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A Chic Office Redo for Abby Larson

This is a lesson in taking what you have and working it. No stranger to an ugly sofa (remember this beaut?), Abby set to work to make hand-me-downs and a bright white office space into an office so worthy of blogging. 99% of the goodies were either pieces she already had, were gifted to her or found at discount box stores. And by sprinkling in a few IKEA hacks, simple DIYs and lots of color - the look feels unique and thoughtfully crafted. Find the DIY projects here and here.


We inherited the sofas from the previous owner of the home. Two identical-ish custom made slipcovered couches in a lemon yellow and kelly green stripe. Aside from the fact that the covers looked like they came with the couch and only a frame might be underneath, we never use this space so it really didn’t cross my mind to take a peak. When I did, I found this maybe awful, maybe awesome fabric that I’m pretty sure my parents had on a sofa when I was a kid.

So my three options were: use the striped slipcovers, embrace the vintage “chic” quality of the discovered fabric or buy new sofas all together. Something I definitely didn’t want to fork over the cash for. So we went with option two and had a blast imagining a room around 2 kind of ugly, kind of pretty sofas.


Bringing the sofas to life through pillows was really the challenge. We hit up the fabric store with no aspirations or intentions. We simply wanted to the fabrics to speak to us and bridge the gap between pretty right now and pretty two decades ago when the sofas were purchased. We used an easy slipcover diy to create slipcovers for pillows we already had and then we filled in with a few pillows found at Homegoods. We stuck with only a couple of prints since the sofa was so loud, and aimed to make each sofa coordinate without matching entirely. Perhaps the statement pillows were the green mohair ones – we splurged on the fabric but the result pulled everything together and really made it feel cohesive.


One of the easiest art projects we’ve ever done. We downloaded 3 different watercolor vector art files on and used photoshop to resize them so that only a portion of each file showed on an 8.5 x 11 page. So with 3 pieces of art, we actually got 8 pieces of unique art. We popped them in frames we got at IKEA and hung them in two even rows. Total impact for such a bargain.

Desk Chair – Get the DIY here!

We were originally going to paint our Ikea chair in a rich green hue but didn’t love any of the spray paint colors – we were also going for ease b/c we didn’t want to have to deal with a lengthy paint session. So we opted for this gorgeous blue and updated it with a DIY leopard print round seat cushion. Because every room needs a splash of animal print.


The desk is one we’ve had from West Elm forever and we simply gussied it up with a lamp we had in storage, some of our SMP books and the little knick knacks we’re always using.


The neutral rug was pretty enough but I felt like the room needed a touch of something softer. That felt like luxury. We bought the moroccan 4×6 rug at West Elm and just layered so that it served more as an accessory than an all room statement.

Leather Chairs – Get the DIY here!

Perhaps the most amazing part of the transformation was these IKEA chairs that started off a bright neon green. Not cute. We used the original seat to create a template and stitched us up a new leather one with fabric that we found for about $15 a yard.

Coffee Table

Although it was dated, I felt like with the right accessories we could easily spice it up. I threw on stacks of my favorite books, a pretty tray, a great blue and white bowl that brought in the colors of the sofa without feeling matchy matchy and a vase of pretty flowers. Done and done. 

Ikea Hack: Leather Lounge Chair

Guess what? We have another Ikea hack and it’s equally as lust worthy. Meet the Leather Lounge; a DIY project that will take this impossibly bright Ikea chair and transform it into a vintage inspired lounge number. It’s all part of our Operation Abby’s Office Redo. That beauty, in all its bright eclectic goodness is coming up next! And for even more Ikea hacks, click here!


Ikea chair
1 1/4 yards thin bonded leather fabric
Sewing machine
Leather sewing machine needle
Heavy duty thread
1” wide velcro strip at least 20” long
Gold spray paint
Seam ripper


step-1 Assemble the chair frame according to the instructions. Spray paint the frame gold. You’ll want to do this outside or in a well-ventilated area, and on some cardboard or a plastic dropcloth. Spray it from all angles, in 2-3 light coats, to prevent drips. Let it dry 1 hour.

step-2Use the seam ripper to open up the Ikea seat cover and separate each main piece (the top and bottom shape for the front and back, 4 pieces total). You won’t need the long skinny piece that runs the along the side of the chair, between the front and back of the cover. Make sure to rip up the seams of the hem, too, so you get the full width of the fabric.

step-3Label each of the four pieces with a letter and label a picture of the finished chair with the same letters so you can remember how it goes together later.

step-4Lay out the leather fabric (backside up) on the floor and trace each piece of the Ikea seat cover in sharpie. Write the corresponding letter on each piece.

step-5Cut out each piece. Sew velcro strips onto the bottom pieces (in the same spot they are on the original covers).

step-6Sew the top & bottom pieces together for the front and back of the chair.

step-7Layer the front and back pieces, backsides facing out. Sew together along the outer edge leaving a ½” border. Flip the cover inside out.

step-8Slide the chair cover on the frame and velcro the bottom.

Photography: Nicole Baas | Design and Styling: SMP Living

Ikea Hack: Cobalt Office Chair

You know we love ourselves a good Ikea hack. Love might not even be strong enough a word. And this one is practically unrecognizable from the standard store bought offerings with a pop of glossy cobalt and some leopard for good measure. This office chair is not shy but that’s why we love it so. Give an Ikea piece an oh-so glam update with this fab project. And for even more Ikea hacks, click here!


Ikea chair
Chair wheels
Gloss cobalt blue spraypaint
Gold spraypaint
7/16” drill bit
Super glue
Hammer or mallet
Leopard fabric
2” thick foam sheet large enough for the seat diameter (we found ours at Joann’s)
Hot glue gun & sticks
Fabric measuring tape
Bread knife


step-1Drill a hole with the ⅜” bit, long enough for the wheel insert, into each chair leg. Dab some super glue onto each wheel insert, then tap into place with a hammer.

step-2Spray the chair cobalt blue. You’ll want to do this outside or in a well-ventilated area, and on some cardboard or a plastic dropcloth. Spray it from all angles, in 2-3 light coats, to prevent drips. Let the chair dry 1 hour.

step-3 Spray the wheels gold from every angle, and let dry 1 hour.

step-4Measure the diameter of the seat, then use a pencil, a sharpie, and some string to trace a circle of the same size on the foam.

step-5 Use a bread knife to cut out the foam circle. Make sure to hold it perpendicular to the sheet as you go around so the circle doesn’t come out with angled edges.

step-6Trace a circle 1” larger in diameter on the backside of the fabric. Cut two out two circles of fabric (you can stack two layers of fabric and cut them both out together). Measure the length around the circle, then cut a strip of fabric that long and 2 ½” wide.

step-7 Hot glue foam circle to the two fabric circles, one on either side. Fold down the extra fabric around the rim on each side and glue in place.

step-8Fold down the sides of the strip of fabric to create a faux seam and hot glue around the side of the foam circle.

step-9 Place the wheels into each insert and pop the cushion onto the chair seat, and you’re ready to work!

Photography: Nicole Baas | Design and Styling: SMP Living

Girls Weekend Getaway in Palm Springs

Is there anything better than a girls getaway? It easily ranks up at the top of my favorite things list, and this fun and fabulous look into Gal Meets Glam and Packed Party‘s time in Palm Springs from Vero Suh Photography has me aching to plan just such a weekend for my girlfriends. Stylish as all get out, these girls know how to have a good time and look fabulous doing it. We want in on the next trip!

From Julia and Jordan…San Francisco is full of movers and shakers. There’s no shortage of female entrepreneurs trying to make their brands and businesses run. Julia Engel of Gal Meets Glam and Jordan Jones of Packed Party are two of them. As most entrepreneurs know, running a business at times can be quite lonely. Insert solo lunching, which is exactly how Jordan and Julia met a year ago. Bonding over their similar interest and stories of making their way to the city, the two were fast friends, or Best Bebs if you will. Jones’ company Packed Party defines a “Beb” as a better version of a babe and the word has quickly grown with her business in the last 18 months.

Finding personal time is difficult for both women who dedicate so much of their lives to their brands, so they decided they wanted to have a Best Bebs Weekend to get away from the city hustle and take their talents to Palm Springs. Both women are self-confessed social media addicts, so they knew Palm Springs would set the perfect back drop for both brands while having no shortage of laughs with one another and their friend, photographer Vero Suh.

Engel, known for her feminine style, was in charge of styling the weekend’s attire with a little colorful 70s flair, while Jones was in charge of bringing props (cue flamingos and Packed Party Packages), and finding the most colorful doors to deliver to. The two had done quite a bit of research on Palm Springs ahead of time for inspiration and found a lack of information on what to wear, where to go on a girl’s trip, and sources of inspiration in the desert so the problem was simple. Creating a fun and inspiring hub for two friends to travel and showcase their styles and places they’d visit in a special city was how #BestBebsWeekend was created. Their hope is that other women are inspired to take time to travel with their Best Bebs even just for a quick weekend and can grab a few spots they want to visit from their series or by simply searching the hashtag.

Stay tuned for their next big trip!

Photography: Vero Suh Photography | Outfits And Styling: Packed Party and Gal Meets Glam | Favors: Packed Party

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Stylish Garden Planters with Pier 1 Imports

We’ve teamed up with Pier 1 Imports to bring you tips and tricks for crafting a summer filled with pretty entertaining and gorgeous outdoor spaces. And now we’re rolling up our sleeves and diving into three ways to gussy up planters. Meet our Ladylike Urns, a Tropical Tree, and an Herb Garden gone Fab. You’ll be the toast of the town once neighbors spot these beauties nestled in your yard.

Ladylike Urns

For a front door that leave a gorgeous first impression, we started with the Antiqued White Planter from Pier 1 Imports and filled it with a sea of colorful blooms. We wanted to add some timeless beauty to the front entry, and you can’t get more classically pretty than the beautiful shape of these urns. They give your door perfect symmetry, and when filled with delicate flowers, add instant curb appeal. To get the look try Dahlias, Ivy, Pansies, Sandwort Arenaria and Erica Carnea Heather.

A Tropical Tree

For an outdoor accent that pops, look no further than our favorite tropical tree. Sometimes you just need a touch of the Caribbean, and we think the patio is the perfect place to start. This aqua blue planter with shell-like handles looks as if it’s been washed in the ocean and pairs perfectly with a colorful tropical tree. To get the look combine a Hibiscus Tree with Pier 1 Imports’ beautiful Aqua Ceramic Planter available in stores.

Elegant Herb Garden

This perfect little herb garden is getting a lift with the help of the Oval Plant Stand from Pier 1 Imports. What could be nicer than having a garden you don’t have to bend and dig to cut from? Once we spotted this elegant stand, we knew it was the perfect height to keep a selection of fresh herbs to grab for summer meals. And it doesn’t hurt that the delicate wire detailing gives the whole setup a quaint, old-world European vibe. We added our favorite herbs into the mix including: Chives, Peas, Mesclun Lettuce, Dill, Parsley, Peppermint, Spearmint and Sage. 


With all the pretty planter options at Pier 1 Imports, decorating the great outdoors has never been easier.  So grab your favorite planters, fill with lovely blooms and greenery and your outdoor space will be garden party ready just in time for summer.

Photography: Ruth Eileen

Pier 1 Imports Products: Antiqued White Planter | Aqua Ceramic Planter (available in stores) | Oval Plant Stand




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