Design from A to Z: F is for Farmhouse

Design from A-Z: F is for Farmhouse, Design*Sponge

Design from A to Z: F is for Farmhouse

As eclectic homes with a “lived-in” look become more and more en vogue, one of my favorite styles, farmhouse, seems to be having a resurgence in popularity. It makes sense. Gone are the times when dining rooms were off-limits and sofas were kept clean with plastic. On the contrary, contemporary homeowners want to live somewhere they can settle into — somewhere they can feel wrapped in comfort. And that’s where farmhouse style always soars. It has an innate ability to make you feel at ease and instantly infuses a laid-back feel into any space where the style is implemented. When you step into a home with the look, you simply can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief.

Today, in honor of farmhouse style, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite examples of it for from our burgeoning archives. While most are from actual farms we’ve covered, all can easily be incorporated into your house or apartment no matter the location. Click through to take a peek and get ready to be swept off to the countryside. Enjoy! —Garrett

P.S. Check out the first few styles in our Design from A to Z series here.

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Reclaimed Pieces & Vintage Finds Transform a New Orleans Bungalow

Reclaimed Pieces & Vintage Finds Transform Two Guys' Bungalow, Design*Sponge

Reclaimed Pieces & Vintage Finds Transform a New Orleans Bungalow

For about eight years, Patrick was kicking it solo in his New Orleans, LA Craftsman. He’d spend time in the gardens doing maintenance here and cleaning up there, tending to what he admits was a pretty cookie-cutter-style home. Then his partner Alex Geriner, the founder of Doorman Designs, came into the picture. For the first bit of their relationship they made little updates around the house, until one year ago when the transformation truly started to take off and Alex moved in. After the move-in, the two vowed to inject more personality into their home and have since turned the simple space into a treasure trove of vintage finds and reclaimed goods.

Alex’s background in furniture design has had a major impact on the home’s current style. His studio makes everything from dressers to bed frames, all of which are featured throughout his and Patrick’s house. Most of the pieces are made out of found wood Alex has brought back from all over the place: some pieces are from Indonesia, some are from right there in New Orleans. Keep an eye out for the 500-pound cypress table in the living room. It’s a stunner.

Peppered about the reclaimed items is a curated collection of vintage finds. Both men have a penchant for throwback pieces, and when they moved in together they started combing through their existing inventory as well as snagging new items to enrich each room. The pair ended up with so much art, for example, they’ve have been able to create gallery walls in many of the three-bedroom, two-bath house’s rooms. One honors their love of birds, while another captures their flair for the eclectic. Overall, this touch and more has truly transformed what was once your typical Craftsman into a home that captures its owners’ personalities and tastes. Click through to take a look at how the bungalow has come together over the past year. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Alex Geriner

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Day Three: Pattern Download from Juliet Meeks

Day Three: Pattern Download from Juliet Meeks

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If I could wallpaper my actual wall with this color and this pattern, I would. I would move to Savannah, Georgia and lounge on a chaise by the window, alternating my gaze from the Spanish moss-filled trees and this wallpaper. I would be sipping mint iced tea and daydreaming. All. Day. For now, I’ll just have to take some breaks from my work and pop over to my desktop to recreate the dream. Thanks Juliet!

This downloadable pattern is by New Orleans native Juliet Meeks. Visit Juliet’s website here and follow her on Instagram @julietmeeksdesign. —Caitlin

The vertical pattern can be downloaded here and the horizontal pattern can be downloaded here.

Please know and respect that these patterns are for personal use only!

6 Spring Fruits & Vegetables To Enjoy Now + In Season Printable FOR YOUR FRIDGE

6 Spring Fruits & Vegetables To Enjoy Now + In Season Printable FOR YOUR FRIDGE

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With the spring equinox comes a new crop of fruits and vegetables that are perfectly in season. I often leave the grocery without the main thing I went to the store for, and sadly, that’s true no matter how excited I get about spring produce. I made this handy-dandy fridge reminder so I have a constant awareness of what to buy this month. It also helps me menu-plan when I can, and I have to say, it beats looking at the gazillion school memos stuck to my refrigerator with random magnets.

And, of course, I’m sharing some of my favorite recipes for you to bookmark as we quickly move through March, starting with this artichoke casserole from Sabra Krock. This is one dish that my family and I could eat every single weekend — and it freezes well too! –Caitlin

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Click through for a few more favorite ways to enjoy these in-season treats!

Click here to download this printable for your fridge or device for your next shopping trip.

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10 Ways to Infuse a Space with Color & Warmth from Designer Regan Baker

10 Ways to Infuse a Space with Color & Warmth from Designer Regan Baker

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It always amazes me to see what color and texture can do to elevate a room to its full design potential. These are the elements that can take a space from appearing one-dimensional and cold to feeling warm, welcoming and full of depth.

When it comes to implementing these design workhorses of color and texture, Regan Baker is beyond proficient. Based in San Francisco, CA, Regan uses her 12 years of interior architecture and design experience to craft spaces that are a balance of comfortable, modern and personal.

“A well-designed room should provide a visual journey when you first walk in, and it’s the textures, patterns and colors that guide this journey,” she says. “If a space doesn’t invite you in, that is a good sign more warm design elements need to be added.”

To easily break down this art form of hers, Regan is sharing with us 10 tips that anyone can use to pull off a warm vibe in their own home by leaning heavily on color and texture.

“The use of warmth and color in your home is key to creating an inviting and comfortable space where you enjoy spending time,” Regan shares. “Warm textures, patterns and colors, such as the use of woods, patterned wallpaper or rugs, are also the design elements that show off your personality and make the space uniquely yours.”

Check out all of Regan’s tips after the jump — with gorgeous design examples of how to execute them — and get the inspiration you need to make your space feel even more like home. —Kelli

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Photography courtesy of Regan Baker Design
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Day Two: Pattern Download by Juliet Meeks

Day Two: Pattern Download by Juliet Meeks

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This pattern makes me want to pull on my galoshes and run through the woods in search of tiny periwinkle flowers! I know they’re out there somewhere. Juliet’s palette in today’s pattern download is pretty much what spring dreams are made of. If you’re in the mood for a little flora or fauna of your own, her shop is filled with patterns and prints galore. I already have my eye on her “Fox in the Woods” pouch for a certain someone’s Easter basket.

Visit Juliet’s website here and follow her on Instagram @julietmeeksdesign. —Caitlin

The vertical pattern can be downloaded here and the horizontal pattern can be downloaded here.

Please know and respect that these patterns are for personal use only!

Think Pink: 16 Pink Homes To Lift Your Spirits

Think Pink: 16 Pink Homes To Lift Your Spirits

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Sometimes when I’m having a rough day, I’ll scroll through the #DSPink hashtag on Instagram and find myself smiling at all of the amazing pink homes people share around the world. From elegant pink townhouses in London to bright pink Victorians in San Francisco, there’s nothing quite like a pink house (or room, or wall!) to cheer you up when the winter blues are hanging around. So if you need a little pick-me-up, check out these amazing pink interiors (and exteriors) from our fellow pink-loving friends in the #DSPink feed. xo, grace

Image above by @andreannu

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Image above by @patrix15

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Rustic Simplicity Modernizes a 200-Year-Old Home

Rustic Simplicity Modernizes a 200-Year-Old Home, Design*Sponge

Rustic Simplicity Modernizes a 200-Year-Old Home

Undesirable kitchens, ancient furnishings and broken-down parts can all cloud your judgement when looking for a home, especially an older one. I say “can cloud,” but let’s be real. They’re relentless! These no-go’s refuse to be overlooked and oftentimes get in the way of an old home’s greatest asset: its bones. If I’ve learned anything from the homeowners we’ve talked to over the years, though, it’s how rewarding it can be when you look past these surface flaws and embrace the charm and quirks of an elder home.

April Lawrence, interior designer and owner of plant shop Lil’ Bit, is one such creative gal. When she first laid eyes on this 1780s-era house in Deerfield, NH it was sort of a mess. The heat didn’t work, the ceilings were low and years of dusty renovations hid what she knew was great potential. Potential no other home buyer saw but her. Even her husband Sam thought they may be getting in over their heads with the clunker. But that was three years ago. Since then, Sam and their family and friends have rallied around April and helped tear down walls, sand floors and install new windows and flooring.

After having put so much sweat into bringing the home into the 21st century, the last thing April wanted to do was cover up all of the home’s fabulous bones with mounds of decoration. In order to let its core shine, she’s instead outfitted it in uncomplicated rustic wares. Nearly all of them are from nearby secondhand shops, and they each add a simple charm no matter the room they reside in. Guest bedrooms with paint-by-numbers art, a small collection of pennants above the fireplace, a dining room decked out in farming equipment, you name it. And it doesn’t stop there. Click through to take a deeper dive into this New England renovation. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Mike Quill

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A Week Full of Pattern with New Orleans Artist Juliet Meeks

A Week Full of Pattern with New Orleans Artist Juliet Meeks

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There’s nothing like starting the week out with A LOT of pink and florals, and so I’m delighted to share this bright and cheerful pattern from Juliet Meeks. She’ll been joining us each morning with a new pattern that’s available to download for personal use on your phone, tablet and desktop. We had the pleasure of working with Juliet on an exciting project that we’ll be sharing in a few short months and we think you’ll love it — so stayed tuned for big news on that front!

In the meantime, enjoy your Monday and these gorgeous flowers from Juliet! We’ll learn more about Juliet and her design process tomorrow. Visit Juliet’s website here and follow her on Instagram @julietmeeksdesign. —Caitlin

The vertical pattern can be downloaded here and the horizontal pattern can be downloaded here.

Please know and respect that these patterns are for personal use only!

Yinka Ilori + Best of the Web

Yinka Ilori + Best of the Web

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Earlier this week we, and many others, got over two feet of snow in one day. The rest of the week was filled with fits and spurts of snow shoveling and creating runs for the dogs to make their way through the yard (which is now filled with solid snow drifts taller than they are). The monotonous sea of snow-on-snow is getting to me, so I find myself craving COLOR and pattern in a major way. Enter: the incredible design work of British-Nigerian designer, Yinka Ilori.

Inspired by the unnecessary waste he saw in European and West African consumer cultures, Yinka decided to create something beautiful with furniture and found objects that had been discarded. Upcycling and finding ways to reuse and re-celebrate things that have been tossed aside is near and dear to our hearts at D*S, so these pieces are just the jolt of excitement that the winter blues are calling for. Click here to check out more of his work online or here to check out more on Instagram. xo, grace

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Quick Bread from The Baker’s Appendix

Quick Bread from The Baker’s Appendix

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You know that feeling you get when you meet someone and you just know you like them immediately? That’s how I felt when I met Jessica Reed. She was selling copies of her (then) zine-like Baker’s Appendix guide at a craft fair in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and while Julia was instantly smitten with her incredibly helpful baking guide, I was taken with her business cards (below).

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Jessica’s openminded and open-heart-ed cards (and her friendly personality) embodied the sort of “anything is possible” mentality that I was trying to fully embrace about being a business owner and I immediately followed up with her to see if I could do a radio show inspired by her cards. From there on we stayed in touch and Julia and I have so enjoyed watching her Baker’s Appendix go from zine to book pitch to, as of this week, a beautifully printed book that is in stores everywhere.

I’m not a huge (or frequent) baker because of my Type 1, but Jessica’s book makes me feel in control and excited to get back in the kitchen to create my own simple breads, cakes and muffins. The subtitle of her book is: “The Essential Kitchen Companion, with Deliciously Dependable, Infinitely Adaptable Recipes” and it is just that. This sweet cloth-covered guide includes every baking measurement and conversion you’ll ever need, along with simple but delicious recipes that can be adjusted and tweaked to fit your needs or cooking mood. I love when a book sets out to do something simply and do it well, and Jessica has created a guide that I can see generations of bakers handing down to friends, family and children. I sure wish I’d had this growing up but I’m really glad I do now. Read on to get Jessica’s recipe for no-knead Quick Bread and click here to order a copy online and here to find a copy near you (and here for Jessica’s baking feed on Instagram). xo, grace

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In the Kitchen With: Donal Skehan’s Quinoa, Pea and Zucchini Cakes

In the Kitchen With: Donal Skehan’s Quinoa, Pea and Zucchini Cakes

Mini Quinoa Pea and Zucchini Cakes with Salsa Verde

Today, on St. Patrick’s Day, I have chosen to share a recipe from one of my favorite YouTube foodies, Donal Skehan. Donal is an Irish food writer, television host, and photographer who has recently moved to LA from Dublin with his wife, Sofie, and his rescue dog, Max, for their next food adventure. His first American cookbook, Fresh, was just released, and to keep with the freshness theme, I’ve chosen the Mini Quinoa, Pea and Zucchini Cakes with Salsa Verde. Since spring is just around the corner, feel free to use fresh peas instead of frozen, and soak and cook your own chickpeas from dried instead of canned. Because this recipe freezes well, and is accompanied by a recipe for salsa verde, it’s really a two-for-one! Make an extra-large batch of both so you have some for later in the week, and you can use the salsa verde to dress your favorite spring vegetables, sandwiches, or salads. —Kristina

Why Donal loves this recipe: When it comes to eating lighter, healthier and more balanced meals, I like the idea of fritters just like these that can be jam-packed with good ingredients. This recipe makes quite a few quinoa cakes which can be kept and served reheated for brunch with smoked salmon, a poached egg and asparagus.

 

Fresh by Donal Skehan

Food Photography by Donal Skehan | Portrait by Sofie Larsson Skehan

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Life & Business: Agatha Achindu of Yummy Spoonfuls

Life & Business: Agatha Achindu of Yummy Spoonfuls

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One of the greatest joys in life is being able to connect different parts of your world and bring them together in a meaningful way. My work here at Design*Sponge means so much to me, but there is a large part of my life that I don’t always discuss here that revolves around volunteering and activism. When Julia and I moved upstate, one of the first things we did was get involved in local food and family-related charities, like our local food pantry, a delivery meal food service and Family of Ellenville. Being of service to people in need is an important part of our lives and we’re always trying to pay close attention to see if there are gaps in service that need to be filled.

One thing I noticed across the board in our area was how difficult it was to provide healthy (or any) food to young children and their families. Most of the food that food pantries receive is past or just-about-past due, and it’s illegal for most charities to give out expired baby and toddler food. So a lot of pantries don’t stock it for that reason. Because of that, I decided to do some research to see if there were any companies creating healthy baby and toddler food that could be frozen, so it would be able to last longer on pantry shelves and help families in need. That’s when Agatha Achindu, mom, chef and the founder of Yummy Spoonfuls Organic Baby Food, came into my life.

I emailed Agatha to ask if they would consider donating a box or two of their frozen food to our local pantry and she responded with an open heart and an offer that blew me away. Not only was Agatha open to donating food, she donated an entire pallet (see us below, when it arrived!) of food that will last our entire county (not just our local food pantry) for at least three months. I was blown away by her generosity and wanted to get to know more of her story and how her company — and her mission to support moms in need (she’s donated over half a million dollars worth of food across the country so far!) — came to be. So please read on below to learn more about Agatha, Yummy Spoonfuls, and her mission in life and work. xo, grace

 

 

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Little King Bar

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Little King Bar

We’ve all been there. You’ve just traded in your work clothes for a pair of sweatpants, and *bam* hunger strikes. “Great. I guess it’s time to cook, ‘cuz I’m clearly not going anywhere,” you think to yourself. Or maybe you still can. If you’re a Brooklynite, I know you have a Pinterest board on how to dress up those sweatpants, so pair them with a bomber jacket and get yourself to Williamsburg’s trendy new spot Little King. The team behind it has put together a gorgeous – yet approachable – space that beckons all types, from those in their “Sunday sweats [to their] Sunday best.”

Working within a shoestring budget, the space’s designer Christina Salway had to adopt this same “anything goes” attitude while putting together the look of the restaurant. You name it, garage sales, auctions, Craigslist — no source was below Little King. In fact, these secondhand options ended up offering items with the perfect patina and character she was looking for at a fraction of big-box-store prices. To squeeze every last drop out of the budget, Christina even went so far as to hand stencil Little King’s harlequin floor herself! As you’ll see, it flows up to a lustrous bar she and the team refurbished, and the entire scene is lit by orb lights that prove one man’s trash can be another man’s treasure (the entire set was only $250). Click through to take a look at the entire space. It’s sure to not only get your eyes popping, but your stomach growling. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Jane Beiles

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Before & After: A Hands-On Renovation to Welcome Twins in Tacoma, WA

"We made those mobiles and my baby Hazel spends a good amount of time being perfectly content and mesmerized under its movement. It's my secret weapon when I need to get something done really quick," Lindy says.

Before & After: A Hands-On Renovation to Welcome Twins in Tacoma, WA

One of my favorite Sneak Peeks of 2015 was Lindy and Travis Dodge’s home in Tacoma, WA. Their home is classic, comfortable and uncluttered. As my husband and I are on the search for a craftsman home for sale needing a little love, I think about the amazing house Lindy found with coffered ceilings, thick trim and tons of natural light — and I’m encouraged to hold out for something amazing to show up on the market. The Dodges make the process of restoring a home with good bones doable. Everything is DIY and paid for with sweat equity and a confined budget. “I didn’t even know we were in the market to buy a home, and neither did my husband. But sometimes I like to browse Zillow, find old houses and dream of all the things I could do to them. In the first 5 minutes of one of these browsing sessions, I found it. [The house] was a complete disaster, (animal-peed carpet, fake dropped ceilings, plaster holes, dark dungeony kitchen etc.) but I couldn’t look past the coffered ceilings, staircase and molding,” Lindy says. “This house was made for us. With his skills and my ability to make things look pretty, this was the one.”

Things have changed for Lindy, a maker and designer, and Travis, an engineer and founder of start up Tackoma, since their first Design*Sponge feature. While the work on the main level was done, things upstairs were in a bit of a standstill. “We worked so hard and so fast in the beginning that we got a little burnt out, to be honest. [We became] busy with other things and we needed an opportunity to recoup financially for the second phase of renovations upstairs,” Lindy shares. “In March of last year we found out we were pregnant! And in April we were completely shocked to find that there were two babies in there! That gave us the kick in the pants to get back at it and finish up the upstairs.” The rush of adrenaline helped them finish their goal. “We worked and worked up until the day my water broke. I have some really funny photos of me heavily pregnant with twins, a ventilator mask and a paintbrush (no VOC paint of course). Somehow we pulled it off; it was ready for them to come home to.” When Lindy reached out to us that the upstairs was finished, we jumped at the chance to see before and afters of this transformation.

The house is almost unrecognizable apart from the charming features that originally drew them to this home. “We love a good clean, modern design but sometimes for me that feels too cold,” Lindy shares. “I love to throw in classic and traditional styles with the modern to create the essence of home. I think we’ve finally nailed it. It feels really good to be home, and that’s saying something. Up until this point, (and maybe because the entire upstairs was untouched and needed renovations badly) something didn’t feel quite right. I was able to really design our family living space to suit our needs in those renovations upstairs, and clarify my design style. I’ve finally found my personal aesthetic and what feels right and like home for our family. And now with that done, I started redesigning the downstairs, making small changes like reupholstering the sofa, purchasing a new rug and finding the sweetest Danish dining chairs on Craigslist to complement the newly finished upstairs living space.” Travis and Lindy have given new life to their home with their own hands and sweat and can feel like it is finally done, at least for this life stage. Their hard work has created a space that can handle their growing family for years and years. –Lauren

Photography by Lindy Dodge

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