Lighting Upcycle: Painting an Old Lamp

I’ve been looking for a lamp to put in the girls’ room, but not too hard–I just figured I would eventually come across something. Unfortunately their dad came across something first.

ImageJesse brought this beauty home from a client of his who insisted he have it. He was super proud of his free find, and I let him be, even if my eyes were bleeding a little bit. My motto is that there usually isn’t anything a layer of paint can’t fix, so I got to work fixing it up.

Step 1: Wash It Continue reading


Q&A with Chrissy Jensen of Domestica


Chrissy Jensen

I sat down with Chrissy Jensen of Des Moines’ “indie-handmade” store, Domestica. The 46-year-old business owner and mastermind shares what drives her, inspires her, and a few tips for spicing up small spaces.

DR: How would you describe your business?
CJ: We call it an indie-handmade store. Just more modern and cool than a craft fair, not that there’s anything wrong with craft fairs. Everything in here is handmade by somebody, that’s kind of our shtick. Besides butter nailpolish, which we carry.

DR: What inspired you to start your business?
CJ: I used to be a photo stylist, and I’ve always been into decor and finding new things to use. I was already really involved in the handmade community and I just liked the idea of having that all in Des Moines.

DR: What was your biggest challenge in decorating your the store?
CJ: Originally, we only had 400 sq feet, but now we’ve added a second room and have 800 sq feet, which is still a really small space. There aren’t a lot of walls and we have a lot of prints and posters, so it’s a challenge for sure.

DR: Would you call prints your specialty?
Continue reading

Donating in Des Moines: Where to Take Your Stuff

As a follow-up to my post about closet cleaning, I decided to do a round-up of where you can donate anything that you no longer need. There are three main places in Des Moines (that I know and frequent) that accept a pretty wide range of donated items, so I’ll put together a round up of the pros and cons of each place I like taking my old stuff.

Salvation Army

There are 10 locations in and around Des Moines.

Pros: They accept almost anything (full list here) and they price their items cheaper than most donation centers. They’re also one of the easiest places to take your donations. I live on the south side of Des Moines, and the new SE 14th location accepts donations Monday-Saturday from 9am-9pm. Incredibly convenient.

Cons: Salvation Army’s religious affiliation may suit some costumers, but I’ve been particularly bothered by some of their anti-gay sentiments. After careful consideration, I’ve decided to continue donating to the Salvation Army. The bottom line, for me, is that they accept some items other donation shops don’t, they hire and serve people of all sexual orientations, and knowing that my stuff will be used again by somebody who really needs it helps me sleep better than throwing it away because I have nowhere to take it.


There are six locations in and around Des Moines.

Pros: The proceeds from Goodwill go to helping disabled people with job training and placement. Donations are also relatively easy to make, although they are a little pickier than Salvation Army.

Cons: Like I said, they’re a little pickier, and concerned about items that will do will in resale. Don’t try taking your Christmas tree here in the off-season, or something relatively outdated, like an encyclopedia. They also close at 5pm and some outlet locations don’t accept donations.


There is one location in Des Moines.

Pros: The DAV benefits veterans in Iowa, takes almost everything, and has a free donation pick-up service.

Cons: They’re only open 8am-3pm Tuesday through Saturday, and the donation pick-up hours are the same. If you work regular hours, it will probably be more difficult to coordinate your donation.

There are also a number of churches and temples in Des Moines that accept donations. Whether you are religious or not, these donation centers are worth checking out- Many of them are not for resale, they’re simply given away, which means your donations can do even more for somebody in need!

I hope next time you’re cleaning out your dresser, your kitchen drawers, or your linen closet you’ll consider donating your items to one of these places.