Making a Space Your Own - Featuring Judith de Graaff

Hello all!

Over the past year, I have been curating an Instagram account called StuckBehindAPlant. This account acts as a place for me to understand an Instagram community, check out wonderful interior design, and log my plants all in one space! While other plant accounts feature bright rooms in houses and apartments, my account tends to be scattered with photos in my small dorm room.

Being a plant lover in college can be difficult. In fact, being a plant lover in any small living space can be a challenge. But that should not get in the way of growing your own urban jungle and making a space your own. 

Check out Judith's site  here

Check out Judith's site here

For this post, I reached out to a well-known Urban Jungle Blogger: graphic designer Judith de Graaff (instagram). Judith founded an award winning blog (Urban Jungle Bloggers), renovated an iconic industrial building (Studio Sapique), and runs an Instagram account with amazing plant/interior inspiration!

I reached out to Judith because I have always looked up to how she knows and cultivates her own style in her space — regardless of the size.


1. What advice do you have for someone trying to make the most of a smaller space (i.e. dorm room or tiny apartment)?

If your space is small, make sure to think vertical! Hang plants from the ceiling or wall in beautiful plant hangers, attach nice (plant-)shelves or cupboards for storage high on the walls (so that you can walk underneath them). Another stylish trick (if your landlord lets you paint your apartment!) is to paint one wall in a bold color and also paint the plints, open & closed shelves, some wall hooks, radiator, electricity sockets in that same color. Use the closed shelves to hide all the boring stuff and show off nice tools on the hooks and open shelves and make them pop against the colorful background. Basically, make sure that everything that's visible is nice to look at and that you keep the ugly stuff out of sight. Also: you'll never have enough stools! Use them for plants, as a step stool, coffee table, or as temporary seating for guests.

2. What is your process like for making a space your own?

Surround yourself with furniture and accessories that you really LOVE. They can be brand new, handmade, designy or second hand. Add personal touches, like travel souvenirs or handmade items that you created (or bought) yourself. Show off the beautiful books that you're reading, the music records that you're enjoying... And of course: add a few (or a lot of) plants to purify the air in your small space and to improve your well-being at home. If you have a limited budget, get creative: add a touch of paint to thrifted furniture, sew your own pillow covers from clothes that you don't wear anymore or exchange cuttings with other plant lovers to grow new plants for free.


3. What are some places you look to for inspiration?

Online: Instagram, Pinterest, Etsy, eBay, blogs, real estate websites…

Offline: Anywhere: I love walking around (in cities, in the countryside or in between), wander and explore. Design shops, thrift shops, musea, galleries, grocery shops, cafés, design fairs, architectural highlights, botanical gardens, brocante markets…


A big thank you to Judith for answering my questions all the way from France! I really appreciated how Judith's advice applies to plants in a space but then how it also applies to just making a place feel like home in general! This is especially important for people like young professionals and college students who are just starting to move around and figure out how to call a place “home”. Ultimately Judith shows how making a space your own comes from you and how you decided to express yourself. So, get creating! 

Until the next post...




Archive Explorations: William Eggleston

Over this past semester, I have been exploring different archives for a class that I am in. This has sparked my curiosity to the point where I have decided to show some of my favorite images through what I am calling "archive explorations".

For my first exploration, I have decided to do none other than William Eggleston. Images below are from the Eggleston Trust and Artsy

Eggleston has always been an inspiration for me in photography. I first saw his work when I was in the 6th grade looking over my mom's shoulder on her laptop. Since then, I have always been intrigued by the colors and the composition of his shots. 

Greenwood, Mississippi , 1973. Vintage dye transfer print.  Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York . Photo from  Artsy . 

Greenwood, Mississippi, 1973. Vintage dye transfer print. Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York. Photo from Artsy

Many of Eggleston's shots primarily come from the American South and, in my eyes, represent a southern culture through different objects. For instance, the image above (Greenwood, Mississippi) is titled after a location but the focus of the image is a lightbulb that sticks out in a bright red room. The wires from the light each pull the eye to this bulb (turned off). What interests me about this is that we do not see what is actually in the room (other than the poster in the bottom right corner). 

Here are a few more shots I love!

Untitled, c.1975 (Marcia Hare in Memphis Tennessee), 1975. "William Eggleston Portraits" at National Portrait Gallery, London. Photo from Artsy.

Untitled (Citgo gas pump), 1976. Dye transfer print, printed 2011. Photo from Artsy

Photo from Eggleston's Cadillac Portfolio on

Untitled [Supermarket boy with carts], Memphis, 1965. From the series Los Alamos Folio 1. Found on Artsy

Here are a few favorites of mine! 

To explore more of William Eggleston visit the Eggleston Trust or explore on Artsy!

Stuck Behind a Plant

Hello, Friends! 

Over the course of the last month, I have been curating photos on a new Instagram account called @Stuckbehindaplant! Plants have always been a big part of my life and so I decided it was time to share my plant adventures with the world.

I am so excited to share new stories with you!

- MM



Cheers to Ambiguity

It is the summer of 2017.

I am done with my freshman year of college and lots of changes have happened in my life. I have new stories to tell and new adventures to embark on. So, what am I doing right now?

Technically, I am sitting next to my best friend (Sofi) who is passed out. I haven’t really had the chance to see her this past year because we are in two different states for college so we are catching up. I am catching up with my journaling while she is catching up with her sleep.

I haven’t really written on here in a while so I thought I would just lay out a game plan.

This summer is different.

Yes, I hope to do more of the postcard project but I really want to go further. I want to document more. I want to see more. I want to hear more.

So, what is in store?

All I know is that this week Sofi and I are going to drive to New Braunfels. After that, I am open until I go work in New York in June.

New Braunfels Summer 2016

New Braunfels Summer 2016

Overall, this summer is a mystery and I am ready for that.

Cheers to ambiguity,