY, Features Editor for Glitter Guide, and Freelance Writer.

Andrea Pesca-2Carrie Waller-02WHEN PEOPLE WALK INTO YOUR SPACE, WHAT IS THE FEELING YOU WANT THEM TO HAVE? 

I would love for people to think that they stepped back in time, and that we truly honored the era of our 1960s home. We just moved into our mid-century A-frame ranch last year, and have spent our free time working to really spruce things up, but to also pay homage to the original details of our home. The previous owners actually built the house back in 1962, and lived here for over half a century—we’re only the second owners! I often think about how they might react if they walked back into the space that we’ve created from what they left behind. I love to imagine that they’d be proud that we kept the original mid-century flair and personality intact.

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WE ARE OBSESSED WITH YOUR BASEMENT – TELL US ABOUT IT!

Thank you! I think that the expansive finished half of the basement in our house really sealed the deal when we toured the home last September. That said, a large room poses its fair share of challenges—namely layout. We have tried a number of different configurations in the last six months, and finally settled on a multi-zone layout. We’ve got a little movie-watching lounge area with a digital projector in one corner, a record cabinet and stacks of vinyls for easy listening off to one side with bean bag chairs nearby, and a more traditional living area with seating and a television near the fireplace. We were able to make the large space feel cohesive despite its multiple personalities thanks to a running bohemian-inspired color scheme throughout the entire room. It’s a great space for entertaining and relaxing any day of the week!

Carrie Waller-17Andrea Pesca-10WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR SPACE?

That we are finally living in a single family home. I have spent the last decade moving from apartment to apartment, and my husband and I most recently lived in a cookie cutter townhouse. Although we have loved every space that we’ve lived in, this home feels really special. Sure, there’s no telling where life will take us and what opportunities or challenges will crop up in the future, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this rambling old ranch will be our forever and ever house.

Carrie Waller-07Andrea Pesca-1WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE?

Taking things slow! I’m a perpetual impulse designer, so I’m trying to break my track record with this house by taking things one room and one design decision at a time. I have to keep reminding myself that we’ve only been here for six months, and that we need to really live in the spaces to know how they need to work for us. Right now, my biggest challenge is definitely patience and waiting to see how the design unfolds organically and intentionally.

Carrie Waller-08Andrea Pesca-7IF YOUR HOUSE HAD A SPIRIT COCKTAIL, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Something simple but significant

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WE LOVE A GOOD ENTERTAINING TIP. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE?

I have a running collection of party supplies that I keep on hand at a moments notice (think: patterned paper plates, celebratory napkins, striped paper straws, confetti in all shapes and colors). By having these things at the ready, I am able to welcome people over for a fun impromptu celebration anytime without the stress of having to go out and buy party supplies! Oh, and vintage glasses. Always buy the fabulous vintage glasses you see at antique stores and estate sales! There’s no prettier way to serve a cocktail than in a retro glass.

Carrie Waller-23 Carrie Waller-06WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIECE IN YOUR HOUSE?

Choosing my favorite piece would be like asking a mother to choose her favorite child—it’s impossible! I love every single piece of vintage furniture, glassware, art, and textile we have in our house. They all tell a unique story and remind me of times like when my husband and I went to that little converted farmhouse antique store in Covesville, or when my sister and I braved the ratty old thrift store at the beach to uncover hidden treasures. Our collection of retro secondhand furniture and accessories are much more than just “things”—together, they’re a collection of palpable memories that are priceless to me.

Carrie Waller-35Carrie Waller-05WHO INFLUENCED YOUR INTERIOR STYLE?

My interior style is unabashedly retro and mid-century, with a hint of bohemianism thrown in for good measure. I love the sleek lines and edgy patterns of the 1960s, but also can’t get enough of the layered textiles of the boho aesthetic. I get a lot of inspiration from designers like Emily Henderson, Justina Blakeney, and Amber Interiors.

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Photography by Andrea Pesce & Carrie Waller

HOME TOUR WITH CARLY BURSON prepare to get crazy inspired

20151101LK Carly tour-085 Have you been following along on our Home Tour series? We travel around the country and find interesting people doing cool things, step inside their home, and get to know what makes their space a home. From Austin, Texas to Des Moines, Iowa we’ve fond artists, makers, prop stylists, graphic designers, and now the founder of sustainable accessory & apparel line, Tribe Alive.

Tucked in one of Ft. Worth’s charming neighborhoods, we are hanging out with Carly & her adorable daughter today and talking all things creative, inspiration, and what makes a good dinner party. Take a look & prepare to leave feeling very inspired.

20151101LK Carly tour-002INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

Hi, I am Carly Burson. I am 32, currently living in Fort Worth, TX & I am the Founder & CEO of Tribe Alive

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR SPACE?

The light. We have windows everywhere you turn and every room is saturated with beautiful and bright light.

carly_1WHAT HAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE BEEN?

Since becoming a mother I’ve had to let go of some of my expectations for how my home is styled. Though I am not a believer in children taking over a home, it’s just reality that their things and activities will end up becoming a part of your space. I want my daughter to be able to play and create no matter where she is so I work to incorporate things into each room that appeal to her imagination and my taste. It’s a challenge but fortunately there are some really great children’s brands out there with stylish options.

20151101LK Carly tour-188HOW WERE YOU ABLE TO GIVE YOUR HOME SUCH A COHESIVE LOOK? WE ARE OBSESSED!

My style is pretty minimal and rooted in a love of neutrals, clean lines and soft textures. I consider my taste fairly simple which makes cohesion easy to achieve.

YOU SEEM LIKE SUCH A FANTASTIC HOSTESS, ANY SECRETS FOR GREAT HOSPITALITY?

I’m far from a great hostess but because I come from a long line of them I’ve learned a few things over the years. Growing up I watched the women in my family plan everything around food. It’s how we celebrate time together and in a way it’s how we show love. For me hosting people in my home always involves great food. Or what I hope is great food.

20151101LK Carly tour-233WHAT IS A MUST HAVE FOR A GOOD DINNER PARTY?

Real conversation. Life is short and time is precious and there’s just no room for small talk. Discuss things that matter and open up the opportunity to learn something from each other in the process.

20151101LK Carly tour-323HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR INTERIOR STYLE?

My interior style is centered around neutrals, modern classics and minimalism. I believe in simplicity and investing in fewer but better things and feel my home represents that sentiment. I wouldn’t say my style is influenced by anything or anyone in particular, but there are certainly places I look for inspiration. I gravitate toward brands like West Elm and love their take on subtle but rich textures, modern prints, clean lines, and always the best in color.

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Photography by, the lovely, Hilary Walker

HOME TOUR WITH NICK & JOSEPH

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourAre y’all ready for this insane home tour? No matter your decorating style, everyone can jive with Nick & Joseph’s love of creating a welcoming space, furniture with a story, and designing a home their friends never want to leave. We would expect nothing less coming from this dynamic duo (hello, prop stylist & graphic designer power couple) but after seeing their space we are itching to pack up and move to Des Moines and create our own little modern bungalow! 

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NICE TO MEET YOU:

Nick Sellers (27) and Joseph Wanek (29)

CURRENTLY LIVING IN:

Des Moines, Iowa

WHAT DO YOU DO?:

Nick: Graphic Designer at Meredith Corporation

Joseph: Freelance Prop Stylist

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WHEN PEOPLE WALK INTO YOUR SPACE, WHAT IS THE FEELING YOU WANT THEM TO HAVE?

We have large windows on both sides of our living room, so we want people to have a sense that they’re sitting outside. We have a large screened-in patio on the back of the house and, in the summer, we fill it with as many plants as possible. Last summer we had about 7 full-sized palm trees out there! It’s partially because we love the way plants make a space feel alive, but it’s also a way to create privacy from our neighbors.

Because we can only be outside for half the year in Iowa, at the end of the season we try to bring in as many plants as we can, so it feels like we are sitting on our patio even when it’s snowing outside. Our neighborhood is full of 1950s “California-style” ranches and that also helps dictate our space’s indoor/outdoor vibe.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourWE ARE OBSESSED WITH YOUR LIVING ROOM – TELL US A BIT ABOUT IT

Given the clean lines of our mid-century home, we wanted the decor to feel fresh: decorated, but simple and modern. When we moved in together, we merged our two different styles using the items we had from previous apartments, creating an eclectic mix between mid-century and industrial. While some of our decor items are flea market finds, we have many pieces that have stories behind them. The oversized industrial coffee table was rescued from an old building Joseph’s family owned at one time, while the armchair, credenza, and other wooden mid-century pieces throughout the home are Nick’s grandmother’s original furniture. The great thing is that you could spend thousands of dollars at West Elm or CB2 for similar items, but we got them for free and they have been passed on from family members, making the space much more personal.

Another feature we love is our black accent wall. In a way, the TV visually blends in with the wall, so when it is not in use, it looks like there are just two staghorn ferns offset to the right. It’s a good way to hide electronics that would otherwise stick out.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourWHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR HOME?

We love the mid-century character of our house and that it has a better allocation of space than older sectioned-up homes we looked at in the area. For the most part, the living room, dining room, and kitchen all feel like one space, which is closer to the open concept being built in homes today. We also love that the large windows on both sides of the living room are original to the house and that the window supports create mini shelf space, the perfect spot to set more plants!

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourWHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST DESIGN CHALLENGE?

One challenge was choosing the right paint colors. Our home’s color palette goes from white to black and what seems like every shade of gray in between. Grays and whites are the hardest because you can end up with a very blue or brown gray, or a dirty beige white. While all the colors work together, each space has its own shade, giving every room its own personality.

Our other big challenge was deciding what to put on the walls. It’s tough because, art is so expensive, we’ve been waiting to find the perfect thing for above the couch and we just haven’t found it. Stuck somewhere between having bare walls and spending a small fortune, we decided to create our own art. We bought the oversized frames from Ikea and went to the Des Moines Botanical Gardens to take up-close, almost abstract photos of palm trees and got them printed on a large format printer for fairly cheap.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourView More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourIF YOUR HOUSE HAD A SPIRIT COCKTAIL, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

More like, what wouldn’t it be!? We love entertaining, especially in the summer when we can be on the patio, and the type of gathering usually determines the signature drink. Our favorite mixed drinks are margaritas, mojitos, mules, and martinis but we also show wine and champagne a lot of love.

One of our favorite cocktails is one taken from a rooftop bar in San Diego. “The Cougar” has a ridiculous name, but it’s a summery take on a Greyhound.

 

THE COUGAR

2 shots pear flavored vodka

Splash of St. Germaine

Fill the rest of the glass with Simply Grapefruit juice and ice and do an optional sugared rim.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourWE LOVE A GOOD ENTERTAINING TIP, DO YOU HAVE ONE YOU TWO SWEAR BY?

The right playlist can make or break a party. Our favorite is Pandora’s Hipster Cocktail Party station because it can work for a dinner party or for a more lively get together.

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DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN STYLE & WHAT INSPIRED IT

Our style is modern but still warm and livable. We have such an eclectic mix of things that it’s hard to define. We definitely think balance is key. Whereas the living room has a lot going on, we balance it out with simplicity in the other rooms. Some of our black accents bring a polished and sophisticated feel to the space and help ground the pops of color and greens from the plants and art.

Our style has many influences and is forever changing. It changes based on the space we live in, places we travel, and what we see at work. Because we both work in the world of publications and design (we both met on a photo shoot) we have the benefit of being around other creative people and seeing what great new trends are coming up.

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WHAT IS NEXT & WHERE CAN WE FIND MORE?

Although we are at a point where we feel good with our home’s decor and renovations, we still have a long way to go. We hope everyone will check out our brand new lifestyle Instagram, @nickandjosephstyle, to see before photos of our house, travel experiences (including our recent trip to Thailand), entertaining inspiration, and upcoming DIY home projects. But let’s be real, you should actually follow it to see more pictures of our cat, Julio!

Joseph and Nick

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Photography by the lovely, Lauren Konrad

ARTIST PROFILE | SIMPLY TAYLOR

blog photoMeet the inspiring gal behind Simply Taylor, a site dedicated to nutrition made easy! Taylor Riggs, you’re new favorite food blogger, is a registered dietitian and whips up some of the most delicious recipes that won’t break the bank or leave you stranded in the kitchen for hours. Best news? She is coming out with a cookbook!

Today we are going a bit behind the scenes as she tells us about her journey, the process of turning her passion into a business, and what every day inspiration looks like. Plus, a few key tips on how to eat well one step at a time!

IMG_2599NAME:

Taylor Riggs

CURRENTLY IN:

Columbus, OH

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT YOU DO:

I am a Registered Dietitian and creator of the healthy-living food blog, Simply Taylor (and also a soon-to-be cookbook author!) I have a big passion for real, whole foods and a strong belief in balance. I love putting a healthy twist on people’s not-so-healthy favorite dishes and proving to people that eating well doesn’t have to mean boring, tasteless or restrictive!

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WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU:

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 10 years old, so living with the disease every day inspires me to lead a healthy life, especially when it comes to my diet. Food plays such a huge role in managing type 1, so taking care of my body and nourishing it properly plays a huge part in what inspires me to help others do the same!

WHAT DOES BEING CREATIVE MEAN TO YOU?

To me, being creative means expressing yourself through what you are passionate about, and not worrying too much if everyone else will love it. I think that’s when the best stuff comes out, when you really work from your own heart, and do what YOU love. The rest will follow!

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WE ARE SO INSPIRED THAT YOU ARE ABLE TO STAY SO CREATIVE. WHERE DO YOU FIND EVERYDAY INSPIRATION?:

Oh gosh, everywhere! With social media being the way it is, it’s easy for me to flip through my favorite Instagram feeds or browse Pinterest for new inspiration, but in working with food, nature itself can be so inspiring! With the bright colors and interesting tastes and textures of fresh fruits and vegetables, it’s not difficult to find beauty in the grocery store or your own garden!

TELL US ABOUT THE START OF YOUR PASSION:

I started blogging during my second year of college when I really started paying attention to what I ate and how it affected my body. I would write about meals I ate and workouts I did, and it eventually evolved into a full-on recipe blog, where I now share my creations with others so that they can try them, too!

IMG_4005-2WHEN YOU GET IN A CREATIVE RUT, HOW DO YOU GET UN-STUCK?:

This probably sounds silly, but I actually have an album on my phone titled “inspiration”(super creative, right?) where save screenshots of different photos I see on Instagram or messages I get from friends or other creatives to look at when I get into a rut. I’ll look at those and remember why I saved them or try to remake something I saw with my own personal twist. Sometimes I see photos I forgot I even saved and it brings about a whole new stream of creativity!

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WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR AN ASPIRING CREATIVE?:

Be yourself! It sounds so cliché, but it’s so true! If you do exactly what someone else is doing, it can be boring and dull. But finding your own style and quirks makes you interesting and personable, which people love to see! Your audience wants to relate to you, so don’t be afraid to put your true self out there! For example, being 6 feet tall, I often joke about my “#tallgirlproblems” on social media (which I used to be kind of insecure about). I swear, I now have an entire following of fellow tall girls who can relate that don’t even care about my recipes! Ha! It’s all about celebrating what makes you, you!

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WHERE CAN WE GO TO FIND MORE OF YOUR WORK?:

Website: simply-taylor.com

Instagram: @simplytaylorblog

Twitter: @simplytayblog

Snapchat: riggs-taylor

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HOME TOUR WITH KATELYN HERLEIN

921239_10153916996975407_8046886323809239054_oOoh friends, today is going to be such a fun day! We are stepping inside the gorgeous home of Katelyn Herlein, blogger behind Katalina Girl, E-commerce Editor of Meredith Corporation, and about a dozen other amazing side hustles that I won’t spoil for you now.

You are going to fall in love with her sunny space, her adorable pups, and her philosophy on decorating is something we can totally get behind. Scroll down and discover your new favorite home inspo – yep, it’s that good!
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Full name: Katelyn Herlein (Soon to be Katelyn Cheek in 4 weeks to the day)

Age: 24

Location: Des Moines, IA

Current title/company: 

E-Commerce Editor for Meredith Corporation (Better Homes and Gardens, Fitness Magazine, Shape Magazine, Parents.com, MyWedding.com, Recipe.com)

Founder/Owner of Katalina Girl

Director of Sponsorship for Go Blog Social

Home Designer for Oakstone Homes

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/katalinagirl

 Describe your interior style and who influenced it. 

My interior style is inspired from growing up living in the country or on a lake my entire life. We were always running and playing in and out of the house and that’s still how my fiancé and I are. We need a house that’s livable, not one that’s filled with expensive items that if they get dirty or ruined it’s the end of the world. I love a space that you feel comfortable in with cozy textures and soft, feel-good colors. I wanted my house to feel like a home but a stylish home—with the fixtures and finishes I was given. My ideal décor style is a farmhouse or something French country. I just designed this modern farmhouse kitchen for one of our clients and I think it speaks to a lot of my true interior style. I love whites and grays. I truly believe people live longer and are happier in brighter spaces.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/katalinagirl

How were you able to arrive at such a cohesive style and presence?

I’ve always been a girl that admires a lot of different styles but when it comes to my own home, I know exactly what I want. I crave a cozy, livable home with neutral colors and rustic elements. I love the farmhouse style with modern bohemian touches—that’s where the small pops of color comes in. Plus I believe that by keeping your house neutral, it’s easier to decorate for holidays and other occasions without spending a fortune.

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What is your favorite part of your space?

My living room! It’s where my fiancé and our pups spend most of our time. I love my cream-colored couch, Safavieh rug, wood + gold metal coffee table—it was a Home Goods find. I also love my hanging plant with macramé holder. You can never have enough plants.

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What has been the biggest challenge?

It’s a really small space. The back-story…My fiancé—Brandon—and his dad own a home building business called Oakstone Homes. Brandon and I had been trying to sell our house and it had been on the market for almost 6 months. (Brandon is also a realtor.) We went to Hawaii in late February, early March and got engaged. When we returned from our trip we had an offer on the house. Great new, right? The buyer wanted to move in within 10 days. We weren’t going to let this seller pass us by after 6 months of sitting on the market. We agreed to sell and have a 10-day closing. Our plan when we initially put our house on the market was to one, either have a longer closing or two, rent a place until we could build another home. As homebuilders we’ve never lived in a house that we haven’t built. Financially it’s silly.

Obviously we weren’t going to be able to build a house in 10 days and finding somewhere to rent for 6 months with a 200lb Great Dane was impossible. We ended up buying a twinhome, which was really our ONLY choice. And if you didn’t know, most houses take a minimum of two weeks to one month to close on. Luckily we knew the builder and we were able to move into the house before closing. It was a wee bit of a nightmare. All-in-all it had standard fixtures and standard finishes. Not my dream home by any means at a mere 1,300 square feet. We had only planned on being there for 6 months while we built our new house but wanted to keep the twinhome to rent out as extra income.

With planning and paying for a wedding, I didn’t think I could take on the extra stress of building a new home right away. We’ve now been in our home for about 9 months and I’ve been able to make it ours with a few fixture upgraded and the right décor. It’s been a process. I hope to build our new home in 2016 or even 2017. I’m really in no rush now. Now that I do all of the design work for Oakstone Homes it keeps my love of home design fulfilled so I can put my home off for awhile. I’m currently designing a modern lodge home on a wooded lot. It’s going to be amazing—think timber beamed ceilings.

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 You always seem like such an amazing hostess. What’s your secret for great hospitality?

Being prepared. I’m always over prepared for everything. I know I hate going somewhere that doesn’t have a drink or food I like so I like to be really accommodating for my guests. It keeps them coming back. It also helps having a wedding registry to get all of the home and kitchen items I’ve had on my wishlist for a while.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/katalinagirl
We love a good entertaining tip, do you have any you swear by?

Fresh flowers make all the difference. 100% whenever someone comes over, I always make sure I have fresh flowers. It’s an instant room-pick-me-up without trying too hard. A tip for buy fresh flowers…Whenever I go to grab flowers at the grocery store or market, I grab the ones that have started to bloom and then ask for half price. It’s silly to pay full price for flowers that won’t last as long as the ones that still a bud and 9 out of 10 times, they give me half price. I usually walk out with bouquets for under $5 or $10.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/katalinagirl


Photography by Lauren Konrad Photography

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HOME TOUR WITH LAUREN KELP

HT|DWF0025Hello friends! We’ve been doing Home Tours for a while now & I can honestly say they are one of my favorite series of the site. It’s so fun to take a peek inside someones home, see how they decorate, learn about new spaces, and get to know someone better. Today is an extra fun Home Tour for me because today we are stepping inside our Chicago home!

If you’ve been following the site for a bit, you might remember our Phoenix home tour. From Austin to Phoenix to Chicago in a quick two years, we’ve gotten really good at moving! But, this January we moved downtown Chicago and plan on kicking it around the Windy City for a bit. So come on in and let me show you around!

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We developed a love for weird, funky art while living in Austin & Arizona, so you can defiantly see the Southwestern influence throughout the house.HT|DWF0019 HT|DWF0016My parents live in Chicago, so since moving home, we’ve been able to…commandeer a few of their pieces. This red chair used to be my Grandfather’s and was a staple in my Dad’s house growing up. Whenever he comes over, he looks at it, smiles, and settles right in. HT|DWF0015 HT|DWF0013

Between Hendrick’s Gin (or Koval if you are local) and a good bottle of wine, I am a happy gal.HT|DWF0012I don’t care what anyone says, the Ugly Doll stuffed animals are hysterical. This guy always makes us smile when we walk upstairs.
HT|DWF0011 HT|DWF0010Oh, so this was a really fun project! I’ve always wanted to try my hand and an industrial rolling rack and this was the perfect excuse. This little guy was so fun and super easy to make!
HT|DWF0004 HT|DWF0003 HT|DWF0002et Voila! Our first spot in Chicago. There is lots of work to do, but we think the bones are pretty fun. You can’t beat 19 foot ceilings downtown!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
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HOME TOUR WITH KATE LESUEUR

MH20150327-109Candice here, and I’ve known for a while that I wanted to share Kate LeSueur’s home with you.  Mostly because she totally upended how I think about hosting, serving appetizers, and the like.  Mostly because she prepares food beautifully and casually.  Mostly because conversation with her is so easy.  Scroll through the beautiful photos below and be inspired by her inviting leather Chesterfield, marble top furniture that ushers in the spirit of New Orleans, and most of all, her hospitality.MH20150327-21

{Kate’s mismatched cane-bottom chairs and marble table takes me straight to a Louisiana bistro.}

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{The photography above the couch are Kate’s originals.}

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MH20150327-38{This afternoon, Kate served pickled carrots and made a batch of homemade potato chips for us to snack on with Campari Spritzers.}

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{Here’s little peek of her latest work below and here:}

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How did you find the space?

We found the space by just driving around the neighborhood.  We knew what part of town we wanted to be in, so we just persisted.  This old complex of 6 apartment units was built in the 50s.  They were being refurbished at the time, so we left our names and phone numbers on other tenants’ cars and doors with hopes of a call back.  We got super lucky.

What do you love about your space?

I love how quiet it is.  Walking in this neighborhood has yet to get old.  And it’s really a privilege to be able to so easily and quickly walk or bike to run errands or go grab a drink.  And, I love that it is where we are now, in so many ways.  It’s far from done, which can be difficult at times since we’re constantly over stimulated with social media and the internet — seeing everyone’s perfect nook, wall, room.It’s exhausting, frankly — the sense of urgency to have everything perfect now, how it’s hard to find originality, and largely, that it’s rare to see something that feels honest.  I’m guilty of it, trying to make things look perfect knowing it will be photographed – running around town trying to find new furniture, etc etc.  I quickly had to can that feeling not only because I had no luck in finding anything, but also remembered that a beautiful, personal space is collected slowly, created over much time.   I think a challenge also lies in that when one does creative work, there is sort of an expectation that every part of their life is perfectly curated.

Pretty please share that Campari Spritzer recipe!

We were outside of Venice once with a big group of friends and missed a train we hustled to catch.  So at the tiny station, we ordered Campari spritzers.  They served them with a big salty green Cerignola olive.  It was everything.  A favorite food memory for sure.  It’s just Campari and sparkling water.  And that green olive.

Give us your top entertaining tip.

People love potato chips.  And warmed olives.  They are the perfect easy bite with a good drink.  Both are great with a sprinkle of dried herbs de provence.  The more approachable you keep things (including yourself and your home), your guests are more comfortable and everyone is happier.

Stay on the look out for more of Kate’s work here on the blog – it’s coming soon!  And finally, thank you so much Kate for sharing your home, such an intimate space, with us.

Stunning house tour photographs by Minette Hand.


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HOME TOUR WITH ALEXIA BROWN

MH-20150327-27Candice here, and I’ve got a total knock out home tour to share with you today.  Thanks to beauty Alexia Brown, the Owner & Curator behind Byron & Blue, who was so gracious to have me and Minette come spend an afternoon talking about life and drinking cold beer, today’s post will inspire you to be you.  From the way she styled her shelves to the way she organizes pots and pans, Alexia’s comfortability in her own skin is a true breath of fresh air. Scroll through my favorite photos from the shoot and find words of decorating and entertaining wisdom from Alexia below.

MH-20150327-33{Personal details on a vintage record cabinet greet guests.}

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{Using hooks and a mirror she transforms this potentially tricky space into a foyer.}

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living room details{Don’t you love the way Alexia layers rugs and uses vintage textiles to color her couch and living space?}

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{This shelving unit helps divide the long living space and is filled with sentimental treasures.}

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{Utilizing another vintage staple, she created an open space – perfect for storage and conversation.}

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MH-20150327-37{Simple open shelving and hanging pots make getting around the kitchen easy.}

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{Just up the ladder is Alexia’s bedroom loft.  With no storage options, she’s built in creative, functional shelving.}

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{Alexia also transformed a tiny space behind her bathroom door into a makeshift closet for extra storage!}

What do you love about your space?

I love the lofted bedroom and high ceilings. It makes the space feel airy and un-cramped, even though there isn’t a lot of square footage.

What’s been the biggest challenge?

The lack of a proper closet! I have a lot of clothing hanging in the bathroom, but what’s great about lack of storage is that it’s forced me to get rid of unnecessary belongings, which is a great feeling.

You took a long, open area and were able to break it up into spaces that made sense.  Tell us how you visualized and executed that.

I think the rugs help break up the space and the former tenant left these great shelves behind that helped create a separation, so it feels like I have a proper living room. And putting a dresser and some chairs and plants in the corner made it a little nook and separated it from the rest of the area.

Describe your interior style and maybe a little story about who influenced it. 

I make it a point to never over think my style. I feel that if you fill your home with what you love, it will just come together. It’s important to me that my home be unfussy and lived-in and comfortable.

My dad has always influenced my style – we did a lot of thrifting together when I was young and he was always bringing home great vintage finds.  It’s such a thrill when you find something that you can’t wait to take home.  He taught me that you should never put anything in your house you’re not excited about.

Give us your top entertaining tip.    

Always have Cards Against Humanity and lots of wine on hand.

Thank you thank you, one million times thank you, Alexia, for sharing your space with us.  If you want to get your hands on Alexia’s style check out Byron & Blue, her online shop.


Dreamy photos by Minette Hand 

Love Alexia’s style? Follow her Instagram!

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