Celebrity Small Space | Cecily Strong's Apartment Makeover

When SNL star Cecily Strong realized that her rental was not reflecting her personality, she turned to her local West Elm's free Home Stylist Johanna. Together they turned the lackluster studio into a vibrant, personality-packed space.

“Before it felt like a hospital waiting room to me… Now it just feels like way cooler than I am!” – Cecily Strong

Check out a few before and after shots:


Update: My Teeny-Tiny Kitchen / Dining / Living Room, Rearranged

Last week, I posted about how my kitchen, dining space, and living area are combined into one room in my Victorian-era apartment. My bedroom is spacious, but I'm still trying to find the balance between cozy and cramped in this multi-functioning space. Friday afternoon, I slightly rearranged for a more open layout.


Brilliant Dorm & Apartment Wall Art Solution: Pegboard Wall Gallery

I stumbled across this pegboard idea in all its vibrant, creative glory and now I feel a weekend project coming on. The 2012 Design Files Open House featured this gallery wall brilliantly hung on white pegboard. I must confess that this idea crossed my mind a few months back, but I'd never seen it executed. Pegboards are everywhere: hanging pots and pans, organizing art and office supplies, and (of course) corralling tools in sheds and garages. But a gallery wall display?! It's even more perfect than I imagined.

Welcome to My Teeny-Tiny Kitchen / Dining / Living Room

As I've mentioned before, my kitchen, dining room, and living room are all combined into one space in my Victorian-era apartment. The room is the same size as my bedroom, which is across the hall. The setup makes for one really roomy bedroom and one really tight everything-else-room. While I'm not unhappy with my current setup, I'm still looking to make the most of the cramped, multi-purpose space.

The floor plan above isn't totally accurate, but it's close. Even after nearly a year of living here, I've failed to take actual measurements of my rooms. But based on the furniture arrangement and how much room I have to move around, this little mock-up is pretty darn similar.

Respect Punctuation Prints by Tiny Owl Studios | I Want for My Wall Gallery

Whilst browsing Pinterest, I stumbled across the Respect Punctuation Series by Tiny Owl Studios on Etsy. Being a writer / editor / lover of the written word, I'm half swooning and half geeking out over these clever prints. 


1 Magnetic Ampersand, 3 Stylish Desk Spaces

I love ampersands. So when I came across this large iron ampersand, I was smitten. It's big, bold, and begs for a couple magnets and notes. As I'm currently rethinking my desk space / writing nook, I decided to try out the magnetic ampersand in a couple stylish spaces. Which desk space would you love to pull up a chair to and get to work studying, blogging, writing, or designing?

Creative & Colorful

Ideal For: Visuals-Smitten Designers, Artsy-Fartsy Crafter, and Lifestyle / Decor Blogger

Color Scheme: What color scheme?! Forget matching; it's all about mixing here. Hot pink, lime green, fresh teal, ripe orange, and golden yellow come together with a bit of grey and white, which really lets the dark metal of the magnetic ampersand pop.


2 Staples, 5 Styles | Working Girl Fashion for the Job Hunt

With springtime here and graduation right around the corner, 'tis the season for interviews. Whether you're on a hunt for a full-time job (like me) or searching for your summer internship, it's important to revamp not only your resume and online presence but also your working girl wardrobe.


12 Ways to Add Style & Storage to Your Apartment Kitchen

Apartment kitchens are notoriously difficult to deal with – they lack storage, space, personality, and (oftentimes) luxury. However, they're fully loaded with bland surfaces, lackluster materials, and often outdated appliances. Decorating and organizing a tiny kitchen is a big challenge. 


10 Spaces Ready for Their Close-Ups | Decorating Details

Sometimes less is more. Sometimes more is more. One decorating rule of thumb that always rings true to me: It's all in the details. It's in the details that you find personality and quirks. And for me, showing off your personality and quirks is the most enjoyable, rewarding part of decorating.

So I've rounded up 10 lovely spaces with those defining details. Like the crisp, modern desk space above. It'd be gorgeous as-is, but pinning a pretty pink flower to the deer head's antler adds just the right touch of whimsy for springtime. (via Fabulous K)


Make-at-Home: Iced Coffee

With spring in the air and warmer weather an increasingly frequent visitor on the 7-day forecasts, I like my coffee cold. A nice creamy glass of iced coffee is a refreshing and tasty kick-start to a spring or summer morning. And I've finally mastered it.

After a long day yesterday and still more writing and job search stuff to be done, I knew I'd need some caffeine to stay alert and focused. A warm drink just didn't sound good and I didn't feel like driving to Starbucks – even though it's just a mile down the road. (If I start that habit, Starbucks is going to munch away at my wallet morning by morning.)


The Navy Blue Blazer | How would you style it? | Working Girl Wardrobe

Springtime or autumn, business casual or business conservative  corporate or creative – the navy blue blazer is a wardrobe staple for any working girl to have on hand for internships, interviews, and the daily grind. It can be dressed up or dress down. It can blend in or stand out. And you're bound to find a cut and cost to suit your shape and budget.

I've been looking for the perfect navy blue blazer for a while now – mainly because I love the look of a blazer thrown over a white tee and skinny jeans. (Perfect to wear from the office to happy hour!) Now that I'm back on the job market, this blazer rose right to the top of my working girl wardrobe wishlist. And while thrifting, I found one. Perfect fit in the shoulders. Slim in the arms, but roomy enough for moving around easily and shaking hands. Slightly long in that menswear inspired boyfriend blazer style that I love so much. Like-new condition. And since I was thrifting, I scored it for a bargain price of $6.


10 Essentials for Your Job Search

After almost a year at my first "big girl" job (full-time, benefits, and all that jazz) I'm back on the job market. Yesterday I found out that my position is being eliminated. I do have about a month of employment left, but it will be a whirlwind of a month trying to land another job that fits my skills, passions, and desire to stay in the area. It's a bummer going back to square one, but on the bright side it makes for some great blog post fuel.

As I prepare for job boards, applications, networking, and (hopefully) interviews, I like to be as organized as possible – in the loveliest way. So while you definitely need things like motivation, enthusiasm, and confidence during the application and interview process... I've rounded up my ten essentials that keep me organized, sane, and excited. (Pretty patterns and colors make everything a little better, right?)

1. A Practical Planner
A simple but chic scheduler can be a girl's best friend when it comes to keeping it together while trying to get hired. Google calendar is handy, but penciling in an interview, follow-up meeting, or other important date feels so much more satisfying.


Giveaway | Win a Pair of Fashionable Firmoo Frames! (Closed)

* * * This giveaway has ended. * * * 

* * * Stay tuned for future giveaways! * * *

Today on The Lovely Side, I'm kicking off the weekend with a giveaway! Did you like my classy new clear frames from Firmoo that I posted about yesterday? Did you spot a pair on Firmoo's site that you'd love to put on your face and dazzle the world with? You're in luck.

Firmoo is giving one lucky US reader a FREE pair of glasses with FREE shipping.

Guest Post | De-Stress the Spring Mess: Fun and Functional Pieces

Today's guest post comes from special guest Steven Athea: co-founder of Modani, the ultra-modern furniture company. Known for his eye for design, Steven has helped launch Modani into national success – even attracting the attention of celebrities including Lady Gaga and Sean Combs. We welcome Steven to The Lovely Side today with his expert organizing tips for creating a fun and functional space. (Pssst! You can also leave storage, organization, and design dilemma questions for Steven in the comments!)


De-Stress the Spring Mess: Fun and Functional Pieces
Guest Post by Steven Athea, Co-Founder of Modani

Clutter is a major distraction – something we can't afford to have when we need to be productive. As responsibilities and deadlines pile up, the chaos can cause even more stress! Get a breath of fresh air this spring by bringing these fun and functional organization pieces into your living space. These budget-friendly ideas are guaranteed to relax the racing mind!


Firmoo Glasses Review & 4 Favorite Fashion + Frames Looks

Jeepers creepers, where'd you get those peepers?! Firmoo! Say hello to my lovely new specs: retro style, designed for small faces, clear frames on the front, tortoise on the ear pieces.  Firmoo is an online eyewear boutique that offers a huge selection of frames at affordable prices. From trendy to classic and nerdy to retro, there's a pair there for every personality.

Firmoo generously hooked me up with a new pair – just in time for Spring! After "trying on" pair after pair after pair using Firmoo's easy-peasy virtual try on widget... I bravely settled on a pair of clear frames with tortoise ear pieces. I wasn't sure if I'd love them, but I liked that they were different and unique. (I go for stuff like that.) 


Inspiration | No. 8

I love this. I'm not a naturally competitive person. I am who I am. I focus on building up my strengths, curating my interests, and indulging in my passions. I like to see people striving to be the best versions of their own selves – not struggling to emulate someone else's style, talents, or ways. It's one thing to be inspired by someone else or to borrow an idea and tweak it to make it uniquely your own. But don't compete. Bloom.

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10 Ways to Freshen Up Your Space for Spring

Spring is finally in the air. After a long winter, the indoors get so stuffy, dusty, and dreary. I can't wait to throw open the windows and let a little springtime in. Springing forward into the season of April showers and May flowers doesn't have to be time (or budget) consuming. Here are my ten go-to tricks to freshening up any space for springtime.

1. Take On Spring Cleaning
Whether you dwell in a dorm or apartment, your space will benefit from some good, old fashioned spring cleaning. De-clutter your cabinets. Clear out your closets. Pack away those winter clothes. Shine up the hardwood floors. Wash the windows. 

2. Hang Up Some Sheers
Since you don't have to worry about those drafty December nights, fold up the flannel and heavy damask curtains. Away with the solid colors. Sheers are simple, chic, and can usually be found on the cheap. If you want a little more oomph, opt for some sheers with added ruffles, trim, or lace.