As one of the bloggers of NonSociety, Jordan Reid caught our eye for her honest, fresh approach to DIY. Her “I’ll try anything once!” attitude is so refreshing – so much of DIY is experimenting with various methods and materials until you find the perfect combination. Jordan just gets that. We love that no matter if she’s whipping up a quick dinner for friends or repainting a piece of furniture, she keeps it real – detailing what went right and what can be done to improve the next time in each post. Oh, and she’s totally gorgeous and married to an equally good-looking indie musician. Jealous!
Jordan took some time out from her busy schedule to answer some questions on finding balance at home, navigating the path to domestic goddess-dom and some of her favorite DIY projects.
1.) Were you always a domestic goddess or is that something you fell into when you began married life?
Oh goodness, I certainly wouldn’t call myself a “domestic goddess.” I just have always enjoyed creating a beautiful home life, and finding happiness in the small things (a really great olive oil, hot pink chairs, or a delicious bottle of wine shared with friends). I suppose getting married (or perhaps just getting older) allowed me to start exploring these interests more fully. When I was single, a lot of my energy went towards, you know, being single…and now I feel perfectly fine skipping the bars in favor of Chinese take-out and a bath (not that my NYC tub is big enough for an actually relaxing soak, but one can dream).
2.) What are some of your favorite DIY projects?
I like gussying up things that have seen better days, like Salvation Army chairs, old mirrors, and lamps that I’ve rescued from the street. Paint is probably my favorite way to make an instant, dramatic change in the appearance of a run-down piece.
3.) What are some of your DIY projects you are still perfecting?
All of them. I’m coming at this from an amateur’s perspective, so every time I’m confronted with a new project the Internet becomes my best friend. The first time I painted an old chair – this was in LA, when I found a chair at the Fairfax Flea Market and painted it hot pink – I had to Google around a bit to figure out what kinds of paints worked best on wood.
4.) In what places do you find inspiration?
I’m still mourning the loss of Domino, but I have to say my friends – I have a very creative, talented group of people around me who are just full of ideas, and who have taught me everything from how to wallpaper a lampshade to how to whip up the perfect tzatziki.
5.) You have a great knack for finding recipes that are fast, cheap and tasty — what are your favorite sources for these dishes?
That would be my mother. She worked full-time from the time I was just a couple of months old, but made dinner for us almost every night. She was unapologetic about shortcuts, and I share her belief that the point isn’t to impress people with your culinary wizardry; the point is to put something delicious on the table with minimal fuss. If you like the taste of Prego (I absolutely love the stuff), why not just throw in some onions, garlic and mushrooms to freshen up the taste and get straight to eating? (Jordan provides more thoughts on her cooking philosophy here.)
6.) You were an actress in LA before you moved to New York — have you found that you are more creative in one of these cities? Why or why not?
I’m infinitely more inspired living in New York. In LA, I felt very isolated; I was either in my house, or in my car. In New York, you discover new sources of inspiration each and every day just by virtue of walking around the city. (Read more about Jordan and her involvement in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.)
7.) Where is your dream house (or apartment?) How is it decorated?
I love wild, whimsical décor like Matthew Williamson’s place and my friends Eddie and Sharyn’s place, but I don’t know if I could relax with all that color around me. My dream home would probably be more along the lines of a rustic cabin with exposed beams, big, cozy couches, and fireplaces.
8.) We love that a lot of your outfits are put together on the cheap – what are your favorite stores for bargains? (Online and brick-and-mortar both acceptable!)
I’m a big thrift store shopper and frequent the Salvation Army on 46th Street. I seek out offbeat pieces that can be mixed with classics from places like the Gap. The NonSociety girls also recently had a clothing-swap party, which totally rejuvenated my wardrobe. I don’t do online shopping, because I really care about how fabrics feel and fall on the body.
9.) We also love that you will pick up furniture off the street and refurbish it (we’ve been known to do the same.) What are some of your favorite pieces? Any good tips for those who might not be confident refurbishing something?
My absolute favorite “rescue” piece is a china cabinet that I found a couple of blocks from my apartment. It had graffiti all over it, which I had originally planned on painting over, but my husband discovered that the graffiti was actually the work of a famous street artist, James de la Vega, so I integrated the graffiti into the overall design. In terms of tips, my number one tip is to clean rescue furniture thoroughly before dragging it into your place. My other tip is to just have fun with it, and not worry too much; if you mess up, so what? Just paint over your mistakes. And if worst comes to worst, you can just toss the piece and start your search again – it’s not like it emptied your wallet.
10.) What do you think is the secret to domestic bliss?
A willingness to seek out happiness in unusual places. To me, bliss isn’t about perfect meals in expensive restaurants; it’s about finding joy in the littlest things, and making them the biggest things.
11.) Who is your domestic role model or role models?
Since I think that the root of happiness is different for everyone, I don’t necessarily look to role models (although Martha Stewart is obviously quite the lady). I think that it’s more important to abandon conventions about domestic bliss, and find your own way.