Front Room Decorating Plan

I recently post this front room brainstorming sesh with the intent to give my sitting room a sort of 1920's + oriental + industrial vibe. Well, I've changed my mind. Why? Because I found a room divider screen so much more perfect than the oriental-inspired cherry blossom one. 


Customize your smartphone to be as unique and lovely as you are!

It's about time to turn the page on a new year. But how about instead of making resolutions, we focus instead on customizations? Isn't that what living a lovely life is really about, anyway? Customizing your closet to curate a comfortable yet personality-packed wardrobe for work and weekends. Customizing your small space to be cozy, convenient, and stylish in a way that reflects your unique taste. Customizing your phone and tablet in brightly colored cases. Customizing your life to be... well, lovely and unique. 

New Year, New You, New Phone!

Motorola has stepped in with Moto X, a fully customizable smartphone. It's a designer's / decorator's / color lover's dream. Picking out and playing with the colors like decorating – but for a smartphone!


Front Room Decor Brainstorming: Sitting Room

The next room that I'll be tackling in my new place is the front room. It's a large, square space that was originally the home's living room. It has a light-hued hardwood floors, doors to both the office and living room, and a nice, big antique window looking over the front porch. I've been kinda stumped about what exactly to do with the space. Library? Nah, I keep my books in my office. Dining room? Nope, too far from the kitchen. But I think I've come up with an idea.


$25 Gordmans Gift Card Giveaway | New Year, New Outfit (and a 20% coupon!) (Closed)

This giveaway is now closed.

Please stay tuned for future contests and giveaways.

Happy holidays, lovelies! I've partnered up with one of my favorite stores for another gift card giveaway. Gordmans provided me with two $25 gift cards – one for myself and one for a lucky reader – to spend on a closet revamp for 2015. (Click through to enter the giveaway and score a 20% OFF coupon.)


5 Lust-worthy Objects of Desire from Anthropologie

Oh, Anthropologie. You sure do know how to make a girl lusty over frills and rocks and thin gold wires. It's one of those catalogs that I look forward to receiving in the mail, but I never order from. I tell myself, "Someday... someday I'll order something from Anthropologie." But the cheapo in me frowns at the price tags of even clearance items. So for now, I'll just happily flip through the matte pages whilst daydreaming – and dreaming up thriftier, diy-ier alternatives.

But in an Anthro-world, you'd find me lounging on my bed
swathed in that fluffy, frilly, all-too-frou-frou duvet above. 


15 Creative DIY Projects to Hide the Litter Box

Bella Pop
Now that I'm almost completely settled into my new place, I'm doing something I've been planning on for a long time: getting a cat. I've been waiting for the right place and the right time – and here and now finally feels right. I visited a local shelter this past weekend and fell in love with not one but two lovely female cats. My adoption application is in for them and I'm hoping to bring them home with me between Christmas and New Year's. I'm so very excited. :)


Gift Guides for the Pet Owner: Cat's Meow & Dog Days

This year, I thought it'd be fun to put together a couple gift guides for the pet owner in your life. What do you get the sister or friend that has it all – and a cat or dog? Now that I'm moved into and settling into my new place, I'm planning on adopting a cat after Christmas. So you can bet I've dropped a few cat-themed ideas into my mom's ear. (I'd love a set of pretty food dishes, nice litter box, or just a gift card to PetCo.)

So why not gift the pet owner in your life with a little something something for or inspired by their furry friend?

Come on in! | Take a peek at the progress in my new apartment

I've been calling this lovely little Victorian duplex my home for about a month now. And in that month, I've been busy painting walls, arranging furniture, and unpacking boxes. I still still have a long way to go because I'm completely "settled in," but it's coming together nicely and I thought I'd share a progress update with before and after shots. (Because in the past, I've been super lousy at remembering to take such photos.)


Living Room Progress: Walls Painted "Pale Plum"

This past weekend, I went to work on another room in my lovely new apartment. The office is Pollination green, the bedroom is Antique Silver gray. And the living room is now Pale Plum purple. Before, some living room walls were painted pale green while the others were white. And the space was full of moving boxes. After fueling up on Mexican food Sunday, the bf and I popped open a couple cans of Schlafly and popped open my gallon can of Pittsburgh Paints Pale Plum.


Gift Guide: 8 Gifts for the Literature Lover

You know the type. She won't be caught without her library card. You often catch her with her nose in a book. (Literally! She loves the smell of old books.) She can be seen in her natural habitat: a cozy corner in a little coffee shop, the turning of pages occasionally interrupted by a sip of tea. This gift guide is for the bibliophile, bookworm, or future bestselling novelist on your shopping list:

#FallingKingdomsSeries Book Giveaway (Closed)

* * * This giveaway has ended. Stay tuned for more contests! * * * 

Another year is quickly coming to an end – and if you're like me, reading more is at the top of your new year's resolutions list. Am I right, fellow bookworms? Diving into a new series is a perfect way to spend cold January nights. And I'm kicking off a giveaway to help you kick-start your 2014 nose-in-a-book resolution. 

To celebrate the release Gathering Darkness (the third book in the Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes), The Lovely Side is giving one lucky bookworm a special Falling Kingdoms prize pack. Click through to read more about the book series, get a taste of the action in an excerpt, and cast your entry for the giveaway.


Make Your New Place Safe | 10 Things to Do

Moving into a new place (especially it's all yours – no roomies) can be exciting and liberating. But it can also be a bit daunting. A different apartment in an unfamiliar neighborhood or even town can feel intimidating. That's why before you even pick up a paint brush or dress up the sofa with pillows, you should take a few steps to make your new place safe. Here's how to get peace of mind in your new digs:

1. Lock Windows & Doors
Check to see that all your windows and exterior doors lock properly. Your entry door should ideally have a deadbolt. If any locks are out of wack or missing, this is something to discuss with your landlord pronto. If you're extra wary about the neighborhood, ask about adding additional locks. Another extra precaution is to put bars on the windows – though aesthetically, it looks a bit prison cell-like. You could also have thick wooden dowels cut down to fit your windows. Placed above the sash, an intruder won't be able to pry the window open. (Plus, you could paint them to match your window trim or just a fun color.)

5 'Colors of the Year' for 2015: Marsala, Copper Orange, Guilford Green, Blue Paisley, & Coral Reef

Yes, I'm one of those people who gets overly excited each year when all the big design and paint companies announce their "colors of the year." I dig color trends. That being said, there are colors that will always be my "colors of a lifetime" – I'll simply never get sick of rich turquoise, deep purple, warm orange, and a bold coral. I do get psyched when one of my beloved hues shows up as a trendy winner... that means I'll get to admire one of my favorite colors all over Pinterest and the glossy pages of decorating magazines.

Rather than focus on just one color of the year, I've rounded up five from major trendsetters/trendcasters. Let's begin, shall we?


Gift Guide: 10 Cozy Gift Ideas for the Homebody on Your List

For the friend, sister, or mother who relishes in the simplicities and little luxuries of being at home, this gift roundup is sure to get your ideas churning. Think cozy, comfy, and a little creative to find your favorite homebody the perfect present:

Bedroom Progress: Walls Painted "Antique Silver" Gray

After a lovely holiday back in my hometown (spent eating good food, browsing antique stores, and binge watching HGTV), I returned home to my lovely little new home – with two days to spare in solitude. Don't get me wrong: I loved being surrounded by my wonderful family for a couple days, but I really savored some work-free, people-free time to myself. I stayed up late watching Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, slept in, wore my paint-spattered DIY leggings, ordered Domino's pizza, and got to work on painting my bedroom because I could not stand staring at those giant lavender diamonds for one more day.


Design Your Sign with Modani: Decorating Like an Aquarius


Ever wonder how your zodiac sign influences your design style? Our lovely friends over at Modani have created a graphic detailing just that. I love anything that combines personality traits and decorating preferences, so it was fun to determine my design taste in a celestial way.

Inventive. Artful. Mixes neutrals with pops of color. Finds new uses for common (or uncommon) items. Sounds like the stars have my style pinpointed perfectly.