Wednesday, November 28, 2012

and just like that

...everything changed.

a very unexpected, heartbreaking development has happened in my life. please forgive me while i take some time to myself to cope.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Everygirl Event at Kate Spade

As promised, a lil' candy-colored image recap from last Thursday's event at Kate Spade w/ photos directly from the iPhone of yours truly. To see far prettier photos from the professionals, visit The Everygirl today!

Hostesses with the mostesses. Or something like that. Decked out in Kate Spade because the brand is truly awesome like that.

Pretty maids all in a row.

Loved that so many Everygirl staffers and contributors came out! Including but not limited to...
our Everygirl copy editor Lisa Sanchez, straight from Boston

our super wordsmith Elizabeth Fitzgerald

Danielle and I w/ Everygirl alumn Caitlin Brown and Mary Mullen and our fall writing intern/in-house fashionista Annie Walsh

our dynamite photogs, Maura and John Stoffer, whose beautiful photos from the event you can see on The Everygirl today!

...and there were friends and loved ones! Not to say staffers aren't friends, obvi. But you know what I mean.
with the lovelies Taylor of Curly in the City and Gina of River North Paleo

Skirt PR represent! Clair and Caitlin (future and former Everygirls)

this tall glass of water surprised me and stopped by

...the only man in a sea of women and glitter who wasn't paid to be there (literally the only other men were photographers and waiters). #makesmyheartsing

And then there was my favorite part... meeting readers! No surprise how personable, smart, and stylish all these ladies were. And friendly! Many of them are from Chicago, two sisters were from Alaska! Their careers varied from PR to tech consulting. Boy would I love to get together with a big group some time and really talk - more than you can in the five minutes of chatting at a cocktail party. I'm sure we'd all become fast friends.

Seriously - how fashionable are these ladies?!
Yay Kate Spade!

Yay surprise write-up on Vanity Fair's blog!

Yay prettier event pictures by John and Maura!

Yay Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I'm finally going to Michigan to hang with my new niece!

What are your plans for my favorite holiday?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

GIVEAWAY: Win a Free Night at Radisson Hotels

Radisson Hotels is celebrating their 50th anniversary and are giving away 50 free nights for 50 days across the blogosphere! Today, the giveaway has come to Live Creating Yourself!

A few places I'd love to visit? Seattle or Charleston. Easy.

One winner will win one night voucher that is valid for one free night, standard room, double occupancy at any North American Radisson Blu or Radisson Hotel of the winner’s choice. The voucher expires one year after issue date. The full terms and conditions are located on the room night voucher.

- Leave a comment letting me know what North American city you'd visit for your free night at the Radisson! See the list of destinations here. And tell me: what do you have planned and when would you try and go? Girls trip? Visiting a long-distance friend or relative? Just need a night away? Be sure to include your email in the comment so I can contact you!

- Sunday at midnight. Winner will be announced on Monday, November 19!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Old Apartment Tour: Restyled Before and After

I bet you all thought I was done talking about my old apartment. Well, I'm not! Muhahaha...

I mentioned making a few subtle changes around the old place and restyling for the Chicago Home and Garden shoot, and I wanted to share those with you here in a good ol' before and after showcase! Plus, my dear friend Danielle Moss took these photos, so I now officially have the rights to them. So feel free to pin and share away (with proper sourcing credit, of course)!

I was very happy with the way my old home looked in the first place, but it's nice to make changes as your style evolves and your budget allows it. The old coffee table, for example, was a Craigslist purchase that worked just fine. But when I went to the Jayson Home and Garden warehouse sale last year and found my favorite coffee table for a fourth of its usual price, I couldn't pass it up. Switching out art I made on my own for art I purchased was another update. And the dining room got the biggest overhaul with a new rug and table. Some rooms like the kitchen and office didn't change much at all.

Well, enough from me... I'll let the photos show you! Note I've linked to online sources wherever possible.

The Living Room
before and after
CHANGES: new art, coffee table, switched out the throw, pillows, and pouf, and restyled coffee table. Hi my name is Alaina. And I'm addicted to poufs.

SOURCES: couch: Value City Furniture // colorblock throw pillows: Stone Textile // art: Alicia Bock Paris Rooftops // rug: West Elm // pouf: Joss and Main // coffee table: Jayson Home and Garden (warehouse sale purchase) // white chair: Walter E. Smithe // garden stool: West Elm // floor lamp: West Elm // vertical bookshelf: West Elm // curtains: West Elm // ladder: vintage

coffee table before and after
CHANGES: I raided Jayson Home and Garden to create this beautiful new arrangement.
SOURCES: feather tray, pyrite cluster, crystal cluster, plant holder: Jayson Home and Garden // candle sconce: West Elm

The Dining Room
before and after

CHANGES: This room got the biggest face lift thanks in large part to the pink rug from RugsUSA. Every time I Instragram a photo with this rug in it, I get tons of likes and several people asking me for the source. I realize the pink was a daring, less practical move... a decision I discussed at length with my design pro friend, Bailey (Peppermint Bliss). Ultimately, we decided, it's a girl's apartment. Do it. I now have it under my desk at my new place, and love love loooove it. I also switched out the dining table for this shoot since my old Craigslist table was in such horrible horrible shape. And notice I also restyled the bar - added more pink!

SOURCES: dining tableWest Elm // chairs: Craigslist // pink rugRugsUSA // mirrorIkea // bar shelvesIkea // artmy own // wall sconces: West Elm

what you didn't see - sad sad table.
I bought this antique table on Craigslist "refinished" for $70. Well, whoever sold it to me did a horrible job and most of the paint had been chipping off since the time I bought it. I made due by covering it with a tablecloth, but this just wasn't going to cut it for a photo shoot. *Sorry about the sock. My pup Fiona carries them around like a security blanket so they're normally all over the apartment.

another before and after

the buffet before and after

bar before and after
CHANGES: switched out the dark tray for a colorful lucite option, added more color

SOURCES: monogrammed lucite tray: Mattie Luxe // matches: Design Darling // you and me glasses: vintage

SOURCES: table: Ikea // chairs: thrifted // Persian rug: flea market // yellow rug: West Elm

before and after
CHANGES: not much - just switched out the rug!

SOURCES: desk and chair: Overstock // yellow pillow: Fabricadabra // chevron rug: RugsUSA // bookshelves: West Elm // lamp: Home Goods // pouf: West Elm // Live What You Love print: Heartfish Press

CHANGES: new bedding and I finally got my cheeky Lust pillow!

SOURCES: striped bedding: West Elm // Euro shams: West Elm // pillow: Jonathan Adler // picture frames above bed: Pottery Barn // lamps: J.C. Penny // nightstand tables: thrifted

Yay for styling! Finally finished!
and... as we all know. I've since moved! Click here to see how my new apartment, which I've affectionately named Belle, is coming along!

Monday, November 12, 2012

LCY Styles: Allison and Zach's Chicago Loft Before and After

So I did something kinda crazy. I took on an interior design client (yes - in addition to everything else I have going on...). After an hour-long in-person consult, a month and a half of e-decorating and waiting for items to arrive, my pal and assistant Caitlin Brown and I ventured to our client's home yesterday morning for the final installation. The homeowners, Allison and Zach, had a lot of great pieces to begin with. We were mostly responsible for the finishing touches. The details that take a space from nice to "I feel like I'm in a show on HGTV!" Client's words. Not mine. But they sure warmed my heart.

Enough words... more pictures.

As you can see, most of the furniture stayed the same in this joint living/dining room loft style apartment. We shuffled some of the pieces around a bit.. but you'll really see the difference with the new accent pieces, lamps, plants, couch jewelry (pillows and throws), and the most important part of all: the styling.

Above you see the biggest change in the space. There is a huge wall along the kitchen and dining portion of the large open room. Allison and Zach had a small set of bookshelves styled as a bar, which looked lovely, but the shelves were really too small for the space. Covering the wall with art would have been a huge cost. So we went with a more functional arrangement. There's no real entryway space, so we styled one in this area of the loft. Now there's added light from the table lamp and mirror, as well as storage from the drawers in the parsons console table. Definitely my favorite part of the room. Isn't it lovely?

Same wall, different angle.


The other large wall opposite the "entryway" just had a bookshelf on it, centered, split between the living and dining areas. We moved it over to make it a part of the dining section and added in a little chair and floor lamp nook to tie in with the living room. Hanging a sconce and a piece of art to these two spaces, respectively, helped define them further.

We moved the bar over to the bookshelves and style the shelves with items Allison had registered for. Lots and lots of serving pieces! A few personal photos in great frames helped make this more interesting than just an assortment of beautiful bowls and dishware.

Rug, coffee table styling, an oversized plant, pillows and throws... we just did our thang.


As you can see, a lot of the details and overall rearranging and hanging art came in to play with the styling/installation.

Caitlin and I were so so happy with how the project turned out! And the even better part? So were our clients. : )

I would share all the source details with you... but then I'd have to kill you. If you like what you see, shoot me a note at for pricing or questions about my design services!


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