Spring Home Tours Week Two: Bria Hammel Interiors

April 13, 2017 Interior Design 0 Comments

It’s week two of #SpringIntoHome and this week’s home tour is courtesy of Bria Hammel Interiors. Bria and I were first connected through a mutual Minnesota blogger friend (remember DIY maven Erin of Francois et Moi). Bria has the brightest and sweetest personality. The minute I met her and saw her big smile I thought, “she seems like a FUN and fabulous friend (and boss).” Bria had her crew from Bria Hammel Interiors with her at the Design Bloggers Conference and they were all so welcoming, and let me join their party for the weekend.

Bria’s home is reflection of her light, bright and FUN spirit! Lots of cheerful patterned wallpaper, classic white and bright walls, plus some soft colors round out the rooms.  Here’s her home tour in her own words. Hope you enjoy! Check back next week for another great tour!


“This is the first time I’ve done an actual home tour of my house {still a work in progress!}. We have been in our home now for 1.5 years, and are chipping away at all of the projects that come with a new construction home. {we still don’t have grass in our backyard, yikes!}

bria hammel interiors

The lovely Bria Hammel. Her kiddos pictured above.

One of my favorite parts of our house is the front door. Clients always ask me if I worry about privacy, but we are up on top of a hill so you have to drive all the way up our driveway and walk down our sidewalk to see anything. The natural light that comes in through the door and windows is so beautiful during the day… totally worth any privacy I may be giving up!

Our great room is definitely still a work in progress. Since we moved in with a six week old baby, we have kept this room on the back burner. It hasn’t been a bad things to have floor space and no breakables to be thrown across the room 😉 I’m definitely getting the itch to get this space completed. We want to add another sofa, possibly remove the carpet and extend our wood floors (hubby is pushing hard for a new puppy!) Even if I can just get window treatments up this room would feel more complete… stay tuned!

One of the most used spaces {obviously} is our kitchen. The island is large enough to host a large gathering and offer plenty of places to sit/stand… which happens often in our space! We love hosting friends and family whether its for a holiday, football game, or Sunday dinner! Having a functional kitchen is key.

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The Warwick Reno Featured in The Chicago Tribune

the warwick renovation

It was an exciting week at the Staszak household. Our little renovation story made it into the Chicago Tribune, and on the front page of the home section no less! I got a little teary-eyed hearing someone else tell our story. The day-to-day of running a business and the stress of renovating (when we were doing it) kept me from truly appreciating all the work that was accomplished. I’m so happy to say that Thursday we did a little happy dance together. Designing and renovating our first home/kitchen together will be something we’ll never forget. This summer we’ll tackle the upstairs!

Don’t miss the full online version of the ARTICLE that details more of the renovation experience.

More pictures and our full downstairs home tour will be up soon. Thanks for all the support and well-wishes!


photography by Dustin Halleck for Homepolish, and Carolina Mariana.

View into our living room from entry. Built-in designed by us, built by Luke.

chicago tribune chicago couple renovates

Picture of the article in the paper!

Spring Home Tour Week One: Doreen Corrigan

Today is the first of the Friday home tours this spring! It’s always thought provoking and inspiring to see how someone else designs, decorates and styles their home. I love the little tidbits of each homeowner’s personality; mentions of a favorite vintage finds, motifs with special meaning and the ways they’ve shaped their home to make sense for the whole family.

Doreen Corrigan is a home decor and lifestyle blogger, and twin mama located in the suburbs of Chicago. She is also my new easy DIY queen (cute, quick and classy DIYs). Here is Doreen’s tour in her own words. I think you’ll love her light, bright and elegant home. And don’t miss a new tour each week for the next five Fridays! Play along on Instagram with us as we #SpringIntoHome


DOREEN CORRIGAN – #SpringIntoHome Tour

We purchased our home over three years ago and fell in love the first time we walked in. The wraparound front porch and open floor plan immediately greeted our family and we knew it was “the one.” As with love, when you know you just know. But the process of moving in is ongoing; we’re still working on the upstairs and I’m looking forward to redoing the kitchen someday – slowly but surely we’re putting our touch on each room of the house.

The open floor plan and grand staircase were so welcoming that first time we entered the house. We’ve made several updates along the way including staining the floors and front door, painting the staircase and adding a runner, a fresh coat of paint throughout, wainscoting, and changing out all the light fixtures.

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Spring Home Tours Announcement

April 4, 2017 Interior Design 0 Comments

To welcome springtime this year and share our love of interior design, I’ve collaborated with fellow blogger gal pals (many of whom I met at The Design Bloggers Conference) to bring you a new home tour each week of April. I can’t wait to see the homes of these talented design-centric women, and learn more about their personal decorating philosophies!

We’d love for you to play along with us on Instagram as well. Tag your photos #SpringIntoHome and we will feature your spring decor, spring flowers and maybe even your spring cleaning!

Here’s a quick look at my wonderful collaborators:

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Women Who MAKE: Angela Chrusciaki Blehm

The wide world of Instagram led me to the work and home of artist Angela Chrusciaki Blehm. Her profile read, “Obsessed with offbeat beauty” and her feed was endlessly color and different. Not that I’m hating on the white and bright look that is so popular right now, but I’ve got a bit of rebellious streak when it comes to decorating and I feel like Angela does too. She’s also got some amazing chops when it comes to color theory! I mean she painted her living room pink – and it looks amazing!

Read on to learn more about Angela and the artwork she produces at her home and studio in Georgia. Also, don’t miss the amazing new jewelry she has for sale. I bought a pair and LOVE them (see pic at end of the interview!).

  • Name: Angela Chrusciaki Blehm
  • Age: 41
  • Current title/company name: Angela Chrusciaki Blehm
  • Years in operation: 1…in this incarnation.

What is your first memory of making [art]/being creative? I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t making something…out of Play-Doh, clay, paper, crayons and markers. As a girl, I used to make books of my poetry and short stories and illustrate them.

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Outfit to Room: March Edition

Spring has officially sprung! At least at Chicago’s Garfield Park Conservatory it has. I took a visit there yesterday and it was such a site for sore eyes. It’s great all times of year if you are visiting Chicago and it’s free or donation only entrance. A wonderful city resource and great place to draw, play with the kiddos, or just daydream! Today’s outfit to room is a perfect spring ensemble, and looks incredibly fitting with the tulips I snapped a picture of at the conservatory.

Our resident stylist, Alyssa Doorhy of CoChic Styling came up with the gorgeous outfit based off one of my recent project reveals, The Lincoln Park Row House.

Here are all the outfit items linked: Dress  | Earrings Bag Shoes

Obsessed with this combo of teal, mustard and white! Hoping Alyssa can dress me more often and if you are too, HERE is where you can find out more about CoChic Styling.


Highlights from the Design Bloggers Conference

Thank you, thank you, thank you! You guys I cannot believe it, but this little blog WON BIG at the Design Bloggers Conference. We took home the award for Best Blog Writing 2017 and it was a pretty wonderful moment. Here I’m recapping some highlights that I think you’ll be interested in too, and I’m sharing the blogs of the other three winners who took home Best Overall, Best Graphics/Photography and Best New Blog.

design bloggers conference 2017

Celebrating at The Beverly Hills Hotel – hello banana leaf wallpaper!

Hard to get a good picture! But here’s the award sponsored by Traditional Home and Ferguson.

First, let me just say that I signed up for this conference not knowing (in the least) that I’d be nominated for a blog award, and I honestly went as a last ditch effort to try and understand if blogging is really “worth it” for your business. As honestly, it’s a second job you feel you’re never keeping up with! I was pleasantly surprised that the universe seems to be encouraging me to keep at it (and you all do too!). I think investing in yourself and your business with a trip to a conference like this (or in your industry) is TOTALLY worth it. I left feeling energized, inspired, motivated and supported. Plus, hello it was in California at The Beverly Hilton!

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The Mood Board: How to Create A Feeling

For some, creating a mood board comes naturally. You save bits and pieces of your life; a card from a friend, an inspirational magazine image, an old photograph. These pieces get layered together and over time create a full board that tells a personal story or possibly a business story, much like the mood board pictured above. I find mood boards endlessly interesting, and have been able to see many different iterations in the studios of Women Who Make interviewees. This lovely layered board was from San Francisco florist Natalie Bowen Designs. Learning how to create a mood board for interior design is not overly complicated. There are really so many ways to create a feeling and impart your vision to others, clients, etc. Let’s look at some mood boards both analog and digital.

While a physical (real-life) mood board is always more interesting to me, it’s more practical to use a combination of digital and physical mood boards with interior design clients. I like to start with a digital mood board. It’s a great way to solidify the color palette and direction you’re going with the project. Think high-level here, broad concepts to convey how you think the space should feel. Pinterest is a nice place to gather inspiration images, but I suggest making the digital board elsewhere. I personally like to use Photoshop, but Power Point, Pic Monkey and Moldiv are also great applications for making quick collages. Here’s an old post on how to create your own color palette in Photoshop.

Digital Mood Boards

Here are a few examples of digital boards I’ve created at the beginning of a project to help inform the color palette or overall feeling we are trying to achieve. These may not be the exact colors or items we choose in the end, but they help the client and I remain on the same page for the vision of the space.

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MyDomaine Features New Work

I am very excited to share some new work with you today! A project that began last July and finished just before the holidays was featured on MyDomaine this week. That photo above received my most Instagram likes EVER?!?! Super cool, because I absolutely love it too! This project was in collaboration with Homepolish (I design freelance for them) and these clients were the absolute best (and have killer style)! They brought me on to the project early into the construction process, which is a designer’s dream because you can really help shape the look and feel of the entire home. Here are a few BEFORE photos.

Ronan Construction did a fabulous job on the gut rehab and construction.

Family Room Before

Kitchen Before

Master Bedroom Before

Choosing Floor Stain

And here are the AFTERS of those same spaces. Photography by Dustin Halleck.

To see the entire project (there are lots more pictures!) check out my PORTFOLIO page.

Family Room After

Kitchen After

Kitchen and Family Room After

Master Bedroom After

Many more beautiful shots HERE. Proud of this project and could not have asked for better clients, who have become friends. Honored I get to help people create and bring to fruition their own version of a personal sanctuary.



Save the Date: Art Fair Fundraiser

SAVE THE DATE!! – FRIDAY, MARCH 24th, 6pm – 9pm

Very excited to announce a fundraising shopping event to benefit Loom Chicago. Don’t miss the incredible vendors joining together for one evening to raise funds to support the refugee women of Loom. Many of the fabulous vendors are a part of my Women Who Make series. We wanted to put together an event to support refugees here in our community, and are thrilled to support this incredible group (scroll to bottom for more information about Loom Chicago and how to get involved).

Loom Decor Chicago

Lillstreet Art Center is generously hosting the event in their recently refreshed event space, Lillstreet Loft. There is no entrance fee and kids are welcome! 25% of all sales for the evening will go to Loom Chicago.

Below are some product photos from our fabulous vendors! You can expect to find wallpaper, art, textiles, rugs, scarves, clothing, kids clothing and plush toys, paper goods, jewelry, home goods and more!


Michelle Starbuck Designs

The Clementine Studio

Argaman & Defiance


Lifestyle by Ivory and Ash

Mocah Designs

Who is Loom?

  • Loom is a community of refugee women living in Chicago who weave together their creativity and cultural traditions to make and sell beautiful handmade products. These women have fled their country of origin because of a credible fear of persecution on account of their race, religion, political opinion, national origin, or social group. More information on refugee resettlement services here

What happens at Loom?

  • Loom provides opportunity, at a weekly workshop, to collaborate, develop new skills, earn extra income and be part of a community of creative, enterprising women. Through the encouragement of the group and skills learned, many women secure part or full-time employment in and outside of the fashion industry.

What is produced at Loom?

  • Loom artisans collaborate with local designers to produce a beautiful selection of handmade products such as jewelry, bags, and home décor. Artisans use a variety of techniques including indigo dye, crocheting, knitting, sewing, embroidery and weaving inspired by their cultural traditions.

How can you partner with Loom?

  • Spread the word by hosting a Loom Sales Event. Gather your friends in the Chicagoland community to share the stories of our refugee artisans and sell Loom products.
  • Help the artisans learn new skills by teaching a workshop in the areas of textile arts, financial literacy and business management.
  • Partner with our artisans to help you with a textile project either for a custom design or for your business needs.
  • For other volunteer opportunities, please send us a message with ‘Volunteer’ in the subject line. Thank you!