Portrait of Monica Ewing

About me

I’m Monica, a born crafter and nester. I began decorating homes at an early age—staging elaborate living spaces for Barbie dolls. Now that I’m semi-grown-up, I doll up my own home, which happens to be a boxy apartment in the San Francisco Bay Area. My kitchen dates to 1958, and according to my lease, I’m stuck with plain white walls throughout. Although my dreams are grand, my budget is small, so resourcefulness has become my best ally.

How it started

My home is one crafty nest. I’m continually making something new and rotating out the old because I have more ideas than one small apartment can hold. Repeated inquiries about my home decor lead me to sharing my hobby with the world. My premise is simple: I think up something I need or see something I like, then figure out how to make my own version. I specialize in upcycling shabby and unwanted items. I don’t claim to be an expert or furniture restorer; I just love creating new things.

My other life

As a magazine graphic designer, I’ve worked for Real Simple and Sunset magazines. Currently, I’m the associate art director for AAA and Via magazine.

Cheap vs. green vs. easy

I aim to make each project as cheaply as I can. I also try to use salvaged, reused, or green materials whenever possible. But if an eco-friendly material is more expensive, I usually choose the more economical option. I also attempt to keep my projects as easy as possible for people like me who don’t have a lot of time to kill. However, they invariably end up being more difficult than I plan. But I always try!

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