Author Archives: Sarah Gibson

About Sarah Gibson

Sarah Gibson is a full-time designer located in the Midwest. With an emphasis on both graphic and interior design, her projects are varied. Sarah's areas of expertise range from rebranding, website & blog design, print and social media marketing, to creative direction, such as styling and photoshoots. As an interior designer, Sarah also specializes in full-service interior design, custom projects, styling, and renovations. Aside from her day job, she spends evenings and weekends creating content for her lifestyle blog, Room for Tuesday, which features content in design, interiors, travel, fashion, and creative inspiration. She enjoys balancing both trendy and eclectic pieces with classic elements, for a curated aesthetic.

Bistro Sets Roundup

Although our backyard project is just wrapping up, I've been dreaming of transforming the front of our home since moving in. The shape of our front entrance is perfectly suited for an itsy bitsy courtyard. Mark my words- I will tile it someday and add a charming bistro set! I even brainstormed that plan with Emmett during our first walk through the with the realtor. It has to happen. Bistro sets are perfect for morning coffee, breakfast pastries, newspaper reading, and those tiny outdoor spaces that are begging for a quaint vignette. What about that doesn't sound appealing? Click through to see my favorite bistro pairings on the market...

My definition of bistro sets is outdoor-safe, 2 chairs, and one table. I know that's not always the case, but that's what comes to mind whenever I think of it, and that's what I'm holding the standard to for this roundup! I also think it's easier for most people to buy these three things as a set, so I'm only including options that contain all the pieces. Basically, you can order, unpack it, and boom- you've got yourself a complete set!



01: industrial bistro set // 02: concrete bistro set // 03: french cafe bistro set

I think I'm most attracted to the industrial sets. I would gladly install any one of the three from the above roundup!



01: bamboo bistro set // 02: tropical bistro set // 03: nautical bistro set // 04: rattan bistro set

The rattan sets feel a little bit more nautical and I could easily envision these living in a beach location, surrounded by gorgeous florals and greenery. Just imagine sitting at your personal bistro table, having an acai bowl for breakfast, listening to waves crashing... even better if you live in Hawaii. Ha!



01: white bistro set // 02: woven bistro set // 03: modern bistro set // 04: tempo bistro set

From the modern bistro sets, I'm really feeling numbers 1 and 3. I like a crisp, clean white table setting and these don't disappoint! I'd pair them with super traditional landscaping and greenery, like topiaries or hedges, for a classic meets modern contrast.



01: brass bistro set // 02: timeless bistro set // 03: upholstered bistro set

I envision the chic pairings sitting atop a gorgeous patterned tiled courtyard. Add a bud vase or fresh flowers and you've got yourself the perfect evening perch to sip a glass of wine and unwind.



01: hardwood bistro set // 02: folding bistro set // 03: traditional bistro set // 04: catalina bistro set

Obviously you can't go wrong with a classic bistro set. To me, any set made of wood is a safe bet- even better if they fold. The above options can pretty much live anywhere with any style. If you're thinking some of these options might seem boring, you have to visualize what's happening around them! Typically, outdoor spaces are busy by nature (lots of greenery, plants, and textures to take in). My favorite sets are actually the more simplistic ones.



There's something romantic about a bistro set that makes me think of European terraces, cobble stone roads, and lush gardens. There's also something a little intriguing about bringing that vibe into your own space. Like I said... morning coffee or an afternoon glass of wine, it's casually great for both!

For more round-ups: Hanging Chairs | Etageres & Shelving

Hanging Chairs Roundup

Summer somehow always finds a way to bring out my best boho aesthetic. I love transitioning my home for the season and finding decor that is eclectic and reminiscent of travel and sunshine. I know that hanging chairs have been 'a thing' for awhile now, but I still really love them. There's something undeniably relaxing and calm about swinging and twirling in one- bonus points if you're barefoot. Click through to see a roundup of my favorites that can live indoors or out!



01: woven hang chair // 02: macrame hanging chair // 03: pod hanging chair // 04: rattan swing chair // 05: natural hanging chair // 06: white rattan hanging chair // 07: cotton chair hammock // 08: amalfi hanging chair // 09: hanging bamboo scoop chair // 10: modern woven hanging chair // 11: black swing chair // 12: hanging pod swing chair // 13: light brown hanging chair // 14: cotton chair hammock // 15: double rattan hanging chair
I have lots of favorites from this roundup. I actually just put #6 into a client's outdoor project and they look amazing! I'm sort of considering getting one of the cotton or macrame versions (#2, #7, #14) for my own backyard makeover. I could easily envision it hanging from our brand new pergola. The tough part will be deciding between the three.
My favorite rattan version is definitely #1. I have a soft spot for tight, intricately woven pieces. Which ones are you guys feeling? More importantly, does anyone already own a hanging chair? If so, did you install it indoors or outside?



You have to admit- they're really fun to sit in and are surprisingly more comfortable than you might expect! I can think of so many places for a hanging chair to live- both inside and out. Outside you could hang them from a porch, breezeway, pergola, or pool house. Inside they'd be great installed in a bright and airy living room, sun room, kids room, or even in a nursery.
There's sort of a misconception about where a hanging chair belongs. In my opinion, hanging chairs aren't just for beachy or desert locations... you can totally integrate one of these into your decor this summer. It just takes a little mixing and matching. I say bring on the instant summer vibes, hop in a hanging chair, kick off your shoes, and grab a drink! It sounds pretty picturesque, right?

For more home decorating ideas: Retro Is Back and It's Here to Stay | 4 Tips for the Perfect Kitchen Lighting

Room for Tuesday’s Color Guide

If you like a low maintenance type of stone in your kitchen, quartz was made for you. Any client who comes to me asking for something easy, family-friendly, durable, indestructible, and stain resistant, I always recommend quartz. Let me start by saying, I love all types of stone... natural (like marble and soapstone), as well as man-made (quartz). I think there's a time and place for both depending on the home. In my previous kitchen, I had a quartz countertop installed. In my new home, we're using natural stones throughout- marble on the fireplace, soapstone in the kitchen, and marble in the bathroom (more on all of those projects and stone selections coming soon). However, in the meantime... and for my fellow quartz lovers- check out my favorite countertop swatches and backsplash pairings!One of the main reasons I recommend quartz to families or those looking for a fuss-free surface is because it does not require any sealing - ever. This type of stone offers a virtually zero maintenance solution for countertops. Being non-porous also means that if you spill a glass of wine or olive oil, you don't have to worry that the countertop is going to soak it up and stain. Luckily, this durable material has come a long way. Gone are the days of repetitive, monochromatic, boring quartz. The technology and material for manufacturing quartz now allows this heavy stone to look like natural stone. Lots of readers ask what my favorite countertop color or material is and that's a really tough question. While I can't narrow down my favorite type of stone, I can show you my favorite patterns and colors from each. Check out my favorite quartz swatches below and how I would pair them with a backsplash.



Caesarstone Nobel Grey + classic subway tile



Caesarstone Piatra Gray + chevron marble mosaic



Caesarstone Misty Carrera + X mosaic tile



Caesarstone Vanilla Noir + 3x6 milk tile



Caesarstone Raw Concrete + classic white mosaic tile



Caesarstone Bianco Drift + scalloped porcelain tile



Caesarstone Jet Black + triangular marble mosaic



Caesarstone Calacatta Nuvo + organic glazed subway tile



Caesarstone London Grey + elongated hex tile



Caesarstone Rugged Concrete + black polished ceramic tile
I really like the color palettes and patterns that have more movement, mimicking natural stone... they feel organic and inviting. Unless you're going for a super sleek, ultra modern kitchen, these will be the best. Otherwise, the solid white, black, and concrete look-alikes are ideal for mod spaces. Are there any specific combos you're most attracted to? Kitchens are one of my favorite rooms to design and so far, I've never used the same countertop material twice!

For more Caesarstone inspiration: Claire Zinnecker's Color Guide | Inspired by Large Kitchen Islands

DIY Lumbar Pillow

If there's one thing I really love seeing in a home, it's nice textiles. I'm a bit of a design nerd when it comes to beautiful vintage or designer fabric! As a designer, I'm certainly aware that quality fabric comes at a cost (with a higher price tag). Sometimes it's difficult to justify spending large amounts of your budget on fabric or convincing clients that it really will make a big difference. I totally 100% get it, so I thought it might be helpful to share tips for scoring nice fabric on a budget. I also threw in a lumbar pillow DIY to put that fabric to good use. That's another way to save money- make it yourself. Click through for the post...To start, I thought I'd share some of my favorite resources for designer and vintage fabric- along with some of my favorite textile designers.



F A B R I C R E S O U R C E S

Typically, the larger wholesale retailers offer fabric by the yard at a better price. When searching for vintage or 'used' pieces, you can often find great deals on remnants. Maybe someone needed seven yards and only ended up using five... that usually means they're going to let the remaining two yards go at a great price since their project is completed and the fabric is just sitting around.

Designer:

Vintage:

Sometimes it's also helpful to search by the designer or brand's name... here are a handful of my favorites (I'm sure I'm missing a couple).

F A V O R I T E D E S I G N E R S

T I P S
If you're splurging on quality fabric, be sure to do your research prior to placing an order.

  • Check the durability or rub count.

  • Request a swatch.

  • Double check and make sure the swatch works within the intended space or with the existing decor.

  • Once you have the swatch in person, how does it feel? Fabric with a nice 'hand' makes a big difference.

  • Don't forget to factor in shipping costs... some of the designers are based internationally and shipping across the pond can be pricey.

  • Measure, then measure again. Luckily, most every resource allows you to make purchases by the yard... be sure to allow for overage, or if you're buying a bolt- double check the width.

  • Know how to clean and care for the fabric. Is it dry clean only? Washable? Appropriate for outdoors and resistant to fading? Practicality is another selling point.


L U M B A R P I L L O W D I Y
I've been sewing since I was a kid. I have my grandmothers to thank for that. I feel really comfortable sewing basic projects like throw pillows, drapery, or really anything with a pattern. With that said, I do know that if you spend a pretty penny on super amazing fabric, and you're not 100% confident with your own sewing skills, you should probably hire it out. There's nothing worse than trying something and blaming yourself if it doesn't turn out, but I promise you a simple throw pillow is easy peasy! Here's what you need to begin:

Supplies:
– sewing machine
– straight pins
– thread
– scissors
– fabric
– zipper
– down cushion insert



Step 1 // Measure and cut the fabric. Depending on what size pillow you'd like, cut the fabric, adding one inch around the perimeter. I wanted an 8" x 20" lumbar pillow, so I cut two pieces of fabric 9" x 21".



Step 2 // Pin the fabric and begin sewing. Pin the two fabric rectangles against each other, making sure they're perfectly aligned... the good sides facing inward. Begin sewing around the perimeter, removing the straight pins as you go. Be sure to leave one side open for your zipper closure.



Step 3 // Secure the edges. I like to to run a surge or reinforcing stitch around the perimeter, just to make sure nothing unravels when the cover is in the wash. This step is totally optional!



Step 4 // Add the zipper. I'm not going to lie... sewing the zipper is the trickiest part of this project. Rather than creating an entire blog post that is devoted specifically to zippers, check out this easy video on how to sew one. It's really not that bad! If you have a zipper foot, it will be a piece of cake.



Step 5 // Flip it right side out. You're pretty much done at this point! Flip the cover right side out and it should start to resemble a pillow.



Step 6 // Add the insert. The only thing left to do is add the insert. I always use down inserts. They feel more luxurious and look nice and full.



It's really a pretty quick process. A nice pattern and some quality fabric make a quick statement! I'm always on the hunt for textiles and typically trade out my decor seasonally. It's amazing how something like a simple throw pillow can alter an entire room.



What do you guys think? Would you hire or DIY this project? I'd also love to hear your favorite fabric resources... maybe there's a few I should add to the list!



For more DIY from Sarah Gibson: Craiglist Hack: How to Update a Vintage Dresser | DIY Floral Arrangement

How to Shop Your Home

It's easy to feel stuck or a little too comfortable when it comes to your surroundings. You've probably heard me stress the importance of seasonal updates, but sometimes it's nice to switch things up as needed- no matter the season. The easiest way to update a space is by shopping your own home. This is a concept that everyone should try from time to time- especially if you need a refresh! It's free and doesn't even require you to leave the house. Crazy concept, right?! Click through to see how I 'shop my house'... or use what I already own to make a space better.

Rather than spending more money and bringing more stuff into your home, this concept entails searching and scouring your own house for forgotten pieces or looking at what you already have with new eyes. I'm constantly restyling and moving things around... probably a little too much. It drives my husband nuts sometimes, but you never know how something will look until you try it. He said something after moving that really hit home for me. As we were unpacking a couple boxes of accessories, art, and decor, he opened a box, started pulling items out, and said, "This goes in the living room, this went in your office, and this goes in the guest room." I sort of laughed because those items did indeed live in those spaces at our old house, but now they were all lumped together in one giant pile. It was a new opportunity to decide where to they go. Even since unboxing and shifting things around amongst the renovation, Emmett has quickly discovered nothing has a permanent or set place.



That brings me to shopping your house. It's really an art of restyling and envisioning your existing decor in a different light. Let's jump right in. Here's how to get started...

  1. Decide which space needs refreshed. I'll use my living room as an example. It contains a sofa, custom built-ins, a couple side tables, a console table, and a coffee table... that's pretty much all the furniture.

  2. Empty the space. This does NOT mean moving the sofa, tearing down window treatments, or hauling out a large table. Remove any items or furniture that are multipurpose, like end tables, that could live in another room in your house. Think objects, accessories, books, art, freestanding (table or floor lamps) lighting, and small furniture (side tables, ottomans, benches, etc).

  3. Spread out the loot. Once I have removed the aforementioned items, I typically place them in another room- completely removing them from their original context.

  4. Walk-through your home and gather. Next I add to the loot. I'll walk through my home and decide if other items could replace or compliment anything in my "pile".

  5. Restyle. Now that you have an impressive collection piling up on your floor, it's time to put it all back. This is the fun part! Challenge yourself to place each object somewhere else. Sometimes certain things just work and you'll realize the beautiful basket has to go in a certain spot, which happened to be it's original placement. That's A-ok. You'll also look at an accessory and wonder why you didn't style it in this room sooner. It's all about making discoveries.

  6. Step back. Lastly, take a look from a distance. Step back and see if everything is balanced and to your liking. Bonus points if you took a before photo. Sometimes it's easiest to remove yourself from the room completely and compare the before and after images. If anything needs adjusted, now is the time. Otherwise, enjoy your newly refreshed space!


This usually works best with two or three rooms happening simultaneously, or it leads to a chain reaction. In my case... once I pull things from one room, I replace them from another room, then another room, until everything is good and mixed up. The nice thing is this: you get to decide how little or how drastic you want the change to be. You can pull a few items, or you can refresh the entire space. It all depends on your preference and how much time you have. You'll be amazed at what a little switcharoo can do.
A few other design elements you should consider when it comes to trading things out...

  1. Balance

  2. Scale

  3. Color

  4. Texture

  5. Size

  6. Pattern




When it comes to larger furniture, you can also play the 'shop your house' game. Think of larger pieces in a different way than their intended purpose. That beautiful dresser in your guest room could easily move to a nursery if you add a changing pad to the surface. Now you have a changing table. The dining room table you want to replace could function as a desk in an office. The bedside tables could replace your sofa tables in the living room. Do you see where I'm going with this? It just takes a little outside-the-box thinking.
A couple things to note...

  1. This doesn't work well for custom items, like drapery or window treatments. Typically those are made for a specific room or window and they stay there until they're updated or replaced. Large scale items are also difficult. For instance, a bed couldn't move into your living room because that makes zero sense. That wouldn't be functional. The same goes for a sofa. Keep the large furniture in it's place and work around it.

  2. Remember to remove items as you go. This is the perfect time to purge and get rid of anything you dislike. If something isn't working in your home, nix it. Clutter is never good.




Basically, shopping your home is a great way to save money and give your space an easy refresh, simply by removing items, piling them, and starting over with the styling process. Who else does this? Sometimes I just make little tweaks, while other times it's a full blown redo!

For more redesigning ideas: How To Use Color In Your Space This Spring | How To Style Shelves In 5 Simple Steps

 

Roundup : Etageres & Shelving

I'm in the beginning stages of thinking about my office design and with that comes functional shelving and storage. Since we've been installing amazing customs closets behind closed storage, I can have wayyy more fun with open storage! I've been browsing the internet for beautiful etageres that will work in the space. Click through to see what I'm loving and leaning towards... there's pretty much one for every style and budget.Before we dive into the options, I do have to mention how versatile these things are. If you don't have the budget or means for custom built-ins... etageres are perfect for flanking a fireplace or TV in a living space. They also look great in an office setting (obviously that's where I'm using one), but they're equally as perfect in the dining room for displaying china and dishes. You really can't go wrong. I've also noticed them popping up in dressing rooms more frequently. If I had an impressive shoe or handbag collection, I'd totally display it... but let's get real- I do not have an impressive collection and that's just not my jam. Regardless, they can live in a lot of places.



01: fichter etagere // 02: parsons etagere // 03: leaning etagere // 04: lark etagere // 05: black etagere // 06: mid century etagere // 07: studio etagere // 08: stick etagere // 09: harwell etagere // 10: cabot etagere // 11: lacourte etagere // 12: lucite and gold etagere // 13: walnut and white etagere // 14: wanda etagere // 15: alice etagere // 16:helix etagere // 17: kalmar etagere // 18: riley wooden etagere // 19: classic etagere // 20: rhyder etagere
From the roundup, I'm really loving the super simple and classic options. My three favorites would be #7, #13, and #17. I'm already eager to have shelves to style and fill with gorgeous objects in my office. It's been organized chaos for a few months now and I'm anxiously awaiting the time when it becomes the next room to renovate. Which ones are you gravitating toward?



There's something about a freestanding shelf that is more artistic than the average built-in. They're sculptural, dimensional, and more than just part of the architecture. What do you guys think? Do you prefer a built-in or an etagere? I think there's definitely a place for both!

For more shelving ideas: How To Style Shelves In 5 Simples Steps | Unique Kitchenware to Display on Open Shelves

Wall Clocks As Decor Pieces

It's probably just me, but I'm still trying to adjust to daylight savings time. I swear it throws me off for at least a month. I figured as I suffer through weird sleep patterns and tired mornings, I might as well make the best of it. If you're on the hunt for a new wall clock for your office, kitchen, or any other room in your home, I'm sharing my favorites. It's weird to think... a clock is something every single person owns (multiples, even!), but we never talk about them as a decor item. They're definitely not all created equal. Click through to see the top picks.



01: copper wall clock // 02: clark clock // 03: black marble wall clock // 04: lorne wall clock // 05: kennedy clock // 06:walnut wall clock // 07: roman numeral clock // 08: green marble wall clock // 09: color block clock // 10: classic clock // 11: cage wall clock // 12: marble and brass wall clock // 13: iron circle wall clock // 14: office mate wall clock // 15: cement wall clock // 16: brass spy wall clock // 17: rimwood wall clock // 18: artus wall clock
I used to have this weird obsession with time- especially when it came to planning my day and being early (uncomfortably early). I had a wall clock in every single one of my bedrooms until I was 24. I didn't realize just how often I checked the clock or my wrist watch until my dad called me out one day and told me I should try focusing on the present. Ever since then, I removed the bedroom clock and wrist watch. I still like a clock in my office and maybe even the kitchen, but I've come a long way. These days I'm enjoying clocks as a decor element that's functional, but not in the obsessive way that I used to.



How about you guys, how many wall clocks are currently in your home and how often do you check them? Luckily clocks have come a long way aesthetically and I'm looking forward to adding a couple to my new home once the renovation is complete!

For more decor ideas: A Log Holder for Every Fireplace | How To Style Shelves In 5 Simple Steps

A Log Holder for Every Fireplace

Image source: domino

It may be rainy or unseasonably hot in some parts of the country, but in the west, we're currently being hit with mega snowstorms. I can't complain because I love the snow, and it feels pretty appropriate here given it's February. My point being, a cozy fire sounds SO nice right about now. One accessory I've always loved alongside a fire is a log holder. I love the textural and functional element they contribute to a space. Click through for a roundup of my favorites... there's one for every style and budget! A log holder is one of those items you don't really think about buying or needing until you have one and see how nice/functional it makes a space. I'm here to tell you, based on looks alone, these accessories make a BIG statement.



01: carver log holder // 02: modern firewood holder // 03: antiqued brass log holder // 04: mid century log holder
First up, chic firewood holders! These beauties would nestle right into a glam loft or eclectic living room. My favorites? #1 - I'm digging the heavy base and unique shape, and #2 - because I'm always a sucker for the vintage mid mod vibe. That's how you do minimal, folks!



01: chuck log holder // 02: mod log holder // 03: firewood carrier // 04: bent plywood firewood holder
It seems there are tons of industrial options on the market, but not many fall into the true "modern" category. It took some searching, but the above options all feel mod and unique to me. I love anything bentwood (#4), and I'm also really drawn to numbers 1 and 3. #1 is actually outdoor friendly and would make a great addition to a patio or outdoor living space.



01: luke log basket // 02: wicker fire log basket // 03: rattan firewood basket // 04: woven square footed log holder
The woven options would be absolutely stunning in a beach setting or nautical inspired environment. I'm picturing a winter cabin on Lake Michigan! My favorite from the bunch is probably #4 because of it's sturdy shape and balanced aesthetic.



01: tote log carrier // 02: white canvas log carrier // 03: canvas log carrier // 04: log carrier bag with rack
Totes have always been my go-to accessory. Whether it's a tote bag or tote firewood carrier, you can count me in! #1 is nice because it actually has sides and holds it's shape- even without wood. It'd be really versatile for other objects as well, like blankets or books in the spring and summer. I'm also loving the minimalism #3 has to offer. It comes with a monogram option as well!



01: modernist log holder // 02: large firewood holder // 03: log rack
Triangular log holders have been gaining popularity the past few years. Even though they've saturated the market, I'm still a huge fan. #2 would make an amazing statement alongside a fireplace and certainly has the scale and ability to balance a heavy focal point in a room. The obelisk shape feels a bit more trendy than the standard triangle.



01: brass firewood rack // 02: arts and crafts log rack // 03: kaden log holder // 04: folding firewood rack
Let's face it- log holders are about as traditional as it gets. They've been around since the beginning of time. It only makes sense to include a few that would easily fit into a traditional home. I'm into the arts and crafts version (#2), as well as the standard black and brass option (#3), and lastly the folding one (#4) because it's not often you see a folding firewood holder with an amazing color palette like that.



01: loop log holder // 02: frame log holder // 03: oval log rack // 04: mercer log holder // 05: slim log holder // 06: log rack
Last but not least, I'll leave you with some masculine options. These could also be classified as industrial. Nothing says masculine quite like wood resting on metal. It's a combo from the ages! I'm feeling numbers 1, 2, and 6. I can imagine #6 anchoring a large piece of artwork next to a fireplace. It's the only one from the entire roundup that is more horizontal.

Do you have favorites from this post? How often do you use a functioning fireplace, or would you make an aesthetic-only purchase even if your fireplace is nonfunctioning? I totally would!

For more decorating moodboards: Jessica Marx of J. Marx Atelier Kitchen Reveal | 8 Wooden Accents to Add A Natural Vibe To A Contemporary Kitchen

Craigslist Hack: How-to Update a Vintage Dresser

You know at Room for Tuesday we love a good furniture flip. I spotted this tallboy dresser two years ago on Craigslist and quickly scooped it up. I had nowhere to put it, and sadly it lived in the basement of our home in Ohio for a couple years. After persistent convincing from Emmett to sell the "damn thing" prior to moving, I ended up getting my way. You can probably guess the rest of the story. It made the journey in our Uhaul from Ohio to Utah and I finally decided to breathe new life into the thing! After all- I had to make my case that moving a heavy dresser across the country was well worth it. Click through to see the process, get the DIY on restoring vintage furniture, and to see what color I picked for this beauty!



Sage green!! You should've guessed. I'm definitely on a soft green kick lately.



What you’ll need for this project:
– 1 quart of quality paint (I used Benjamin Moore, Aura, High Gloss, in Army Green)
– 1 sanding block
– 4" foam roller
– Stir stick
– Paint opener
– 1" finishing brush
– Paper towels
– 1 can of Nevr Dull
– Phillips or flathead screwdriver (depending on your hardware)



This was the piece before I got started. Things I liked about it? The clean lines, geometric shape, heavy well-built construction, and the unique hardware. I honestly didn't even hate the natural wood color, but it was scuffed in a few places.



Step 1 // Sanding. Use a medium grit sanding block to roughen the surface and create an abrasive surface for the paint to cling to. Oddly enough, this dresser had a piece of veneer on the top. In addition to solid wood, you can also lightly sand veneer and it will work just as well. You don't have to be super precise with this step... just a quick once over will do!



Step 2 // Cleaning. Once your piece has been sanded, begin wiping the dust from the surface, prepping for paint. I used a damp paper towel.



Step 3 // Paint. This type of Benjamin Moore paint doesn't even require primer! I'm all about saving time and money, so I'm calling that a win. I've used this product time and time again, and it holds up really well. The higher the shine, the harder or more "rubberized" it solidifies. That's a good thing when it comes to cleaning and durability. Luckily, for this dresser I wanted a lacquer look, so high gloss was the perfect option for functionality and aesthetic purposes.



I started rolling the large flat surfaces first (the top and sides). The trick to this paint is using a little and applying it quickly. You can always layer up, but it dries quickly and gets gummy during the process if you take too long.



Step 4 // Remove the hardware. This can also be done in the beginning (it's probably best, actually), but I'm always eager to jump right into painting. My hardware required a flathead screw driver. I like the ones with a short handle because it's easier to maneuver in the drawer interior.



Once the hardware was removed, I began rolling the flat drawer faces. Again, you don't have to be too precise- just quick and even. Once the rolling has been completed, use the finishing brush to get into difficult or angled spots.



Once the piece is fully painted, apply 2-3 more coats until the coverage is smooth and even. This piece took 3 coats.



Step 5 // Polish the hardware. This is one step to remember! Unless you're going for the tarnished or aged brass look, definitely remember to revive the hardware. I like a product called Nevr Dull. I know, I know... very stupid name, but it's a really great product. It's sort of gross to touch, as it feels like greasy cotton. It's technically a "wadding polish" but it shines up metals wonderfully. Here's a look at the before image...



Step 6 // Reassembly. Once the furniture is completely dry, reattach the polished hardware. That's all there is to it! A little sweat equity goes a long way. Just to be safe, I'd wait at least 7 days before placing objects on top of the piece, or coming in contact with the painted surface.



I decided to leave the wood base natural because I liked the contrast and floating look. What do you guys think? It's definitely a big difference from where this dresser started. Are you into the color as much as I am?



For more furniture makeovers... check out these:

Have you ever restored a piece of furniture? I'm on the hunt for a new dining table and chairs. I definitely wouldn't be sad if I scored a vintage set that needed a little elbow grease!

For more updates: 5 Steps To An Organized Kitchen | 5 (Affordable) Ways To Make Your Home Look Expensive

15 iPhone Photo and Instagram Tips

Instagram has evolved into a place for gorgeous, styled, quality photos. Even as a blogger, sometimes it's intimidating to post an image that isn't shot in a way that feels curated to your library. I know that sounds silly, but my place for "real" or messy behind-the-scenes has always been Snapchat or Stories. Instagram, on the other hand, provides top-notch inspiration and magazine quality archives, which I'm cool with. Here are a few tips if you're trying to up your Insta game (or just take better photos from your iPhone). The following images have been screen grabbed from my personal Instagram as examples... all taken with my iPhone.

For me, especially since moving to Utah, I find it difficult to lug around my big DSLR camera. If we're setting out for a hike, day on the slopes, or outdoor adventure, the last thing I want is added weight and having to be cautious all day. Therefore, I've gotten pretty good at figuring out the science behind gorgeous iPhone images. Here are 15 tips you might want to consider the next time you pull out your phone for a quick pic.

1 // Shoot with your iPhone camera. I never shoot a photo from the Instagram app, but I do edit within the platform... more on that below. The key point? Use your phone's camera- not your favorite app.



2 // Consider composition. I practice the rule of thirds, and I also try to make sure I have a good mix of wide shots, medium shots, as well as close ups in my Insta library for added variety. Note how I weighted the content at the bottom of the image, rather than centering it in the image below? This makes it way more interesting.



3 // Shoot in natural light. If shooting indoors, turn off all lights (overhead, lamps, etc). Notice the overhead light in the mirror reflection? It's off, and this image is still plenty bright. In addition to the lighting, the color balance is even and soft.



4 // Simple is better. Instagram is usually a very noisy place when it comes to photos and content. Sometimes minimal images are better because they give the viewer's eye a place to rest. Negative space is a beautiful thing!



5 // If you're shooting people, use the portrait camera setting. It's made for shooting portraiture and creates a shallow depth of field. It's also nice to get on your subject's level. If you're shooting a baby or a dog, you might have to get on the floor to capture the shot from their perspective.



6 // Don't forget to adjust alignment. If you're shooting a symmetrical photo, use the adjustment tool and make sure your lines are on a grid. My pet peeve is unaligned images, but then again- I'm a person who craves balance.



7 // Take advantage of golden hour. If you're shooting outside, the best time to shoot is in the early morning or as the sun is setting. Noon is the worst time, as you'll capture harsh lighting.



8 // Use the brightness, contrast, and fade editing tools. These are the three most-used tools in my bag of tricks. I pretty much use these for every single iPhone image I take. Contrary to the above point, the below shot was captured at the worst time of day(noon), and it was really bright and blown out. I lowered the brightness, added a little contrast to bring back some detail, and used the fade tool to make it a bit less saturated. What started as a harsh, high contrast image, turned into a calming, monochromatic beach scene.



9 // Keep filters to a minimum. Realistic images are always best... I hate photos that have a heavy filtered, fake look. Here's a bad example of when I took it a little too far (it happens to the best of us). The composition is fine, but the filter I selected is not working at all with the low lit candles- it makes the image look non-realistic, grainy, and harsh. We all have our moments... live and learn, right?!



10 // Consider scale. I enjoy playing with scale- especially in outdoor or landscape images. Typically, if I can't find a person in a natural environment, I'll make my husband stand in for photos, so you can see just how small he is compared to a vast landscape. Contrary to what it looks like, I captured the little boy below gazing into a nook in an ice castle... not peeing! It does make for a funny image- that's well composed, I might add.



11 // Don't be afraid to play around and shoot a lot of images. You can always delete the bad ones later- but the key is capturing multiples, then narrowing down the best. In the photo below, I was experimenting with motion and blurring... insert dance party here.



12 // Get creative. Sometimes you have to get weird and shoot from strange angles or think outside the box to capture a unique image. The best images come from experimentation! Consider silhouettes, color, reflection, texture, and overall content. The image below was the result of my fascination with the depth and color of this fern. I like the overall image because it shows movement, has a monochromatic color palette, and loads of interesting texture. The fern wasn't in an extraordinary setting, it was just a fern in regular landscaping, but once I got closer, it made a great image.



13 // If you're shooting content from above (tablescapes, moodboards, or desk shots), find an interesting textural, yet neutral background. Most bloggers have a library of large tile or stone pieces they can switch in and out for curated photos like these. It adds variety and is an inexpensive way to enhance your photos.



14 // Practice makes perfect. One of my older interior design friends told me her goal was to find beauty every single day. She's in her 50's and admits to not being super tech savvy, but she posts to Instagram every day. It's amazing to see her growth, improvement, and the mundane things she finds beautiful! She really inspired me to seek beauty in the ordinary. Even if you're in a setting that isn't "Instagram Worthy" find a way to compose an extraordinary image.



15 // Lastly, connect with people! In my opinion, the best part of Instagram is making friends, complimenting each other, and sharing common interests. I've made so many connections (near and far) who have transitioned from social media friends to "real life" friends. That's actually the thing I love most about the internet and social media.
Overall, I really enjoy taking photos with my iPhone because it's hassle free and easy because you always have it on you. Technology has come a long way, so make the most of it! What is your favorite photo taking platforms?

For more life hacks: 5 (Affordable) Ways to Make Your home Look Expensive | Insights from Sheri Adelman