A Tour Of My Black-Walled Bedroom

Nubby Twiglet | My Black-Walled Bedroom

When I moved into my house back in 2009, my bedroom was painted a horrid shade of glossy band-aid beige. Actually, the entire upstairs was. My aunt Shannon spent her days off helping me cover it up as quickly as possible with my home office across the hall becoming white with black trim and my bedroom becoming black with white trim.

Nubby Twiglet | My Black-Walled Bedroom

I’d always dreamed of having a black room and finally owning a place of my own gave me that chance. The thing about my bedroom is that the ceiling takes on the shape of the roof so it has a very high center. Having a high ceiling that is edged in trim painted white means that the black doesn’t feel so suffocating.

Nubby Twiglet | My Black-Walled Bedroom

While I’ve always been a fan of stark, graphic color schemes (surprise, surprise!), when Joey moved in shortly after, he wasn’t a fan of having absolutely no color. In my mind, I spend my days working with tons of colors as I create my clients’ brands. Color is always on my brain so when I go home to relax, I crave a blank slate.

Nubby Twiglet | My Black-Walled Bedroom

I’d been talking to Joey about revamping our room with a splash of color over the Summer but felt stumped. I wasn’t sure how. Then, he asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I said, “A massive portrait of Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra.” I told him I wanted a piece of art for our room and since he loves pink, I went with a pink background. Joey is a painter specializing in pop art style portraits so he was up for the challenge. He kept her hidden in the basement until he was done and surprised me with a 4 for tall painting a few weeks later!

Nubby Twiglet | My Black-Walled Bedroom

Nubby Twiglet | My Black-Walled Bedroom

As soon as the painting was done, I ordered two Chad Wys prints splashed in similar colors, one for each side of the bed. A few weeks later, I was walking through the medina in Marrakech and stepped into a shop selling hand-loomed wool blankets. The pink stripes matched Joey’s painting perfectly so I bought it for a total steal (about $40.00) and it became our bedspread.

Nubby Twiglet | My Black-Walled Bedroom

Our room still felt barren so I grabbed a big, lush plant from IKEA, along with a lamp and added a geometric wall planter.

Nubby Twiglet | My Black-Walled Bedroom

Nubby Twiglet | My Black-Walled Bedroom

Finally, Joey had the idea to revamp the built-in storage cupboards on the wall next to our bed. He removed the doors, knocked out the center framing, painted the interior black and mounted a TV. Now, it feels like a much better, more customized use of space.

The thing I should mention about our bedroom is that it’s even more challenging to decorate given that it has 4 full-size doorways. Yes, you read that right. This means that there’s very limited wall space for furniture. Door #1 is the entrance to the room. Door #2 is Joey’s closet. Door #3 was a storage space Joey remodeled and turned into a shoe closet for me. Door #4 was a massive attic area that Joey remodeled and turned into my walk-in closet. (For the record: yes, I know I’m lucky!)

Nubby Twiglet | My Black-Walled Bedroom

That’s my walk-in closet above. With all the doors that need to swing open, we’ve purposefully kept the furniture situation super minimal. We just have a bed and 2 nightstands so the space doesn’t feel overly crammed.

If you’re interested, here are the decor sources for our space. Some items were purchased 8 years ago so I no longer have links but all the recent items are linked:

Elizabeth Taylor painting: Joey Maas (joeymaas@gmail.com for custom commissions)
Chad Wys prints: Society 6
Face pillow: Urban Outfitters
White lamp: IKEA
Acrylic nightstands: Ebay (old)
Plant and planter: IKEA
Cut-out bed frame: West Elm (white is discontinued)
Pompom blanket: shop in Marrakech
Light: Ebay (old)
Statue bust: Home Goods (old)
Geometric wall planter: Urban Outfitters
White TV: Sceptre via Amazon

Nubby Twiglet | My Black-Walled Bedroom

The cool part about this room revamp is that it cost very little. We already had the furniture and the walls were already painted — all it came down to were a few splashes of colors, some plants and a few pieces of art. I love how the vibe of a room can change with a handful of adjustments.

Of course, being Winter, the lighting situation isn’t ideal so I apologize for the graininess and lack of quality of these photos. I hope you enjoyed the tour and if you want a tour of my walk-in closet, let me know in the comments!

On a final note, Joey is accepting custom commissions so if you have a portrait in mind, get in touch at joeymaas@gmail.com.

Next up in home posts: our newly remodeled bathroom!

The Week + Links: 12.2.16

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE WEEK

It’s Friday and I’m working from home today, sitting in my black-walled bedroom with Rocky snuggled up next to me. Chubs is in the next room over, listening to Christmas music. What’s new with you? Here’s what’s new with me:

1. Short But Sweet NYC Trip: I just booked a very last-minute flight to New York for Bianca’s Christmas party. I’m also excited to meet Gala’s new dog, Cleopatra! I just texted her and told her to add “pet Cleo 500 times” to our to-do list next Friday. 😉

2. Editorial Design Times: Work-wise, I’m balancing a few large editorial design projects at once but thanks to an ongoing obsession with magazines, those never really feel like work. To be honest though, I’m ready to wind down for the year after next week and take a legit break. Yessss.

3. Car Search: Joey and I are looking at cars and thinking about buying a Kia Optima — everyone we know with a Kia says they’re super reliable and I’m at that point in my life where I view a car as a way to get from point A to point B — practicality is everything. Do any of you own a Kia and have feedback on how you like them?

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

4. Kitchen Remodel: We’ve been putting off the biggest renovation job of all in our house, a new kitchen. There’s a reason why I’ve never shared a single kitchen photo during the seven years we’ve had this house: it’s a legit hot mess. Time to rip it out this Winter!

I’m off to talk to Erika and find something new to watch on Amazon Prime (anything you’re obsessed with? With all the choices, I’m never sure what to watch next.)

Have a great weekend!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE LINKS

• If you only have time to click one link this week, read this beautiful piece by Alexandra Franzen: On hiding, censorship, and the impossible task of trying to please everybody.

• Ready to fuel up on a bunch of random statistics and facts? Check out 52 things I learned in 2016.

• The year-end lists are coming! The best books of 2016.

• Do you talk about your debt or is it a well-kept secret?

• Spending too much time sucked into the same sites online? If your media addiction has taken over your productivity, here are 5 tips to curb it.

• Take a look at the 10 most beautiful libraries on Earth!

• What do the oldest people on the planet eat and drink every day?

• Esquire Magazine rounded up their list of the 25 best podcasts of 2016.

• In your daily life and work, find ways to stay curious.

• Ahhh, I’ve been there so many times. What should you do when a client suddenly goes silent?

• The New York Times shares its most popular recipes from this year.

• Random but really cool: overhead photos of street vendors taken in Hanoi.

• It’s never too late to learn how money works and take control of your finances.

10 Things I’m Loving Right Now

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Over the last few months, I’ve made so many little discoveries that aren’t meaty enough to warrant a post on their own but are still worth sharing. And feel free to share any new discoveries of your own in the comments below!

Here we go:

1. Slim Aarons Women Book

The photographer who shot the who’s who of the rich and famous in the 50s, 60s and 70s has a new book of work out, simply called WOMEN. It’s bound in lemon yellow and features rare outtakes of one of my favorite images of all time, Poolside Gossip. I display my current book rotation on wall shelves.

2. Contact Paper

Okay, so I don’t mean that cruddy 70s floral contact paper stuck to the insides of your kitchen cabinets! There’s a whole new breed out there. Contact paper now comes in marble, granite and other great, super realistic patterns and is perfect for photo backdrops. I know fashion bloggers use contact paper all the time for flat lays and I can see why — it’s much cheaper than buying a slab of the real thing and easier to transport! I just bought this marble roll and it’s perfect.

3. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation

I went a few years without wearing foundation and for the most part, loathed the idea of wearing a mask of beige on my face. After a brief flirtation with Makeup Forever HD foundation, I kept seeing glowing reviews of the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation in magazines from top makeup artists and finally gave it a try. Six months in, I can honestly say that it lives up to the hype. The formula is lightweight enough to not feel mask-like and has a dewy, natural finish that makes you look naturally refreshed. Score!

4. Conde Nast Travel Magazine

With more of my time going towards big projects at the studio, I haven’t had the chance to travel as much as I’d like this year. I’m still daydreaming of far-flung locales and thinking of where I want to go next, though. Part of the fun is in the planning, right? I love, love, love the beautiful design of this magazine and it’s always on-trend with its suggestions. I think of it like an in-the-know best friend who always has the best restaurant and hotel recommendations.

5. Pantone Studio App

This free app allows you to pull color palettes straight from images and gives you the coordinating PMS swatch numbers! Once you’re done, you can save out the Pantone palette swatches as iPhone wallpapers. There are other similar apps out there but this one has a clean, simple interface that is much more user-friendly.

6. Black Mirror Playlist

I recently discovered this dramatic playlist. It’s sad, beautiful, haunting and definitely worth a listen.

7. This American Life

I know I’m like 10 years late to this amazing podcast but by mentioning it, if even one of you discovers it, my job is done. Each episode follows the same premise: it focuses on one particular theme and has a handful of acts (stories) that tie into it. Some of the stories are inspiring, some are heartbreaking and some are downright weird but they are all fascinating and remind us of the strength of the human spirit. I’m so obsessed that I’ve already made it through 4 seasons of archives!

8. Samsung NX500 Camera

I’ve had this camera for over a month now and after taking a few hundred photos, I’m smitten. I had an older model in the same style for a few years and was really happy with it — Samsung knows what they’re doing. It’s packed with 28 megapixels and works fantastically well in low light. There are too many features to list here but it’s a great camera if you want high quality photos in a compact body that’s light enough to carry daily in your bag (like I do).

9. Countable App

With all the changes happening in the United States government, it can be hard to keep up. Countable helps you stay involved by giving you summaries of upcoming bills, allows you to contact your lawmakers and let them know what you think and reminds you how they ended up voting. Pretty amazing.

10. Zara Ankle Boots

I’m always on the hunt for the perfect black boots and just picked these up. I like the chunky, stacked silhouette and the height works with everything from jeans to dresses to leggings. I got the black but the grey would look amazing for Spring.


Okay, so that’s what I’m excited about right now! What about you?

A Day at the Museum: An Andy Warhol Retrospective

Nubby Twiglet | Portland Art Museum: An Andy Warhol Retrospective

Nearly two weeks after walking through the Andy Warhol Exhibition at the Portland Art Museum, I’m still feeling a creative buzz. I’d seen some Warhol pieces at museums before but never in this quantity and with this attention to detail.

Nubby Twiglet | Portland Art Museum: An Andy Warhol Retrospective

The first thing that makes this exhibition special is that it’s in chronological order, spanning 35 years. This detail makes a huge impact in Warhol’s art career because his early works tended to be illustrated while later works were silkscreened so you can see the clear style progression.

Nubby Twiglet | Portland Art Museum: An Andy Warhol Retrospective

Nubby Twiglet | Portland Art Museum: An Andy Warhol Retrospective

Nubby Twiglet | Portland Art Museum: An Andy Warhol Retrospective

The Portland Art Museum doesn’t just stick with stark white walls — there are bright pastels throughout, a massive swath of wallpaper covered in purple Mao heads and even a metallic silver Factory-inspired room.

Continue reading

The Week + Links: 11.19.16

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE WEEK

This year has been a weird one, huh? As November winds down, I’m usually wrapping up most of my projects for the year but lately, things have been speeding up. I have a few Black Friday deadlines including a 400 page book (!!!) due this week and then, it’s time for a quiet Thanksgiving at home with a big order of Thai food. Here are a few things I’m super excited about right now:

1. Palm Trees and Christmas Vacation: For the first time in my life, I’m considering skipping holiday gatherings and leaving town for a getaway with Joey in Palm Springs. No decor, no cleanup, minimal gift shopping and a few cozy nights in a rented mid-century pad? Sounds like heaven to me. After turning 35 earlier this year, I’m ready to break with the usual traditions and make my own.

2.Goodies from The Line: I desperately need photos for the new Branch site I’m designing and picked up some props from The Line. If you’re new to what they do, they set up their stores like actual living areas but everything inside is for sale. The Hay selection is especially good.

3. The Toffee Club: I kept hearing about a new-ish bar in Portland called The Toffee Club. It’s an English football pub….with a wall of House Of Hackney Palmeral wallpaper. My dad and I checked it out and the staff is amazing, that wallpaper is ace and one drink turned into a two hour hangout. Highly recommended!

4. Spotify Weekly Playlists: I always have Spotify playing in the office and one of the features I especially love are the Discover Weekly playlists they put together based on your musical tastes. It’s automatically done for you once a week! I’ve discovered so many cool artists along the way. When you open Spotify on your desktop, click Browse, then click the Discover tab and your list is waiting for you.

5.The Warhol Exhibit: If you have a chance to go to the Portland Art Museum to view the Andy Warhol exhibit before it closes in January, make it happen. A week later, I’m still thinking about it and feeling the buzz of inspiration. I’ve seen his work at museums before but this is the best by far. I have a full post of photos coming up next week if you can’t make it in person!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE LINKS

• Career advice: be unapologetic in what you want.

17 amazing movie scenes that were actually improvised!

5 ways to get over your fear of failure.

• Having a small dose of loneliness in your life can actually be beneficial.

• I’m not into the traditional green and red of most Christmas decor so this white and gold winter wreath DIY is right my alley.

• This set of emojis made from Old Masters paintings is the best.

• I’m looking forward to checking out Erin’s new book, Chasing Slow. It’s beautifully designed (of course) but also, her writing always feels warm and relatable.

This Japanese calendar is beautiful!

• Photographer Chris Porsz has been taking candid shots of people in an English city since the 1970s and recently recreated the photos they’d taken decades before. So cool!

• The extreme global weirding continues. Scary stuff.

• During Obama’s 8 years in office, photographer Pete Souza has snapped nearly 2 million photos of him. These are his 55 favorites.

The 4 secrets to healthy team building.

• Post-election, this makeshift grief wall covered in an array of handwritten sticky notes has gone up in a New York City subway.

This is the best mannequin challenge I’ve seen yet!

Fear and The Mountain

Nubby Twiglet | Fear and The Mountain

Most of us have fears lurking just beneath the surface.

Some are totally rational.

But others? Completely irrational.

One of mine is extreme heights. When I’m in an enclosed space like an elevator, in a plane or taking in the view from the top of a tall building, I’m fine. I feel safe when there are walls, windows or a guard rail. But on the occasions when there’s not? I imagine myself looking over the edge, losing my balance and falling. Forever.

Fears can hold us back from living fully and enjoying once-in-a-lifetime experiences and that’s what bothers me the most. I don’t want to miss out because fear gets in the way, only to look back and wonder “What if I’d just tried?”

A few months back in Morocco, I was faced with my worst fear, made it through and am much stronger because of it. I hope this story inspires you to do the same.

Nubby Twiglet | Fear and The Mountain

August in Marrakech is no joke: the temperature on this trip wavered between 105 and 110 degrees every. We awoke early for breakfast and got ready for the day ahead: our Dar Jaguar itinerary mentioned that we’d be visiting a waterfall. I got camera-ready in a long black dress, false eyelashes and gold sneaker wedges and grabbed my purse. We piled into a big van, heading towards the Ourika Waterfalls in the Atlas Mountains.

As the van pulled up an hour and a half later, I hopped out, scanning the area for the waterfall. We darted across a rickety bridge and were told by a guide that the waterfalls were a 20 minute hike away. “No big deal,” I thought.

We weaved up the side of the mountain and soon, my nerves started kicking in. After awhile, there was no visible trail as a local guide led us over large rocks. By then, I’d turned into the annoying kid in the car on family trips that you hated sitting next to:

“Are we there yet?”
“How much further do we need to go?”

It had less to do with the hike and more to do with me: I didn’t have the confidence that I’d make it based on the height we’d climbed to. Damn irrational fears!

After climbing over more rocks, we were faced with the ultimate test: a metal ladder, completely vertical, was attached to the side of a boulder. To get to the next part of the hike, I’d need to climb the rungs one by one, then hit a foothold with one foot and reach out an arm to be hoisted up. If I missed it, I’d fall 20 feet straight down. Even though the group in front of us made it up easily, I imagined the worst.

I was shaking from fear and asked the guide if we could turn back. “Once you get past the ladder, we are nearly to the waterfall and the path back down is much shorter and easier. We’re almost there.”

Nubby Twiglet | Fear and The Mountain

Bottom line: this was it. There was no other way to go. I eyed the rungs, looked forward and stepped carefully, slowly, intentionally. I made eye contact with the guide at the top, gracefully hopped up and looked down: I’d made it. I was fine.

Shortly after that, we made it to the waterfall. Being thousands of feet up the side of the mountain, spotting monkeys and taking in a view I could only dream of put things in perspective: if I could do this, all those little roadblocks in my day-to-day life were minuscule in comparison.

Im sure most of the people we passed on the way up viewed this expedition as just another day. For me, it was a big shake-up in the best possible way. Since my time on the mountain, I’ve had plenty of bad days at work: mis-printed files, cancelled projects, stressful deadlines, you name it. The difference is that when those things happen now, I think back to that day I unexpectedly hiked up to 8,000 feet and made it.

Nubby Twiglet | Fear and The Mountain

Fear is a funny thing. It can slowly build into a big monster and hold you back. Life doesn’t care what you’re scared of. When you least expect it, you may find yourself in circumstances where you have no choice but to overcome it. And, you will.

Once you’re on the other side, you’ll realize….it wasn’t so bad.

The payoff from that is immense.

You’ve released the invisible shackles.

And then, you can do anything.


For more Morocco posts, check out The Mini Guide To Marrakech, What I Wore in Marrakech and The Week + Links in Morocco.

Photos by Shell De Mar Photography.

Special thanks to Dar Jaguar for putting together this epic itinerary and listening to my whining on the way up. Haha.

Getting Creative with Very Very V

Nubby Twiglet | Getting Creative with Very Very V

As this year winds down, there’s one personal project I’m extra excited about: Very Very V. It’s turned into something much bigger than a course and is a chance to explore design concepts for my ideal vision of a brand.

When Erika and I started working on this business a year ago, it was because we were both seeking a creative outlet not attached to a dollar amount, client expectations or a deadline.

Nubby Twiglet | Getting Creative with Very Very V

We wondered: what would happen if we threw out the pressure of delivering content by a certain date and instead, experimented like style-obsessed mad scientists who worshipped Diana Vreeland?

We took our time, allowed ideas to blossom and in the meantime, began sharing personal anecdotes on our mailing list along with black, red and pink-filled graphics over on Instagram.

Nubby Twiglet | Getting Creative with Very Very V

Each week, VVV blossoms bit by bit and we’ve moved beyond just a course. That will happen eventually but there’s talks of something so much bigger than just that: a community — a place for women who want to hone their voice and visuals. Over time, there will be products. This is just the beginning.

Nubby Twiglet | Getting Creative with Very Very V

As Very Very V continues to grow, I hope it inspires women to tell their stories honestly and fully, dress exactly the way they want, express themselves visually and be unafraid to go big.

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If you want to keep up with VVV, you can join the mailing list and grab Vroom, a free style guide with stories to get you inspired right here.