Sunday, October 26, 2014

diy blog tour

hey sweet friends! this post is a little different than usual, as i don't typically post on sundays or get too introspective, but i was a "favorite DIY blog nominee" in this little blog tour going around, and gee, i'm really flattered. i'm excited to carry on the chain by answering a few questions and then choosing my favorite DIY blogger to share with you.

first of all, a little bit about the nominator. by now you who read this regularly have heard me talk about kyla from house of hipsters (maybe a little too extensively...), and she is the sweetie who nominated me.

i found kyla's blog back in may through instagram and i was dumbfounded when i first saw it- it was love at first site visit. she is an excellent resource for vintage and eclectic finds, where to shop, how to pull it all together and how to make your home a unique reflection of you. she's only recently started to wade into the deep waters of the DIY world and here are a couple of my favorite projects by her so far:

 she created these free printable candle labels - genius!

her marbled mug tutorial- you already have all the supplies in your cabinet. promise.

if you haven't already, please take some time to visit kyla's beautiful blog, and tell her i sent you! and thank you, kyla, for this honor!

ok, now's the part where i'm supposed to answer some questions, so here goes. i'll try to keep it brief. (not my strong suit).


well...i just finished a huge project for a church, redesigning their new offices. i'm excited to post this week about how it turned out. i can't really adequately describe how happy the whole process made me. start to finish there wasn't one minute that i didn't thoroughly enjoy. but, it was incredibly time-consuming, and definitely put me at a deficit in the laundry department. so i've cleared my "side project" schedule for the foreseeable future and i'm going to try to stay home and focus on really being here.

a sneak peek of the lounge & meeting area

on the blog front, one project that i'm excited about is an idea born in some brainstorming emails with kyla and our other blogging buddy, grace. the concept is called 'found & foraged' and it's about enjoying the design that's already around you, without having to consume more and more new stuff. it really summarizes where i'm at right now. i love the term because it encompasses so much that we are doing as we design for our homes- vintage finds, smart shopping, repurposing and DIY-ing, and building collections over time. we've already started tagging a few pics with #foundforaged on instagram. please feel free to jump right in on that and tag your friends to do the same. more to come!


at home, ryan and i are working on our mudroom and powder room. still. we are temporarily stalled due to ryan having no idea how to do the next steps (plumbing...yikes), and due to me being completely torn between two sinks and unable to find sconces for the mirror i bought, which is probably too large but which i'm in love with and trying to make work anyway.

at least we have walls, right? er...studs. blurg.


oi. sometimes the sheer number of blogs can make it feel like you can't possibly be unique, and i totally wonder if i am different at all! but the truth is, you are because you're you. your blog is your voice, your ideas, your work, and even thought it might be similar to someone else's, it will always be your fingerprint and yours alone. it's a journal more than anything, and i'm my own most avid reader. i love seeing where i was vs. where i am.

as for DIY's, there are two sides to that coin on this blog. the first is little crafty projects that i do, and the second is major home renovations that my husband and i tackle on our own.

the craft projects are probably unique because i don't ever set out to be a DIY'er. it's just born of necessity because the thing in my head is either too expensive to buy or else it doesn't even exist in a store. so hopefully when i blog about them it'll be helpful to those in the same situation. and i try my best to keep them simple, affordable, and achievable.

the home renovation projects are unique because we have no idea what we're doing. i took interior design classes in the process of getting my BA in merchandising, but i definitely don't have a degree that qualifies me to be knocking out walls. my husband is in marketing by day and has no background in construction whatsoever. his only experience was one summer in college working as an electrician, and all of his handywork is pulled off between advice from his father and youtube videos. again, we DIY out of necessity. i'd absolutely love to hire an architect and some contractors to come carve up this place and be done in 4 weeks, but the money ain't there for that. so we're slowly making our home what we want it to be on our own. i don't really intend to tell anyone how to do things of that nature on the blog, because for the most part we have no clue how we pulled it off, but rather just to keep a journal and keep our friends apprised of the crazy construction goings-on in the irion household.

our very first project in this house was removing the powder room that separated our kitchen from our family room, to make it one big open space. little did we know those walls contained the main hvac and main sewage lines for the entire house. oops! we started in 2011 and it took two years.


i started blogging in my head ten years ago as a newlywed when ryan and i rescued a dresser from a curb, carried it four blocks home and refurbished it. that was my first DIY project and they've been coming in rapid succession ever since. i used to text my friends before and after pictures. then i started posting them to facebook, and finally i started uploading pictures of them to pinterest. (ridiculous i know). that's about when i decided to start an actual blog. i wish i'd done that a long time ago; i just didn't know it was a thing (at least other than a place to post family vacation photos or journal your adoption). #duh, right?! i wrote my first post this year, hit publish on a whim, and didn't even tell anyone for a couple weeks. i hope in the end that it will be more than a creative outlet for me, but that it will be a way to build a community of like-minded furniture nerds, and a way to share ideas that can be helpful to people.

one of my first posts that i was really proud to fold the perfect towel


for DIY's it basically goes like this:

get an idea. go to the store or scavenge for supplies immediately. immediately. start making it. ignore the kids. trash the house. photograph the process. photograph the results. pay attention to the kids. wait a while. write a blog post. wait a while longer. clean the house.

when the DIY hurricane comes through...

if i'm designing for a house project, i usually start with collecting ideas on pinterest. after i have a floorplan and the major pieces selected, i always do a to-scale drawing. that's such a critical step, because you can really see if what looks good in your head will look good in real life. for instance, today i was drawing up my powder room (again) and thought it might look good to hang some bare bulb pendants on either side of the mirror i got. um, yeah, glad i drew that one out, because in reality that arrangement looks like an evil pac-man baby that wants to kill us all.

she's terrifying!

so any creative of mine process includes lots and lots of revising. and lots and lots of coffee.


whew! sorry, that was not brief at all. ;-) alright, without further ado, i'm passing the baton to MY pick for favorite DIY blogger, and it's grace of the big reveal blog!

i started stalking grace's blog after finding her on instagram, and she has a way of making you feel like you're great friends after you read just one or two of her posts. somehow though, we actually did become friends in real life, and i'm so thankful. she's just the sort of design nerd community i hoped i'd find when i started blogging. she blends cozy + cute like no one else, gives terrific styling advice, and has a great philosophy about being kind to your body without making yourself insane. and of course, she's a stellar DIY'er. here are some of my favorite projects of hers:

another neat tidbit about grace is that she recently became a lifestyle contributor on the tv show "twin cities live" out of minneapolis! i am a total nerd about live-streaming her segments and smiling ear to ear the whole time she's on tv. she posted her latest video here and you have to see this cute girl talking about 'found & foraged' (!!!!!) centerpieces.

i hope you'll take a minute to visit grace and check out some of her big reveals. she's a great girl and a good friend. and thanks for making a stop here at avery street design on the DIY blog tour!


  1. Aw, Laura! Thanks for the kind words and for the nomination. I loved hearing about your creative process (and Kyla's, too!)

  2. Furniture nerds united we stand! Okay, so that made me sound super dorky. And I do believe that the DIY hurricane has moved through my neck of the woods as well. Hate it when that happens, but it's so much fun! I'm so glad you and Grace are doing this with me! YEAH! Loved every word!

  3. Fun to learn a little more about you :) ...As I'm blog stalking.. can't wait to see more of what you guys are doing with your house! I give mad props to people remodeling with kids around because we would make a huuuge human-unfriendly-please-dont-eat-any-of-it-pets all over the place and say "whatever we'll clean it next weekend." Haha, so way to be ambitious!


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