Category Archives: House & Home

What’s Black, White and Green All Over? My New Hangout! Plus, An Uncommon Goods Givewaway!

Nubby Twiglet | New Room

When it comes to decor, I love a good “before and after” story and this is a really fun one — but even better, there’s an Uncommon Goods giveaway at the end to help you decorate your own space so don’t miss out!

Nubby Twiglet | New Room

The Backstory: Nearly six years ago when I moved into my house, the spare room across from my bedroom became my office. At the time, I was still freelancing at studios around town so it was the ideal spot to spend nights and weekends working on projects. That all changed as Branch grew and working from home began to hold me back from expanding. Six months ago, I moved my design studio into a designated office space and that left me with a barren room which no longer served a purpose. Here’s what the room looked like before I moved my office out:

Nubby Twiglet | New Room

I hate leaving anything unfinished in my life — it’s a Virgo thing. I appreciate organization and order more than anything else. We already had a guest room in the basement and no plans of moving any roommates in (because let’s face it, Chubs already did that last year). Then, I started pinning ideas to a board titled Dream Hangout with visions of this room becoming my go-to relaxation spot.

Over the next few months, I pulled items into the space, arranging and rearranging until it felt like me. For the first time, I had a room that was very personal — it wasn’t the color palette of Branch or Blogcademy but rather, just my taste. I’d loved “Crayola crayon green” since I was four so I used that as an accent to offset the more expected black and white.

Then, I spent what felt like forever trying to add the so-called finishing touches so I could mentally check it off as done. But as you know, real life rarely has such clean, defined barriers. It never really felt 100% finished and I soon realized I was using that as an excuse to not share the space with you. So, here it is — some things will shift as time goes on but you know what? Good enough is good enough!

Nubby Twiglet | New Room

IKEA has stepped up their lighting in a big way — I have two of these floor lamps and they add a lot of style to a barren corner!

Nubby Twiglet | New Room

I can’t stand clutter but rooms need a play of both dimension and scale to really come to life. I tend to lean on things that have a useful quality to them like books, mirrors and plants versus random knick-knacks that collect dust.

Nubby Twiglet | New Room

Nubby Twiglet | New Room

To keep the room from veering too far into kitschy, overly colorful territory, I anchored it with a lot of black and white accents like IKEA pillows and the Pia Wallen cross blanket. If you’re thinking of ordering this, I should mention that this is the small version and works better for accent purposes like draping over the arm of a chair.

Nubby Twiglet | New Room

On my coffee table, I have a mix of personal items contained in a mirrored tray. Trays are great because they lend a sense of order to even the most random collection of objects.

Nubby Twiglet | New Room

Nubby Twiglet | New Room
I’m not super big on taxidermy but my brother showed up on my doorstep years ago with this beauty he’d found at a thrift store and I held onto it for him. When we first rescued Chubs, he would crawl up it and hang from the antlers!

Nubby Twiglet | New Room

I wanted to tell you about this loveseat because it has a really great feature: the cover is removable. The downside is that it doesn’t stay perfectly tight and shows wrinkles but the upside is that if you have pets, babies or constantly knock over your glass of red wine, you can just buy a new one! This is also a great solution for the commitment-phobic since the covers come in a bunch of different colors.


In the far corner of my room, I have an inspiration board dedicated to my favorite vacation spot, Palm Springs. This room is dedicated to relaxation, after all. 😉


I’ve had this Phillipe Starck gnome table for nearly 15 years and it happens to match the couch perfectly!

Nubby Twiglet | New Room

Here’s the view of the room from the couch — there’s a bookshelf to the left that holds my fashion magazine collection which is so much better than having it jammed inside the closet.

Nubby Twiglet | New Room

You know how a lot of older houses have tons of built-in cabinets and shelving? I had a set of doors that opened to storage right here but hated the way they looked. In my old office, I had this area blocked off with artwork. The thing is, I needed a spot to put my TV and Joey had the idea to remove the doors, mount it inside and then paint it black so it popped against the white exterior walls. It turned out to be a great space-saving solution that looks really customized.

Nubby Twiglet | New Room

Adding an element of life is really important when decorating a room so I have tons of low-maintenance succulents and cacti.


My long-standing addiction: magazines.


I looked all over the place for a bar cart but nothing I came across was affordable — then I found this basic one on Overstock for a great deal. It’s perfect for holding cosmetics and all sorts of odds and ends.

Nubby Twiglet | New Room

Doesn’t everybody coordinate their coffee table books to match their couch? 😉

Room Decor Sources

Loveseat: IKEA Klippan in Vissle Green
Rug: IKEA Sillerup
Pillows: Various, all from IKEA
Cross blanket: Pia Wallen (mine is black)
Vogue print: CoolPoster
Astral wall hangings: Uncommon Goods
Cockatoo makeup brush holder: UncommonGoods
Acrylic coffee table: CB2
Floor lamp: IKEA Ranarp
Head planter set: Membil
Mirrored tray (on table): West Elm
Gnome table:
Atilla by Phillipe Starck
Plants: Various, all from IKEA and Trader Joe’s
Books: Kate Spade, Richard Avedon, Rudi Gernreich
Round mirror: West Elm
Bar cart: Overstock
Rolling bookshelf: West Elm (mine is a shorter version)
Candle: Dyptique Baies
White coral and hand sculpture: Home Goods


UncommonGoods Giveaway

For this giveaway, I’ve partnered up with UncommonGoods, an amazing online store with a focus on supporting artisans and giving back to the community. I love everything they stand for and now, it’s your turn to put the finishing touches on YOUR space, whether it’s your kitchen, office or somewhere else! One lucky reader will win a $100.00 voucher and you can spend it on whatever you’d like on their site!

To enter the giveaway:

1. Like UncommonGoods on Facebook.
2. Like Nubby Twiglet on Facebook.
3. Leave a comment below letting me know which room you’d like to redecorate and why!

The fine print: Contest is open to everyone over the age of 18 worldwide. You have until 11:59pm PST on Friday, May 15th, 2015 to enter. Please include your email address so I can contact you! One winner will be chosen at random. Once contacted, you will have one week to respond and claim your prize. The prize may not be exchanged or transferred and no cash alternative will be offered. Liability cannot be accepted for entries which are lost in transit or not received due to technical difficulties. My decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. No purchase necessary.

Good luck and thanks for joining me on this tour!

Nubby Twiglet | New Room

Special thanks to Uncommon Goods for sponsoring this giveaway. All photos and opinions are my own.

Latest & Greatest #24: Kaleido Trays

Nubby Twiglet | Kaleido Trays

I take nearly every photo on this blog and while my white dining room floor makes a good backdrop for most of them, it does get boring. To add some visual interest to my photos, I picked up a set of Kaleido Trays a few months back. They were definitely an investment but since then, they’ve been the perfect prop, whether I’m snapping a product shot or using them alongside my design projects.

Nubby Twiglet | Kaleido Trays

The thing to note about the trays is the quality — these aren’t flimsy, molded plastic. They’re powder coated steel. Designed in 2012 by Clara von Zweigbergk for HAY (aren’t all of their products awesome?!), I now find myself using them nearly every day, whether it’s to hold a vase of flowers, brighten up the guest room or be a catch-all near my desk.

Nubby Twiglet | Kaleido Trays

Nubby Twiglet | Kaleido Trays.

The great thing about Kaleido Trays is that you can buy singles or the full set. It’s up to you.

Keleido Trays are available at Design Within Reach.
Check out more Latest & Greatest columns here.

Adventures In Budget Decorating: The Side Table Of My Dreams

Nubby Twiglet | Plum & Bow Side Table

I’d been on the hunt for a basic side table for our living room for ages when I came across this version by Plum & Bow. Up until this point, the tables I’d found lacked style or were just overpriced for such a small, basic piece.

This table only had one review on the Urban Outfitters site but it was good enough to convince me to add it to my cart. It arrived today and though it’s not quite as bright of a yellow as the photo on the site suggests, it was easy to put together, fairly sturdy and let’s be real — the dipped legs add that extra dash of charm I was after.

Nubby Twiglet | Plum & Bow Side Table

I think it would be great as a bedside table, too. It’s the right size to hold a stack of books and an alarm clock. And if pale pink is more up your alley, they have you covered there, too.

Featured: Plum & Bow side table in yellow.

The Bathroom Saga: From Super Scary to Pristine in 3 Months Flat!

2Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

Late last year, we knew it was time to tackle the remodeling of our first floor bathroom once and for all. The plumbing was completely shot, the ancient layers of paint were peeling off the walls, the toilet looked (and functioned) like it was original to the house, there was no ceiling fan and the tub backsplash had been redone a few decades before with some terribly botched linoleum placed on the walls. Basically, it was a hot mess and we couldn’t ignore it any longer. I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t take proper before photos of the bathroom because it was so bad that I never actually set foot in it. As you can imagine from this brief description though, it was disgusting.

Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

Do you have that one room (or closet or drawer) in your house that’s a complete disaster? That room where if you know guests are coming over, you rush to shut the door and pretend that it doesn’t exist? That’s how we felt about this bathroom…but it was tricky because it was the only bathroom we had on our main floor. How do you nicely tell your guests that they have to go up or down a flight of stairs to relieve themselves when there’s a bathroom 3 feet from where they’re standing?! Haha.

I don’t know about you but when someone starts talking about construction around me, I get overwhelmed and uncomfortable. Ripping things apart and then rebuilding them has always completely intimidated me. I’m great at pulling together a vision and digging into the depths of the internet to order the surface-level pretty things to outfit a space but the actual remodeling part makes me feel completely stressed out. Luckily, Joey seems to excel at everything I am terrible at. Electrical, plumbing and construction are like second nature to him. Thank god.

Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

As December rolled around, we were finally ready to get started on this project. Our first order of business was to rent a dumpster. After some back-and-forth, we came to the conclusion that there was absolutely nothing that could be salvaged. To do this job properly, our bathroom had to be completely ripped down to the studs.

Just two days after we tore our bathroom out, we had our holiday party. Great timing, right?! We were already seasoned pros at not mentioning the bathroom so we just kept the door to our bare-raftered secret tightly sealed.

Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

From there, it was slow going. As Joey dug in, there were way more issues with the plumbing and electrical than we’d realized. And, because we wanted all four walls to be done in floor-to-ceiling subway tile, that was another huge undertaking. Once the floor and ceiling were finally in, the black grout we’d chosen also complicated matters. It’s a mess to apply and the sponges Joey used to wipe down the tiles would turn the buckets of water black — he was having to dump them after every few passes.

Slowly but surely, week after week, our tiny first floor bathroom began to transform. It just took a lot of labor and patience. Along the way, we picked up a lot of tips (which is great because our upstairs bathroom will meet the same fate soon enough).

Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

Lessons Learned

1. Visualize your new bathroom before you tear it apart

To get everyone on the same page with how I imagined our new bathroom looking, I pulled images from my Houses, Interiors & Decor pinboard and explained what I thought would work best. That way, we all had the same image of what the outcome would be and there were no surprises.

2. To be safe, plan for your project to take three times longer and triple your budget

If any of you have had to do repairs to old homes, you know that it always takes three times longer and costs three times more than you think it will. We honestly thought this project would take a month to finish! But, once we could see what was going on inside the walls, we realized that the electrical was very poorly done. Always scary but Joey re-routed it all and got it up to code. Then, once he replaced the pipes to the sink and shower, he noticed that the pipes they connected to in the basement were also bad. It’s always the stuff you can’t see at first that gets you!

Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

3. Splurge on a few details

We got by on a very tight budget for the bathroom remodel but knew that a few splurges would make the room feel extra special. We picked out a Schoolhouse light fixture, some fancy soap and an oversized shower head to add some visual interest.

4. When in doubt, keep it classic

We’d discussed all sorts of tile patterns and detailing in the months leading up to the bathroom remodel but when it came down to it, having a nice, simple, unfussy main level bathroom is a people pleaser. You just can’t go wrong with white subway tile, black grout and simple fixtures. We’re going to be more adventurous when we remodel the upstairs bathroom since just Joey and I share that one.

Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

5. Improve on the basics

When Joey demolished the bathroom, the window casing and door molding went with it. When it was time to rebuild, he extended the new windowsill by a few extra inches so that it was deep enough to add a planter. It’s one of those little details that the average person might not notice but we really appreciate.

6. If you don’t know how to tile, watch Youtube videos

It’s hard to believe but up until this bathroom project, Joey had never tiled anything before! He learned on the fly by watching a handful of Youtube videos so he knew what supplies to buy and how to do the grout. I’ve heard a lot of first time tilers say that they did the same exact thing!

Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

Our remodeling resources

This list is by no means exhaustive but if you’re planning a remodel of your own, here’s where we picked up the majority of our things:

Sink, tub and toilet: Home Depot
Towels, floor mat and toothbrush holder: H&M
All tile: Color Tile (we have one a few blocks from our house so it was easy to get more when we ran out!)
Light shade and fixture: Schoolhouse Electric
Paint, grout and related supplies: Home Depot
Hand Soap: Grown Alchemist
Faux grass and planter: IKEA

Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

Some of you are probably wondering about the cost and though I didn’t keep a running total, all in all I estimate that everything, from the dumpster rental to the electrical to the tiling to the plumbing and all related supplies clocked in at about $5,000.00 even. Not bad considering what a mess we had!

Honestly, I still can’t quite believe this project is done! We still have to get glass shower doors put in (right now we can only take baths) but Joey needs a little break first before we do that. 😉

Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

If you have any more specific questions about the remodel or item resources, let me know in the comments!

The Perfect Addition To Your Kitchen Table: Llama Salt & Pepper Shakers


Yes, those are indeed llama salt and pepper shakers. Yes, my life is now complete. I’m completely, totally obsessed with llamas so when my friend Mary Bee recently whipped these out of a bag of gifts for me over dinner, my jaw dropped. Who knew such a thing even existed?!


Surely, these were molded off of the perfectly proportioned features of my handsome llama friend, Nigel.


Someday, I’ll have a pet llama (or two) but in the meantime, this fetching pair will have to do.