Monday, October 24, 2011


Green Tip of the Week:  ECO FRIENDLY COSTUMES!

Halloween is just around the corner.  I read over the weekend that American's spend over 5 billion dollars a year on Halloween costumes and decorations..kinda crazy!  Here are some money saving and eco-friendly tips for this "holiday" that I have a love/hate relationship with. 

-Use existing clothes in your/your child's wardrobe as the base for their costumes.

-Invest in props that can be reused for multiple costumes over multiple years.  Swords, capes and belts can be used to complete multiple children costumes

-Buy face masks made of natural latex not polyvinyl chloride.  PVC is a non-recyclable plastic that off-gasses dioxins that have been shown to cause cancer.

-Search through thrift stores for funky/interesting articles of clothing.  You never know what you can find!!!

-When building/constructing your costume, use materials such as cardboard, foil and paper that can be recycled after Halloween is over.

-Purchase water-based face paint that is non-toxic and hypoallergenic.  Use natural sea sponges to apply face-paint that can be rinsed and reused.

These helpful eco-friendly hints were from National Geographic.

Have a safe and fun Halloween!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Mandell Nursery

 I am SO beyond excited today because my cousin emailed me saying she wants me to do her nursery for her lil bun in the oven, and its a girl!  The Mandell family is completely dominated by men and when we found out that a baby girl is coming into the family we were all so ecstatic.  I can't help but start brainstorming ideas and schemes for lil princess.  I can't also stop thinking about how superstitious Jews are when it comes to preparing everything before the baby is born...a big no no!  My mom said that when my older sister was born, my Dad had to rush home and put together the crib and changing table, thats seriously superstitious!

I am very excited to work with my cousin because she is a handbag designer for Mia Bossi (beautiful diaper bags that don't look like diaper bags!) which means she is super chic and stylish.  This should be real fun! Here are just some ideas I came up with on the fly after getting this amazing news...  
Precious polka-dots
My favorite scheme of the bunch...soft, sweet, and super chic!
For the glam baby
This scheme is runner up for my favorite.  May be too sophisticated for a babygirl but like I always say, "A fabulous design is a timeless design."  She will grow into it.
What could be better for a baby girls room than a pink crib?!?
This one may be more modern cribs
Seriously, could this crib be any cooler?  So major!

Ok so my cousin Rob is a die hard Jayhawk (as am I! Rock Chalk!!!) and wants to keep his pictures/memorabilia in the nursery.  That aint happening!  But maybe these silver KU letters can make an appearance 
Obviously there will be a Baby J in the crib for her to cuddle with.  

Can't wait to get started!  Stay tuned for more details!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011


GREEN TIP OF THE WEEK:  "Weatherizing your home"

Now that the weather is starting to cool down (tear), now is a perfect time to prepare you home for the frigid cold weather us Chicagoans endure.  According to the Department of Energy, "Heating accounts for the biggest chunk for your utility bill, accounting or more than 40% if you include heating the space in your home as well as your water.  Weatherization can save you 25 to 40% on your heating and cooling bills."   via.  Believe it or not, doors, windows, and other sources of exposure to outdoor air can cause major leaking thus creating more energy for your heating system to counter-act the cool air.

Here are some tips to weatherize your home for under $20
*Identify areas in your home where you may have leaks.  Look for gaps in your doorways where you can see visible light filtering in.  Hold a match or incense near windows or areas where you have large cracks.  If the fire flickers or the incense is drawn to the outdoors, you have found a leak!

*Buy weather stripping for your doors and windows at your local hardware store or Home Depot.

*Use caulking to seal up areas where you have cracks.  You can also buy caulk from your local hardware store.

Stay warm!


Thursday, October 13, 2011


Yesterday I had a few hours of some downtime, so what do I go and do...visit just a few my favorite antique spots in the city.  I can go Antiquing all day everyday if I was financially stable and had no responsibilities.  I would also buy out all the malls.  Here are  a few of my favorite pieces I saw yesterday.

 This adorable tray
 Modern chair with sweet upholstery
 Love the burnt orange
 These are the perfect side chairs for any modern home
Hand blown lamp base
Call me crazy but I LOVE this couch.  Love the shape and the fabric.  Plus they did an amazing job with the upholstery.  Look at how everything lines up perfectly.
This shag rug looks like its on fire and I love.
4' tall candelabra  in black.
Perfect for the retro-chic urban man

Perfect for the glam girl, perhaps a nightstand or side table
Obsessed with this Merimekko canvas art.  Love the color blocking
Old school (literally) lockers.  Can be used as cabinets.
Steel boxes
What can I say?  I have a weakness for anything industrial looking.
The perfect office chairs
Such a rad mirror.  It's HUGE and only 200$
Drooling over these lucite barstools.  May have to purchase...
Fainted when I saw this sweet lil bench.  How fabulous!
Again, with the industrial look.  I can't resist.  Desk with what looks to be old mailboxes from an office or school.  

Hope you enjoyed my finds as much as I did!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Green Tip of the Week:  Now is the BEST time to start composting!

Why is it the best time?  Fall is back in season which means leaves are falling from the trees and summer flowers/seasonal gardens are beginning to die.  Fruits, vegetables, and other types of food also enriches soil produced from composting.  Using natural and organic materials enriches composted soil and reduces the need for water, fertilizer, and pesticides.  If you keep a small garden indoor or outdoor, those plants will love those extra nutrients.

Here is an example of one compost bin

After everything in the compost container is broken down (which may take a few months) may look something like this...

Happy composting!

Friday, October 7, 2011

My Dream House...a Fantasy

So I have come up with the idea to "build" my dream house and share with you my fantasies.  Each week I will dedicate a post on something that I would like my dream home to entail.  Some ideas may be far-fetched, unrealistic, realistic...basically anything goes!  It's a fantasy, right?

I will start a the basic exterior.  I LOVE and dream to have a Prefabricated house for many reasons.  One is that the homes are aesthetically beautiful, two is that they are made of sustainable and recycled materials, three -they are totally my design style and four is the cost of a Prefabricated house is affordable.  Here are three prefab homes that I fantasize about-hoping to mesh all three together to create the perfect home.
What I love about this prefab house is simplicity and clean lines.  I love the look of natural wood paired with steel elements.
If I were to every build my fantasy home, I want a ranch-style house.  One floor with a killer floorplan.
Multiple outdoor living space is crucial.
Dreaming of sliding glass doors along the perimeter of the entire house so you can open all doors on a beautiful day to double the size of your home.
I love all the windows and two-tone materials.
Like I said, multiple outdoor living spaces.  And obviously a pool, but thats for another blog entry...dreaming big!

All of these prefab homes and concepts were conceptualized and designed by Blu Homes.  Genius!  Stay tuned for next weeks post on building my dream home!



Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Sad Day for the World...

RIP Steve Jobs.  YOU are the innovator of technology.  Thank you for making so many things possible in today's world.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What I am LOVING This Week

The other day I went to the FLOR carpet tile showroom in Lincoln Park to look for some options for a client.  I looked around and I was immediately drawn to their new pattern Fine Feathers.  My jaw dropped.
When I saw this I knew that I needed to have this carpet tile in my office after I repaint or wallpaper the room.  It would look so perfect with my new desk from Room and Board.
Looks so chic!  I can't wait to place to purchase and place down!  Stay tuned for when that happens!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Vintage Ceiling Tiles

Right now I am working on a very unique and pretty large project.  I am approaching this project in many phases so I don't overwhelm myself with the amount that needs to be redesigned and completed.  The space that I am working on is a vintage building in Bucktown that is over 100 years old.  After the interior demolition was completed, I went took a look inside to see what I was working with... 

In the future this will be the "lobby".  It is in pretty raw form but what I instantly noticed was gold...

...its these vintage tiles that line the entire ceiling of the first floor!  I was beyond excited!  The ceiling tiles have been painted over but with a lot of time and love, they are going to be focal point of the space! 

My inspiration image

Here are some creative ways vintage ceiling tiles have been reused
A beautiful headboard...
A decorative mirror...
A unique bulletin board...
Stay tuned to see the process these tiles will go through!