The Only Things You Need To Know About Your Storefront Display

The Only Things You Need To Know About Your Storefront Display

storefront3

If you’ve been following along over the past few weeks, I’ve been sharing some tips and tricks for creating the best storefront display for your brick-and-mortar and online shop. And yes — big exhale — it’s a lot to take in!

Whether you’re a start-up or you’ve been in business for decades, learning from the wisdom of others in the field is invaluable. So today we’re sharing insights from industry professionals who range from businesses as large as Big Cartel, Etsy and Shopify to individual shops run by independent merchants. We asked all of them: What’s the one thing you should know and keep in mind when creating a storefront display/window, whether online or in a physical space? Without further ado, here are their answers! —Sabrina

VIEW MORE

Best of the National Stationery Show: Pizza

Hartland at the Naitonal Stationary Show.

Best of the National Stationery Show: Pizza

Can we all just agree on something? Pizza is pretty great. As a New Yorker, I have a very strong connection to pizza and a sense of pride to go with it. For me, pizza elicits an immediate sense of joy — countless happy memories of greasy paper plates dripping with cheese and sauce. I was overjoyed to see the friendly face of pizza on tons of designs at this year’s National Stationery Show. Everyone had different interpretations, from The Seapink’s neon print to Wishbone Letter Press’ festive Christmas card. These seven designs are perfect for your fun-loving friend or to keep as a constant reminder for your love of the all and mighty — pizza. X, Emma

Photography by Emma Tuccillo 

VIEW MORE

Helen McCullagh for Fleurt + Best of the Web

Helen McCullagh for Fleurt + Best of the Web

IMG_20150518_151206_resized
All week I’ve been relishing the spring flowers that have popped up all over town. Whether we’re driving down the street and seeing purple wild flowers appear or watching the butter yellow irises in our yard bloom, it feels like fresh flowers are everywhere. There are few subjects I love more in artwork than flowers, so I’ve always been a fan of artists that focus on floral still-life subjects. One of my favorites is Helen McCullagh, who has some incredible new paintings on display at Fleurt, a group show at Saint Cloche gallery in Sydney dedicated to flowers. Nine artists, from photographers and painters to ceramicists, will show their work starting this Saturday through Sunday, June 7th. Click here for more info on the show and check out some of Helen’s latest pieces above and below. If you’re in Sydney, send us some pics if you visit in person! It looks like it’s going to be an amazing show. Until then, best wishes for a safe and happy weekend. xo, grace

IMG_20150516_122008_resized

bestof522

bestofDS522

Grandbaby Cakes’ Gooey-Gooey Cake

Grandbaby Cakes’ Gooey-Gooey Cake

GBC_GooeyGooeyCake
This week’s recipe for the Original Gooey-Gooey Cake comes from an In the Kitchen With veteran, Jocelyn Delk Adams. Jocelyn is the creator of the Grandbaby Cakes blog, where she turns out an amazing number of recipes covering the gamut of baked goods. Her first book, Grandbaby Cakes Cookbook, a cookbook which tells the story of the women in her family and how the recipes they share have shaped her love for baking, comes out in September. The next time you need a quick and easy sheet cake to take to a party or gathering, try this cake out! If you prefer loaf cakes, you can try Jocelyn’s recipe for Sweet Potato Pound Cake in our archives. —Kristina

Why Jocelyn loves this recipe: After Aunt Beverly handed over this classic recipe to our family, it instantly became a classic. My older brother André had a habit of asking for my mom to make this cake several times a year, whether it was for his birthday, Easter or just because he got an A at school. It became his “special” cake. My mom ended up making the cake so much that she knew the recipe by heart, and eventually, so did I.

Grandbaby-Cakes-Cover

Recipe image: © Jocelyn Delk Adams Author image: © Chuck Olu-Alabi

VIEW MORE

Home Ec: 6 Books to Inspire and Help with Decluttering

This book covers decluttering, but also gets into the mindset behind why it can be nice to minimize what you keep and have in your home. For me, one of its finest points is the chapter on embracing space - which is something that can happen when you get rid of a lot of things. It can be stressful to feel like your home is "empty," but this book will talk about how to live with that look and feel.

Home Ec: 6 Books to Inspire and Help with Decluttering

Julia and I are having a yard sale in a few weeks and it’s been refreshing to continue to cut down on the things we own and focus on things that mean something to us or serve a highly functional purpose. Not only does it mean the visual clutter is at a minimum, but it also means that when we end our work days and sit down to relax, things around us feel simpler and easier to use. Everyone has a different method of cleaning up and finding their version of simplicity at home, but it was wonderful to watch how this book by Marie Kondo inspired people across the globe to do away with clutter and embrace a version of minimalism.

Whether you’re looking to minimize and pare down to essentials, or just organize and decorate your home in a way that makes you feel calm and relaxed, I thought today I would share a few books that will help walk you through the process of simplifying your life at home. This isn’t to make your home empty and devoid of character, but instead make room for your most cherished pieces and meaningful design decisions to shine. xo, grace

unnamed

This post and the Home Ec section are brought to you by Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day. Visit the Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Home-Grown Inspiration section featuring 20 DIYs, including seven from Design*Sponge!

VIEW MORE

Best of the National Stationery Show: Gold Foil

Ferme A Papier at the 2015 NSS.

Best of the National Stationery Show: Gold Foil

I was never much into gold. Whether in jewelry, stationery, or furniture design, gold always seemed to be trying too hard to show off. However, as times change, so do trends and personal taste. At this year’s National Stationery Show, it was the gleaming bits of gold foil that surprisingly caught my eye. I saw this technique at countless booths — a special kind of printing process that uses heat, pressure, and foil to create a slightly raised impression. Many designers showcased gold foil stamping in simple, yet decisive ways, adding a feeling of luxury to their collections. With the metallic accent employed to accompany an abstract pattern, stand alone as a typographical element — or in the case of Ferme À Papier, as a literal translation of the golden ratio — these designs made a case for the allure of gold and changed my mind for good. The following 10 designs are some of my favorites from the show. They’re not showy or gaudy, but are rather beautiful in their simplicity, reminding me of an elegantly dressed woman with just a hint of gold around her neck. X, Emma

Photography by Emma Tuccillo

VIEW MORE

Before & After: Jason’s Portland Office

jasonba

Before & After: Jason’s Portland Office

Julia and I live in a small hamlet (I love that word) in upstate New York which has a number of abandoned buildings that are just asking to be given a second chance. One of my biggest dreams is to makeover our tiny “main street” stretch and create new spaces for artists, retail and other commercial prospects, but in the meantime, I’m living vicariously through other people who are buying and renovating old buildings that need a little love.

This makeover comes from Jason Leonard, who runs a poster restoration business called Affiche Studio. Jason recently bought a building in Portland, OR that he’s been slowing transforming into a bright, modern space for his business. Along the way he’s documented his process on Instagram (#archipelagopdx) and today he’s sharing photos of the finished space here! I love seeing all the work he’s done in six months, but I also love seeing that little building painted with such a sleek black exterior. I’ve always wanted to try that up here, so this is giving me a little inspiration to work on a proposal for some renovations upstate. In the meantime, click through to see Jason’s full building makeover. xo, grace

VIEW MORE

A Neat and Tidy Home by The Bay

A Neat and Tidy Home by The Bay, Design*Sponge

A Neat and Tidy Home by The Bay

Overlooking a communal garden in San Francisco, minimalists Cary and Cam Fortin’s two-bedroom home is an exercise in restraint. The two have done such a fantastic job putting it together, you would never know that they are living with only 35 pieces of clothing each and with just the basics. By employing decluttering methods she uses with her clients at New Minimalism, Cary has been able to train herself to live with less while still maintaining a truly personal and layered abode. “I believe that the relationship we have with our space is a powerful one, and I wanted this space to add to our lives and encourage us to be our most inspired and adventurous selves,” Cary says.

The airiness, bedroom balcony and french doors immediately drew the couple to the apartment while on the hunt for a new home in the Bay Area. Originally, the two had a vast array of disparate furniture that didn’t exactly serve to showcase the merging of their two styles. Through decluttering, however, they were able to toss a third of their shared possessions and start building this home together. Fast forward five years, and the 1920s-era spot truly captures Cam and Cary’s original vision of a space that is restful, serene and creative. “In the past, I’ve hesitated to invest in a rental, but each time we have, it’s been incredible,” Cary says. “Had I known five years ago we’d still be here, I would have done everything right away.”

Far too often the expectations for what is considered “minimalism” are set at an unattainable degree. That’s why I find Cary and Cam’s home so refreshing. It ushers in a new way of perceiving the movement by showing what a contemporary and lively family deems “the essentials.” It also doesn’t hurt when that family has impeccable taste, like these two. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Ryan Devisser

 

VIEW MORE

NYCxDESIGN 2015 Trends We Love: Terrestrial Textures

NYCxDESIGN 2015 Trends We Love: Terrestrial Textures, on Design*Sponge

NYCxDESIGN 2015 Trends We Love: Terrestrial Textures

While the physical strain of NYCxDESIGN has many longing for an early summer vacation, the following finds thrust that desire out of this world. Whether attempting to capture the impression that a wiry tree casts upon a small child, or to replicate slices of earthen materials in hallucinatory colors, or even to imagine looking down upon the atmosphere of another planet from our present perch, this year designers are translating their impressions of the universe at every scale. Walking the shows focuses attention on an endless display of exquisite, earthly items, but these inspired designs serve as a welcome reminder of the humble beauty inherent in our natural world. Feel free to share your favorite terrestrial textured finds in the comments! —Annie

VIEW MORE

NYCxDESIGN 2015 Trends We Love: Contemporary Quilting

NYCxDESIGN 2015 Trends We Love: Contemporary Quilting, on Design*Sponge

NYCxDESIGN 2015 Trends We Love: Contemporary Quilting

Makers throughout NYCxDESIGN toiled at the intersection between modern technology and traditional handicrafts. While the following finds are all artisan-made, the objects contain varying levels of discernible computer input. Some patchwork pieces suggest only a hint of digital intervention in their geometric motifs or chic textures, while others take tech further by employing programming to determine the very look of a final product. We feel inspired by these reconciliatory efforts, the designs that pay so much reverence to old ways while ingeniously incorporating tools available at the present moment. Feel free to share your favorite contemporary quilted pieces from the shows in the comments! —Annie

VIEW MORE

NYCxDESIGN 2015 Trends We Love: Skeletal Bentwood

NYCxDESIGN 2015 Trends We Love: Skeletal Bentwood, on Design*Sponge

NYCxDESIGN 2015 Trends We Love: Skeletal Bentwood

We admired dozens of innovative fabrication techniques and futuristic building materials throughout two weeks of NYCxDESIGN happenings, but good old bentwood most piqued our curiosity about how things are made. As contemporary designers continue to evolve the methods pioneered by Thonet in the 1850s, the shapes they create are able to curve and undulate in gradual increments that resemble the familiar cage of vertebrate ribs. Whether finished with a skin-like cladding or without, the wooden frames represent form and function in one design element. Feel free to share your favorite skeletal bentwood pieces in the comments! —Annie

VIEW MORE

NYCxDESIGN 2015 Trends We Love: Graffiti Print

NYCxDESIGN 2015 Trends We Love: Graffiti Print, on Design*Sponge

NYCxDESIGN 2015 Trends We Love: Graffiti Print

The fortnight of events comprising NYCxDESIGN (formerly known as New York Design Week to any old-school attendees in the house) has finally come to a close, marking a particularly robust annual showing at the citywide festival of events revolving around all things design. Our collective cultural consciousness sometimes inspires artists and makers with similar concepts iterated in vastly different ways. Our first trend pick of the season is the inky, hand-drawn graffiti markings threaded throughout many shows this season. While brush script lettering has become popular over the past few years, the bold, angular movements of these latest stroke patterns and murals feel more like frenetic 1980s Keith Haring than homespun calligraphy. Whether the trend is a reaction to all the stark, neat geometry that’s synonymous with Brooklyn design exports right now, or instead is sparked by the popularity of kuba cloth textiles for their organic yet graphic vibes, contrasting hand-drawn graffiti print is having a moment. Feel free to share your favorites in the comments! —Annie

VIEW MORE

In Sweden, a Family’s First Home

In Sweden, a Family's First Home, Design*Sponge

In Sweden, a Family’s First Home

I am currently contemplating whether or not it’s time to find a new apartment. There are so many factors to consider, that it’s sometimes hard for me to feel the excitement through the dull logistics. My wish list is set, but just getting started on the hunt is daunting. Once I finally pull the trigger I know I won’t regret it, but until then, I will just have to live vicariously through others who are moving into exciting new homes — like Malin and Maurice.

Two years ago, Maurice moved to Örebro, Sweden to be with his love. With Malin by his side they began renting this 4-room apartment, conveniently located near both the outdoors and the city center. Being able to bike to work, a front and backyard for the kids, and a location in a fantastic neighborhood made the apartment a clear winner for the family. Malin is studying to become an interior stylist and home-staging consultant, so she uses the new home to test her skills. Initially, the space was a bit messy, but a new coat of white wallpaper immediately helped the home feel both brighter and cleaner.

The style of Malin and Maurice’s home is always in flux. With two boys running around — something that probably won’t be changing soon — the original goal will always remain the same: to have a space that’s “… a mix of vintage with classic design pieces, art, and wood,” Malin says. Abundant light, a pointed view on color and a growing family are just some of the best parts of today’s sneak peek. Click on through to take it all in. Enjoy!  —Garrett

Photography by Malin Montelius

VIEW MORE

D*S Quarterly Box #2: COLOR!

D*S Quarterly Box #2: COLOR!

PR0026_fluoro_heart_high
Last year we started a project with Quarterly designed to bring you a box of thoughtfully chosen home and design products four times a year. Our first box, dedicated to pattern, was a big hit (whew) and I thought long and hard about how best to shape the second collection.

The majority of subscription services like this focus on quantity over quality, and I understand why. It’s fun to get a box chock-full of tiny things wrapped in plastic that cost next to nothing. But that model has never been one that worked for me. DS operates on a simple mission to celebrate and support independent and small-scale design and the artists behind it. These small-scale and mostly handmade goods we focus on are produced by people paid a fair wage in an ethical work environment, so they tend to come with higher price points and don’t work in a bite-sized, low-cost format. So for us, box #2 was about really emphasizing quality over quantity. For me, the best part about this collection is getting to bring you something special and limited-edition that also supports the livelihoods of the artists. So this collection will be about celebrating COLOR and will contain our first custom product: a mug made by Nic Newcomb, one of my favorite ceramicists. Nic took time out of his schedule to create a mug with a dash of our signature color (bright pink) that you’ll only find here in the DS Quarterly Box.

Pink_color_wheel_flatcard_cropped
We’ll also have bold and beautiful artwork inside, including one of my all-time favorites, a neon pink heart print from Banquet Atelier. There will also be colorful cards from Llubav Choy Duerr and much, much more.

This collection will be a bright and colorful feast for the eyes, so if you’re interested in getting a box for yourself (or as a gift for someone else) sign up RIGHT HERE. The last day to sign up for this limited-edition box is next Friday and after that no more kits will be made or sold. Thank you for your support and for supporting this collection’s artists! xo, grace

unnamed-1

Life & Business: Analisse Taft of ALT for Living

Life & Business: Analisse Taft of ALT for Living

Life&Biz-analisse
As I get older, I gain more of an appreciation for quality and see the benefit of investing a little more to get a lot more when it comes to products for the home. This philosophy for beautiful, good quality design is what drives Analisse Taft-Gersten. After spending a lot of time traveling the globe and immersing herself in the many cultures and colorful lifestyles she came across, she found beauty in the spirit and traditions behind how certain products were crafted by local makers. Upon returning from her travels with an increased appreciation for quality design and a fire in her belly to work hard, she moved from her hometown of Los Angeles, CA to New York City to challenge herself. She spent a decade gaining experience in retail, wholesale, and the luxury brand market, and in 2008, Taft-Gersten took a bold leap and launched ALT for Living, a line of fabrics, furniture, carpets and home accessories. Since then, ALT for Living has worked with some of the most prestigious firms in the design business on projects ranging from high-end residences and corporations to hotels and yachts. Today, Analisse is opening up about her business, the value of staying as small as you can for as long as you can, the importance of ignoring fear, and more. —Sabrina

VIEW MORE