I Want to Make Stuff

And that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I’m dedicating this weekend to only four main things: go on a 12 mile run, explore a new local brewery, go to church, and CRAFT. The crafting is going to be part spring cleaning, part sewing/painting/building, and it’s about time I got to it! There is a whole list of projects I’ve been meaning to do, and now I’m finally going to make time for them.

I’m sharing this with you all not just for your reading pleasure…but also because I hope you all hold me accountable. I better come out of this weekend with some great photos of my finished projects to share with you all!

Here’s the plan (more or less):

   DIY Weekend Projects miaprimacasa.com

Pillow Covers

DIY Weekend Projects miaprimacasa.com

Painted Glass Jars/Wine Bottles

DIY Weekend Projects miaprimacasa.com

Repurpose Old Candle Jars

DIY Weekend Projects miaprimacasa.com

Hairpin Leg Coffee Table

^Now that’s quite an ambitious weekend!

Wish me luck!



Nothing But the Useful & Beautiful

Home Sweet Home miaprimacasa.com

As of this week, I’ve been in Pittsburgh six months. I’ve fallen in love with the bridges, the coffee shops, and the parks. I even own a Steelers hat. But most of all, I’m crazy about my apartment. At first, I thought I wanted a space that felt mature, like a real house, and not a collection of furniture that relatives gave me. But then I realized two things, 1) I don’t want to spend money on new furniture and

2) a youthful, eclectic look really suits me better anyway. What my apartment turned into was a cozy hodgepodge of my favorite furniture and art (I try to stick to the mantra, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”), which I think so beautifully compliments the cathedral ceiling, wrought iron details, and even the mint-colored 60s tile in the bathroom.

My favorite elements are: my bike (the most expensive piece of wall art I own), the ugliest orange chair you’ve ever seen, my record player complete with my dad’s record collection (Ella Fitzgerald is currently serenading me as I write this), my 1960s Singer sewing machine, a vintage lamp, a Native American blanket, my aunt’s 70s shag rug (thanks, Aunt Jeanine!), and my coffee nook.

What are the favorite elements of your home?

Apartment Inspiration on miaprimacasa.com Apartment Inspiration on miaprimacasa.comApartment Inspiration on miaprimacasa.comCoffee Bar on miaprimcasa.comApartment Inspiration on miaprimacasa.com Apartment Inspiration on miaprimacasa.comEclectic Sewing Space on miaprimacasa.com

Coffee, Anyone?

In September, I drew up these plans to turn an empty nook in my dining room into an coffee bar (naturally). I was looking for cute hooks, shelving, a “coffee” sign, and a set of matching mugs. What I ended up creating was a chalkboard from an old picture (tutorial to follow soon!) that I will soon paint with an adorable coffee saying of my choosing. I added some red hooks and monogram mugs from Antrhopologie to bring the look together- not to mention Ball jars to hold my coffee grounds and sugar, a vintage-inspired cow cream holder, and a floral serving tray. Can’t wait for the coffee bar to come together completely! Next project…the bar cart. Now that’s going to be fun.

Coffee Bar PlansCoffee Bar on miaprimcasa.com



Decorating My New Pittsburgh Home

My New Pittsburgh Home

When you move in to a new space, especially one so drastically different from your old, it’s pretty overwhelming to begin the decorating process. To start decorating my new 70-year-old Tudor-style duplex in Pittsburgh (I moved from a clean-cut suburban apartment in Madison, WI), I began with images. Pinterest, of course, is probably the best place to collect visual inspiration. After spending some time browsing, I decided to narrow down my decorating plans into 4 sections:

1. My bedroom, bathroom, and closets- with a focus on organization

2. My living room- with a focus on comfort, displaying eclectic pieces of art and memorabilia, and entertainment (a bar cart included in my plans!)

3. My dinning room and kitchen- with a focus on my favorite moments, brunch and coffee, by creating a coffee bar and a bright and open eating area

4. My sewing room- with, well, a focus on sewing!

Not a bad start for a pretty overwhelming ordeal! My goal this week is to get up most of my wall art and begin to rearrange. Stay tuned as I start to put together my two favorite ideas, the bar cart and the coffee bar!



The Living Room

…or the beginning of it, anyway!

Living Room Decor Living Room Decor

Worth noting: vintage Mexican blanket, my handmade sorority T-shirt blanket, authentic 70s shag sheepskin rug, antique lamp made fresh with a new shade.

Design Inspiration for My New Place

Just about a year ago, I was moving into my first place and starting this blog (in Italian, “la mia prima casa” means my first house) to catalog my adventures. This week, my sister and I are moving into our second place. When we first moved, we wanted an eclectic, comfortable space, but faced the problems of living in an old house (bad trim, wall colors that didn’t fit our palette, and an outdated kitchen). Our second place is newer and lighter, with higher ceilings and a modern look. Our new decor inspiration is open, comfortable, and a mix of patterns with pops of bold colors. Below are my favorite inspiration images for my newest place.


Can’t wait to start the decorating process anew!



My New Kitchen! How to Modernize an Outdated Space

My New Kitchen: How to Modernize an Outdated Space

For about six months, my sister and I attempted to decorate our new apartment around the free furniture we had received from family. At some point, we realized that we wanted to take our decorating to a more sophisticated level, i.e. not a clearly twenty-something pad filled with hand-me-down furniture. The kitchen space was the most troubling for us thanks to the outdated flooring, cabinetry, and trim. Our solution? A large rug that set off our eating space from our cooking space, a modern table (Ikea), pops of red (sleek Target chairs and three red candles did the trick), and a Matisse print. We focused our color pallet on just three maine colors: black, red, and blue to make the space look clean and modern. The transformation clearly works, since I’ve found myself cooking more and spending more time in the kitchen than I had before!

My New Kitchen: How to Modernize an Outdated Space My New Kitchen: How to Modernize an Outdated Space

Total Cost: $298.98

Chairs- $79.99 for a set of two at Target

Table- $179.0 at Ikea

Rug- $79.99 at Target

Coat Rack- $29.99 at Ikea

Red votive candles- $10 at Target

What are your suggestions for modernizing an outdated space?



Great Finds: Espresso Cups

My sister studied in Austria, and as she travelled Europe, she collected espresso cups. Though they weren’t the easiest things to take back to the States (miraculously she only broke one), they do make great decoration pieces in our apartment. Here are a few of my favorites.



Salzburg, Austria

London, England

Florence, Italy

Munich, GermanyNice, France; Lake Forest, Illinois; Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Florence, Italy

Before & After: “Open” Dresser

My aunt and uncle were kind enough to provide a whole bunch of used furniture for my new apartment. Most of it fit well into the place, but this piece below was a little trickier. We didn’t have enough space in the living room and certainly not in our tiny kitchen. As a result, it ended up as shelving in the garage. I also happened to be missing a dresser and considered thrifting around for one until I realized that this piece could be the perfect dresser. I painted it a mauve-lavendar and bought cloth containers to act as drawers. The result is a versatile “open” dresser that matches my intended room decor and cost me far less than anything else I was considering to buy.



Total cost of this project?

Shelving unit: Free

Paint: $12

Total Cost: $12



5 Images to Inspire

Because I could use some inspiration on this rainy evening.

Giving credit where credit is due. Where I found these photos (most come from some pretty interesting blogs and are worth checking out!):

Image 1

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Image 3

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Image 5