My little sister is in her late twenties – living on her own, in downtown Chicago, and trying her hand at decorating her apartment.  Now, I know that I have no room to judge – I’ve made plenty of decorating misjudgements in my time.  But, in honor of her birthday this weekend, I’m going to do what big sisters do best.  I’m going to give her a hard time.  In public.

See, she texted me this photo a few months ago.  As you can imagine, I was instantly horrified.

Lindsey's "art"

I immediately called her asked her bluntly “what the h*ll is that??!”  She told me that she recovered an old canvas that she thrifted with burlap “because I really like burlap” and added some fake flowers.  This is a piece of art to go above her fireplace. (???!!!)

I told her it was horrible and she needed to stop.  Immediately.  Her incredibly supportive boyfriend was tight-lipped about the whole thing, but I know he was on my side about this.

Lindsey, this post is for you.  The right way to incorporate burlap into your decor.  Here is some inspiration.

Burlap message boards / Suzanne Kasler for Ballard


Burlap Drum Shade Pendant from Pottery Barn


Burlap Wrapped Bed Trunk from Pottery Barn


Burlap Photo Mats from Pottery Barn


Burlap Curtain Panels from Ballard


Burlap Curtains via Fourgenerationsoneroof


Paneled Tablecloth from Ballard


Burlap “wallpaper”/shelf backing from decorandthedog


My sister told me that she made some modifications to her “art” (most importantly, the fake flowers are gone!).  I applaud her for trying something new, and attempting to personalize her space.  We all know it isn’t easy.  Fortunately, there are tons of great resources out there for inspiration.

Happy birthday, Lindsey!  You are a great sister, and you always make me laugh.  I’ve loved you since the moment I found out I was going to be a big sister!


… now don’t be mad at me for making fun of you!






8 replies
  1. Amy
    Amy says:

    Teasing really is a sign of affection- though I’m not very thick skinned myself.
    You did a nice job blending your worlds here.

  2. Your Little Sister
    Your Little Sister says:

    Thanks for the birthday blog! Please remember… medicine is my thing… not home decorating. I’ll leave that to you. I have taken notes on your burlap suggestions… and really like the picture frames! That just might be my next project! I’ll send pictures for approval before they’re complete. You can always come to Chicago for a weekend to help decorate too…..! Love you!

  3. Karena
    Karena says:

    You are a great sister Kristen! Nailheads around her panel would be easy and inexpensive, and really up the look!

    The Arts by Karena

  4. Julie Khuu
    Julie Khuu says:

    Lol!!! That’s funny Kristen! You are the BEST big sis ever- not only helping your lil sis out but helping your readers as well! Classic!

    Thank you for the blog visit babe, hope to see you back soon!

    Peace. Love. LOL!

    Haute Khuuture Blog

  5. Kay
    Kay says:

    HA — this is way too funny. I’m the artistic middle sibling between 2 accountant sisters. I used to be very perplexed that neither they nor my (accounting) niece would ever ask me for décor advice! I finally figured it out. I’m way too bossy, + I love everything that they don’t! I live near-ish Chicago + can steer you to some cool home stores for your visits with your sister. Maybe you know some that I don’t!

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