Nerd Cave: Harry Potter-Inspired Living Room

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In this month’s Nerd Cave series, I’m showing you guys my Harry Potter-inspired Living Room ideas. I love having non-discrete elements in my home that remind me of geeky things without necessarily being from the specific franchises. It’s like having a little secret for me. Especially with a lot of pieces like these, because it makes me feel far more immersed in the Potterverse than I might with something that blanantly says “Harry Potter”.

Harry Potter will always have a strong hold on my heart. Still having a fairly blank slate of a living room to work with, my mind has been stewing and brewing with ideas of how to incorporate little elements into to make it feel a little more Diagon Alley and a little less real Muggle World struggles.

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Though a lot of this can’t be done in my current living space due to the fact that it’s a rented apartment, I’m keeping these ideas close to my heart for the day I can walk into my own owned space and decorate the hell out of it. I love the exploded skulls and articulated skeletons so much. I originally became fascinated with them after watching a few episodes of Oddities on SyFy. I’m very much a black and white interior design kind of gal, loving how small pieces of color stand out so much more. You can most definitely create these looks with more woodsy, country, and brass design styles.

You can check out these ideas and more that I’ve Pinned on my Home Sweet Home board on Pinterest. If you see a number on here that you’d like a little more information of, or where you can find that item or similar, let me know in the comments below and I’ll help you out!

Sometimes, I like to think that Snape and I could have been decent roomies. Just sayin’.

6 Tips for a Successful Move

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I’ve moved four times within my hometown in the last six years. My first move was out of my parents into a studio apartment across the street. Two years later, I moved downstairs from my place into a 2-bedroom with a friend. Several months after that, I moved into a 2-bedroom across town and a friend moved in with me for a bit. Less than a year after that, I moved back to my old complex into a 1-bedroom where I have lived for the past 2+ years. In a couple of days, I will officially be a resident of Lodi, CA. I’m really excited about this move. The apartment is spacious and adorable, and happens to be in a happy medium place between my folks’ place and my 8-to-5.

I have to say, though, that moving has it’s wonderful up and epic downfalls. There are a few tips and tricks that I’ve learned these last few moves that I think are very important to keep in mind when moving.

1. Keep in mind how much crap you have. The more you have, the earlier you should start packing. If you’re moving from one rental unit to another, chances are you won’t have a whole lot of time to get your shit from Point A to Point B. Start off with packing the things you can live with out the longest first, and end with a handful of things you’ll need to get by until you can start unpacking. I only really have the weekends to pack up my place, so I started packing during the first few days of my 30-day notice with my books, photos and winter shoes. The last few items I have left to pack will all be going into a reusable bag and hauled over first to the new place. Same with clothes; keep on hand what you can make do with. The less you have to worry at the last minute, the better.

Good items to keep on hand unpacked:

  • Paper plates, plastic cutlery, and plastic cups
  • One mug per person
  • Frying pan
  • Spatula
  • Knife for cutting

2. Trash and Donation piles are very important, because you don’t need all of your crap. Think of moving as if it were Spring Cleaning Day. As you go through junk drawers and cabinets and your closet, think really hard if you need those pairs of jeans that haven’t fit in 3 years or that chopping mat that has seen better days. Are they easily replaceable? Have you already replaced and forgotten about them? Keep in mind that most things are recyclable and there are people out there who could use or want the items collecting dust in your home.

3. Clear out usable space(s) for your boxed up stuff. Your things will disappear fast, but your boxes will pile up faster than you will realize. The problem with small places also means limited space for boxes. When cabinets and closets start being empty, look into shoving boxes back in to save floor space. This is especially good if these items happen to be fragile and need to be kept out of harms way.

4. Label and organize the items in your box properly. Most people moving will end up with an odd variety of sizes and shapes for moving their things. Work with it rather than against it. Boxes that aren’t very deep can be perfect for plates, frames and documents. Exceptionally large boxes can be perfect for holding pillows or other light-weighted items (thinking about your back’s safety here, people). Keep items that are from the same room together in the same box so you’re not running from room to room when unpacking. May seem logical, but sometimes logic escapes us when we’re rushing around trying to make sure a hundred different plans all go accordingly. Many people have stated that color coding your boxes helps as well. Assign different colored tape or ink to specific rooms.

5. Lock down your help ahead of time. Don’t assume you’ll have vehicles or help; lock that shit down. Have backup plans for your backup plans. Seriously. I once had to move and had a few friends agree to help when I asked. All but one bailed and I was left scrambling to figure out how I was going to get all my stuff moved. If you have it available in your budget, I highly suggest using a moving van from Uhaul or equivilant. Moving vans help with cutting down the number of trips and the amount of time getting your stuff around. If you think it’ll be more, consider how much it’ll cost in gas to get multiple vehicles around versus one.

6. Personal safety is a thing: protect yo self. I cannot stress this enough. Don’t make your boxes heavier than you can carry or use larger boxes that will tempt you to over pack and weigh down even more. You will hurt yourself and being out of commission during a move with a tight schedule doesn’t help anyone. If you know you’re going to putting your body through more than it can handle, consider a back brace, schedule ahead of time a visit with a chiropractor or masseuse, and have the pain reliever on hand.

Nerd Cave: Loot This Storybook Home

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Your home can be turned into a storybook-inspired home really easily and for not a whole lot of cash.

Change up your bed frame with Ikea’s LEIRVIK bed frame and decorate it with a bed net or a pretty and simple garland, like this branch and star one from Joann’s. Using a fluffy white bed set will make you feel like royalty every time you wake up. I love Uncommonly Goods’ Cardboard Unicorn Head! It makes for such a good conversational piece and looks awesome against colored walls. Show off your love of books and enhance your collection with some book pillows. ThinkGeek has these fluff blocks, one of them being a stay-open book of Alice in Wonderland.

Another element that is common in fairytales is that everyone has tea time. I’m a huge fan of tea, teacups and mugs. I have more drinking paraphernalia than plates and bowls combined. If you’re looking to grow your teacup/mug collection, visit your local thrift/vintage shops. The bigger the variety, the better. Etsy also has a huge search result for teacups and quite a few mixed style sets for sale. Many times, thrift stores will sell a complete china collection of plates, bowls, saucers and teacups for 6+ people.

With a little elbow grease and a lot of imagination, you can really do a lot to add that feeling of having stepped into a book. Kate from Kate’s Creative Space showed us how we can take doors meant for dollhouses and turn them into in-wall homes of elves, fairies, and mice alike. I can’t wait until I move into my new place and see how long it’ll take people to notice the little dwelling!

What other type of storybook-inspired piece would you add into your home? Leave me a comment below with a link!

Nerd Cave: Inspiration – Storybook Home

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Who says you can’t live in your favorite storybook? You know, other than the limitations of reality? You can always find ways to incorporate the things you love in life into your home. Take these homes for example. Each dweller found a way to place little to major aspects of the storybook life into their home.

Simple elements can mean a big difference when creating your storybook home. Swap your bed frame for a wrought iron bed. You can find wonderful and sturdy vintage ones at large antique stores, or cheat a bit for a lower out-of-pocket cost by getting a newer one. String fairy lights outside on a tree, bush, potted plant or railing will add a spot of whimsy that might not have been there before. Display that giant book collection for the world to see, even if they aren’t all super old, cloth hardcover novels. Branches on the wall are great for hanging jewelry, scarves, ties, and hanging ornament collectibles that aren’t limited to Christmas time usage.

Practice that speech in front of an ornate mirror in the hallway or bedroom instead of that cheap, simple framed one you have from an antique store, home goods store or street faire. Display all of your teacups in open shelving in your kitchen. Other dwellers chose to place in character elements to really make their theme stand out. A silhouette of Peter Pan’s shadow through a lamp shade. Bring the outdoors in with moss terrariums, silk vines wrapped around things, or single red roses placed near books.

A mouse hole cut out with an actually mouse collectable and house design in the crown moulding that also doubles as a night light. A knocker on a door with a hand holding an apple that closely resembles Snow White’s hand right before the apple falls from her cold, limp hand. Introducing these elements to start with will make you feel like you stepped into a magical land in no time.

Struggling to think of what could be bought and where it could be placed? I’ll be coming back soon with everything you’ll want on your starting wishlist to help you live happily ever after!