DIY Rustic “Table” Photography Background

DIY Rustic “Table” Photography Background Pistachios 1 - offbeat + inspired

As I’ve been perusing the works of some of my favorite food photographers, one element I’m drawn to is the backdrop. I absolutely love the look of food composed on a rustic farm table. The natural look enhances homey, comfort recipes, contrasts formal dishes to make them really pop and showcases the beauty of simple ingredients.

I haven’t yet found my dream barn wood table that perfectly complements the recipes I’m working on (I know it’s out there somewhere!). Even if I did have that perfect table, the best natural light in my house comes from a particular spot near my family room window. It’s not at all a convenient place to store a table and I’d hate to have to move large furniture to that area every time I want to shoot.

Keep reading!

Apartment Love With Michelle Aiello

Apartment Love With Michelle Aiello - offbeat + inspired

I’ll get right to it. This lovely lady inspired me the moment I met her. We were first introduced at North Lime Coffee & Donuts during a CAKE&WHISKEY event where we were the only two toting massive DSLRs — always an ice breaker. She was photographing for skirt! Magazine and I was getting some behind the scenes stuff for C&W. Her style immediately caught my eye because it was a perfect blend of vintage and rockabilly, which I love! When we got to chatting, I learned that in addition to being a stylish photographer, she’s a talented artist, a fellow makeup addict, and a gifted thrifter. I ended up visiting her darling apartment soon after our first meeting, and I fell in love. Every room was so full of character and nostalgia, and there was a story tucked into every beautifully curated nook. In this post, I’ll be interviewing Michelle and inviting her to share her decor inspiration and thoughts on transforming a dull rental space into a creative retreat. Michelle, take it away!

Keep reading!

Furniture Upcycle with Chalk Paint® Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan

Furniture Upcycle with Chalk Paint Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan - top half of cabinet - offbeat + inspired

This is a sponsored post brought to you by Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan. All opinions are 100% my own. In other words, I really do love this product!

Remember when I told you about the side-of-the-road furniture I have piling up in my garage? Well, I’m excited to announce that one more of those pieces has officially made it out of the garage and into the house.

Keep reading!

DIY Upcycled Deck Furniture + Accessories

I used to be afraid of color, but in the last few years something changed in my decor style and the pendulum has swung the other direction. Now, I’m obsessed with vivid, bold colors (probably a bit too much). When my husband and I moved into our house last year, we became the very grateful recipients of some hand-me-down outdoor furniture. The chairs are really comfortable and the table is the perfect size for our deck, but the old hunter green and tan dining set needed a little facelift.

Deck Upcycle - offbeat + inspiredDIY Upcycled Deck Furniture - After

Before I chose any paint colors, I searched long and hard for an outdoor pillow that would be summery, bright and maybe even a little out of my color comfort zone (I know I’m living on the edge here). I knew I wanted comfortable pillows for the chairs and hoped that the right pattern would be my inspiration for the rest of the deck. I landed on these Warm Venice Paisley Outdoor Throw Pillows from World Market and I love them! They were the perfect pattern that would allow me to incorporate nearly any crazy color I wanted into my deck project. I snagged a few of those paisley pillows and added a couple of these Warm Chevron Outdoor Lumbar Pillows to the mix. (The “runner up pillow” for my deck inspiration was this Laurel 20″ Square Outdoor Pillow from Crate and Barrel.)

Keep reading!

Orange-Cinnamon Iced Tea

I’ve been planning a big patio furniture upcycle reveal. I was hoping to have part one of that project completed to share with you this week but, well…I opted to relax with a glass of iced tea instead. It’s been about 80 degrees and sunny all week in the Chicago area and the summery weather has just been begging me to enjoy it while drinking a cold beverage.

Orange Cinnamon Iced Tea

Keep reading!

FindersKeepers Market Decor Inspiration

Shooting at FindersKeepers Market in Lexington KY - offbeat + inspired

FindersKeepers Market is an interiors shop in Lexington that I’m absolutely in love with. It’s one of those places you walk into and think, “How did they know this is what my dream house looks like?!” It’s a cozy two-room space but I can never manage to keep a visit short. I’ll spend no less than an hour or two just browsing and imagining redesigning and redecorating every one of my rooms with their vintage and modern treasures. It’s such an inspiration.

Keep reading!

An Inspiring Home

An inspiring environment breeds creativity.  I realized this for the first time fresh out of high school when I decided to redo my bedroom.  Picking out paint colors, carpet textures, a bed set and some new furniture was so exciting.  Once the room came together I felt so cozy and motivated to create.  I started to draw more, I started to get into crafting more - my life just felt more organized and productive.  Ever since then, it’s been my goal to curate an inspiring space wherever I live.

My tastes definitely drift and change at times, but I’d say my overall style is clean, bright, rustic, vintage and natural.  I love the rough textures and warm tones of reclaimed wood paired with whitewashed walls and brightly painted pottery.  I love chipped and worn wrought iron chairs with a ruffled floral vintage apron draped over the back.  I love quirky little gadgets like misfit toys that have found a home on my shelf.

Keep reading!