While carving a career path that is uniquely her own, Alaina of Live Creating Yourself has discovered a deep sense of fulfillment. Inspired by a true sense of aesthetics, she has thoughtfully furnished a chic and functional living space. Though humbly realistic about what she can currently afford, Alaina certainly doesn’t sacrifice style for savings (she has quite the eye for thrift-store treasures)! An artful fusion of colorful splashes and eclectic wall décor, Alaina’s apartment is a charming haven of both classic and contemporary touches.
Why did you begin blogging, and what have you gained and/or learned throughout the process?
I was 23, a year and a half out of college, and spent almost every day stressing over the direction in which my life and career should go. I had too many interests and wanted to go in too many directions. One weekend, I happened to be staying at the W Hotel and a neon sign in my room read, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” I’d heard this quote before, but for some reason, it resonated with me at that moment. I realized there isn’t one path I needed to figure out. I could create the life I wanted by immersing myself in my passions. My blog, Live Creating Yourself, has allowed me to do just that. I write about the things I love: design, style, music, travel, art, graphics, writing, and the list goes on. It’s opened doors for me that never would have opened otherwise. In the past two years, I’ve traveled and met designers around the country, helped launch a successful online magazine, been offered a contributing editor position with Chicago Home and Garden Magazine, and began my own freelance graphic design business. It’s been a wonderful experience, and I am grateful every day for being a part of this inspiring online community.
Always ready to entertain, Alaina keeps a stylishly stocked bar and champagne glasses in her dining room. In a ASOS dress, Nine West heels, and Kate Spade bangles.
Alaina’s dining room includes Ikea’s Expedit bookshelves, a flea market birdcage, her own artwork, a family heirloom marble-top side table, made-over dining chairs bought off Craigslist, her grandmother’s crystal stemware, West Elm dinnerware, and William Yeoward linens. Mixing is key!
Tell us about your home! How is it an expression of yourself?
I live in a vintage apartment on the north side of Chicago. It’s full of charm and flooded with natural light — two things my past couple apartments lacked. Because I work from home and spend countless hours in my apartment, investing in and planning the home decor was extremely important to me, even though I don’t own the property. I wanted to surround myself with beautiful things while keeping the space casual and bright. I would say that like me, my home is laid-back and welcoming. I always want guests to feel comfortable and at home when they walk through my door.
Do you gravitate toward a certain design aesthetic, color scheme, etc?
There’s definitely not one apparent look I go for when it comes to interior design. I love a fresh, all-white palette as much as I love the use of bright colors. I’m inspired by rustic, eclectic interiors and vintage decor as much as I appreciate clean lines and contemporary pieces. And I love blending different styles! But I’d say because of my own disparate tastes, I try and find pieces I won’t tire of. A lot of the larger items in my home are white and can easily mix with different styles should the mood strike me. I would definitely choose light and bright over dark and moody any day.