With the way 2020 has gone so far and with chilly months on the horizon, the APW team is in full blown nesting mode. Because like everyone, we’ve been surviving by the skin of our teeth because we have access to the great outdoors (at least, when fire season allows us outside). But the idea of being stuck inside for the next six months while the pandemic rages on, is enough to send us racing for our anxiety meds.
So we’ve been looking for relatively healthy ways to cope. And for our team, that generally means a mix of keeping busy, and some retail therapy. (If we can support small brands while we do it, all the better.)
My family is in the midst of a full scale outdoor remodel. We’ve built a treehouse, several fences, a brand new patio, fixed our deck, planted a lawn and a vegetable garden, and are about to hit whatever landscaping we can pull off in fall. Next up we’re planning to put in a small outside studio and refresh the kitchen and the bathrooms. (I mean, if home is the only place we can be, we figure we might as well use the money we would have spent on vacations to make home nice. The rest of the APW team is at it as well, doing interior and exterior paint jobs and building to bedroom refreshes.
But we’re also keeping our hands busy. Both Chelsea and I independently took up embroidery, and are happily trading tips and trying not to rush through projects (we’re both rushers). I got everything I needed to make polymer clay earrings, and just have to get myself in gear to start that craft (stay tuned).
And we’re getting cozy: stashing our warm weather clothes away and pulling out all our favorite sweaters, while trying to get our houses as comfortable as possible for the winter season to come.
Since we’re all facing what may be one of the longest and hardest winters of our lives, we thought we’d offer a bit of pick me up in the form of retail therapy. This is what’s making us feel happy right now, and helping us nest for the long winters night.
As anyone who’s been around here for a minute knows, I’m a diehard Rent The Runway fan. You might think that the membership wasn’t serving me now that we’re locked at home… but in fact, having something new to wear has been one of those things pulling me through the dark times. It also helps as my size changes, and then changes again (hi, pandemic body). I’m looking forward to all the cozy looks I’ll get to curl up in this fall, including this pink coat I loved last year, and might buy this go round (RTR now includes the cost to buy when you order, which helps folks like me, who buy a lot of 60-70% off designer clothes from them.
I’m a RTR ambassdor, which means I have the best discount code out there. (I don’t get paid, but I do sometimes get free rentals). For October my code is: RTRFAM21F5F79, it gives you 40% off 2 months of RTR’s Newest Memberships, and is a really good deal.
My friend Jenny is a genius, and she founded Juniper Print Shop a few years ago. You can order prints for super affordable prices, and either print them at home (I’ve printed several at our local one hour photo to great results), or have them shipped from their studio in Arizona. They recently put out a line of prints that work really well in a long narrow form and easily fit into a cheap IKEA frame, so you can hang them above your bed, and get a huge art print for a good price. I find the above-the-bed spot uniquely hard to decorate, so I’m super here for it. The Amalfi coast is one of my favorite places on earth, so it also ranks as one of my favorite prints.
I keep joking that post-pandemic is going to be a post-size world. But like, it better be right? Even though I’m starting to put more effort to taking really good care of my body (since I don’t move as much these days, and I spent a fair amount of the early days of the pandemic eating cookie dough out of tupperware). But, that said, I’m not here for clothes that size shame me right now. IE, gimmie that oversized vibe. Turns out H&M has a great selection of maxi-maxi dresses that don’t sacrifice style for extra space. I’m living in this chiffon dress right now. And it’s so affordable I might nab it in another color.
I’m not above starting to prep for Hanukkah. After all, the fall Jewish festival season has just drawn to close, and I’m fully intending to get this ultra minimalist menorah from the new Jewish womxn owned company Via Maris. But before I do that, I want to pick up one of their super modern Shabbat candle stick holders, because my soul needs rest right now. (And if you’re not Jewish, these are excellent stylish candle stick holders you can use for any reason.)
Speaking of Shabbat, I decided to experiment with new and beautiful ways to cover my head when lighting candles and in shul. If you’re someone who does head wrapping, these Classic Flow wraps by Wrap Life are among the most beautiful things I’ve bought this year.
I don’t have a Peloton Bike (nor do I intend to get one. Bikes are not my thing.) But I discovered that I can get their app for just $12.99 a month, and it has ENDLESS on demand classes, from cycling, to barre, to meditation, to strength training, to stretching. I use the cardio machine I have and love for the cycling workouts (I work out harder or less hard depending on what they’re doing in the class) and have started doing other workout classes as well. This SUPER cheap app is saving me, and I think that’s going to go double in the winter.
Yup. We’re putting in a studio shed. It’s going to be part office space part one room schoolhouse. (And I’m really hopeful we’ll be able to add a bathroom as well.) After a ton of research I can confirm that Tuff Shed has the best prices hands down. I’m excited to see what comes next.
Our fall nesting has been focused on finally updating the most neglected room in our house…. our bedroom! Here is is in (almost) all it’s refreshed glory.
I first learned about this rug from the Young House Love Instagram. They call it the ‘magic rug’ because it looks good in every room. And it really does. I know because we now have one in our office, and a runner next to our bed.
We rent our home, and for a year and a half our bedroom has been a pale slate blue color. I haven’t loved it, ever, and finally felt motivated to fix it. I chose Behr Polar Bear White for most of the room to brighten it up, but did this Royal Orchard color behind our bed to make it pop.
When it comes to cozy, candles are what set the tone for me. I love these candles from Target, but have been especially fond of this harvest scent lately.
We grabbed two of these ‘j style’ brackets from Etsy and a piece of pre-primed MDF from Home Depot, then painted the MDF with the same Royal Orchard paint so it would blend it. Trisha handled hanging the shelf, and I handled the plant shopping (at local fave Propogate). ;)
The next step on my make-our-rental-home-cozy mission is our bathroom. It doesn’t need much, but a refresh would be nice. I’m ordering a bunch of these Turkish style hand towels because I have heard nothing but good things, and I love the simple look.
I already snagged a few of these super simple hooks (I got the black, but love the gold, too) to hang my new Turkish Hand Towels from in the bathroom. They’re simple, easy to hang, and mean I don’t have to fold a hand towel to make it look nice anymore.
With the fires in California becoming more intense year after year, it has finally become clear that an air purifier is no longer a luxury but a necessity for my partner and I. We wanted something that wasn’t ugly and this air purifier just blends in and looks like a modern speaker. It’s safe to say that our quality of life has increased since we brought this into our home!
While in nesting mode I’ve started to fix things up that I find on the street. The first thing I spruced up was the dresser pictured above. I knew I wanted a flat darker color, so I mixed a dark blue with dark grey chalk paint and got the custom navy blue color of my dreams. All it took was two coats of paint and a layer of creme wax to get it done.
If I’m being completely honest, this was all for mood lighting. Zero regrets.
Is nesting really nesting without cozy new bedding? I’ve been looking for rust orange bedding for what feels like forever so I had to jump on this set as soon as Target rolled it out.
Okay, I know this isn’t the most glamorous of products but it gets the job done. If you’re a long haired person or have a furry friend around the house, this broom will pull up all that loose hair guaranteed to be floating around on the carpets.
One of the hobbies I’ve picked up in Covid-times is embroidery. While I can make my own patterns, sometimes it’s nice to have it already done for you. So when I discovered that DMC offers hundreds of free patterns I was thrilled to see they had SO many options. And for beginners like me, I’ve discovered this stabilizer that has seriously leveled up the cleanliness of my finished designs.