Monday, 16 February 2015

New apartment intro tour!

Vinny and I have officially been in our new apartment for a month, so I thought it was about time to show you how things are shaking out so far decor-wise. We have a fairly long to-do list (which translates to a fairly long shopping list), but we are taking our time and tackling the list one by one. 

Today I took some shots of our bathroom, living room, dining area, and kitchen. The only areas not really shown today are the entryway and the bedroom, but those areas are still in need of a little crap-ton of TLC ;)


There's a nice amount of storage in here, and opposite of the toilet/sink area above are the full tub/shower and the washer/dryer. 

I was able to use a couple of my favorite prints from Girl and Parrot on Etsy (here and here)

My Jonathan Adler mohawk match strike makes me smile every time :)

Like in my last home, I used these Claire Elsaesser prints over the toilet. 

Bathroom To-Do List:

  • Get a shower curtain
  • Get a little stool for next to the tub, all stocked up with bath salts and oils :)

Living Area:

Since it's a small living area, we furnished it really simply, although we'd like to add a comfy chair and a larger coffee table eventually. Photobomb credits: My puppy, Charli :)

Opposite the sofa we have our TV and a couple Ikea Vittsjo bookshelves. 

I've been having fun styling the shelves with our favorite books, prints, and plants.

Living Room To-Do List:

  • Replace lamp shades on end table lamps
  • Add 2 other pieces of artwork to the wall between the TV and sofa (I have the art, I just need to pick up 2 more Ikea frames)
  • Potentially add a wood bench with pillows under the artwork
  • Add a wood console under the TV
  • Get a larger coffee table
  • Swap out the pillows (I'm waiting on some new feather inserts I ordered)
  • Add a cozy wool rug under the sofa
  • Repot the plants on the shelves
  • Add hanging plants to the right-hand corner of the sofa
  • Potentially add an easy chair


Our kitchen is just one long workspace, which took some getting used to. At the right-hand side of the photo you can see the table in our little dining nook.

My brother made those striped wood cutting boards! #talented

The hardest-working area of our kitchen, the coffee bar ;)

Kitchen To-Do List:
  • Add a long runner or 2 2x3 rugs in front of the sink and stove
  • Get a more colorful tea towel to hang on the stove handle
  • Style the shelf over the sink better, potentially adding a clock

Dining Area:

Not much to see here--and apologies for the dark shot, blogger wouldn't let me upload the lightened-up version :-/ Our 'dining table' is actually a campaign desk from World Market, but it fits perfectly in the space.

Dining Area To-Do List: 
  • Add placements (on order)
  • Buy new dining chairs
  • Potentially trim the drapes in something more colorful, or add a pelmet?

Overall I like where things are headed, but looking at these photos makes me more aware of how grey everything is. It would be nice to add in a little more color or texture to liven things up a bit, although I'd like the overall vibe to be fairly calm and cozy. 

What do you think? Any suggestions? Oh, and because I couldn't not post are a couple bonus shots of my fur-baby :)

Isn't she the cutest?!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

February-March-April 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

Ok, ok, I'm a little late posting this capsule, which I started at the beginning of February. But that's because I've been fiddling with it these first couple of weeks.

*Gasp* But isn't that against the rules of a capsule?? Aren't you supposed to pick your capsule items at the beginning and wear only those pieces??

Yes, that's the general idea. But I started February with a few different items, and once I started trying to get dressed with the new capsule, I found myself staring into my closet, at a loss for what to wear each morning. And that totally defeats the purpose of a capsule wardrobe, so I spent an extra couple of weeks tweaking things until the capsule became functional and inspirational again. Here's what I've ended up with:

Feb-March-April 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

Key: Bold = Capsule Basics; Italics = New Pieces; Regular font = Filler Pieces

Neutral Tops:
1-3: Black, white, and striped tanks
4. Chambray buttonup
5. Black long-sleeve striped tee
6. Black plaid buttonup
7. Grey v-neck tee
8. Graphic tee (Minnesota)

Colorful Tops:
1. Silk buttonup
2. Long-sleeve crossover top
3. Silky tee
4. Silky long-sleeve
5. Crop sweater

1.Black blazer
2. Jean jacket
3. Cream moto jacket
4. Color blazer
5. Black waterfall cardigan
6. Long sweater cardigan

1. Black trousers
2. Black skirt
3. Skinny jeans
4. Grey pencil skirt
5. Striped skirt
6. Black maxi skirt
7. Grey trousers
8. Colored cords
9. Black cropped ankle pants

1. Maroon dress
2. B&W Target dress
3. Fuchsia shift dress

1. Black boots
2. Black flats
3. B&W printed flats
4. White Converse
5. Black moto boots
6. Black wedge booties

To come up with the final 37 items for this capsule, I played around with numbers a bit. Originally a had a few more sweaters and tops and 6 bottoms, but I quickly learned that this left my closet unbalanced--I felt like I didn't have enough bottoms to wear to work. So I swapped out the tops that I gravitated away from and added in a few more pants. I also found that I prefer neutral bottoms but I like to split my tops pretty equally between neutrals and colorful options. In an ideal world, all of my colorful items would coordinate with each other, but since this is a real closet and not a made-up Pinterest one, I'm limited by the colors I've already purchased.

What are some of the tricks you've learned to make your capsule more functional?

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Capsule Wardrobe: The Building Blocks

Now that I've completed several fairly capsule wardrobes, I thought I'd take a look back at each one to figure out what has worked well and what hasn't. Upon my review, I noticed that each of my capsules has contained 11 of the same pieces, which in and of themselves create a mini-capsule of wardrobe basics. From here on out, it's safe to assume that each of my capsules will build upon these 11 pieces:

Capsule Wardrobe Basics

Nearly 100% of my outfits from any given capsule will incorporate at least one of these items. Since I try to build a 37-piece capsule, that means I have 26 pieces to play with on top of these!

Since I recently moved to a new climate, I didn't create a capsule for January because I wanted to figure out what works and what doesn't in Portland. I'm working on putting together a February-March-April capsule, so stay tuned for that!

Friday, 30 January 2015

Portland Fashion: Textural Black and White

One of my favorite things about moving to a new place is how everything is fresh and new. Every street has a restaurant or bar you haven't tried or an activity you haven't done. Each city tends to have its own fashion sense, too, and I think it's easier to pick out what makes each city's style unique when you've newly arrived from another city with its own style.

Portland ladies have it goin' on, I must say. There's a lot of black and a lot of boots and booties, which are right up my alley. Clothing tends to be minimalistic but with interesting cuts or layers to make it chic and stylish.

Yesterday I saw a girl at the bus stop and her outfit was just so good, I wrote it down on my phone and decided to make a post of it! She had on a big denim jacket, boxy black and white tweed tank, a black lace skirt, booties, tights, and an infinity scarf. Here's my take on her style:

Portland Style: Textures

Even though the entire outfit is black, white, and jean, it was so eye-catching because of all the different textures (lace, tweed, leather, denim). The girl I saw looked like she was heading to school, but I think variations on this style's theme could be made appropriate for work or going out, too:

Portland Fashion: Black, white, denim, textured

Have a great weekend everyone!

Saturday, 24 January 2015

"Starting Over" Capsule Wardrobe

Hey guys! Hope your new year has started off with a bang! I've been a busy bee since I last posted, as I'm sure you have been too. Since we last talked, I quit my job, got hip surgery, moved to Portland, and started a new job!

As part of the moving process, my boyfriend and I packed up all of our belongings in a shipping container and just prayed that they would make it to our intended destination. Fortunately, all of our things arrived intact, but it did make me think about how I'd rebuild my closet if I had to start completely from scratch.

I recently discovered the store Aritzia (which has a a storefront in Portland! Guess I know where my next paycheck is going.... ;) and I'm in love with virtually everything they stock. So for today's post I decided to build a "starting over" capsule wardrobe entirely made up of items from Aritzia, with shoes from DSW:

"Starting Over" Capsule Wardrobe

Starting Over: Aritzia and DSW

Item List: 
  1. Chambray shirt
  2. Striped tank
  3. White tee
  4. Long-sleeved blouse
  5. Cozy cardigan
  6. Dark denim
  7. Slim-fit black trousers
  8. Striped skirt
  9. Black skirt
  10. Pencil skirt
  11. Colored pants
  12. Little black dress
  13. Long-sleeved dress
  14. Sleeveless dress
  15. Black jacket
  16. Denim jacket
  17. Black heels
  18. Patterned sandals
  19. Sneakers
  20. Black flats

Here are a bunch of outfits you could create from this capsule: 

Starting Over: Outfits

Starting Over Outfits Part 2

This isn't even close to all of the options I thought up for this closet, which made me wonder what made this particular capsule so versatile. I think it breaks down to this:

  1. Equal distribution of black, white, color, denim, and stripes across various types of clothing (for example, I have a denim option as a top, jacket, and jeans; likewise, I have a black jacket, dress, skirt, and pants).
  2. Items that are in and of themselves pretty basic, but layering makes them more interesting.
  3. Items can all be dressed up or down, depending on need. 
  4. Common colors (denim, black, white, and jewel tones) make everything mixable.

What would your dream closet look like if you got to start all over? 

Monday, 22 December 2014

Quick Design: Sartorial Bad-assery

Maybe it's because I've just had hip surgery and am cooped up inside on cold gloomy wintery days, but lately I've been digging badass fashion. The problem? Most kickass outfits feature sky-high heels, which don't exactly match well with a bum hip. So I've pulled together a few looks with low- or no-height heels. Let the bad-assery commence.

Quick Design: Sartorial Bad-assery

I particularly want everything in the third outfit (that short-sleeve jacket would totally MAKE any outfit, no?) and the boots from the top outfit--they're rain boots with faux-fur lining!

What's getting you through these gloomy wintery days? The thought of Christmas is cheering me up :)

Sunday, 21 December 2014

We picked an apartment!

Hello, everyone! How are your Christmas lists looking? All shopped out? I, for one, actually finished my Christmas shopping about a week ago, giving me plenty of time to think about how I'm going to decorate the apartment we chose during our house-hunting trip last week!

We ended up signing a lease on the apartment layout I had previously shown you, but once we were inside it was clear that we'd slightly have to refigure some of the plans I had made. Here's a more accurate idea of what we're looking at:

Portland Living Room

Living Room:

  • The living area is small but just the right size to fit everything we need. We plan to put the sofa on the wall with the windows, facing the 3/4 wall. 
  • The sofa will have a console table with a pair of lamps behind it, reducing the need for side tables, so we can instead flank the sofa with tall plants (maybe I can make a fiddle leaf fig prosper? #wishfulthinking #blackthumb). 
  • We like to prop our feet up, so I plan to recover a Craigslisted ottoman with some vintage fabric like this or this, or perhaps a fabric like this or this
  • Opposite the sofa, on the 3/4 wall, we'll put the TV flanked by our Ikea Vittsjo bookcases. We've toyed with the idea of building a wood wall to mount the tv on, then a console table for under the TV, but we'll see.
  • On the wall between the windows and the 3/4 wall (the one opposite the kitchen), we'll keep things simple and just put three framed pieces of artwork. 
  • We'll float a fold-up director's chair in the space between the living and kitchen areas to help define the living space. Our wood footstool will fit nicely there as well.
  • I'll probably DIY a pelmet for the window and maybe add curtains, although the windows have blinds so curtains aren't strictly necessary and may make the room look too small. 
Dining Area: 

  • We plan to get a rectangular table similar to the one shown, but orient it 90 degrees from the picture above and fit it up against the wall of windows. We'll add two more foldable director's chairs. 
  • I don't mind the pendant they have installed, but I may DIY a lampshade cover for it to spice up the area a little. 
Kitchen area: 

  • The kitchen/entry hall area has TONS of storage, which was a huge selling point for us. We'll store most of our outdoor gear and off-season clothing in the big closets and all our kitchen stuff should fit in the cupboards. 
  • I plan to keep the counters pretty clear of clutter, although I may add a tray to corral cutting boards, a utensil crock, salt/pepper/oil containers, etc. 
  • I have a nice runner that I'll spread in front of the stove/sink area to warm things up a bit.

  • The bedroom is pretty tiny, so we don't plan to have much in it--just a DIY bed frame and a pair of Ikea bedside tables. 
  • We'll add lamps to the tables and dress up the bed in mismatched grey and navy prints. 
  • You can't see it in the picture above, but the wall to the left of the bed is the 3/4 wall seen in the living room pictures. I plan to buy removable wallpaper and paper up to the 3/4 mark on the wall seen above (behind the bed). 
  • Then I'll add the America map we've had in our bedroom for a while and flank it with candle holders
  • I'll add some pretty wood hooks for bathrobes/jackets and call it good!

  • The bathroom is actually a pretty generous size and includes a washer and dryer. 
  • I plan to keep things simple here too, adding the three Claire Elsaesser prints I've had in previous bathrooms (here, here, and here) plus this one by Girl and Parrot.
  • I'll add a simple shower curtain and hand towels (on my Christmas list!) along with a rug I picked up when I lived in Chile in college. 
Entry nook:

  • Originally we thought we'd have to use this little nook for bike storage, but we were able to secure a storage unit literally next door to our apartment, so instead we can use the entry nook for shoe storage.

Overall I'm shooting for the minimal bohemian look I described here.  I'm also striving to follow the William Morris school of thought: "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." 

Do you think this design achieves those aims?