Queen Latifah Behind the Scenes

FINALLY. I'm getting to this blog post. About a month ago I had the VERY fun opportunity to be a DIY / Interior expert on Queen Latifah's new daytime show. I was in LA for a week shooting field pieces, redoing thrift store finds and filming the on-air portion of the segment.  I thought I'd loop you into all the behind the scenes goodness. (That's always fascinating to me!) So I'm finally here (could it have taken me any longer?) with pretty sick iphone pictures and details of what the week looked like! 

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Let's start with the field piece! I flew in on Saturday and we spent all day Sunday shopping our way through a Thrift Store, Yard Sale and Flea Market.  

 My assignment was to find pieces who's identity I could totally transform. We're not talking a simple coat of paint here. Our goal was to really change the intent of the piece. Plus, I had to find two of each item I planned to transform. You know for TV magic. Ultimately, we needed one piece completed to reveal on stage and one piece to diy with Queen Latifah. Finding two of every potential interesting piece wasn't a challenge at all. NOT.

Here are all the purchases! See, two of everything. Boo ya! 

Here are all the purchases! See, two of everything. Boo ya! 

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The next day, the wonderful team brought all of our purchases to a big tent set up in the back of the Sony parking lot. There wasn't much planning for what I would do to all these pieces since we were buying them on the fly. Of course, I hit up Pinterest for some quick inspiration. The biggest piece I bought was a large antique desk with a leather top. It was really beautiful and I didn't want to totally mess with it's integrity.  So, I decided on a simple greek key pattern, let me show you.

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Materials: Painters tape + primer + paint + hardware + gold spray paint

Steps 1 - 3 involved painstaking taping. I didn't use a level, just my eyeballs, to create this simple iteration of a greek key pattern. 

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Step 4 - 5 continues the tape up to the top 3 drawers and starts with a coat of primer followed by a coat of white paint. A helper picked up a bunch of hardware from the store. We ended up with two different pulls, so to sync them up, we sprayed ALL the hardware with the same gold spray paint. 

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And here's the finished desk, complete with mismatched hardware! I loved the way it turned out actually, it was a really simple and quick way to update the desk.

We finished all the pieces outside in the beautiful LA weather and the art department whisked them away to the stage. A few days later, it was time for the actual show! Now this part is always pretty hilarious and fun. First, you're taken to your green room (sounds so shi shi, doesn't it.) (Sound guys hate those big clunky necklaces I always wear. Whoops.) 

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Now, you've got to look around and see who's in the neighboring green rooms. The day I was filming, I saw Avril Lavigne's name next door and Valerie Harper in the hair and make up room. GEEZ! And here I am doing crafts . . . anyways! My favorite part is up next . . .

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Once is time, you're lead to the set and get to watch from back stage for a bit while they prep the next segment. Which means I get to see everything on stage! What a feeling of accomplishment. To give you a better idea of the before and afters, here are some handy little side-by-sides found on the QL site with a handful of DIY tips from yours truly.  

Materials: Gold Spray Paint + Fabric (curtain) + Staple Gun

Materials: Gold Spray Paint + Fabric (curtain) + Staple Gun

Materials: Gold Fringe Upholstery Trim + Hot Glue Gun + White Paint

Materials: Gold Fringe Upholstery Trim + Hot Glue Gun + White Paint

Materials: Gold spray paint + Foam + Quilting Batting + Fabric (curtain) + Spray Adhesive

Materials: Gold spray paint + Foam + Quilting Batting + Fabric (curtain) + Spray Adhesive

Materials: Pourable gold paint + Funnel

Materials: Pourable gold paint + Funnel

Materials: Pale Blue Spray Paint + 3 Lights with cords

Materials: Pale Blue Spray Paint + 3 Lights with cords


Boy, finished projects are the best! After I revealed the finished pieces to the LOVELY Queen Latifah, I got to show her how to make the pieces herself. Now I have to pause right now and say that Queen Latifah was one of the NICEST people. She was warm and delightful and so fun to meet / diy with. She. Is. Awesome.   You can watch the diy segment here! 

The whole experience was such a blast! Then I had to go and break my d*mn ankle and put everything on hold for the moment. But pending a dr. appointment tomorrow, I hope to be back at it very soon! Hope you enjoyed the behind the scenes look. Happy Halloween!!

Thank you to the fabulous producers at the show - you make everyone look good! 

it's a baby shower! (and a little diy)

Hold up. Not for us, silly! For my dear friend Krista. 

A few months ago I helped host Krista's baby shower with a handful of other friends. We hosted at my Brooklyn Apartment and had a 'Texas Forever' theme going, as Krista LOVES Friday Night Lights and Texas and really Austin and boots and well, you get the idea.

Here's mom-to-be and most of the hosts!

Do you remember my friend LeighAnn? She is one of my wonderfully talented graphic design friends from college who just happens to now live in New York with her husband. She was in charge of type & print and went to town on this baby shower! Check out the "Luke Worksheet" she made for us to fill out during the shower! Not only is this a great shower activity that isn't cheesy and awkward, but the responses everyone left were just hilarious.

LeighAnn also made labels for everything, which makes the most mundane stuff (i.e. fruit salad) a little more adorable. 

These little flags are my favorite! As well as those San Pelligrino's back there . . .

A few weeks before the shower, we set up a google doc with all the pertinent details (menu, location, attendees, etc). All of the hosts filled in the spots they wanted to handle (drinks, food, cutlery, etc!) and brought accordingly. It made our prep super easy and organized.

Forget the cupcakes, Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding is where it's at! 

There are those little flags again!"We Love Luke" is so collegiate to me, which is totally fitting for football loving Krista!

Lots of blue balloons . . .

 The one diy project I incorporated was a Onesie Garland (or whatever you want to call it). 

All I did was spell out L-U-K-E using mailbox label stickers and cork coasters. I painted a few coats of yellow paint and then peeled the letters off. 

After securing some bakers twine to the mantle with pushpins, I attached the onesies and cork coasters with clothespins and voila! A baby shower onesie garland. And that is a mouthful!

We had a great time celebrating our friend and baby boy! Would you believe that baby boy is now over 3 months old!  Love you Luke Hudson.

gold frames are in + product alert

I've been sourcing gold frames for a client and found THESE last month at Pottery Barn. So great! A gold frame with a really lovely and simple mat. 


I stopped by the PB site today and saw the dreaded NO LONGER AVAILABLE tag.  Hm.

Good thing West Elm has a fantastic back up option! Their Gold Leaf Gallery Frames are a little more tactile looking then the PB ones, but equally beautiful! I may even snag two of them with some left over wedding credit . . . 

They come in 4 sizes and range from $24 - $54, really affordable!

Thought you should know!

ALSO - we'll be announcing the giveaway winner on Friday, so make sure to enter!!!

ogt work in progress

OGT chalkboard WIP from hannah villio on Vimeo.

Brooklyn Boy and I have been spending most of our free time after work helping our friends at Olde Good Things style their new flagship Madison Avenue store for opening. We love this store - they carry antiques, vintage goods, mantles, chandeliers, altered antiques and way more. They are an amazing source for unique home goods both in the city and in LA.

A few weeks ago we were brought in to help with the layout, styling and windows. First, we focused on their six huge main windows that look onto Madison and 32nd street. We had a ball doing this. Typically, I'd direct Brooklyn Boy from the outside to 'move that 200 pound expensive gild mirror just another tiny inch to the left, a little more, a little more, TOO MUCH, go back, no wait, um, ok good!" as I sipped my Big Gulp Diet Coke from outside the window on the street. 

Once the windows were complete, we got to working on the actual layout as well as visual concepting for a few areas of the store. Something we wanted from the get go was a giant chalkboard wall. The guys combined 4 vintage schoolroom chalkboards and added wood trim to make a very large board above the register. I've somehow been assigned the daunting task of doing the artwork. No pressure, it's only 8 feet by 10 feet wide and the main focal point when you first walk in from the store from 32nd street . . . At least I was a painting major! Surely, something I learned those 4 years will come in handy . . . right?

A few grainy iphone pictures for ya!


English Window

Wood plank wall concepted by Brooklyn Boy, he's so good

A view of the Madison window

Oh goodness.

Can't stress HOW MUCH this is a work in progress. Don't judge!