In the later part of this summer I attended an event in NYC and learned about some “Fall Hacks” with Thumbtack. I was completely blow away and impressed at all the fun and interesting ideas at the event. Thumbtack is a company that provides services for just about anything and everything! If you need to hire someone, Thumbtack can find the right person for the job, for FREE!
This summer we renovated our NYC apartment. Our kids had been sharing a room up until this point, but we decided to change things up a bit to give my son his own room. There’s a saying we all know about doing something in a “New York Minute”, well, I learned this can be both a good thing and a bad thing! The good news is a crew came into our space and completely knocked down walls and put up another in exactly one business day. The bad news is our apartment was literally left in pieces from their wham bam approach. To make matters worse, we also added a paint job which also only took one day but added an extra level of “gigantic mess” to clean up!
There is never a perfect time and sometimes you just have to make time! With the end of summer and then back to school, I’ll admit, I was completely overwhelmed and didn’t know where to turn. I loved my new space but couldn’t’ exactly figure out how to make it work for our family and was desperate for some professional guidance. I consider myself a creative person, have strong visions of what looks good and doesn’t, but somehow our apartment is one area that always gets left out in the mix.
As an influencer and photographer I’m constantly reminded by beautiful “insta-worthy” spaces whether online or in a clients home. I finally made the decision to turn our chaotic apartment living space upside down. Ultimately I love our white, open loft space, and with the renovation, I love it even more. I just had to get it to that place where I can breathe and appreciate our home.
I partnered with Thumbtack and hired one of their professional interior designers to come and help me get my home in order. I’ve concluded that the best thing to do when in doubt it outsource anything that’s not your strong suit. Sure, I could do what I’ve been doing for years which is basically “winging it”, and our space would look ok… BUT, I wanted it look amazing and worthy of our NYC city living loft space.
Within our first meeting, my Interior Designer from Thumbtack, Oscar Lugo of Oscar Lugo Interior Design, arrived to assure me my vision was attainable. He gave me the confidence I needed to move forward with my dream of a clean, minimal looking space that was bright and open with pops of organic greenery. Being renters, there are limitations to what we could do, but taking all things into consideration the outlook was good! Oscar designed a rendering of what our apartment could potentially look like and this really gave me a huge sense of excitement!
My first step was as you probably guessed was “DECLUTTER”! This would prove to be the hardest step. With a husband and three kids, there is so much coming into the apartment on a daily basis. I’ll also mention I’m the only one who ends up going through any of our belongings so it would be all on ME to get this done. Purging is not always easy. Items (especially kids) have a memory or attachment and although sometimes I want to save it, I know it just can’t happen. Going through closets, cabinets, toy bins, was not only time consuming, but physically draining. I have taken countless trips to the local donation place and given away what I can. There is still more to be done on this end, but it’s getting better! I lay away at night and dream about a clutter free space. Is anyone with me ?
During this process, I also started to send Oscar anything and everything I liked that might possibly work for our apartment. One MAJOR thing I was focused on was designing on a “budget”. Again, since we do not own our space I never want to spend anymore than I need to on items and do my research to find budget friendly pieces that still look good of course! Oscar was on track with this plan and he never made me feel like my goal could not be achieved by inexpensive pieces.
IKEA has always been my friend. I love browsing the stores looking for inspiration and although I know I can’t just import one of their ready made rooms to my home, it’s still fun to look. I love mixing items from all modern furniture stores and was happy that Oscar loved a few of my existing piece of furniture from CB2 and IKEA. Of course there were things that “had to go”, but I didn’t have to start from scratch.
As a photographer, artwork is really important to me. With 10 feet ceilings, I love the look of dynamic art that’s larger than life. I spent hour upon hours trying to figure out how to enlarge my own artwork on a budget, and even caved looking at other artwork online but nothing resonated with me. That’s when I discovered Canvas on Demand actually has so many items other than just canvases. There is a section to customize your own artwork here. They offered a very large size up to a 20X30 which I knew would look great on my wall. The white frame and mat was exactly what I was looking for.
As a professional photographer, I have all the lighting equipment at home and decided to photograph my three kids with their missing teeth, unruly hair, and summer freckles. These were true lifestyle images I was looking for all along. My kids are after all, my favorite artwork of all time and when the high quality framed prints arrived from Canvas on Demand, I could hardly contain my excitement.
I also attended a holiday event for Minted. We all know and love Minted for their beautiful cards, but did you know they offer so much more? I was really impressed by their removable “wall murals” and was curious to learn more about it. We now had a very large blank white wall to deal with. Sure, I could have added more artwork, but I wanted something really dynamic and different. I partnered with Minted on this project of selecting a special wall art and I’m so happy I did. It did take a really long time to decide the best one for our space. With the help of Oscar from Thumbtack, we decided the sleek and urban look of the black and white “edges” would work perfectly. I hired a professional to install this for me and I’m thrilled with the results.
My interior designer really helped me pull tougher my thoughts and would rope me back in when I drifted off to left field. There are so many things to consider when deciding on furniture and large scale items. I also had to remember I have three kids and sometimes what I want is not realistic so we had to make a few sacrifices. Oscar helped me measure spaces, direct where to move things around, and also gave me some much needed “tough love” in the process. He kept me on track with color palettes and was always there for me when I had a quick question or was over thinking something.
This was definitely an eye opening experience, and what once intimidated me and my comfort zone, has now give a new appreciation for all things home decor and interior design. I even impressed the in store interior designer from West Elm recently and was proud of myself! We are just wrapping up the finishing touches just in time for the holidays and our family is happy to have a beautiful “home”.
Oscar stopped by yesterday and helped me once again by removing some clutter from my living room and reinforcing my own vision of starting true to a minimal and modern look.
Thumbtack offers so many services and I can’t wait to try out more. I can’t think of anything better than reaching out to a professional for a particular service. Signing up is really easy and I love using the app as well! Now, it’s time to enjoy the holidays thanks to Thumbtack!