Renting: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Hello everyone! I'm still on the road & boy am I EXHAUSTED. I'm literally trying to force my eyes open while I write this next post....
About a week ago I asked on my Twitter if there were any bloggers who wanted to share their rental experience with MadeByGirl readers. 

Since I will now be RENTING, I'm curious to know your thoughts on 'the GOOD, the BAD, the UGLY' of apartment living! I chose a few of the posts that were submitted to me last week. Below is the first one....I'll share more of the submissions soon! Enjoy!

Hello MadeByGirl readers, I'm Julia from Tartan & Sequins. Sharing my apartment living experience!

Let’s face it, developing a sense of style when it comes to your home is even harder than developing your personal style. Of course there are people who just get it from the start. But, for the rest of us, it usually takes some time to figure out what you like and don’t like when it comes to decorating and then gather all the parts and pieces to make the design work. 

Being able to test-drive design ideas and styles is one of the great benefits of apartment living. You can focus on developing your style while not having to worry about too many extra design elements like paint, wallpaper, construction, etc. It’s less risky to make changes when you’re living in an apartment, as a throw pillow is easier to change out than a horrible fireplace. 

Now onto the bad. Once you have developed your design sense, it can be frustrating not having control over those extra design elements mentioned above. It may even get to a point where you just have to bite the bullet on the repainting fee and go crazy with painting the place. Other changes can include replacing hardware like the towel bars in the bathroom, door/cabinet knobs, or installing curtain rods at your own expense.

The bad part about living in an apartment is that that those types of changes usually require someone else’s approval. No I don’t mean your significant other - that’s challenging enough. I mean the person who actually owns the place, the landlord.

Now, we all have things we can live with and cannot live without when it comes to apartment living. You may be able to live with a small cramped kitchen, but not having a walk-in closet to house your large collection of shoes simply will not do. Living in an apartment requires all types of tradeoffs, it’s what you do with the bad scenario that makes all the difference. I, myself, have two bay windows in my living room. 

Not a problem you say? Well, they are covered in old beige blinds and each take up an entire wall. So in an effort to inject color, establish a theme for the room and hide the blinds, I put up light olive green and white Moroccan print curtains. The bay windows are now my favorite part of the room!

If you'd like to share, the good, the bad, the ugly of living in a rental, email me your submission with 3-4 pictures of your apartment!

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Design: Amethyst

Hi again, fellow design enthusiasts!  

It's Brooke (While Jen is on her way to NYC) I'm here again to share with you my latest obsession: AMETHYST. I stumbled across this amazing image a few weeks back and can't get this semi-precious stone off my mind!

Using amethyst in decor is a little bit glam, a little bit rock and roll, a little polished and a little raw- the perfect combo for a statement accessory, if you ask me!  Here are some picks to add this look into your home and wardrobe:

1. Framed Mineral Art by Christopher Marley from The Pheromone Gallery
2. Purple Rock Crystal Ring from Fred Flare 
3. Raw Amethyst Cuff by Jody Candrian from Far Fetch
4. Amethyst Mineral Lamps from 1st Dibs

Mother Nature creates the most beautiful art, no?

{image via The Glam Lamb}

-post by brooke jones

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My heart breaks today... 

My 13 yr old boxer had to be put to sleep. Both my husband & I are very sad & miss him dearly. It will feel so weird moving into our new place without him.

I will think of him as my husband's best friend, always following him around our home, sitting between his legs when he worked at his desk, sticking his head out of the car window to catch the breeze. He loved car rides & looking out the window for hours. What a blessing it was to have such a good dog.

His name was Danny & I hope we'll see him again one day....

A friend of mine emailed this poem she found online today:

My best friend closed his eyes last night,
As his head was in my hand.
The Doctors said he was in pain,
And it was hard for him to stand.
The thoughts that scurried through my head,
As I cradled him in my arms.
Were of his younger, puppy years,
And OH...his many charms.
Today, there was no gentle nudge
With an intense "I love you gaze",
Only a heart thats filled with tears
Remembering our joy filled days.
But an Angel just appeared to me,
And he said, "You should cry no more,
God also loves our canine friends,
He's installed a 'doggy-door

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Fashion: Layering 101

Hello loves! Lauren here.

Cannot wait to see what this year has in store, especially when it comes to fashion.

And I thought, what better way to kick off the New Year than a little Styling 101? Let's start 2012 with lots of layers. Mix and match, try new things, step out of your comfort zone. It's a new year, so why not? Hope this little step by step style guide helps lead you to take a little style plunge!

-post by lauren wickman 

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Wanted: Super Chic Decor...

Been thinking a lot about how to decorate our new apartment in New York City. It's not that big, only 1000 sq ft. BIG difference leaving my home which is almost 3000 sq ft. Crazy huh?

Well, I'm sure I'm going to post a lot about this adventure & will welcome any design ADVICE from any Interior Designers out there. One apt (so much BIGGER than ours) that I loved, belongs to Cathy Triant Buxton. I love her style & would love my place to be as CHIC...!  

She also has a WHITE sofa!!! I've decided to keep mine for now after seeing her REALLY inspired me.

Any of you in the middle of moving right now?? Are you just as CRAZED & excited at the same time?

-images by jeffrey hirsch for ny social diary

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Getting there...

Hello everyone! Hope you all are doing well! 

Packing is getting ridiculous....ever wonder how you accumulated so many things? I'm beginning to feel good about selling most of my furniture....

more to pack.....

-image by jen ramos

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Design: Gemstones

Hello dear readers. Drew here, bringing you insight from a different perspective on my views of design. I was browsing home decor on the internet & came across a feature on a new trendy home accessory.  It struck a nostalgic chord of childhood memories. 


I fondly remember mining for rocks in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, freezing water running over my hands as I cleaned and polished every gem I came across in the heavy white bucket. What used to be a collection can now be something much more. 


Quartz and agate seem to be rising to a decor stardom level. They come in all different brilliant shades, shapes and sizes. You can get fancy and add these precious gemstones to a fireplace, mimic them in a bed spread, use them as table surfaces, as glamorous lamps and even a fashionable mirror.
Just admire these gems in all of their natural splendor! 

image via We Heart It

image via Kelly Wearstler

image via Design Therapy from Pinterest

image via La Belle Vi from Pinterest

image via Amanda Nisbet Design linked from Matters of Style

image via Kelly Wearstler

Take a peek at some of these clever approaches to making a simple gem come to life:

1. Tish Mills Chandelier via One Kings Lane
2. Tish Mills Yellow Quartz via One Kings Lane  
3. Arteriors Home Lamp via Coco+Kelley
5. Tish Mills Amethyst Embedded Table via One Kings Lane
6. Rug via Pinterest
7. Sky Parlor Bookends via Etsy
10. Zhush Clock  

-post by drew humphries

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DIY: Rope Bracelet

Hi everyone! It's Jenny Bevlin bringing you another DIY post. I love accessories, but I especially love jewelry! I've noticed lately that I have been buying a lot of bracelets and even making some myself. I find that making my own accessories is very rewarding. It's fun and you will love all the compliments you receive when you say you made it yourself! What you need to make this bracelet:
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Flat Nose Pliers
  • Scissors
  • Rope trim
  • Jewelry Jump Rings
  • Jewelry Lobster Clasp
  • Jewelry Ribbon Endings


Measure the rope around your wrist leaving about an extra inch longer than your wrist. Cut the rope. Make sure you add a dot of hot glue to the end of the rope you just cut to keep it from unraveling.
Cut 3 more strands the same length as the first strand. Make sure to add a dot of hot glue to ends of the rope each time you cut it.

Lay out the rope as shown in the photo above.

Overlap the rope as shown in the photo above.

Pull the end of the top rope under and up through the bottom rope.

Pull the ends of the rope tight.

Trim the ends so that they are all the same length. Make sure to add hot glue to the ends to keep them from unraveling.

Put the rope ends into the ribbon ending and close with the pliers.

Use the pliers to add the jump rings and lobster clasp.

- post and images by Jenny Bevlin

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Biker Boot Trend

I've been seeing a trend I love - Biker boots. Not just any kind, I love the ones that go up to your calves.  Kind of a mid boot right? In fact, I was so enchanted with this type of boot that I bought the Jeffrey Campbell ones at ShopBop. Well, I had to return them because they were too tight! Apparently the sizes run small & they don't have my size ughhh!

I believe they have them at Free People - so I may buy them there anyway.  I had biker boots in high school & they lasted FOREVER and were VERY comfy!  

So, what do you think about this trend? Are you into biker boots?

c. frye

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Fashion: Tights

It's Casie Mace again!  

I'll be the first to admit that I was hesitant to wear shorts with tights and still expect to be taken seriously in life. I was even more hesitant to wear textured tights with more edgy designs. But once you learn to style these two oh-so-fabulous trends, you can pull these looks off for both work AND play--you can't help but get addicted!

If you're new to the shorts + tights trend, start slow with a pair of dressy shorts and solid black tights (perfect with a pair of booties). Just treat the shorts like you would any skirt. I'm not sure what I love more, the look (you can make the ensemble dressy or a little more edgy) or the comfort factor (c'mon... you're basically wearing a more comfortable version of leggings with the ease of mind that your bootie is covered). 

If you go the route of textured tights, these go perfectly with a more geared-down pieces like solid colored tops and skirts. Have you taken the plunge with either of these trends yet this season?!



-all collages three + four: images via their respective

-post by casie mace

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