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Best of the Web

Fri, 2014-04-18 22:01


Photo from One Kings Lane, taken by Lisa Romerein/OTTO

The next two weekends are going to be pretty hectic for me, so I’m excited to have a lazy ‘around the house’ weekend starting tomorrow. Whenever I’m home for a bit I spend a lot of time organizing and tidying up, so I’ve been looking for kitchen inspiration to get me going. One Kings Lane did a fantastic story on small kitchens (although some look fairly big by my standards) and there are so many fun color, storage and layout ideas to be had. The image above is one of my favorites, but you can check out the full story here. Hopefully this will be as helpful in your weekend projects as it will for mine. Until Monday, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! xo, grace








Categories: Design, Home Design

Coco

Fri, 2014-04-18 16:00


I’ve lived in Greenpoint for the better part of ten years now and it’s amazing to see the sort of changes the neighborhood is going through. While some of them are less than desirable and involve giant glass buildings without much character (or affordable housing), some of them are wonderful and involve long-dormant buildings and homes being turned into beautiful spaces. In our Design*Sponge neck-of-the-woods, we’ve seen almost 10 new restaurants open in the course of a year, so many of which have incredible inspiring interiors. The latest hotspot to open happens to be directly across from our office, Coco.


Coco66 has a bit of a history in the neighborhood, having been open before and serving as a fun divey bar with live music and performances. But it was closed a while back and is now re-opening by restauranteur Michael Callahan (or Republic and Indochine). Along with a new chef, Joe Capozzi, Michael has reopened the space to include a bistro that focuses on local, seasonal food. We’d heard quite a bit of buzz online, so we decided to go check it out ourselves.

The space is full of natural light, salvaged wood details and a nice mix of vintage and new furniture. Tiny bits of Pendleton fabric, handwoven wall hangings and antique mirrors decorate the space along with kilim rugs and cacti. I’m particularly fond of all the reclaimed windows used in the space- they contribute so much to the open airy feel in the space. Now that we have this in our neighborhood, our daily take-out lunch orders might turn into lunches across the street. Thanks so much to Coco for welcoming us inside- click here for more info and to visit in person. xo, grace

Photos by Max Tielman

Click through for the full story and more photos after the jump…

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Categories: Design, Home Design

In The Kitchen With: April Carter’s Spiced Hot Cross Buns

Fri, 2014-04-18 15:00


A wave of cold has blown over so many places in the northern hemisphere, it’s hard to believe that Easter is on Sunday.  To celebrate, we chose to share a recipe for honey cardamom hot cross buns by British food blogger and cookbook author, April Carter.  Hot cross buns are traditional at Easter in the UK and in Australia, where I first had them.  The recipe only looks long because I asked April to add extra descriptions for those readers who may not be familiar with making hot cross buns, but be assured it is very easy.  We also have a recipe for dried fig and dark chocolate hot cross buns in our archives, if you’d like to try those as well!  Happy Easter! -Kristina

About April: April Carter is the author of “trEATs: Delicious food gifts to make at home” and writes the baking blog Rhubarb & Rose.  She is currently training at Leiths School of Food and Wine in London and writing her third book to be published by Hardie Grant in Autumn 2014.

See how easy it is to make April’s hot cross buns after the jump!

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Categories: Design, Home Design

After The Jump: Productivity Tips + Ways to Avoid Procrastination

Fri, 2014-04-18 14:00


This week’s radio show was a reader request: tips for beating procrastination and being more productive. I think it’s safe to say that all of us struggle with productivity, time-management and procrastination at one point or another. While most of us know how to “get things done” in the deadline sense of the of the word, most us also want to find a way to avoid those last-minute situations and get work done on a schedule that feels calmer and more in control.

I used to be a master of procrastination, but lately I feel proud of being able to push through that feeling a bit more often and get things done bit by bit. I also feel like I’ve gotten better at getting to the bottom of why I’m procrastinating about something, so I can work through those feelings and finish the job. I think the key for all of these work productivity problems is finding what works best for you, right now. Instead of “one solution fits all problems”, today’s show will give you a wide range of ideas, tips, techniques and ideas to help power through your procrastination issues and find ways to work smarter and more naturally to fit your ideal work style. Today’s show will include tips like:

  • Starting Early + How to Make the Most of Weekends (without giving up your personal life)
  • Ways to ‘Always Be Learning’ (so you stay on top of helpful tools)
  • Embracing Time Blocks
  • Combine Like Tasks
  • Turn ‘No Fun’ Tasks Into Easy, Learned Behavior
  • How To Take Time To Think Big Picture

Julia joined me on air this week as well, to share her ideas and perspective on pushing through huge blocks of work. She and I have slightly different working styles, so her insight on how to make these tips work for many different working needs are incredibly helpful. If you have trusted tips we didn’t cover here today, please feel free to share them in the comment section below! xo, grace

LISTEN: You can download the podcast on iTunes here, or stream it here on Heritage Radio

*Image above is from last month’s free DS Desktop Wallpaper by Jen Altman. You can download it here!








Categories: Design, Home Design

Design Icon: Wonder Bread

Fri, 2014-04-18 13:00

Design: Wonder Bread

Date: 1921

Country of Origin: United States

Manufacturer: Taggart Baking Company

Background: You know the phrase “the best thing since sliced bread?” Well, as it so happens, the exact date of this world-changing invention is in relatively recent history. Introduced by Wonder Bread in 1929, the concept of pre-sliced bread encapsulated many of the ideals of the time. The late 20s and early 30s saw the introduction of Modernism to America, largely through the over-the-top ornamentalism of the Art Deco and Moderne movements—it wasn’t so much about functionality, but the novel and the superficially futuristic. Scientific and industrial advances had captured the nation’s imagination, something that created a thirst for products that embodied these ideaseven if that product was bread, pre-sliced. Since then, Wonder Bread has become part of the the American canon, the embodiment of the American impulse for wild innovation and an icon of our Atomic Age. In 1939, Wonder Bread took part in New York City’s World’s Fair, an event that showcased similarly futuristic productions, from advances in agricultural technology to the latest and greatest in automobiles. Although it may not seem this way today—indeed, we have long-since abandoned the fluffy white goodness of Wonder Bread for healthier options—Wonder Bread (and its mythology) fit in perfectly.

Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg.








Categories: Design, Home Design

Before & After: A 1950s House Gets A Faithful but Modern Update

Thu, 2014-04-17 17:00

The midcentury suburban home, at least until recently, has not been given the reverence it mightily deserves. Oftentimes seen as too “new,” too common, or too kitsch for historic consideration, these houses are especially vulnerable to the pitfalls of careless, quick home renovations. When Sarah Brown began her house hunt, she found that—much to her dismay—many of the homes had suffered such fates. “We looked at many houses that had already been ‘flipped’ poorly,” she says, “all the original details removed, hard wood ripped up and replaced with laminate, basically, all the charm gone.” Luckily, after a few wrong turns, Sarah stumbled upon a true gem—a midcentury home that was still relatively intact. “When we toured this house it instantly reminded me of my grandparents’ house (which I had wanted to buy but was unable to at the time it was for sale). It was not so much the layout, because our house has what I think is a rather unique 1950s layout, but more the way it was meticulously organized, cared for and decorated (my grandma also loved pink).  My grandmother had left me money for a down payment and after meeting the original owner it just felt right.” Although Sarah had big plans for the home (updating the sorely outdated kitchen was a must!), she wanted her renovation to be respectful to the home’s original ethos. With some choice furnishings, a few minor additions, and some fresh coats of paint, she pulled it off. The end result is at once strikingly contemporary, but still in harmony with the home’s formal elements and architecture. Check out all the photos, plus Sarah’s design notes and sources after the jump! —Max

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Categories: Design, Home Design

Mad Style: Our Favorite Designs of the Late 60s and Early 70s

Thu, 2014-04-17 16:00

Top image mage via AMC. | 1. Vintage Panasonic Toot-A-Loop Transistor Radio | 2. Bird Bath Toy (via Victoria & Albert Museum) | 3. Gubi Semi Pendant, Designed by Claus Bonderup and Torsten Thorup | 4. Victor de Vasarely 
Vega-Nor Poster | 5. Pastil Chair, Designed by Eero Aarnio | 6. Paper Dress (via Victoria & Albert Museum)

If you’re anything like me, you sat in front of the television this past Sunday night and watched rapturously as Mad Men—the AMC show that originally captured our imaginations in 2007—began its seventh and final season. A lot has happened in the world of Sterling Cooper & Partners since the beginning, and we have watched as our favorite characters navigated the tumultuous landscape of 1960s America—political upheaval, sexual liberation, drug experimentation and earth-shattering changes in science and technology. Now, we find Don, Peggy and company on the brink of a new decade, confronted with unprecedented uncertainty, challenged ideals, and new ways of looking at the world. Although the character drama of Mad Men has always been fun to watch, the show is, at its core, an exploration of culture—both material and otherwise—something that is touched upon in nearly every aspect of the show’s production design: costume, furniture, art and, of course, advertising. Following the trajectory of the show’s timeline, we have seen Mad Men’s visual world transform—morphing from confident boom-year Modernism ushered in by the 1950s to the explosive cultural experimentation of the late 60s and early 70s. This season, the the drama has hit fever pitch, as has the production design—our eyes are treated to a dizzying array of colors, pattern, textures and hairstyles (oh, the hairstyles!).

This season of Mad Men takes us to 1969, a year that found itself in a state of flux, both technologically and ideologically. It was in this year that the space race reached its climax, culminating in the moon landing of Apollo 11. It was also the year of Woodstock—the famous (and infamous) music festival that defined the so-called “Hippie” generation. Coming out of a decade that witnessed shocking social changes and rapid industrial advances, one witnessed two distinct (albeit intermingling) strains of thought—an urge to explore the new forms and materials of the future and an impulse, fueled by the environmentalist movement, to come back down to earth a little. On one hand, there was an effort by designers to introduce radically new, psychedelic forms using industrial materials like plastic, foam and metal. On the other, the “Age of Aquarius” youth was calling for a more liberated, culturally rich lifestyle—one that embraced communal living, open love, exotic cultures and the intoxicating siren call of nature. The result was design that ushered in the idea of Postmodernity and a visual world that was not just more experimental, but a heck of a lot more fun. —Max

Check out some more of our favorite late 60s and early 70s designs after the jump! (more…)








Categories: Design, Home Design

Style Icon: Nina Simone

Thu, 2014-04-17 15:00

Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg.

Known as the “high priestess of soul,” Nina Simone is an artist who is often copied but absolutely impossible to duplicate. The daughter of a minister and a handyman, Simone (née Eunice Wayman) was raised in the small Southern town of Tryon, North Carolina. Despite her modest upbringing, Simone nurtured an interest in music from a preternaturally early age, learning the piano at the age of three. As a teen, she aspired to be a concert pianist, but these dreams were hampered when she was denied scholarship to the Curtis Institute of Music on the basis of her race. It wasn’t until she was discovered by Bethlehem records in 1958, while performing in an Atlantic City night club, that Simone emerged as the artist we know her as today.

The career that followed was as long as it was lively. From the late 50s through her death in 2003, Simone released over forty albums, each with her signature combination of gospel, jazz, and classical music. Known for her strong opinions and fiery personality, she was unafraid to ruffle feathers (or take shots if she didn’t take kindly to you). In the mid 1960s, her music took on a decidedly political tone with songs that dealt with segregation and racial inequality.

Simone is probably most legendary for her extraordinary voice, cool style and idiosyncratic stage presence. Often coupling her performances with drawn-out soliloquies, her languid cadence and poetic non sequiturs endowed her with a hypnotic, regal quality. A performer through and through, Nina Simone is one of those fascinating, rare artists whose craft extends beyond her music and into her persona, painting a beautiful and oftentimes entrancing portrait.

1. Black jumpsuit | 2. Missoni Turban | 3. Gold & Turquoise Bib Necklace | 4. Marcel Wanders Knotted Chair | 5. Eye Do Liquid Eyeliner | 6. Pyramids Ring








Categories: Design, Home Design

Past & Present: When Black Became Hip + Black Must Haves

Thu, 2014-04-17 14:00

I think I have six cans of black paint under my sink. I’ve painted the back of my doors black, I’ve painted the weird kitchen counter in my apartment black, I’ve painted tables black and walls black. Just a few years ago, if you said that you were going to paint your entire bedroom black, you’d be met with raised eyebrows. Now, you’d get “ooohs” and “It’s going to look amazing!” The story of black could fill a entire book. And it has. This one.  My favorite part of the story of the color black is when the color became the in color. New Yorkers think they have cornered the market on black. I’d like to see them try to explain that to 14th century European princes. And after the jump are just a few of my favorite black things (This is just my little wish list. I know a clock isn’t necessarily on everyone’s must-have list. But let me say, those Nikes are already in my shopping cart). -Amy

(pssst: For some black home inspiration, check out the Best of Black)


We’re going to start our black journey in the Middle Ages when black became bad. Previously – for the Romans and in the high Middle Ages – black was more complex. A good black and a bad black coexisted in people’s mind. A good sort of black was associated with humility, temperance, authority and dignity. And the bad side of black evoked the world of darkness and dead, sin and the forces of evil. But in the 10th to 13th centuries, the virtues of the color black disappeared and in people’s minds black became a sinister, deathly color. It sounds like an exaggeration to say, but black was associated almost entirely with the devil – in fact, even the animals in Satan’s bestiary were black – black cats, the crow, the bear and the wild boar.

Image above: Black Cats in Procession. Miniature from an English bestiary, mid-13th century.

More about black after the jump!

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Categories: Design, Home Design

Flower Glossary: Carnation (Part 2)

Thu, 2014-04-17 13:00


My previous Flower Glossary post on carnations was primarily about me getting over my own dislike of this commonly found, often overlooked flower. Carnations can be tricky to work with because of their long, stick-like stems and relatively tiny heads. These days people tend to prefer more organic arrangements that favor flowers with large heads, an abundance of petals and stems that allow for some sway and give. Try as I might, I still can’t get traditional carnations to work in that style- until I realized I was lumping all carnations (unfairly) into the same category.

Carnations not only come in hundreds of varieties, they also come in three main types: single stem, spray and dwarf. I’d been struggling to work the classic single stem variety (the one large head on top of a stick-straight stem) but didn’t realize that if I’d known more about the types of carnations available (not just the species and variety), I could have been working with them more regularly and easily.

While I still struggle with single stems, carnations also come in spray form (several smaller flowers on single stems- like the Cherry Star variety above) and in dwarf form (clusters of heads on a single stem). Both of these types are much easier to work with and give you the chance to create the illusion of a more lush flower head by grouping clusters of small blooms together. As much as I enjoy a large mass of the single stem carnations, it’s not always an option to by three dozen of them to group together. Instead, these spray and dwarf varieties are great ways to pick up only a small group of flowers but still be able to work with them in a way that feels looser an more organic. My apologies again to the once maligned carnation. I promise never again to write you off as a difficult flower and look forward to bringing some of you home for an arrangement soon. xo, grace








Categories: Design, Home Design

12 Flower-Themed DIY Projects for Spring

Wed, 2014-04-16 17:00


It must be the warm weather and sunshine, because I ended up creating a flower theme with today’s posts that I didn’t see coming. With every corner store and open lot seemingly packed with bunches of fresh-cut or wild-growing flowers, it felt like the perfect time to focus on DIY projects that use flowers as their main material, ingredient or as their end goal. From colorful hanging baskets you can weave to hold backyard flower arrangements to creative paper, ribbon and button DIYs that use flowers as a natural dye, these projects prove that flowers can do so much more beyond sitting in a vase. What I love most about this range of ideas is that they showcase how many stages of a plant and flower’s life can be celebrated and used, rather than wasted once they’re wilted. I hope you’ll give one of these a shot if you have something fun growing in your backyard and want to find a creative way to bring them inside. xo, grace

*If fresh flower arrangements aren’t your thing, there are some great ideas in here for creating a flower press that you can use to display your favorite flora on the wall instead.

Click through for all 12 projects after the jump!

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Categories: Design, Home Design

Manka’s Inverness Lodge in California

Wed, 2014-04-16 16:00


I think the perfect vacation would be a drive along Highway 1 in California. I grew up in Southern California, but usually we were headed somewhere fast, so a leisurely drive up the coast is something I’ve never done. Now I have another stop to add to my dream road trip.  Manka’s is located in Inverness, California (north of San Francisco). The town was a summer resort for people in San Francisco and Oakland in the early 1900s. Manka’s consists of three properties tucked into the hills of Inverness. The centerpiece of the hotel is a 1917 hunting and fishing lodge. Meghan McEwen of Designtripper (an awesome site for finding hotel gems all over the world) just returned from a stay at Manka’s. She’s sharing a few photos with us today and there are more on Designtripper.  Thanks, Meghan! -Amy

I’ve been slow, reluctant even, to write about our stay at Manka’s — a beloved hunting-lodge-turned-retreat in Inverness — perhaps because I want to draw out the experience of being there, or prevent it from being discovered — already a hopelessly lost cause. It’s no secret, this spot. Far from it, in fact, considering every magazine you know by name has piled heaps of praise at its rustic wooden stilts. And yet, tucked into the evergreens along a beautiful slice of Tomales Bay, it still manages to feel secretive, humble and immensely special.


This is a testament to owner Margaret Grade, who bought the property (a hunting lodge and a handful of cabins, including the boathouse where we stayed). It was called Manka’s then, too — a nickname for the previous owner’s wife (it means Little Rascal in Polish). Margaret spruced up the interiors.  And by spruced up, I mean totally revamped with just-right amenities like a soaking tub, an outdoor shower and the comfiest twin leather armchairs in front of the hearth made of salvaged wood. The decor is an homage to the structure’s original function: vintage fishing nets, worn wooden oars and a collection of black-and-white photos that link the place to its past.

See more of Manka Inverness Lodge after the jump!

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Categories: Design, Home Design

West Elm $500 Giveaway

Wed, 2014-04-16 15:00


This month’s DS BIG 10 Giveaway is coming courtesy of a brand that has been a big part of Design*Sponge’s history: west elm. Not only were they our co-sponsor for the DS book tour, but they provided such genuine and uplifting support during that nearly 30 city tour that kept Amy and I going when 4am wake-up calls started to wear on us. As a brand, west elm has been influential in supporting and celebrating the indie community, frequently partnering with Etsy to showcase handmade work and doing guest collections with some of our favorite design schools and their students. It’s rare to find a company that is excited and truly interested in helping the community that surrounds it, so we feel incredibly lucky to have west elm based in our own home town of Brooklyn. Today they are generously giving away a $500 gift card to one lucky DS reader. All you need to do is answer the question below in the comment section. At the end of the month, west elm will pick their favorite answer and send them a card for a serious shopping spree. Thank you so much to west elm for their support over the past years and for this generous donation to the DS BIG 10 giveaway year. xo, grace

To enter the competition all you have to do is answer this question from West Elm team in the comment section below: What is the one thing West Elm doesn’t sell but you wish they did?

Click through for an interview with West Elm’s Creative Director, Vanessa Holden after the jump!

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Categories: Design, Home Design

Rebecca Louise Law

Wed, 2014-04-16 14:00


The other day I got a call from a newspaper inviting me to talk about the growing trend toward paper flowers. While I’ve definitely seen a lot of beautiful paper flower tutorials online lately and love the direction in which they’re moving (more sophisticated, life-like styles), I actually felt like the world of real flowers was still gaining traction and holding people’s attention in a big way.


While I was researching some examples to send over to the writer, I came across the incredible work of installation artist Rebecca Louise Law. Rebecca grew up in England with a gardener father who encouraged his children to get out and experience how beautiful nature can be. Inspired by a field of flowers that extended as far as she could see, Rebecca decided to explore and recreate that feeling with her site-specific installations of real cut flowers hung from above. The sheer beauty and lushness of her installations are hard to ignore. They exude the sort of drama and grandness that I feel when I’m lucky enough to encounter a field of wild flowers and remind me just what a master nature is on its own. Rebecca has several making-of videos on her site (you can view one above – be sure to keep your volume off if you’re at work), but you can also check out this great behind-the-scenes post from the Laura Ashley blog for more details. I would love to see one of these in person one day and feel what it’s like to have this sort of lushness overhead, rather than underfoot. It must be such an overwhelming feeling of softness and beauty. xo, grace

*Editor’s note: I feel somewhat torn about artwork like this at times. While the majority of cut flowers are used and then tossed after they die, there is an element of this sort of grand-scale installation that nags at me and makes me curious about the flowers once the installation is done. I’m hopeful that any remaining (live) flowers are gifted to people or places that need them most. Though, perhaps their public nature and viewing on a large scale like this ensures more people would see them than if they were used for another smaller event. What are your feelings on this sort of living installation? I’m always curious to hear different viewpoints when it comes to reuse/disposal of installation materials.

Update: Rebecca told me that she uses these flowers after they’re done and dried in more permanent installations whenever possible. Such a great way to give cut flowers a longer life!

Click through for more images of Rebecca Louise Law’s work after the jump!

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Categories: Design, Home Design

Tiny PMS Match: A Color Love Story

Wed, 2014-04-16 13:00


There is no shortage of inspiration on Instagram for me right now. Every day I find something or someone new who I want to interview, work with or just follow online for daily inspiration. One of my current obsessions is the personal project of designer Inka Mathew of Green Ink Studio. Inka created an Instagram page called “Tiny PMS Match” where she matches tiny objects to their corresponding Pantone Matching System (PMS).


Similar to working through a paint deck, Inka collects all sorts of unexpected objects, matches them with their PMS and then photographs and uploads them to her Instagram page. So far she’s managed to match the perfect colors for a doll clothespin, holly berries, Leonardo (as in the Mutant Ninja Turtle) candy and an acorn, among other items. I love seeing these tiny bits and pieces against colorful backdrops, so I decided to ask Inka a few questions to learn more about the project and its most challenging aspects (otherwise known as finding a match for her daughter’s goldfish). Thanks so much to Inka for taking the time to chat with me – you can check out her project here on Instagram and here on Tumblr! xo, grace

What inspired this color-themed feed?

My background is print design, so I always have Pantone chips around me, and I love colors. One morning, when I was looking around to see the plants in my front yard, my attention was captured by these intense bright blue little flowers called Veronica Georgia Blue. A question popped in my head, “I wonder what PMS color is that?” The design-geek in me urged me to pick a bloom and try to find a matching Pantone color for it. It was PMS 2726. I took a picture of the little flower on the matching Pantone chip with my iPhone and posted it on Instagram. I was pleasantly surprised by my followers’ reactions when they saw it. Some of them asked me to do other objects. I thought that was a great idea and decided to do so. From then on, I’ve paid attention to the little things around me. I chose objects that either piqued my interest or had personal meaning to me. I wanted all the photos to be consistent, so I created a method on how to take them. I used stacked books to prop my iPhone and dot-grid notebook as the background behind the Pantone chips. After I had around 50 shots, I created a separate Instagram account for it.

Click through for the rest of the interview after the jump!

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Categories: Design, Home Design

Learning to Unplug: Confessions of a Tech Junkie

Tue, 2014-04-15 17:00

Alright, you guys. Confession time. I’m a technology addict. Like so many of my twenty-first century peers, my life has become hopelessly, utterly consumed by devices and their requisite apps and programs. On one hand, I love my technology. Like, really, really love it. My smartphone, my tablet, my computer—all of these things have helped to turn my world into a binary-powered ecstasy fun house: an endless parade of neuron-firing, dopamine-dispensing images, conversations, comments and culture. It’s a big ol’ party 24/7. The flip side? As with most addictions, this one comes with its own brand of self-sabotage. While I live for my daily information fix, I also loathe it, resenting the way that it has taken over and controlled nearly every aspect of my life. While the sweet nothings that fill my Facebook and Twitter feeds are truly benign—just friendly conversation in most cases—they tend to become grating and oppressive when taken in such large, uninhibited doses. “Oh, God. Another photo of a cat? I don’t think I can go on living.”  Still, no matter how overwhelming or unhealthily bitter my relationship with my technology becomes, I cannot stop. Even the suggestion of removing myself from it seems outright ludicrous, akin to giving up food—or air. Clearly, there is a problem here.

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Categories: Design, Home Design

Biz Ladies: Making A Career Transition

Tue, 2014-04-15 16:00

After four and a half years of curating Biz Ladies content from extremely inspiring and talented contributors, I thought it might be time for me to step behind the keyboard and share some of the biz knowledge I’ve gained through my personal experiences navigating the career realm (and years learning from the pros!). I’m by no means a business expert when it comes to the best, most effective, and “right” things to do, but I can proudly say that I’ve been through the biz-owning gauntlet and have successfully emerged able to tell the tale of my trials, tribulations and accomplishments. Today I will specifically be focusing on the topic of making the ever-so-terrifying career transition from one industry to another. I’m currently in the midst of the process myself and I thought it might be helpful to share some of my own experiences and advice on how I’m making it all happen. And as always, we’d love to hear about your own biz experiences, for as they say, you’re never going it alone.


Thanks for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this series that I have loved being a part of for so many years. –Stephanie

Read the full post after the jump…

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Categories: Design, Home Design

Biz Ladies Profile: Shanan Campanaro of Eskayel

Tue, 2014-04-15 15:00

Today’s Biz Ladies Profile comes to us from Shanan Campanaro, founder of Brooklyn-based design studio Eskayel. With a background in both fashion and graphic design, Shanan couldn’t deny her interest in interiors and creating spaces that speak to true self-expression and comfort. She launched Eskayel in 2008 and has since created six major collections with more than 200 patterns, and has expanded the line to include custom rugs, pillows, wall coverings, baskets, prints, scarves and more. Today, Shanan shares a bit about the steps she took to launch, build and grow her business. Thanks for giving us this glimpse into your career journey! –Stephanie

Read the full interview after the jump…

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Categories: Design, Home Design

City Guide: Bozeman, MT

Tue, 2014-04-15 14:00

Today’s Bozeman, MT City Guide comes to us from Everything Golden shop owner, Mariah Palmer.  A mountain woman to the core, she grew up in Idaho, spent some time in Colorado and is now settled and so much in love with Bozeman, MT. When she is not running her online store, she can also be found blogging about independent art, design, style, wild places and animals and anything that inspires.  Here, she shares her love for this special mountain town, filled with good beer, good eats and independent art and music. Thank you so much for this guide, Mariah! –Stephanie

Read the full guide after the jump…

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Categories: Design, Home Design

Flower Glossary: Scilla Peruviana

Tue, 2014-04-15 13:00


There are flowers like peonies and roses that seem so soft and recognizable and then there are flowering plants like this, the wildly unique Scilla peruviana, that make you stop, stare and wonder what they are. As much as I appreciate a sweet, petal-filled peony, I’m becoming more drawn to flowers that make me ask questions, wonder where they originate and what function all of their interesting aspects serve.

Sprout Home had a beautiful vase of cut Scilla peruviana, or Portuguese squill, available last week, so we picked up a few to bring back to the DS office and photograph. Max and I both marveled at the quill-like centers of each flower, which are surrounded by a crown of delicate purple flowers. Native to northwest Africa and the Mediterrananeon, Scilla peruviana actually gets its name from a botanical naming error. While its scientific name means “of Peru,” the plant was actually discovered in Spain and delivered aboard a ship named Peru. The name stuck (apparently because the rules of botanical naming do not allow for a do-over) and now the world has over 80 species of Scilla that share similar qualities. The most common varieties of Scilla, like this peruviana, have 40-100 white, blue or violet flowers and can be found throughout the world during spring months. I think a tall mass of these is a great alternative to carnation or similarly tall and leggy blooms. So if you see these at your local florist or market, give them a shot! xo, grace

*Fun fact: Scilla peruviana is also known as a Cuban lily, Caribbean lily, hyacinth-of-Peru, Havana lily and Peruvian lily…despite the fact that it originates from none of the named countries.








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