Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I had forgotten how much I loved creating mood boards until recently when I did this graphic for Nest Studio Blog. And like most things in my life, it presents a long existing insecurity of mine…

In order to be a “legitimate” designer, do you need have childhood journals full of collages? Also, are you still a “real” designer if you like digital mood boards better than analog?

These are just a couple questions I consistently ask myself, but secretly don’t want the answers to, if there are any.

Mood Board / Pretty Haute Mess

Do any of you ever feel this way? What’s your mood board process and how long have you been doing it? Since before they were “mood boards” and they were just teenage bedroom decor?

This has also prompted me to think about what my hobbies were as a child… besides sports. I come from a sports-loving family and I happened to be blessed with athleticism. Growing up, there wasn’t much time for anything else besides school and gymnastics.

Once I entered High School, although I was no longer doing gymnastics, I was still very involved in sports, mostly volleyball and track. Around my Sophmore year, I “retired” from sports to focus on my grades because I knew I wanted to attend UCLA and needed the grades to get there. I’m proud to say I graduated from UCLA and all I had to give up was High School.

Who am I kidding, I didn’t miss out on High School because I was a smarty pants who did nothing but study, I was and still am a very skilled introvert. So, it didn’t help that my mom taught Spanish at my High School and since her and I are very close, I spent most of my time with her when I wasn’t in class or practice.

This close relationship with my mother is wonderful yes, but….. NO

I spent so much time (and still do arguably) thinking about my mother, my parents and my family that I forgot to think about myself. When I wasn’t at school or practice, I was never left alone long enough to really develop any hobbies. If I was in my room for more than 20 minutes, my mom would come in and check on me. Alone time was seen as rude, whether that was her intention or not.

So maybe I’m insecure, or jealous, of those designers who knew they wanted to be designers from the age of 8 and have stacks of journals and sketch books to prove it…

And maybe I just need to understand how my childhood groomed me into who I am rather than feel insecure about a time period I can’t do anything about.

I’m just really curious how our childhood hobbies (or lack of) affect our career choices.

What are your childhood experiences? When did you know what you wanted to do? Did it relate to any of your hobbies? I’d love to hear your stories….


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Geometric Accessories / Pretty Haute Mess

1. Shelving Unit / All Modern
2. Necklace / Asos
3. Accent Pillow / Ferm Living
4. Poster / Society 6
5. Desktop Wallpaper / Design Love Fest
6. Blanket / Fine Little Day
7. Napkin/Paper Holder / Ferm Living

*This post was originally created for Nest Studio.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

My apartment was recently featured on one of my favorite design blogs, Simply Grove. This is the first time my home has been featured anywhere and it’s also the first time I’ve had a home I wanted to share. Up till now, I lived with mostly hand-me-downs and old college furniture.

Sort of like the way I feel when it comes to my life, my home has taken a long time to figure itself out. We’re gettin’ there…  It’s the journey that’s important, right?

Living Room / Pretty Haute Mess

It was really fun to inject some of my own personality into my apartment, and I’m proud to say I did it on a pretty small budget. I kept some things, bought some things and made some things. There’s more that I’d like to do and will do in the near future, but I finally have a home I’m happy to come home to every day.

The downside is, I was already an introvert and now I want to stay home even more. Unintended side effect I guess, but worth it.

Living Room / Pretty Haute Mess

One of my main goals with the design was to create a clean, modern aesthetic with a comfortable, lived-in feeling. Hence, the buying some things and re-purposing others.

Decisions were made based on style of course, but also needs which is one more way to help a home feel like your own. For example, I bought the black sofa shortly after adopting a dog and knew I wanted a dark color. I already had the colorful rug ($20 from Fairfax flee market!), which has been perfect for a cat who vomits weekly.

Making function work with style is both the challenge and the reward.

Living Room / Pretty Haute Mess

The awesome basket-style ottoman was a lucky find in my parent’s garage. It was super faded from being outside and they were about ready to throw it out. I added some finish to it and now it might be one my favorite pieces (besides our Ikea-hack TV console and my One Nordic pillow).

Entry Console / Pretty Haute Mess

Don’t you just love Target?! I would have spent way more for this cool table lamp, but alas Target had it for $25.

Go ahead, be jealous of our oversized bougainvillea…isn’t it gorgeous?! My parents used to have a huge one in front of their house before a tree fell on it. I’ve loved them since I was a child. It’s one reason we chose this place!

Office / Pretty Haute Mess

I love a clean office space, but I also want it to feel like my space and have all the tools I need around me so my desk will never be as minimal as I may want. My husband and I share this desk and I think it’s turned out pretty great for both of us.

I’m making sure to buy my Stendig calendar before they sell out this year, it will make a huge difference!

Stay tuned as I slowly make small changes. I’ll post about our bedroom soon, I’m waiting for some new sconces from Triple 7 Recycled on Etsy. They should be arriving this week!

Head to Simply Grove for the full tour…

*Photography by Alyssa Ratowski

Friday, August 8, 2014

Wow, I didn’t post all of July! Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I miss it. This will be one of those random, life shit posts, so hear me out.

I had an awful start to my day today, getting into it with my older brother. I went from tears to trying to understand where I’m to blame and figure out how to fix things.

such a mess / Pretty Haute Mess

It hasn’t made things easier that I recently went off Prozac (temporarily) and have been a bit of a mess lately. More on this another day maybe…

With two much older brothers, I tend to get a lot of shit and pressure about things. My parents, on the other hand, just say yes to everything. So I’ve been caught somewhere in the middle of trying to gain approval, and never quite taking 100% responsibility for anything. I’d like to think I’ve grown up a lot over the last few years since I’ve been trying to take more responsibility, but apparently according to my brother, I have not. Such is life.

Family issues can be really hard sometimes. Do you guys have any recent stories to vent about?… I’d love to hear them.

Weekend Plans:

1. Use my new Wacom to add a little work to my portfolio.

2. Work on some blog posts for PHM.

3. Send off some freelance blog posts.

4. Start brainstorming about a new client’s blog design.

5. Just walk around somewhere, people watch and daydream.

6. Enjoy a good meal with my husband.

7. Catch a movie. (I’m a sucker for disaster movies and Into The Storm came out this weekend!)

Image via Jonathan Michael Tumblr

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Why are there rules about when to wear white? It might just be a California thing or maybe I don’t like being told what to do, but I tend to ignore those color guidelines.

White / Pretty Haute Mess


And to take it one step further, in my opinion, you can never go wrong with white on white. Who cares about matching the perfect shades of white, there’s nothing wrong with mixing it up, and disobeying all the rules of course…

1. Backpack / Nordstrom
2. Knot Bracelet / Motilo
3. Blouse / Net-a-Porter
4. Overalls / Topshop
5. Pom Pom Socks / J. Crew
6. Nike Air / & Other Stories
7. Jeans / J. Crew
8. Camera / Samy’s
9. Birks / Barneys
Inspiration image via Her New Tribe

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

When you’re home, you should feel collected and rested, right?!… I know that’s all I want when I get  home after my day job. But how do you balance a casual aesthetic with a well-curated home? I enjoy running across great design, where form and function work together, it’s certainly not as easy as the lounging is.

Living Room Ideas / PrettyHauteMess

The living room above, found via Caitlin Flemming, is both sophisticated and relaxed, not an easy combination to achieve in any space. But when it’s nailed, it becomes the perfect design combination for a rejuvenating environment.

There is no specific color palette. This space isn’t black and white, or monochromatic with browns and beige. But rather, it’s a little of both, combined perfectly to look effortless. The living room maintains a modern aesthetic with clean lines and modern patterns, but evokes almost a cabin-like feel with textures and natural light.

Living Room Ideas / PrettyHauteMess

Floor lamp / Room & Board
Sofa / Ikea
Throw / All Modern
White Pillow / Fine Little Day
Area Rug / Crate & Barrel
White Rocker / Lamps Plus
Striped Pillow / Dot & Bo
Black Pillow / Society 6
Wood Bench / Crate & Barrel

*This post was created for Nest Studio Blog

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I love chairs. The more the better. I get itchy if all the chairs around a dining table match. This is a personal preference, I realize. But hopefully you can see what I’m talking about with this cool dining room via Domicile Blog.

Dining Chair Ideas / PrettyHauteMess

The chairs are so different they aren’t even in the same genre…. Rustic metal farm-style chairs and Hollywood glam ghost chairs… But it all works because the accents around them pull it together.

There are casual accents, like the wood plate and flower vase, but there are also glam accents like the leaning artwork and sleek storage console. The dining table seems to be a combination of both, with a white gloss finish to glam-up an otherwise heavy and rustic table.

Dining Room Ideas / PrettyHauteMess

Mix and match styles all you want, just be sure there’s balance and you’ll end up with a beautiful space.


Pendant / Hive

Elephant Art / ZGallerie

Landscape Art / Fine Little Day

Geometric Art / West Elm

Dining Table / Nest UK

Yellow Chair / Cult Furniture

Red Chair / Modern Furniture Warehouse

Ghost Chair / DWR

White Bowl / CB2

Wood Plate / Crate & Barrel

Storage Console / Ikea

* This post was created for Nest Studio Blog