About Haleigh

Haleigh has been a member since July 12th 2019, and has created 182 posts from scratch.

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This Hidden Amazon Section Has Lots Of Rental-Friendly Solutions That Are Perfect for Little Areas

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This Brooklyn Apartment Or Condo Is a Perfect Handle Mid-Century Scandinavian

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Cheerful, Gift-Worthy Kitchen Textiles From Softer and Wild

In our Featured Shop series, we shine a light on a standout shop from Etsy’s talented seller community, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at their process and story.

For designer Tatiana Nedialkova, the secret ingredient to a happy home is a splash of color. “It’s about making spaces beautiful, feeling excited, and having fun,” says the UK-based artist behind home goods line Softer and Wild. “I think by adding beauty to your living spaces, you feel more connected to them.” With her bright, playful line of illustrated tea towels, oven mitts, aprons, and prints, Tatiana makes it easy for her customers to create uplifting environments where they’ll want to spend time cooking meals, making memories, and entertaining loved ones.

Shop the Softer and Wild collection

Based off Tatiana’s folksy, Scandinavian-inspired drawings, each vibrant design in the Softer and Wild collection looks just as charming printed on a hardworking cotton pot holder as it does on a napkin folded neatly into a decorative place setting. A festive addition to any bustling gathering space, it’s no wonder her display-worthy kitchen staples have become go-to gifts—and not just for chefs and hostesses. “People will buy them as presents and then come back and get one for themselves,” Tatiana says.

Read on for a glimpse into Tatiana’s hands-on design process and to shop the Softer and Wild collection.

Portrait of Softer and Wild pattern illustrator Tatiana Nedialkova in her UK studio.

What inspires your designs? 

My illustrations are a mix between the Scandinavian aesthetic and Bulgarian folk tales, and they’re also influenced by Bulgarian artists from the ’70s who created these beautiful logo types. I’m Bulgarian originally, but I’ve also lived in Brighton, UK, which is a beautiful town with old architecture. There are amazing decorations and patterns on the houses—circles and ornaments. I translate those into illustrations as well. 

How did you start making textiles? 

Something that influenced me from a young age was the drive people had to decorate and personalize their living spaces with found materials, and find beauty in the simplest of objects. My passion for transforming spaces was massively encouraged when I went to art school in England. I was making illustrations, and a lot of times I was thinking, “I wish there was an object with this illustration on it.” My dad has always worked in textiles and he kind of encouraged me. He said, “Let’s try to put your images onto fabric,” and that’s how things got started.

Tatiana's neatly organized supply shelf, stocked with colorful pencils, pens, brushes, and paints.
Tatiana paints colorful shapes on paper.

What are some of your best-selling designs so far?

My oven mitts have been the most popular. They don’t have the typical shape—they’re kind of a long, double glove. In terms of patterns, the nordic design is a best-seller, especially on the oven mitts. I think people like it because the design is so different from what you usually get on a product like this. My botanical prints also do well. They have this timeless floral appeal; there’s something really classic about them.

The holidays are right around the corner. What are some of your favorite products for gifting? 

If you’re going to a party, my kitchen items make a really nice gift to bring along. When I’ve done markets, I’ve also had a lot of people buying them as presents for their dads for cooking and that sort of thing. They appeal to lots of different people for lots of different occasions—not just to women or young people. They’re classic. Since they’re so popular as gifts, I’m thinking about starting to sell them as sets, which might include a matching oven mitt and tea towel, for example. 

Tatiana painting at her work bench
A pile of colorful cutout shapes arranged into beginnings of a surface pattern
Tatiana pulls from a pile of tea towels to begin packing an order for shipment.

Can you walk me through the process for making your products? 

Sometimes I’ll draw my prints by hand, scan them into the computer, and then add more elements; sometimes I draw directly into the software. When I work with shapes, I’ll cut out colorful pieces of cardboard and arrange them on a blank piece of paper, like a collage. I’ll play with different combinations, photograph them, and upload them into the computer. Once I have an illustration I want to work with, I’ll usually print the elements, cut them out, and try to find the right placement for the design on each product. Each surface pattern is made for the specific product it’s going on; I never print rolls of fabric.

What have been the biggest challenges in running your business? 

I didn’t know that much about textiles when I was first starting out, so I had to learn. I visited the factory where the cotton is made and woven. That’s something I still do. I want to keep a natural feel to the cotton, and select the exact density of the fabric. 

Tatiana's colorful studio space
Tatiana begins prepping a package for shipment.
Tatiana painting at her workbench

What do you enjoy about creating home goods?

I’ve made things in the past and given them as gifts to friends. And then when I visit a few years later, it’s really nice to see the objects being part of their environment and habits and life. In the same way, it was very exciting when people started to buy my art—to think it really ends up in someone’s home and can transform their space in some way.

Why do you think it’s important to bring beauty to functional everyday items?

Maybe it’s because I’m a visually driven person, but I really appreciate when I see something that has attention and care put into it. When we’re surrounded by beauty every day it uplifts us and makes us feel inspired. And then when you use things loads and loads, you create some kind of connection with them. They don’t feel as disposable.

What’s next for you and your shop? 

At the moment, I’m preparing wall planners and customizable prints, and in the next couple weeks we’ll be introducing a bit more stationery. In the future, I think I’ll focus on trying to add new designs and illustrations. I want to give my customers more variety and continue improving my products so they always feel special and high quality. 

Follow Softer and Wild on Instagram and Facebook.

Photographs courtesy of Softer and Wild.

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How Much Did The Duplex Kitchens Cost?

As our bathroom reno continues (current status: more demo happened, our vanity, tub, & toilet arrived, and we have our plumber & electrician scheduled to rough things in and then we can prep & tile) we thought it would be fun to share a duplex kitchen budget breakdown. *Also, for anyone who has inquired about renting the duplex this fall, there’s an announcement about that later in the post*

Wood Colored Opened Shelf Against Blue Tile Backsplash

wood cabinets | tile | counters | pendant | faucet | hardware | tall cutting board |walls: SW Spare White | trim: SW Extra White

Obviously, there are LOTS of factors that affect how expensive a kitchen renovation will be, so let this post just be a reference point for you – not a prescription for how much a kitchen reno should cost. The average kitchen reno in 2019 was $24,047 (according to HomeAdvisor). That may seem pricey to some but feel like a steal to others. Heck, Sherry even saw an expert in House Beautiful’s recent kitchen issue who said “kitchen renovations can run anywhere from $60,000 to $400,000” (!!!!!). The pricetags for these kitchens were nowhere near that, thankfully, but we did want to share some areas that, in hindsight, we could’ve done more affordably.

Full Duplex Kitchen With Planked Wall And Pink Tile Backsplash

blue cabinets |white cabinets | tile | counters | fridge | range | pendant | faucet | hardware | tall cutting board | walls: SW Spare White | trim: SW Extra White

The breakdown below includes all of the major items in each kitchen, apart from things that were part of the overall renovation of the duplex (like new drywall, electrical & plumbing, floor refinishing, etc). Not that those aren’t critical parts of this room (THEY ARE!) but they were line items that we paid for as a whole house, so it’d be impossible to splice out just the kitchen portion of the bill. But I’ll give you some ballpark estimates and specific examples of what we have personally paid for those line items in other kitchen remodels we’ve done in a minute.

Blue Tile Backsplash With Open Wood Shelves In Duplex Kitchen

wood cabinets | white cabinets | tile | counters | range | pendant | faucet | hardware | tall cutting board |walls: SW Spare White | trim: SW Extra White

So we’re basically chronically what it takes to go from a blank box of a room to a finished kitchen, aka going from this starting point…

…to this finished kitchen below:

Wood Askersund Ikea Cabinets With Blue Tile Backsplash

wood cabinets | white cabinets | tile | counters |fridge | range | pendant | faucet | hardwaretall cutting board |walls: SW Spare White | trim: SW Extra White

The price breakdown below is just for one kitchen, since the price was effectively the same for each side (these rooms are a mirror image of each other). There aren’t any labor costs listed below because we did all of these projects ourselves, but we’ll get to the labor fees we’ve paid on past kitchen remodels in a second to give you a more complete picture. Please hold (*insert elevator music here*).

  • Ikea Cabinets (& hinges, drawer slides, etc): $2,100
  • Hardware: $100 ($24.99 x 4 packs)
  • Quartz Counters (sink and installation included): $2,850
  • Appliances (including microwave & vent hood): $2,550
  • Backsplash: $475
  • Floating Shelves: $90
  • Horizontal planking: $31 (read the DIY details here)
  • Faucet: $155
  • Pendant Light: $140
  • TOTAL: $8,491

Full Duplex Kitchen With Planked Wall And Pink Tile Backsplash

blue cabinets |white cabinets | tile | counters | fridge | range | pendant | faucet | hardware | tall cutting board | walls: SW Spare White | trim: SW Extra White

I’ll be honest that the total was a little more than we expected, but I guess I’m not surprised to see that two biggest culprits are: counters and appliances.

Wood Colored Opened Shelf Against Blue Tile Backsplash

cabinets | tile | counters | pendant | faucet | hardware mugs | paper towel holder | toastercoffee maker

We have zero regrets or hesitations about picking the counters we did (they’re the same quartz we have in our beach house island). Yes there are cheaper options, especially for a rental, but we have just been so happy with quartz in our own kitchen and at the beach house. No issues at all with staining or cracking or scratching – and it’s nice to have a surface you don’t have to worry about. So while it’s an area we could’ve pinched our pennies tighter, we’re glad we didn’t.

The appliances, on the other hand, are a slightly different story. I don’t regret what we did, but I do see some easy places to save money if we weren’t being so particular.

Built-In Fridge Cabinet In Ikea Kitchen

blue cabinets | white cabinets | counters | hardware | microwave | faux fern | fridge

For one, white appliances would’ve been cheaper all around than stainless steel. But (like it or not) stainless steel still signals “updated kitchen!” to most people and we just thought the look would make our kitchens feel more upgraded to guests. We also could’ve found a cheaper range by not getting a slide-in, and there were cheaper fridges, but most had icemakers and/or water dispensers – both of which we didn’t want (just another leak to worry about – and if the power goes out the ice in an ice maker can melt and ruin the floor if no one’s there to see it).

blue cabinets | white cabinets | counters | hardware | utensil holder | range | exhaust hoodmicrowave | faux fern | fridge

But the real budget hogs in the appliance department were, surprisingly, the ones that we purchased through Ikea: the hood and the dishwasher. Why? Because we upgraded to versions that we could build in so they’d be hidden. For instance, their in-cabinet recirculating hood was $500 (gulp). We’re ultimately glad we did it, but it does sting a little to see how compromising to a visible under-cabinet hood could’ve saved us a few hundred dollars (this one is just $50!).

Ikea Eventuell Hidden Range Exhaust Hood Closed And Open

Similarly, Ikea’s cheapest option for a cabinet-fronted dishwasher is still $750 which, in retrospect, is probably the most we’ve ever paid for any dishwasher in the history of ever (and it’s not even in a house we stay in!).

Cabinet Fronted Dishwasher And Trash Can In Ikea Kallarp Kitchen

dishwasher | trash can | cabinets | tile | counters | hardware |coffee maker | toaster | mugs | pink cups | faux succulent

So while Ikea and other places offer dishwashers that are much cheaper, we splurged on these because it was important to us that they blend into this space. These kitchens are visible as soon as you walk in the front door, and we didn’t want that row of lower cabinets interrupted by a big stainless steel or white dishwasher front.

Bright Dining Room With Capiz Chandelier Looking Into Pink And Blue Kitchen

dining chairs | similar dining tablechandelier | mirror | cabinets | tile | pendant | faucet | hardware | walls: SW Spare White | trim: SW Extra White

So we don’t regret these decisions because they were intentional and we’re really happy with the result – but from a purely budget standpoint, they do stick out as areas where compromising the design could’ve saved us some significant money.

Duplex Dining Room With Blue And Wood Kitchen In Background

cabinets | white cabinets | tile | dining chairs | similar dining table | chandelier | art | walls: SW Spare White | trim: SW Extra White

And again, there are several costs not included in that total above (flooring, plumbing, electrical, etc), so I’m not trying to declare this “an $8500 kitchen makeover!” But if it helps to give you a better idea, we typically spend around $3.50 per square foot for a pro to refinish our hardwoods. This kitchen is 11.5′ x 10′, so it would break down to around $402 for that room only if I needed a labor line item for the floors. If you add that additional labor line item to our total, it would bring it to: $8,893.

As for electrical fees/labor/parts, during our first house’s kitchen reno we paid $900 for electrical and our second house’s kitchen reno electrical was $455, but both could’ve been significantly more if we were doing more extensive rewiring. Although if you’re gutting a room completely and removing all the drywall (like we did in the duplex), electrical work is often much cheaper since it’s easier access and faster to run everything. And if you also add a kind-of-in-the-middle electrical labor average of $700 to our total, it would bring it to: $9,593.

We didn’t have plumbing costs for our first two kitchen remodels (since everything stayed in the same place), but in our current house we paid our plumber $650 to move our sink and dishwasher locations, to run a new water line to the fridge, and to extend our gas line to the new gas stove. Magazines always tell you moving the location of things can be a ton of money, so we were pleasantly surprised to change the entire kitchen layout and basically just pay $650 to do it! Well worth it!

And once again, like electrical it’s much cheaper to get plumbing redone if all the walls are open (no drywall = such faster access to run things), so we would guess we paid around $500 in plumbing fees to get the sink hooked up (remember there’s no fridge water line & no gas stove here – nice & simple). So if you want to assign a plumbing labor fee of $500 to our total, it would bring it to: $10,093.

Is a $10,000 kitchen cheap? Nope. But it really isn’t bad considering every single thing in the room wasn’t in there when we started. It was an empty box, and now it has two full walls of new cabinetry, quartz countertops, all new appliances (with a slide in range, a built-in dishwasher, and hidden range hood), accent tile to the ceiling, and nice shiny hardwoods. We’re counting our lucky stars that things like the brick chimney and the hardwood floors were in here hiding the whole time, because they definitely add a ton of character to the space.

Of course I need to point out that these labor costs can vary greatly when it comes to your location and your specific situation/house setup (is there a crawl space? slab? a second floor? a cement wall?) so those are just some fees we’ve paid in the past in the hopes that they help. I know we’ll hear from folks who have paid much less and significantly more for each of those things, but a lot just has to do with your house, what you’re looking to achieve, where you live, who you hire for the job, etc.

White Planked Wall In Duplex Kitchen With Wood Shelves

wood cabinets | white cabinets | tile | counters |fridge | range | pendant | faucet | hardwaretall cutting board |walls: SW Spare White | trim: SW Extra White

One good way to get an idea of average costs is to use a site like HomeAdvisor (this isn’t sponsored, they just always come up when I google things like “average cost to refinish wood floors“) which will show that our typical $3.50/square foot labor fees are on the higher end of those costs at $3.50, so who knows, yours could be less!

And speaking of the duplex, for anyone who has inquired about fall bookings, we released some dates & almost all of them are booked… but the end of this week is still available on the left side, and the end of next week is available on both sides (here’s the link to the right side). We do a minimum 3 night stay in the off season, so you can check in on Wednesday or Thursday (that’s why those are the only dates Airbnb shows) but once you select your check-in date, it’ll expand & you can select your checkout date. Sorry it’s so confusing! And here’s a post about everything you can do there (even the ice cream shop is still open through next weekend) and a post to see the entire duplex before & after.

But back to kitchen renovations for a second, here are a few more posts you might like:

*This post contains affiliate links*

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Quick and Easy Kitchen Organization

Whether your kitchen is big or small, any room can make use of having extra organization. Staying organized is twice as difficult in the kitchen due to appliances, food, pantry items, utensils and glassware need to have a spot. Therefore, it can be difficult finding the right place to store these things. Keeping that in mind, we have put together a guide on quick and easy kitchen organization ideas to ensure your kitchen is always magazine-worthy.

Maximize space

 Quick and Easy Kitchen Organization
Add cubbies into your organization spot to make your space feel less cluttered yet have the same amount of product in it.

Look at your space overall and pay close attention to the space you have. Are there any awkward corners? Could you make use of any specific area? If so, maximize it by adding storage that helps you make the most of it. You want to take any little area and brighten it as much as you can.

Perfect your Panty

organized pantry 2 Quick and Easy Kitchen Organization
Organize your panty by color to truly make every aspect feel sleek and cohesive while still feeling chic and even charming.

If you are lucky enough to have a panty, take full advantage of it and perfect it. The easiest form of doing this is by labeling everything and embracing every single space in the room. You want to place labels everywhere to have a specific place for every single item. It’s all about having every you want exactly where you think it belongs.

Make use of every shelf

Take open shelving to the next level by displaying what you use most and hiding the other parts inside of your cabinets its a win-win for all

Every shelf in your kitchen needs to be put to use. Considering you have a small amount of shelving you want to take full use of it and completely decorate it. However, this is a slippery slope as it can become quite cluttered very quickly. The key is keeping tabs on everything you decide to add.

Cookbook Central

Adding a colorful display of books will not only make having your favorite cookbooks on hand easy but it will ensure you have a fresh form of decor

Most of us don’t use cookbooks to cook; however, when we do there is usually a cookbook you run to time and time again. Keeping that in mind, take your favorite cookbooks and organize them in a single spot. Having them in one single area will ensure you not only have them on hand, but they will have their own space.

Backsplash with a purpose

Add in sleek shelves to make the kitchen feel as grand as possible yet give you some additional storage

Most kitchens have a backsplash already incorporated; however, take it to the next level by adding a floating shelf. Adding that’s shelf will give your backsplash a purpose that is beyond adding color and texture to the room. You want to add a small shelf as the idea is to have the little trinket items that you want to keep on hands such as salt, pepper, and adobo.

Display your Pots & Pans

Display your pots directly on top of your stove to make a statement yet be as convenient as possible

Pots and pans are always a necessity in the kitchen, but they sure take up a whole lot of space. Which is why it makes sense to not have them cluttered in a drawer or a cabinet, instead have them displayed. Displaying your pots and pans not only allows you to have them on hand, but they ensure there is less clutter in your space.

Bottle Storage

When designing your wine storage go big or go home. The grander the design the better.

Are you a wine lover? Do you have a multitude of wine bottles and don’t know where to place them? If that is the case, it’s time to keep track of your collection and create a specific spot designated for your wine. The idea is to keep your bottles as organized as possible while still giving them a home.

Tidy Trash

Hiding your trash will not only make the kitchen feel fresher but the room will look more modern as well.

Replace your large, nasty trash bins with multiple smaller ones to tidy up your trash. It’s all about making your trash look and feel less heavy, while still having its unique place in the home. If you can place it inside a cabinet even better. It keeps it tucked away while still being organized.

Spice Spaces

A simple rack for spices will make the room come to life without overtaking too much space in your kitchen

Keeping a spice cabinet is a great idea, especially when you want to find the spices you use most during cooking. It’s all about having what you need on hand without missing a beat. Place them in the same direction and by size order to truly create an organized appeal. Or you can even consider adding a twirling canister for simple organization.


Display it or hide it away, the options are endless when you have a chalkboard in your home

Add a chalkboard to leave a message, create an added organization, or even make a list for your family. The idea is to further enhance how much organization, you are getting without taking away from any area of the kitchen. It’s a centralized space where you can keep tabs regularly.

Organizing your kitchen might be easier than you think. How do you organize your kitchen? Share with us your ideas below.

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