Little Pacific Design Studio

Little Pacific Design Studio | The Urban Pig

It has been a busy last few weeks between my usual work while at the same time, branding and creating the Little Pacific Design Studio. Although a slow process, it has been fun to see my dreams become a reality simply by using photography, typography, colors, and graphics. These things don’t happen overnight, but I am excited to be taking the first step of starting my own design business.

In the past, I feel like I have underestimated myself, and while I still can’t say I am fully confident to do this on my own, I also know that I really am capable to accomplish whatever I set my mind to. I know that passion can pull me through the tough times and along the way I will learn and experience new things. But most importantly, I am excited for the adventures this will bring. I am excited to meet new people, design amazing spaces, and have the flexibility to do whatever my creative little soul feels like doing. Bring it on!

Anyway, check out the Little Pacific Design Studio’s website, although it is fairly limited right now while I get my first projects going. If you have any interest or need any design work, I would love for you to contact me!

Pipe Dreams

Pipe Dreams | The Urban Pig

Pipe Dreams | The Urban Pig

Since moving back to Spokane from Denver, I have really only had one thing planned — spend time with family. I definitely missed them while we were away, and summer was the perfect time for Connor and I to return (most everyone was on vacation from school and work). Unfortunately, summer is coming to an end. Everyone is preparing to get back to the daily grind, and even Connor started working again. All of a sudden, I found myself sitting at home by myself, left trying to figure out what’s next for me.

All of this was already in motion when I got an email from Kabbage* asking me to take part in their campaign. Kabbage* is a provider of small business loans, and their campaign is all about sharing dreams. They asked me — “what are your goals for the future?” and “how do you plan to fulfill them?” Well, I’d like to think that everything in life happens for a reason and after a fairly disappointing letdown while job-searching, I was left pondering what I planned to do to move forward. A lot of ideas had been bounced around, but I feel like there is nothing better than an essay or blog post to really think deeper and make those thoughts and ideas become a reality. So for that, I would like to thank Kabbage* for reaching out to me because their timing couldn’t have been any better in giving me the push I needed to re-evaluate my dreams.

Pipe Dreams | The Urban Pig

Pipe Dreams | The Urban Pig

“You’re an artist, man. Your job is to break through barriers. Not accept blame and bow and say thank you, I’m a loser, I’ll go away now… You want to be really great? Then have the courage to fail big and stick around. Make ’em wonder why you’re still smiling. That’s true greatness to me.”
-Claire from the movie Elizabethtown

So, I didn’t get the job, but was that meant to be? I have always wanted to have my own business. Maybe this situation is a blessing in disguise, telling me to get started now, rather than the alternative: it never happening. After much thought, I realized starting my own interior design business could potentially solve all of the dilemmas I have recently been facing. I have been so sucked in to what is normal to society (i.e. the 40 hour work week) and I have become less and less happy with such little time I am able to spend with my husband and family. My dream business allows me to break free of society’s “norm” regarding hours spent at work (working from home to be around my family), having flexibility when business is done (scheduled around family time and vacations), and having passion for each of my hand-picked design projects. I want to be the one determining how my life is spent. I don’t need much, but my hope is to grow my business just enough for me to provide my family a home, enriching adventures, and a life full of life!

Pipe Dreams | The Urban Pig

Pipe Dreams | The Urban Pig

Steps to Reach My Dreams:

  1. Build a Brand & Business Model
  2. Invest in Myself: Purchase software, supplies, and equipment <—Kabbage* can help with their business loans!
  3. Network: Get my name out there, build a client base.
  4. Nail It: Put my heart into every project I have the opportunity to work on.
  5. Market It: Use projects to advertise and gain interest from potential clients.
  6. Grow It: Continue to build and define my brand, invest in what I need, network, nail it, and market it!

I definitely realize it will be a lot of work at first. But I hope to hit the ground running and have it a bit more refined in a few years. I think the initial sacrifice will prove to be more than worth it in the end. It’s about realizing a necessary part of life (work) doesn’t have to take over our lives. In fact, I hope for it to be a pathway to more simple living. More family living. More life at home living.

*Non-affiliate link. Thoughts and opinions shared are ALWAYS 100% my own.

Craft Projects With Logs

Craft Projects With Logs | The Urban Pig

Clean up from last month’s wind storms is finally wrapping up around here, including the giant pine that fell behind our house. The men of the household have been busy with the chainsaw, cutting it down into pieces and loading it up in the truck. At the same time I have been inspired by the craft projects I have seen on Pinterest using wood logs. The first one I wanted to make was these wood bookends, so I snatched up one of the logs from behind the house and had Connor cut it into quarters. Then, I used a chisel to remove the bark (much easier than I was expecting, thankfully!). I let the wood sit out in the sun for a few days to dry out, as the bark had left a mushy residue behind. Now that it is all dried out, I just need to put on a clear coat to protect the wood from bugs and crumbling over time.

(The same day, I was re-potting some overgrown plants, so I took some photos of them using the wood, and it inspired me to use them as plant stands as well!)

Craft Projects With Logs | The Urban Pig

Craft Projects With Logs | The Urban Pig

Craft Projects With Logs | The Urban Pig

Craft Projects With Logs | The Urban Pig

Craft Projects With Logs | The Urban Pig

Craft Projects With Logs | The Urban Pig

A few of my favorite wood projects that I am hoping to do in the future!
1. Stump and ink prints…Absolutely stunning!
2. Wooden Christmas tree ornaments…So cute! It reminds me of an old tradition we had where every year my dad would paint a wooden piece like these with a mural from a vacation or big event from the year. It was a great way to reminisce each year while setting them out for display!
3. Log planter…Love the two natural elements being used together.

DIY Kitchen Island Bookshelf

DIY Kitchen Island Bookshelf | The Urban Pig

It’s been a popular trend lately to have open shelving in the kitchen, including the built-in bookcases for the kitchen island. I loved this idea for storing cookbooks or decor, and we actually had the perfect island to retrofit and have it multi-functional for storage and open shelving. It is pretty deep, but the inside shelf only went half-way, leaving a lot of wasted and unused space. Here are the steps we took to making the island double-sided and a cute makeover to brighten up the kitchen.

We started by cutting out the back panel, on the opposite side where the cabinet doors were. It took a little bit of time to cut out the wood as well as sand down the edges to a smooth(ish) finish. Next, we used a wainscot kit and started by putting the base trim on, and then cutting the beadboard pieces to size and securing those to the exterior of the cabinet. This meant cutting around the outlet, too.

DIY Kitchen Island Bookshelf | The Urban Pig

DIY Kitchen Island Bookshelf | The Urban Pig

DIY Kitchen Island Bookshelf | The Urban Pig

DIY Kitchen Island Bookshelf | The Urban Pig

DIY Kitchen Island Bookshelf | The Urban Pig

DIY Kitchen Island Bookshelf | The Urban Pig

DIY Kitchen Island Bookshelf | The Urban PigAfter completing the sides, we moved on to the back, which had a small area that had to stay attached for the drawers on the front of the island. We decided to cover these with the beadboard as well, and I am actually happy that panel is there, otherwise it wouldn’t look as consistent. However, there was a lot more cutting involved for these front sections.

DIY Kitchen Island Bookshelf | The Urban Pig

DIY Kitchen Island Bookshelf | The Urban Pig

DIY Kitchen Island Bookshelf | The Urban Pig

DIY Kitchen Island Bookshelf | The Urban Pig

 

The last step is to cover the interior shelf, mainly because we accidentally cut into it when cutting out the back section. I found a roll of cork for 1/2 price at the craft store, and I thought it would be the most pliable surface to work around the unfinished edges.

DIY Kitchen Island Bookshelf | The Urban Pig

DIY Kitchen Island Bookshelf | The Urban Pig

It brings so much character and fun to our kitchen! I love it!

 

New Kitchen Floor!

What a crazy couple of weeks it has been! Connor and I decided we were ready to take on the next big project for our house, and boy was it a bigger project than we had anticipated. We wanted to replace the linoleum floor in our kitchen and powder room with porcelain tile. I found a really pretty one for a discounted price, so I took the first step in purchasing it, as well as the tools we would need (wet saw, grout and mortar, trowel, spacers, etc.). I had only a slight hesitation thinking about what we were getting ourselves into.

Two weeks later, the tile has been set, but we still have to seal the grout. We just finally got our kitchen put back together on Monday, as our appliances and pretty much everything was sitting in our dining room out of the way. Tiling the kitchen floor and not being able to walk on it meant crawling across the counter to get food or eating out more often then I would have liked. It was tough. I was literally so excited to finally step on that tile just so I could catch up on dishes for the next hour.

Anyway, a little run down of the process:

1. We started by prepping the floor and laying down the cement backer board. Despite what some people say, the backer board is incredibly important. And just as the prep for most jobs is the worst part, it is like others, long and boring, but important for quality. After doing some research, we found out that in some cases, like ours, we could lay it down right over the linoleum floor. In other cases, it is not suggested. I also learned that you should stagger the backer board so that there are not four corners touching.

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig2. Next, it was time to mix the mortar and start laying the tile. This made me so nervous, as I wanted it to be just perfect. Connor didn’t like this part so I did most of the spreading of the mortar. What helped us prepare for this part was looking at YouTube videos, especially on channels such as Lowes do-it-yourself projects. It made me feel a bit more confident in what I was doing. A couple tips learned along the way–(a) Life is easier when the mortar is the right consistency (b) Don’t let the mortar dry where you haven’t placed a tile unless you want to spend hours chipping away at it to get the surface even again (c) always check with a level to make sure you are flush and even with the surrounding tiles (d) work from the center of the floor to the perimeter so there aren’t any weird cuts in the middle, and make sure to do a quick layout before you actually start laying the tiles in mortar.

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig3. Grout the seams: This was all Connor, because by this point I was so burned out and tired of the project I just couldn’t deal with it any longer. Besides, you need some strong wrists for this, as well as a lot more patience than I had at the time. It requires a lot of cleaning to keep the tiles clean, and that seemed to be Connor’s favorite part throughout the process.

4. Seal the Grout: We are still waiting to do this part, as after each step, you must wait a few days for it to dry and set. We will be working on this tomorrow, but it seems like (hopefully) the easiest part of the process. Here is what the flooring looks like now (almost done after we seal it and lay down an area rug)…

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig

I am so relieved to have this project wrapping up. There are parts of tiling I like, but when it is a big space like this (kitchen with lots of jogs and corners around cabinetry, powder room, and back entry), it just takes way longer than I would ever want to do again. Something at a smaller scale, like a small bathroom or backsplash, it would be much more doable. Unfortunately, we figured this out AFTER we bought a super awesome wet saw.

Have you tiled a floor or backsplash or wall yourself before? I would love to hear your tips if I ever decide to go round two!

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