Inspiration Blog

Kim Vargo

Kim Vargo is one half of the muscle behind the blog Yellow Brick Home. Together with her husband Scott (and two rescue Pitties and two cranky felines), the team is DIY-ing their way through their 120-year-old house, taking down walls, building them back up and nurturing back the character that was so rudely taken away over time. The outdoor flea market season is her favorite time of year, and nothing makes her heart beat faster than a good furniture rescue. With a background in art and photography, you’ll find Kim in her Chicago home studio, painting, editing and clicking away. If her hands are dirty, it’s been a good day. In other words, forget the manicure.

Creating a Lasting Memory: Panoramic Photo Books

by Kim Vargo / 03.18.2016

In my last post, I wrote all about re-thinking the documentation process when it comes to travel photography. One of the most important (and pesky) steps of that whole process is coming home, downloading the images and narrowing that large number of files down to the best of the best. While that task can seem daunting, I find that it’s really important to do it right away, as to not fall into the never-getting-done trap!

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How to Apply Custom Beer and Wine Labels

by Kim Vargo / 12.17.2015

Last year, Scott and I hosted a holiday party in our new-to-us home, and we had such a great response, that we decided to make it an annual tradition! You might remember that we made custom Pinhole Press invitations and labels to snail mail to our guests, but this year, we stepped it up another notch and created personalized labels for the drinks. I did something similar for Scott this past Father’s Day, and it was just as much fun to share the silliness with our closest friends over the weekend.

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Photo Tips for Travelers: Tips + Tricks to Document your Vacation

by Kim Vargo / 11.02.2015

This September, Scott and I took a two-week road trip across America, hugging Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles! It was an experience of a lifetime – exhilarating, inspiring and exhausting all at once – and one that we’ll absolutely be talking about for years to come. From the moment we booked the rental car, I was most excited about the photos I couldn’t wait to capture; there would be so much to explore and see. Scott always says that I’m happiest with my camera in hand, and this only intensifies when we travel!

That said, here are my photo tips, tricks and ways to stay organized on your vacations – from much needed weekend getaways to epic adventures!

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How to Make a White Frame Photo Gallery

by Kim Vargo / 05.14.2015

There is no shortage of framed photos and artwork around our home, and no matter what room we’re in the middle of deconstructing to reconstruct, we’re always thinking about what we’ll hang on the walls once the paint has dried. It always feels like such a finishing touch; a reward for all the hard work we’ve put in.

Most recently, we’ve spent the last few months of nights and weekends on our kitchen remodel, which has gone on much longer than expected – although with our less than pleasant history of working with contractors, this shouldn’t be a surprise. While there are still a lot of hold ups preventing us from crossing that finish line, I couldn’t help but to begin displaying items we love around the room. Sure, we’ll have to cover everything up with a drop cloth when our back ordered door arrives for installation, but in the meantime, we can still make things look nice!

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Homemade Dog Cookies + Doggie Bags for All!

by Kim Vargo / 04.09.2015

It’s been a bit of a rough winter for our two rescue pups, Jack and CC. Walks have been shorter due to the cold, they’ve each gotten the sniffles (and proceeded to pass them back and forth between each other incessantly), and although spring is finally here, it’s been far too long since they’ve rolled around in a patch of green grass. Wanting to show them some extra love, I whipped up a batch of super simple homemade dog cookies inspired by this recipe!

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What’s In My Camera Bag?

by Kim Vargo / 03.26.2015

When I last left off, I shared 3 tricks for snapping better interior photos right now, a question that I’m often asked by friends and family. There were no fancy tools other than a tripod, and every tip could be implemented with a simple brain shift. That first question is typically followed up with, well, okay, but what kind of camera do you use?  

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Custom Stout Floats and Personalized Beer Labels for Dad!

by Kim Vargo / 03.24.2015

Every year, Scott and I like to treat each other on our respective Mother’s and Father’s Days. Although we don’t currently have children of our own, we are very proud parents to four rescue pets that we love, as we say, to the moon and back! As a result, we may take the dogs on a picnic lunch in the park, or we might go on an extra long walk with the pups around the neighborhood. This, of course, while indulging on sundaes from the local Tastee Freeze.

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30 Minute Remake: DIY Leather Decanter Tags

by Kim Vargo / 03.01.2015

Since Scott and I started our kitchen renovation early this year, we’ve been on the hunt for vintage glass decanters that we could keep on display. Our eyes are on high alert as we go to flea markets and yard sales, and we’ve even found a few through online auctions. We’re thisclose to calling the renovation complete, and in the meantime, we’ve been honing in on the smaller details. In this case, we wanted some standout (yet understated) tags for those decanters we’ve been collecting!

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3 Things You Can Do Right Now for Better Photos of your Home

by Kim Vargo / 02.10.2015

I take a lot of photos for our blog, Yellow Brick Home. A lot. Alongside my husband, Scott, we document the ins and outs of renovating our almost 130-year-old house in Chicago, and we spend just as much time getting our DIY hands dirty as I do snapping the shutter on my camera to share the process with our friends and family. Luckily, I not only have a degree in photography, but I have an immense love for it, too, ever since my first experience in a darkroom.

All that to say, a question I hear often is this: What can I do to make my photos better?

When it comes to interior photography (my number one subject matter!), I’m happy to say that there are a few steps requiring very little effort that will take your snapshots to the next level. Whether you’re looking to share your latest living room makeover, bathroom renovation or newly tiled laundry room, here are three things that will have you taking better interior photos right now.

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A Year (or Two) in Review: 2015 Day Planner

by Kim Vargo / 12.31.2014

Every December, I enjoy perusing the next year’s day planners – whether it be at my local bookstore or favorite online shopping haunts. My goal is to always add something to my desk that’s not only nice to look at, but that makes sense for my planning purposes! This year, I opted for the Hardcover 2015 Day Plannerfrom Pinhole Press, knowing it would allow me to inject personality and happiness into my monthly reminders.

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