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Reader Project: An Expedit Hack Twist

Sometimes I feel really guilty about the oodles of time I devote to blogging.  A nagging voice, in the darkest corner of my mind, tells me I should do something more “important” or “meaningful” with that time.  I’m not sure what I think more important or meaningful things would look like, but I think they might have to do with being a better researcher, getting published more, and contributing more original research.  I often feel pretty deficient as an academic and I sometimes blame my blogging time for this.  Compounding these anxieties, sometimes I start to think maybe it’s really selfish that I blog.  Some comments replying to this Apartment Therapy post suggested bloggers blog as a way of saying, “Hey, look how awesome I am.  Validate me!”  I’ve always thought I blog because I don’t have DIY-savvy folks in my non-blog world, but am I really just an approval-junkie, devoting hours of my time in exchange for virtual pats on the back?  But, really, isn’t either reason for blogging pretty self-serving?

Sometimes I need a blog friend to pull me out of this negative tail spin.  When Jenna emailed me photos of her gorgeous version of my Artful Expedit Hack, I was reminded that in addition to making DIY friends and getting virtual pats on the back, I might also be helping to make someone’s home a little lovelier.  I’m not just taking from these blogging relationships – I’m giving something back, too.  Even if I’m giving the tiniest thing back (like a tutorial so readers can make pretty little billy buttons) that’s definitely not un-important. 

So huge thanks to Jenna, for emailing me recently about how she took my Expedit Hack idea and made it hers!  Here’s the email that totally made my day:

Thank you for your IKEA Expedit hack!  It was exactly what I was looking for.  It looks so much better with the canvases on!  I used your tutorial for attaching the canvases to the Expedit.  I couldn’t find matching hooks and eyes, so I went with the white hooks to match the Expedit and silver eyes.  I knew I didn’t want to paint them, but couldn’t decide what I wanted to do with them so I left them for a few weeks.  I ended up using burlap to cover the canvases and love them!  Masking tape was used to secure the burlap to the canvases so I can change it out if I decide later on I want something different. 

Thank you so much for all of your tutorials and writing your blog in general.  You are one of my favorite blogs!  Good luck in Hungary!

She started with a white Expedit.  I’m jealous.  I wish I’d gone for white.

And here is her Expedit with her burlap covered canvases.  Aren’t they perfect?  I love the pattern she installed them in – so graphic and cool.  Her whole Expedit looks perfectly styled and un-cluttered.  I just love it!  She pinned it to Pinterest (along with her fabulous etched baking pans).

If you’ve tried a project of mine (even if it turned out totally different), I’d love to see and feature it on Dans le Townhouse.  Feel free to email me: [email protected]



  1. Kucorgó anyámkája
    August 28, 2012 / 1:25 pm

    Nem is láttam ezt a posztodat. Én is valami hasonlón gondolkodtam, de nekem egy bonyolultabb változat jutott csak eszembe. Szóval köszönöm! Zseniális ötlet!

  2. Christine D. | The Plumed Nest
    August 28, 2012 / 3:04 pm

    well, i love your blog and i'd be sad if you stopped! but as a blogger i know how you feel. sometimes i think, wow, this all takes a lot of time! and then i feel sorta bad. but then i would feel bad if i didn't put time into it. but i completely enjoy it so i just keep going.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      August 29, 2012 / 1:48 pm

      Awww, thanks. I can't picture my life without blogging now, but I also wonder what it would be like to stop. I enjoy it so much, but it seems like a lot of time to devote to a hobby, you know? I'm always conflicted. I guess that happens any time we do something that is for leisure – this little voice tells us we should work harder!

  3. How2home
    August 28, 2012 / 6:07 pm

    This is really nice! Love the burlap!

  4. Dana@Mid2Mod
    August 28, 2012 / 6:24 pm

    The AT article was interesting, and while I think it might be right on the money in some cases in its analysis of bloggers' need for approval and affirmation, I believe there are many more of us who do it as a hobby…because we like to write but don't aspire to do it professionally, because we like to decorate and share decorating ideas with like-minded people around the world and because it's more productive than sitting around watching soap operas all day. 🙂 In my case personally, I'm going to be doing the research on all this furniture for the store anyway, so I might as well share what I find.Love Jenna's Expedit hack. I think I'm going to be buying a white one for bathroom storage when we build the guest house, so I'm enjoying all the ideas.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      August 29, 2012 / 1:50 pm

      The article (and comments) do seem to want to paint all blogs with the same brush, which seems unfair because we're all so different. Your blog is fabulous because you share so much invaluable information with your readers. I can't wait to see your new abode.

  5. m @ random musings
    August 28, 2012 / 7:01 pm

    unlike you, I don't have a highly successful blog to blame my academic limitations, but I still have those moments/days/weeks where I think "I did stuff besides grad school. I am acting uncommitted to a life of academia" 🙂 Although I think success in the academic arena is also some kind of public performance, albeit with highly intelligent, competitive individuals focused on one.small.thing.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      August 29, 2012 / 1:46 pm

      Oh gosh, I don't think I'd say "highly successful" at all!! But thanks. And you're so right about academia being a performance. I'm happy to know I'm not the only one struggling in academia, but it'd be nicer if none of us had these feeling of insecurity.

  6. Carol@TheDesignPages
    August 28, 2012 / 7:47 pm

    Blogging is tough sometimes but if it ever gets to be too much I'll stop. I personally think of it as my own diy diary. Honestly, I couldn't care less what non-bloggers think of it. It's mine and I do it my way:) You should be proud of what you've built here. Loving the burlap covered canvases. Very nice Jenna!

  7. cred
    August 29, 2012 / 11:56 am

    I don't think you have anything to feel guilty about. Clearly you find blogging satisfying- perhaps it takes time away that could be spend researching and writing but we all have those tasks, big or small, that we enjoy that often steal our attention from lesser enjoyed tasks. Perhaps it is a guilty pleasure- although, I don't think anyone should feel guilty about something they love if it does no harm. Usually the guilty pleasure is something that self-righteous boobs deem unworthy or low-brow, such as, watching Jersey Shore. Which I can't relate to as I really dislike all manner of reality tv BUT who cares? We're all different and if a grown woman loves reading Stephenie Meyer, then let her have it. Taste and interests are subjective and everyone is different- so who's to say what is a worthy pursuit. If you like it and it doesn't take anything away from someone- enjoy. On the thought of blogging as a forum for approval, perhaps to a degree but it's simply a means of sharing a passion (I don't blog but assume it must be a passion since the hours are many and pay is small). We are all seeking community and others who can relate to us. If an artist has an art show, people don't criticize them for seeking validation even if that may be part of their motivation. The problem is that blogging isn't seen as high-minded vocation. I assume even more so in academic circles. Some people will never understand or relate to certain interests and we must learn to not care so much what others say (which is something that I really must to work on, too). I hope that you find the right balance between blogging and your academic pursuits that makes you happy. Because it's not about those boobs that might think otherwise.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      August 29, 2012 / 1:52 pm

      You bring up so many good points! I think, also, what's the bad thing about wanting validation or approval? The AT readers say it like it's a negative characteristic, but does it need to be? I'm working on finding a balance. I hope I get there.

  8. Whitney @ Drab to Fab Design
    August 29, 2012 / 12:42 pm

    Great post Tanya! It's awesome that she took the time to email you, and I can bet it helps validate all the time you put towards blogging! I love your blog 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      August 29, 2012 / 1:44 pm

      It's SO nice that she took the time to share her project. I was really touched!

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