House Call: Aaron and Emma

When you're traveling, it's always nicer to be a house guest with a friend than cramped in a hotel. Two nights in Chicago (part of Tim and my cross country move) were no exception. Our gracious and wonderful friends, Aaron and Emma, put us up in their beautiful new apartment in Chicago.

Seriously, these two got an amazing place: two floors, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, two porches(!), vaulted ceilings on the second floor, a kitchen with modern appliances, a dining nook, a spiral staircase, a garden... on an on. See, amazing!

So, moving into a new place is exciting, but also a little overwhelming - all of those blank walls. For me, it's even harder because I don't have a ton of wall art. But, Aaron and Emma have a ton of fantastic posters, prints, and paintings, and I was pumped when Emma asked me to help them a little with their decor :)

The first things we set out to do was hang up some of that great art.
Wall art makes a huge difference in a blank space (especially an apartment where painting can be problematic), so in my humble opinion, this was a good plan :)

Oh oh, I wanted to mention that these two are great deal finders. They order all of their frames on framesbymail.com and get them in the mail for a lot cheaper than store bought ones. You can see Aaron putting one together here. Very clever.

Anywho, Emma and I set to work on the many many pictures, sorting them by size, frame, and color. We decided which ones looked nice together for the living room wall first. It was cool, because we laid them out, but the more we looked, the more we realized they were a great set: blue and red, very graphic, and three have buildings in them. It's so neat how characteristics like that can multiply and start to create a "look" for a room. They bring the color of the couch into the mix and set a bit of a color story.

Now, Emma is looking for curtains and is planning on doing this DIY on her ceiling fan. Yay for the starting point of inspiration!

(Emma, you better send me pictures when you're done!!)

The dining room is the other room we tackled. Emma got this super cute table from her family's barn (jealous), and these four chairs for free too. See, I told you they were great deal finders.

We hung up the pictures in what looks like a random shape, but it works right!? So the plan behind the madness was 1. mix up the sizes and frame types, 2. avoid symmetry (because they weren't going to line up no matter what, so why force it), 3. create an overall shape that looks nice and balanced, 4. experimentation until it looked right.

I think we did pretty well...

Emma had the genius idea to add one picture on the left of the window. It really balanced out the shape and brought the room together.

To make the room pop, Emma is planning on painting her chairs each a different color - pink, blue, yellow, green, and purple (I think). (Pictures please.) It's already such a happy sunny room, and it's only going to get better :)

I have to say again, we had a FANTASTIC time with Aaron and Emma. I'm so glad we got to geek out on interior design stuff, we ate incredible food, and felt so at home. I think the cats felt at home too :)