3 Things You Can Do Right Now for Better Photos of your Home

By Kim Vargo /

I take a lot of photos for our blog, Yellow Brick HomeA lot. Alongside my husband, Scott, we document the ins and outs of renovating our almost 130-year-old house in Chicago, and we spend just as much time getting our DIY hands dirty as I do snapping the shutter on my camera to share the process with our friends and family. Luckily, I not only have a degree in photography, but I have an immense love for it, too, ever since my first experience in a darkroom.

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A Year (or Two) in Review: 2015 Day Planner

By Kim Vargo /

Every December, I enjoy perusing the next year’s day planners – whether it be at my local bookstore or favorite online shopping haunts. My goal is to always add something to my desk that’s not only nice to look at, but that makes sense for my planning purposes! This year, I opted for the Hardcover 2015 Day Planner from Pinhole Press, knowing it would allow me to inject personality and happiness into my monthly reminders.

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A Holiday Housewarming Throwback

By Kim Vargo /

It’s been almost a year and a half since Scott and I moved into our big, bad fixer upper of a house. As every month goes by, we say, this will be the month we throw a housewarming party! We get excited over the details, and then we remember that this is the same month we’re renovating the guest room – or home studio! Maybe we still need to paint the walls, or maybe we’re about to embark on a big kitchen overhaul, but when we stopped to think about it, we quickly realized that we’ll working on this house for years to come. Read More “A Holiday Housewarming Throwback”

Give Your Guests a Home Away From Home

By Kim Vargo /

Fires are crackling, lights are twinkling, and before you know it, turkeys will be roasting and shiny paper will be peeled away, revealing thoughtful gifts and curiosities. All that to say, it’s that time of year in which friends and family come together, and chances are – to put it quite bluntly! – they’ll need a warm place to stay. Our calendar is already filling up with out-of-towners, which has been a great push to get our spare room up to snuff! We’ve been working on gathering all the guest room essentials, browsing inspiration photos and hard at work installing shelves, closet systems and whimsical wallpaper. Along the way, we’ve been focusing on all those things that make your guest room a warm and welcoming place to stay, and I’d like to share some of those checklist items with you, too.

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5 Ways to Host an Effortless Picnic with Friends

By Kim Vargo /

Over the course of this summer, Scott and I have hustled to make our front porch a place we love to hang out; a second living room, if you will. The patio was a huge selling point for us, and what started as a drab and poorly constructed space was slowly transformed into a welcoming, bright and cheery lounge. But what’s the perfect space for an afternoon drink if you can’t share it with your friends? We knew we’d want to host a lot more gatherings with our most recent project, and at the same time, our crew has voted our front porch as the official gathering spot as the summer winds down. Hosting a casual dinner – whether it’s for 4 or 10! – shouldn’t be stressful, so we put that to the test and came up with 5 ways to host an effortless picnic with friends.


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3-Ingredient Cool-Down Summer Cocktails

By Erin Phraner /

We all have our warm-weather favorites—I love a tall Gin & Tonic—and, let’s face it, some cocktail recipes have long (read: expensive) ingredient lists so its easy to find yourself in a drink rut. Not any more! I stirred up a whole collection of cool-down summer cocktails for you that only call for 3 ingredients each. They’re colorful, thirst-quenching, and easy on your wallet compared to other mixer-filled sips.

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Boys’ Summer Style

By Merrilee Liddiard /

We’re pining after an Indian Summer going into back-to-school season and therefore refusing to let summer end without squeezing in a few more camping trips (even in if they are in our own backyard) and soaking up the last of our lazy day explorations. And why not do it in style? With comfy linens, cottons and a button up that could double as a dapper school photo selection, these items will transition perfectly into your child’s early fall wardrobe!

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