ABM Studio: The Styling Room

ABM prop storage and meeting roomHere's one more fun space from the ABM studios that we wanted to share with you guys. We call this room the styling room, but we really use it for a whole bunch of different things. We store lots of styling props in here as well as miscellaneous kitchen gear that doesn't fit in our kitchen. If you would've told me two or three years ago that (1) I wouldn't be shooting everything in my own kitchen, and (2) would have a whole wall of cute props to choose from for my recipe photos, I would've laughed in your face! So I have to admit this room is a little slice of dreams coming true. Not to get all gushy, but thank you guys so much for making this possible for us.

Annnyway, we also use this room to have meetings, phone conferences or just for another work space if some privacy or silence is needed.

You want to see how this room started out????

The styling room beforeOh yes, that is a chimney that leads to nowhere. Old houses are always full of funny little add-ons or stories from things that once were. Apparently this house had a fireplace at some point, but it doesn't anymore. We did add our own faux fireplace though.

The biggest surprise in this room was underneath the carpets. We found asbestos tiles, many of which were cracked or in disrepair. We had those professionally removed and had (laminate) hardwood floors installed. 

We also painted almost everything black. If you want to see more "before" pictures click here

ABM prop storage and meeting room    Here's what the room looks like currently. I love the drama the all-black walls and ceiling add to the space. Sort of reminds me of my living room. Josh built the custom shelves to organize our styling supplies. And we added this small table and four chairs to the center for anyone to use when they are utilizing the room. 

This room is located directly above the kitchen, so it's a quick walk up the stairs to grab items I need when I'm cooking.

ABM meeting room  ABM prop storage and meeting room       ABM meeting roomABM prop storage and meeting room     ABM prop storage and meeting room      ABM meeting room To the far right in the above photo you can see the enclosure around the stairwell. Keeps us from falling. Also we keep meaning to paint that stairwell rainbow... Should we do it? It's white currently, and it's hard to keep clean.

ABM prop storage and meeting room  ABM prop storage and meeting room ABM meeting room    This room leads directly into our two office areas. Even though this room was originally a bedroom, we are thankful for the extra storage space and a quiet spot for phone calls to happen. Thanks for letting me share! xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions. Source: Table and Chairs/Amazon, Rug/West Elm, Light Fixture/DIY.

Winter Basics Dreaming

Chicwish wish list2The cold weather is in full force here in my hometown. And it's got me in the mood to give my wardrobe a little makeover, so we teamed up with our old friends at ChicWish to put together a little wish list for the changing seasons. I'm on the lookout for cozy sweaters, longer (but still cute) skirts and cool-girl boots. You know about cool-girl boots? It's a thing. You don't even have to be a cool girl to get some (thank goodness!). I am obsessed with matching basics with a few fun pops of color or patterns. I eventually want to be that woman who has a closet full of clothes that all match each other and all fit her perfectly. I've cleaned out my closet. I'm working on identifying staples I'm missing (or if I have one that doesn't fit well anymore). I'm thinking about trying out some version of the whole capsule collection thing in 2015. Which is just around the corner-can you believe it!? So, finding the perfect mix and match basics is high on my priority list this season. xo Emma

Emma's Wish List: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14

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PVC Wall Planter DIY

Wall planter (made from pvc pipe, can  you believe it?) click to learn how to make it   Ideas for DIYs can come from a myriad of different sources: sometimes I make things I want but can't afford, things I need but can't find, or in this case, something I can afford and find but that happens to be sold out. Grrrrrr. I wanted to get these really interesting wall planters for the studio living room from West Elm, but they were sold out and therefore unavailable for my decorating purposes. The lack of ready-made wall planters sent me searching for a DIY way to get those green leafy guys up on the wall. So I made a few sketches and recruited Josh to implement the plan. -Laura

Hey guys, Josh here. Laura and I put our heads together for this one. We initially made the planters out of bent acrylic sheets (instead of PVC pipe). They looked awesome! But right when we were about to hang them, the acrylic started cracking open :/ So we had to rethink the material situation. This is what we came up with.

Supplies:
-8-10" PVC pipe (length depends on how many planter you plan on making) Try going to to your local plumbing supply store and asking if they have a damage pile you can look through. I got our pipe for free! Never hurts to ask.

-wood board (width and length depends on the size of pipe and number of planters you make)
-wood and super glue
-saw tooth picture hanger(s)
-plants/planting soil/planter pebbles

Tools:
-jig saw
-straight edge
-Sharpie
-hand or miter saw
-drill
-clamp

Wall planter (made from pvc pipe, can  you believe it?) click to learn how to make it                     Wall planter (made from pvc pipe, can  you believe it?) click to learn how to make it                     Wall planter (made from pvc pipe, can  you believe it?) click to learn how to make it                     Wall planter (made from pvc pipe, can  you believe it?) click to learn how to make it                     Step One:  This step basically involves making three cuts. Take your straight edge and Sharpie and make a line straight down the pipe lengthwise. Then do the same on the opposite side (the first cut is cutting the pipe in half lengthwise). Depending on the size of pipe, you may not have to cut all the way through, just cut enough for your planter size. The planters we made are about 8.5" high (I used an 8" pipe).

After I cut the pipe in half, I made a cross cut. I had to drill a hole so I could get the jig saw blade started. To make the line for the second cut was a two person job. I measured up 8.5", then slowly rotated the pipe while Laura held a Sharpie against the pipe, making a line around the circumference. If you don't have a helping hand, you could clamp the Sharpie onto a table (facing out) and rotate the pipe against it. Or maybe there's an even easier way that we didn't think of...

After I had all the halfsies cut out, I spray painted them white to prime them.

Wall planter (made from pvc pipe, can  you believe it?) click to learn how to make it        Wall planter (made from pvc pipe, can  you believe it?) click to learn how to make it                                   Wall planter (made from pvc pipe, can  you believe it?) click to learn how to make it                                   Wall planter (made from pvc pipe, can  you believe it?) click to learn how to make it                                   Wall planter (made from pvc pipe, can  you believe it?) click to learn how to make it                                   Step Two: This step only requires a couple of cuts! The base is comprised of two pieces of wood. I made the back piece 10" x 12" and the bottom piece 10" x 5". These measurements make the edge stick out about an 1". You can make it any size your heart desires. After I had the two pieces cut and attached to each other, I traced the centered half pipe, then applied the super glue to the edges and pressed it against the two surfaces. I clamped the half pipe down. Be careful not to clamp too hard, or it will push the edges of the pipe out, and it'll be all distorted and wonky and dumb looking. After the glue dried, we painted each planter and installed the hangers on the back. Then it was time to plant!

Note: As an afterthought, I decided to round the bottom ledge so it matched the curve of the half pipe. I did it with a jig saw, and it was a bit of a hassle since it was already attached. You may just want to leave the bottom square, but if you do want it curved, then cut it before you attach to the back! 

Wall planter (made from pvc pipe, can  you believe it?) click to learn how to make it                                   Wall planter (made from pvc pipe, can  you believe it?) click to learn how to make it            Laura picked out the plants because she's good at that stuff. She chose plants that would hang over the edge as well as went with the colors we painted the planters. When you are choosing your plants, take into account the amount of light that will be in your space. Different plants require different amounts of light. The little tag on the plant usually indicates the amount of light the plant needs. The planters aren't very big, so take the size into account as well when you go plant shopping. When we planted, I put in a couple of inches of pebbles for drainage, then transplanted the little guys into their new homes. 

Wall planter (made from pvc pipe, can  you believe it?) click to learn how to make it            Wall planter (made from pvc pipe, can  you believe it?) click to learn how to make it            Wall planter (made from pvc pipe, can  you believe it?) click to learn how to make it            Wall planter (made from pvc pipe, can  you believe it?) click to learn how to make it             That's it! We hung the plants in the the office living room. The hardest part of this project is remembering to water :)  - Josh

 Author: Joshua Rhodes. Photos by Laura Gummerman and Sarah Rhodes. Photo edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

ABM Studio: The Living Room (After)

ABM living room makeoverIn a few short weeks we will be celebrating our one year ABM studio anniversary. Where has the time gone?!?! This is one of the last spaces we have to share with you guys, and it's a big one: the living room. 

I was looking back at the before post we did about the living room, and I'm surprised by how many of the inspiration ideas we had we actually used and, of course, put our own spin on. You can see that old post here if you want to refresh your memory or you're new to this site.

Tips for decorating a living roomWhat is the purpose of this room? For us, this serves as a break room or a place we can go if we need quiet. Sometimes I'll take my laptop into the living room and write emails or a new e-course session on the couch. We also use this area to stage a lot of living room projects we create for you to enjoy. There's over ten DIY projects in this room. Want to play a weird version of Where's Waldo with me?

Living room beforeHere is one corner of the room. As you can see, we really didn't have tons of work to do in this room of the house. We mostly just painted the walls, had the ceiling fixture replaced (and the electrical updated), and then we started slowly filling it up with projects. 

ABM living room makeover     ABM living room makeover   Floating shelvesFloating shelves
Butterfly chairs Cute cactusButterfly chairsCircle shelfCircle shelf ABM living room makeover Elsie and Emma of A Beautiful Mess. All of the character and personality in this room comes from the furniture and other decor items. Someday when we move and take all our stuff with us, this will just be a plain white room with wood floors. And I sort of like knowing that all the fun stuff can move with us. :) 

A few of my favorite features on this side of the room are the floating shelves and the brown butterfly chairs. 

Living room before Here's the side of the room that is directly across from the couch/windows. 

Elsie and Emma of A Beautiful MessFaux fireplace    Faux fireplace      Hanging planters
Pretty rugFaux fireplace  Faux fireplace The faux (green!) fireplace is one of those big projects that I am so glad we can take with us one day if we want to. It adds such a cozy/homey feel without altering the room permanently.

Living room before  And here's the other side of the room. The left wall is where we added the fireplace, and on the right is where we placed the couch. (Just trying to give you some perspective.)

Tips for decorating a living roomWashi tape mirror Washi tape mirrorABM living room makeover  Elsie and Emma of A Beautiful Mess.  Thanks for letting us share our studio living room with you all! It has been tons of fun showing you all the progress we've made on the studio house over the past year. If you want to see all the posts we've done on our studio space, click here

It feels a little sad knowing that we don't have more rooms in this house to share with you. But... we have a new project we'll be announcing next week! Any guesses what it might be? We think you're really going to love it. Can't wait to share! xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions. Room Details: Rug/West Elm, Butterfly Chairs/Urban Outfitters, Light fixture/Schoolhouse Electric, Gold Side Tables/Target, Pink Abstract Print/Society6.

(Giant) Skillet Brownie

Best ever skillet brownie (click through for recipe)  I was just thinking the other day, "I don't make brownies nearly as much as I should." I feel like I've been neglecting this dessert group. And as a massive chocolate-lover, I have no good excuse. I mean, brownies are awesome! If you bake much at all, then you probably already have all the ingredients you'll need. Also it takes minimal dirtying of dishes as well as baking skills to make brownies. 

Can you stir? Good, then you can totally make brownies.

Best ever skillet brownie (click through for recipe) What's fun about this particular recipe is it's the perfect amount of batter to bake in a twelve inch cast-iron skillet. You've probably noticed that I use my cast iron skillet a lot. It's one of my most beloved kitchen items. Honestly, it reminds me of great-grandma, Lula. She was from Oklahoma and a definite foodie. Her style was very good-ol'-country-cookin' and I think our tastes very much align. :) Anyway, she was a cast-iron gal too, so I'm just following in her footsteps. 

Enough about (awesome) grandmas, let's bake some brownies.

Brownie batter(Giant) Skillet Brownie, makes one for a 12 inch cast iron*

1 1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup softened butter
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
7-8 oz. dark chocolate, melted
1/2 cup peanut butter chips (optional)

*If you do not have a 12 inch cast-iron skillet, you could bake these in a 10 1/2" x 7 1/2" baking dish. The bake time may vary by a few minutes, so watch it towards the end. I also tried baking this in a 13" x 9" baking dish, and I felt it turned out too thin and didn't bake through before getting too crispy at the edges. Just FYI.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

How to bake a brownie in a cast iron skilletIn another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Now combine the flour mixture, the butter mixture, and melted chocolate in one bowl, and stir until just combined. Be sure to let the melted chocolate cool some before adding as super hot chocolate could begin to cook the raw eggs and make your batter lumpy (in a bad way).

Spoon the batter into a well-buttered cast-iron skillet. Top with peanut butter chips if using. Bake at 350°F for 32-35 minutes. If you like your brownie more gooey at the center, remove after 32 minutes. If you like it soft but baked through, then bake at the full 35 minutes. Test the center with a toothpick as oven temperatures and cook times can vary.

Best ever skillet brownie (click through for recipe)    Mmm... brownies. (Insert sound of drool.)

Best ever skillet brownie (click through for recipe)Serve with ice cream and/or a tall glass of milk. Enjoy! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

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