Bright City Space

She’s fashionable.
She’s funny.
She’s humble.
She’s honest, sometimes a tad too honest.
She’s by far the most generous & thoughtful person I know.
She adores Nashville, but not as much as she loves Chicago.
She secretly does great things when she thinks no one is watching & would never step forward to take credit for these selfless acts.
She was voted “best hair” in high school.
She hates being late.
She’s a professional, a dedicated one to be exact.
She makes a mean guacamole dip.
She enjoys a good book, some serious sunshine, and a drink on the beach (not necessarily in that order)
She’s an independent woman with big dreams.
She watches ESPN during the commercials of the Bachelor.
She’s working on her second Master’s degree.
She’s probably going to kill me for this.
She’s my baby sister, my best friend, my role-model, my favorite redhead, and truly one-of-a-kind.

Oh, Maggie. Although she is my baby sister, she is someone I look up to & completely admire. She’s amazing and is always (and I mean ALWAYS) working so hard to help others without ever thinking twice of putting herself first. It’s hard to “treat” someone who is always treating others, but if I know my sister like I think I do- I can sneak a little spoiling her way with a little extra planning and the help of the rest of the O’Connor clan.

Maggie recently moved into a new place in the city of Chicago and has been excited to spend her summer in the city, living it up as a single twenty-somethin’ lady. As Maggie was looking forward to her new adventure, I thought I would take the chance to make sure her new “home sweet home” matched her trendy, independent style and gave her a place to relax, entertain & enjoy!

With the help of her favorite 7 people, we all smooshed into this apartment and worked for about 2 hours to unload her stuff, build her stuff, hang pictures, decorate, and take pictures. When our time was up & dinner called, this is what we ended up with! What do you think?!
Not bad, right? And might I add… definitely not too shabby for doing this all without a level, a tape measure, a clue as to what furniture she brought/the sizes of each piece, what accessories she had, or a budget. I bought a few items, but mostly just made what she already had work, which once again proves that sometimes all you need is a few cute pillows, a throw, and some personal accessories to make a big difference!
Here’s an itemized list of what you see:
Couch – Ashley Furniture
Chicago Picture – IKEA
Pillows/grey blanket – HomeGoods
Striped Blanket – IKEA
Coffee Table – Walmart (for under $20!! $18 to be exact… not even on sale!)
Keep Calm & Shine on Journal/Colored Pencils – HomeGoods Clearance
Vase/bowl – Goodwill
Basket that striped blanket is sitting in: Target Clearance
But the before & after drama isn’t done yet! Here’s a look at some other highlights…
My mom and I created this Chicago gallery wall in less than 10 minutes (no joke). Like I said, we didn’t have a level, a tape measure, or any idea of what frames she had for us to work with. When we walked in, we made use of what we found in her boxes and came up with this! Not too bad for some impromptu decorating.
If you notice, almost all of the pictures here are of Maggie’s all-time favorite spot in the city… the Chicago River at Michigan Ave. I loved that we had the opportunity to highlight this memorable spot for her.
Here’s another piece of DIY artwork we created to highlight Mag’s love for the city. Using an old pallet, we created a Chicago flag that hangs above her table. (Shameless plug: If you want one of your own, email us at diyplaybook@gmail.com. We actually have a whole garage of pallet flags for sale…. long story. Don’t ask, haha)
And what city apartment is complete without a little bar cart? Unlike Mehul’s modern & masculine bar cart we showed off a few weeks ago, Maggie’s bar cart is more traditional and kitchen-esk. It’s from Target and is accessorized with a few pieces from Goodwill and a DIY string art that I made using this tutorial.
I added a cocktail recipe book and an old book that totally reminds me of my little sister called, “Are you there God? It’s Me, Margaret”. It’s a novel we read probably back in 3rd grade, and although I forget most things about it, I do remember the main character Margaret. Margaret gets into all of these awkward situations, which still makes us giggle & think of our very own Margaret and the awkward situations she gets herself into.
Rounding out the makeover is her charming little bathroom. How cute is this tile?! I didn’t want to get too up-close and personal with the tour but did want to show you a little stylin’ opportunity in the bathroom. Who knew a little can go such a long way in a small space like a bathroom.
Thankfully, the previous renter left this over-the-toliet storage unit that offered a tiny shelf to be styled. I added a thrift store glass with some of her necklaces & accessories. Functional, fashionable, and oh so cute!
And there you have it, Maggie’s bright city space. Now that I know:
A. What the place looks like
B. What furniture/accessories she has already
C. How everything fits
D. What tools I would need
…I’m sure I’ll be adding a few more things throughout her time here. But with our limited resources… I’m proud of our family’s progress and so excited that we were able to create a space Maggie could enjoy all summer long!! Hopefully our hard work earned us an invite or two this summer.
Cheers to a happy summer in the city for my favorite little sister! May you find time to work a little less and spoil yourself a little more…. you deserve it!!

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  • Alysia @ Slim Sanity

    Love it!! We have that Chicago picture too! 🙂

  • Will it be making the trip to the new house?! #chicagopride

  • jesy

    where is that couch from?