A How-To for Storage-Strapped Shoe Addicts

Brace yourselves, boys and girls. Get your hard hats and band-aids ready. It’s time to bust out the power tools and do some DIY.

Since I recently (ok, so not-so-recently at this point, but you get the idea) moved into my new place, I figured what better way to make it my own than to get my hands dirty with some DIY projects. Plus who likes a standard-issue “vintage” apartment anyway? In the days of Pinterest: no one. Especially me.

First up: Adding some much-needed storage.

I’m a shoe whore. Always have been. Always will be. Don’t get me wrong, I’m nowhere near as bad as my aunt (she had my uncle turn a spare guest room into an extra closet for her shoes – you go Aunt Melissa!) but I have everything from running shoes to wingtips and from rain boots to ridiculously-uncomfortable-yet-super-cute leopard print loafers. God forbid they be homeless, but when you live in a studio finding a home for them is definitely much easier said than done.

Especially once you’ve already maxed out your under-bed storage with off-season clothing and shoes and other stuff that just needs a home. Out of sight, out of mind.

Always up for a good DIY project, I’d seen this project on Pinterest that looked like it’d have a relatively low chance of ending up as an epic Pinterest fail. Easy peasy. I could do this. Bring it on. Continue reading

Job Hunting 101: It’s All or Nothing

Yes, I’ve been MIA for a while.

No, I have not have been on vacation again – although I wish I had been.

Drumroll please…..

I’ve actually been working! Yes, that’s right…working. My unemployment adventure is D-O-N-E. Done. Donezo. Finished. Through. However you want to put it…I have a job again. Is it in the design field? Well, yes and no. One is, one isn’t. The one that is, however, is a whole different story that we’ll get to in a minute. In the meantime though….let’s CELEBRATE!!

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Interior Design is a Disease

Sometimes I wonder what is wrong with me when I walk into any given environment and begin to pick out everything about it that’s wrong or doesn’t work. In instances like this, I begin to think I’m a judgmental bitch. Perhaps, but not really. The root of all evil in this case is that I am a designer. It’s in our blood to study the design of any space we’re in and try to figure out how (if at all) it can be improved upon.

One of my biggest annoyances is when stairs aren’t designed on a 7/11 ratio. What is this, you ask? Stair treads should be 11″ deep and only raise 7″ up. The steps at most CTA stations, the stairs that go from Michigan Avenue down to East Illinois Street, the stairs going down to the Chicago Riverwalk – these and several others drive me up a wall because they aren’t built on a 7/11 ratio making it uncomfortable to go up or down them because your feet either don’t fit on the stair correctly, or you have to take more than one step per stair. Call me crazy, but go for a walk and see for yourself.

ADA is also my worst nightmare. She’s a whore. She haunts my dreams day in and day out. She is seriously everywhere. From door swings to clearances and everything in between, her special needs get hammered into your head in design school and become even more apparent in the real world. There’s no escaping her. She is contagious, and I have caught her disease.

Is this Interior Design Disease life-threatening? God I sure hope not. Is it annoying? Very. I feel like rather than appreciating the space I’m in like any other normal non-designer human being, I’m stuck with this gift/curse of walking into somewhere and instantly seeking out what could have been done better or what doesn’t meet code. It’s ridiculously annoying, but at the end of the day, I’m perfectly content having this disease because I love what I do, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I’m a Designer…NOT a Decorator!!

I cannot tell you how many times I get asked “Oh you’re a decorator? I just moved into a new place and have no idea what color to paint my walls or what pillows to get. You should totally help me out!” after telling someone I work in the interior design industry. This is seriously one of my biggest…pet…peeves…EVER. There are few things annoy designers more than being classified and referred to as a decorator. So to help you out, I’m going to take a little time out of my afternoon today to go over the difference between a designer and a decorator so none of you ever have to offend a designer again.

This was always a hot-button issue when I was in design school. So hot of an issue actually that our Interior Design Club put it as a line item on the back of our “You Know You’re an Interior Design Major When…” shirts (3. You feel the urge to strangle anyone who calls  you a “decorator” or asks for your help with pillows and curtains.) that, yes, I still own and wear to the gym.

According to the NCIDQ (a fancy exam that some states require you to take that’s on the interior design equivalent of the bar exam for lawyers), the difference between being a designer and a decorator is as follows: Continue reading