01 June 2011

The one with the white walls.

Happy Wednesday, Everyone! I'm so excited to have one of my best blogging buddies guest posting today. I actually went to the same college as Betsy for a semester, but we didn't get to know each other until we "met" through our blogs. :)

She and her husband, Ben, are pretty much the cutest couple ever. They go on amazing adventures, learn new languages, and have a deep love for each other. I'm excited to read what Betsy has decided to share...


hello lovely TIA readers! Ashley's Bless This Nest series has been a wonderful inspiration to me...it's so good to have the reminder that it's important to be happy no matter where I am.

I find myself currently living in a one-bedroom cookie-cutter apartment. white walls. white carpets. popcorn ceilings...you get the idea...it's not my dream home, but it's our first home together, and the white walls can't stop me—I knew when we moved in that I would have to work extra hard to add personality and a sense of "home" to this temporary living space.


it's a home built on a small budget, second-hand furniture, DIYs, and little things Ben and I have collected growing up. I really couldn't love it more.


the first thing I did after moving in was fill the walls with photos and artwork. I have many friends who are artists...as a result many of the pieces in our home were made by friends or things I painted myself in college. the rest of what we have was picked up while traveling, given as a gift, or taken out of my grandma's attic! artwork adds so much personality. I also love knowing that the art we collect will follow us to every place we live. it's the ultimate definition of my decorating style.


Ben suggested the asian theme for our bathroom and I loved the idea immediately. he spent time as a teenager living in Cambodia, and he's traveled around Asia quite a bit, so it was a perfect fit. I used black, white, and lime green with bamboo accents. (we have a huge bamboo plant on the counter also. it thrives in the humidity.)


our bedroom design is built around a few huge pieces of artwork. the colors in the paintings came first, and we designed the rest of the room around them. we have big black elegant furniture that I adore, a black and turquoise quilt we picked out together, pillows we got at a market in cambodia, and a big dresser decorated on either side with our initials. I think the decor and color scheme is just right for a couple...it has a good masculine/feminine balance and it feels like the space belongs to both Ben and me.

I better mention too that I loooove arranging books! I think a book collection also adds a lot of personality to any space, and since Ben and I are both readers (or we try to be!) we've collected tons of books already. I have a big shelf in our bedroom, a big shelf in our living room, and some smaller shelves for cookbooks in the kitchen all arranged just-so.


the kitchen area is kind of the central hub of our apartment. our table doubles as a desk, so we both spend a lot of time there. we also enjoy entertaining friends. and while I'm not even close to a chef it goes without saying that we love to eat! I did everything possible to make our little eating nook and galley kitchen darling, and it makes me quite happy.


cheerful red and white fiesta dishes, a rag rug that I crocheted myself one summer (yes, it took me the whole summer), the little vintage german couple that chats for hours on end above my stove, the magnetic curious george that I bought on my 5th grade field trip (his outfit changes with my moods), the sweet tea inside my fridge and my hidden chocolate stash...all things I love in the kitchen.



That is all.

((Vintage Frame and Pin via Kitschy Digitals))

Note from Ashley:

Would you like to be featured on Bless This Nest? My next post will be on decorating with wreaths. If you have a wreath in your home, please send me a photo (bonus points if you made the wreath yourself!) Email the photo to me at ashley.miracle {at} gmail.com :)


  1. Betsy! I LOVE your house! If I had a little apartment I hope that it looks half as cute as yours! I adore all your books/bookshelves with the little nicknacks and art work decorating them! And of course I am jealous of all the lovely artwork throughout your house. No one would be able to tell that this is a standard apartment. =) I love the idea of decorating your house with things collected around the world. I can't wait to see what you and Ben do one day with even more space. =D

  2. What a fabulous way to make a one-bedroom feel like a home! (My husband's name is Ben too, and I think we have the same shower curtain!)

  3. Lareese6/01/2011

    When you started out saying that you had a one bedroom apartment with white walls and a popcorn ceiling....I was expecting just that. Your apartment is absolutely adorable! Decorating wtih books makes the space look vintage. I just got a Kindle and got rid of a ton of books to clean out the clutter...should have used them to decorate instead! The kitchen...amazing too!

  4. thanks friends!! :) maybe someday when I have more space I can have a library/study with a travel kind of theme!

    Lareese-I'm hoping to get a kindle soon too (totally on my christmas list!)...right now I use the library a lot and try to donate any books I've bought that I won't use again because I agree they definitely make clutter!! most of the books I keep around are like art reference books with lots of amazing pictures, hard backs, sets, or old favorites that I know I'll read again.

  5. I love it! I've been trying to find some inspiration on how to decorate my (also cookie cutter) apartment with a tiny budget, so this is perfect! xoxo Marissa


  6. how cool is it that you two really know each other, rare in the blogosphere indeed and so serendipitous! Betsy's post is full of goodness, love her home and all the little nooks she's shared. special spots for the many darling chachkas in her arsenal. sweet collabz girls, small space mastery is what! ♥

    pea ess: Ashley, since reading around i see you are a nail art wizard. makes me ridiculously happy! love your crackle cover, i spotted it at sephora and was doubtful on the look but seeing you rock it has completely changed my mind. way to keep it unique!

  7. They have done a lovely job of making this apartment "their own," and that's awesome. My husband and I are still working pretty hard on that, so I appreciate all the inspiration! Great place and great post!!

  8. This feature is adorable!! Betsy and I are design TWINS, I swear there are so many similar elements in our places. I think I should submit things for this feature soon!! Love!


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