17 Ways to Introduce this Trending Pattern into Your Home

by M.E. Gray
Selection from the Unmagic Eye Exhibition by Spencer Harrison and Billie Justice Thomson; Photo by Bri Hammond
Selection from the Unmagic Eye Exhibition by Spencer Harrison and Billie Justice Thomson; Photo by Bri Hammond

The home decor world is operating mostly in throwback-mode right now. What used to be tacky is now tasteful, and looking dated doesn't matter as much. Walk into any big box store like Target, West Elm, or CB2, and you'll see interpretations of designs and color schemes that originally surfaced over 30-40 years ago. From the resurgence of treatments like terrazzo to the re-introduction of wicker, what's old is new again. If you're like me, you've noticed a familiar pattern pop up. And if you're like me, it's making you gleefully reminiscent. I'm talking about the bold and bright world of Memphis design, and its colorful impact on the 80s and 90s.                 

Continue Reading

The Wabi-Sabi Home: Learn to Embrace Imperfection and Authenticity

by M.E. Gray

Wabi-sabi home

I used to own this cup and saucer set. It was white with a yellow border - I found it at the thrift store. The handle of the cup was comfortable, and the saucer large. I loved it. I loved it in a way that it seemed to make my coffee taste better in the morning. One day, my yellow cup met a fate that many ceramic dishes face. It was dropped, and the cup cracked. The vessel was still usable after its accident, after a bit of gluing. But it never looked the same again. A piece of the ceramic was missing, a chunk gone. I still held onto it, because I loved this cup, and life happens, you know? This is, roughly, the definition of wabi-sabi.              

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
Why You Should Learn How to Make a Boutonniere Before Your Wedding Day

by M.E. Gray

How to Make a Boutonniere for your Big Day


When I was a little girl, I was a part of my local 4-H club (for those who weren't lucky enough to be a part of it, 4-H is a community club where kids take classes and can present their projects at their local county and state fairs and it was SO MUCH FUN). One of the 4-H classes I took was floral arranging. When I signed up for the class, I thought, "Piece of cake. Flowers in a vase. Boom, done." Not so. There is so much more to arranging...

Continue Reading

How to Create a Home that Won't Hurt Your Back

by M.E. Gray

Back Pain Relief At Home

Have you ever dealt with an achy-breaky back? If you haven't had the misfortune yet, I hate to say it, but you probably will. Not-so-fun fact: About 80% of Americans will deal with back pain at some point in their lives. For some, it's just a pulled muscle, but for others, it's much worse. As you age, it's the little movements and activities that lead to spinal disc deterioration. But it's not all bad news! From furniture placement to purchasing the right kind of tools, you can structure the layout and function of your home to keep your spine healthy. Here are a few adjustments you can make to your home for back pain relief, and to maintain the health of your spine.        

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
Make This: Affordable Glass Wall Art for Under $20!

by M.E. Gray

Affordable glass wall art project

Ideas pop up in the most random of situations, don't they? The inspiration for this project came to me the other day when I was at the airport. I was standing in line at a Wendy's, preparing to pay $15 for a small frosty and fries (why is airport food so expensive?!), and I was absent-mindedly staring at this wall that divided the checkout lane from the seating area. The wall was made of two layered panels of glass, frosted. Each panel was painted with lots of abstract green brushstrokes, making the wall look like an ethereal field of grass. Maybe it was the jet-lag that made me zone in on this wall for so long. For some reason or another, the grassy glass stuck with me. And I decided I wanted to make some glass wall art of my own in the same style.           

Continue Reading

How to Build a Cozy Radiator Cat Bed

by M.E. Gray

From the new book, "DIY Projects for Cats & Dogs." A tutorial on how to make a radiator cat bed.

If you're a cat owner, you know two things about kitties: #1, They like heights, and #2, they like warmth. I can always count on finding my own cat in a handful of different places around my apartment, including either right up against the radiator, or high up on my bedroom dresser. If your feline is anything like mine, she'd flip over a DIY radiator cat bed like this one.      

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
IKEA Hack: The Tarva Nightstand Gets Naked

by M.E. Gray

IKEA Hack Nightstand Edition - A Tarva nightstand with cutout handles

One of the easiest ways to change up a piece of furniture is to switch out the hardware - but what happens when the hardware is abandoned completely? When my wife found this nightstand during a recent trip to IKEA, she immediately drew inspiration from a different piece of furniture in our house - our hardware-less credenza. Could we replicate the cutout drawer handle on her new nightstand? Turns out, we could! Trading a little extra work for the extra cost of new hardware, here's how this IKEA nightstand hack worked out.                     

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
Have You Always Wished You Could Keep a Journal? Try This Technique.

by M.E. Gray

Do you wish you could keep a journal? Try this technique called the Gratitude Journal

Many of us wish we could keep a journal. It's comforting (and handy) to have a personal record of your life to look back on. Journaling also makes you a more disciplined and mindful person, which I, for one, could certainly benefit from. Keeping up with the habit of writing something down every few days is nice in thought, but generally it's hard in practice. There's always an activity that's more important or interesting than journaling. Maybe writing isn't your strong suit. And let's face it, life is sometimes boring and there's just nothing to write about. Regardless of the barrier that's keeping you from your journaling goals, this technique may help you stick to a routine. Instead of the traditional diary, try the Gratitude Journal. It'll actually make you happier along the way.          

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
How to Create an Indoor Garden Your Cat Will Love (Because She's a Plant Lady, Too)

by M.E. Gray

How to make an indoor garden for you feline friend

I was a junior in high school when my cat, Donut, came into my life. She was a rescue from the local ASPCA, and she's been my ride-or-die ever since. Because I was young when I got her, I didn't understand all of her needs. Over the last decade of us living together, the space that Donut takes up in my home grows larger and larger - because like any other living thing, she needs more than water and shelter to thrive. She needs play. She needs nutrients. She needs a place to sharpen her talons other than the side of my armchair. And just how I want only the best for my own health and wellbeing, I want the best for hers, too. Which is why it's important that she gets her greens (or in this case, cat grass).            

Continue Reading