a look inside the life of Whitney

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Personal Apartment Improvements: Bedroom

Another sketch dump today. After exploring the ideas I had for a nightstand design, I started to get into the bigger picture of redesigning one side of my bedroom. See, I like the bed side of my room, its very put together, but the opposite wall is what I look at all the time when I’m in there, and it needs some help.

So yesterday I spent a lot of time playing with some ideas. Below are some quick sketches for the wall.

The last one on the top right is the one that grabbed my attention the most and I had to get it into a 3D form so I could see how it would work in the space. The result is what you see below. I didn’t add a lot of details because it’s not the best 3D program in the world. The nice thing about this design though is that it would be fairly simple to build. The cube shelf and filing cabinet in the corner I already have and set the mounting height for the surfaces. And though I do not own the low dresser in the corner yet, I have two bookcases that will fit there in its place while I save up for the dresser. And with the large amount of surface, I can use part of it for a vanity, part of it for deskwork, and part of it for storage. I’d love to add tall clear vases in the corners and maybe tack up some little LED lights underneath the soffit above to accent the whole area.

And like I mentioned, it would be very simple to construct. Support for the surfaces would vary between weather it rests on a cabinet, uses end panel legs, or wall shelf brackets. All together it comes to 6 pieces of wood and some shelf brackets. If I actually get this all constructed and put together in my actual bedroom, I will definitely be posting all the details about it.

Its been raining for the past 3 days off and on. A nice change from the hot sticky weather of the south, but I’m hoping all this rain will bring some cooler weather. May not post again until Monday. It’s going to be another busy weekend. Hope you enjoy yours!


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The Awesomeness that is IKEA

Ya know, I’m glad I took that little break from blogging. I can get burnt out so easily and after the week was over, I began to miss my daily design sharing. So I’m back. I know you missed it.

I can’t believe I haven’t even mentioned this topic yet, at least that I can remember. And I don’t have the best of memories to begin with. So let me share a little about one of my favorite design stores, IKEA.

Now, I’ve had enough experiences with this wonderful place to have gotten past the enamored feelings I first experienced when I met IKEA. Because when I went to an IKEA for the first time, I thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread (wow, I can’t believe I just used that old American idiom). But, as with everything, there’s always a downside. So today I thought I’d give you a pros and cons list of my experiences with IKEA over the years.


It is budget friendly. You can find what you need for a relatively good price, even outrageously awesome prices, like a Wok for $5.

They have a superior focus on space saving. Being a European based country where apartments are more like postage stamps, they excel at making the most out of a small space.

If you like modern style, clean simple lines, and handy ways to do or decorate differently, this is the place for you. They have a great supply of just “different” things that I know I hardly see anywhere else.

They have a smart store setup. They have a level that shows you a whole bunch of showrooms of how to use everything in the store in a one cohesive room. Then the lower level has everything in sections so you can pick up everything that you want or saw from the upper level.


Cons: (as much as I hate to admit these, IKEA does have its flaws)

Being a European company, ordering offline is just kind of ridiculous, at least for America. So the only way to get these wickedly awesome things you’ve seen online, in the catalog, or on a previous visit, is to go visit again with an agenda. And if you don’t live right down the street, you might be spending just as much in gas, as you would be on shipping. This is a con, and it makes me sad.

On a similar note, there are just not enough IKEA’s in the U.S. They’ve hit most of the capital cities, but there are plenty of other big cities that they could make some money in. Like college cities…like Knoxville.

Though they do an excellent job on price, you do pay for what you get. I do find it to be pretty good quality, but not something past 5-7 years I think. Basically, if I had a family and kids, I would not go to IKEA for the more things that need to be more durable. But then again, there’s a lot I would still look to IKEA first for because their prices are good.

That’s all I have for now. I love IKEA, but as with anything, there’s always a dark side. I visit one every time I get a chance though, even when I don’t need anything, but that means I rarely, if ever, make it out of there without buying anything. Let me give you a run-down of how true this is.

I currently own: 4 lamps, 1 Bookshelf, 1 Shower Curtain, 1 Wok, Silverware and 1 Storage thing, all from Ikea. Yeah I couldn’t help buying a lamp nearly every time I went. Now I try to keep to more practical things.

Maybe when I pass the apartment life I won’t use IKEA as much. But I love their style and practicality, so it will always have a special place in my little design heart.

Fall is coming! I’m so excited!

Pray for the hurricane victims.

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Stickers for Your Walls: What a Concept!

Alright. This is one of my favorite, clever things on that has come out in the market in the past few years and I was reminded recently about how much I love them. If you’ve been in any store recently, especially a store that has home décor for sale, then you will undoubtedly find a section in the aisle, small or large, that has a collection of vinyl wall stickers for your home. Yes my friends, this is THE cheater’s way of adding something to an empty space on a wall that makes it look hand painted, especially if you buy the high quality kind. And you know there are people out there who can’t even draw a decent stick figure, let alone try and paint a beautiful quote or mural on a vertical surface. (No offense, because those who can’t draw often have other awesome skills that I wish I had). And hey, I may be able to crank out a decent drawing, but I’ve tried my hand at painting a quote on a wall and it took forever! Who has that kind of time or wants to waste that kind of effort when you’ve got vinyl wall applications available everywhere! Plus, they come right off! Perfect for dorms and apartments.

Plus, there are plenty of companies out there that would be glad to create a personalized vinyl sticker for you. One company I know of is called Uppercase Living. You can design your own quote, saying, verse, etc. right on their website. And there are plenty of local representatives that you work with to get the personalization you desire. I haven’t used this company before but I plan to someday.

Then of course there are plenty of individuals that make and sell vinyl sticker designs. I find a lot of them on, which was where I had the idea to share this as I was browsing around the site. This is a great site to find unique handmade items from talented artists, and also a great place for those who have those talents to sell their stuff.

So to end today’s post, I want to share some vinyl decal designs from two shops on Etsy that I absolutely love and would love to have in my own home someday.

from a shop on called Walldecors

Click here to visit Walldecors shop. 


from the shop called Designed Designer

Click here to visit DesignedDesigner’s shop.

Basically, vinyl stickers, wall decals, or whatever you want to call them, are pretty much awesome. Somehow I want to believe that whoever first came up with it got the idea from finding their kid has just plastered the wall with a bunch of My Little Ponies stickers in their bedroom. And while their scrubbing off the terrible residue for hours, they may be thinking, “Hey! What if I came up with some stickers that were actually made to apply to the wall? And surely there’s a way to make them come off just as easily.” And then their mind would be exploding with ideas and ways to apply this newfound concept.

Yup, I wish I knew that person.

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Mega Ipod Table

This is utterly ridiculous. I mean sure, I love apple products, but this is what I’d like to define as complete overkill.

Still, it is an impressive piece of furniture this designer made, seeing as its fully functional. It runs OS X and can be turned on its side for use as a megascreen. Its about the size of a coffee table. I guess it could look good in a modern living room, but I’m not certain where this particular piece of furniture would work. It would be fun to see this in an apple store though. Here’s a picture:

I just had to share this because its such an interesting piece. Follow to this website to see the entire thing and multiple pictures of it. Thanks MacTrast(twitter) for sharing this story on your twitter feed.

Have a good Monday.

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Paint Stick Pendant Shade

Once again, I reveal my obsession with light and light fixtures because today’s idea is another one of these.

I once saw on the Nate Berkus show (I think) a way to construct a simple outdoor walkway light from paint stir sticks and a pipe/tube clamp. I always have a few paint sticks lying around so this idea has always been in the back of my mind.

Well, in studying pipe clamps a little closer, I became less fond of using one for this idea. So lately I’ve been trying to come up with a similar concept. I have seen in my research, that others have painted and attached paint sticks to basic lampshades and hang it as a pendent light. Or even deconstruct a chandelier in some fashion and attach paint sticks.

But, I wanted to do it a little differently and try to use something that wasn’t already intended to be a light fixture. Eventually, I found a paper-mâché box at hobby lobby that would make it easy to attach paint sticks. It was a simple solution. Below you’ll find some sketches that helped me figure out how I wanted to put this together and how I wanted to fashion it decoratively.

I really wanted to make it so that light would shine up, down, and out of small punctures or openings in the sides for maximum luminosity, but figuring out how to construct it in that way with only a limited number of ideas and resources was becoming frustrating. So for now I may simply settle for cutting a hole in the bottom of the box that is small enough to allow my plug in pendant cord through and allow the constructed shade to simply rest as the base of the bulb casing.

Basically, it’s simple, it uses the concept of the original idea, and inexpensive. I plan to construct it for this month’s project so be on the look-out for the project completion post!

Happy Tuesday!


Area Rug from the River

I think today is one of those moments where I try to create an idea from something that has inspired me and it doesn’t always work out.

On my way to work everyday I drive over a large river. Today as I was driving, I glanced over and saw the river had churned sections with smooth as glass areas cutting through it. I love seeing that because it looks so unreal. I don’t know if you understand what I’m trying to describe but either way I find it beautiful.

In the distance you can see a smoother part of this water view. This is the best picture I could find to show what I saw this morning.

So I thought maybe I could come up with a design that would be inspired by this natural occurrence. Thus, I came up with an area rug design that was an attempt to recreate and interpret it into a piece of décor.

I used photoshop to apply the colors I was thinking of.

As I was writing this, I thought of other ways to use this inspiration for a design of either another piece of décor or even a whole room. But, sometimes it can be forced when I focus too much on it so I’ll let this sit for a while. So I’m not too proud or excited about this area rug design but maybe I’ll come up with a  better design or something new entirely.

Hope you enjoy either way. Feel free to comment and offer improvements.

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Foam Core Bulletin Board

Today I thought I’d show you the bulletin board I constructed for myself back in college. I didn’t have a lot of money to buy the size that I wanted for my newly acquired studio space, so I came up with a simple way to make one. Here’s what I did.


1/2” Foam Core: this is a very thick poster board that would easily accommodate thumbtacks. I used a thinner version a lot for school presentations

Luan: this is a thin, inexpensive piece of wood. It comes in large sheets, and luckily for me, the standard size that you can buy it in accommodated two standard size sheets of 1/2” foam core. The luan was to give the bulletin board some backbone. It also made it easy to attach wall hangers later for hanging it on a wall.

Glue: to attach the foam core to the luan

Fabric: this was to give the board a finished look and a personal touch.

Staple Gun: for simple attachment of the fabric


This was a very simple project. I first lay out the luan and glued the two foam core pieces to it. I used my copious amount of textbooks to weigh it down to keep everything flat and still while it dried. After that, I simply stretched a piece of fabric over it and stapled the edges to the piece of luan. Done! I still use my bulletin board today. Here you’ll see how I’ve hung it up in my apartment by the front door. I use it to hold cards I’ve received in the mail, receipts, important notes/letters, and I even attached a little box to hold thumbtacks for easy access.

The thing on the left covered in notes and cards is the bulletin board I made.

This was a very simple way to make a bulletin board. The cost was approximately less than $20 if I remember correctly, especially since I got the foam core half price at Hobby Lobby. If you wanted to make a smaller version, Lowes does free cutting of all their wood, and foam core is quite simple to cut with a good sharp exacto knife.

What do you think? Pretty clever, eh? Your thoughts?