Summer is flying by, and with it goes the rich, seasonal fruits we spend the ...
When the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society asked designer Karen Regan of Tallulah&Bird to create a pop-up warm weather garden on a vacant South Street lot, she imagined how the public gathering space would feel if it had developed organically over time. The temporary installation for special events, as well as sampling food and drinks from local vendors, is only open from June until October of this year. Regan began the design process in the dead of last winter to prepare for a quick 24-day installation during the month of May. With help from Jeff Regan of Regan Construction (also her husband), she was able to reuse found treasures like barn wood, old factory parts, and vintage receptacles from flea markets in new ways.
As the garden’s infrastructure developed, Karen played in the dirt, carefully deciding where each plant would go, and potting up vessels to create a bohemian atmosphere. She devised a series of smaller, more intimate environments within the site’s large open expanse, which include a central trellised pavilion, covered cabanas, a private cottage, wine bar, and long picnic table seating under quaint market lights. While utilizing interior layout principles in some of these outdoor living spaces for maximum comfort, the exterior rooms are constantly changed by living, growing plants. In this way, returning visitors are encouraged to discover new details or engage with different zones at each visit. As for the style of her latest project, Karen describes the concept as petit a petit l’oiseau fait son nid, or, “little by little the bird builds its nest.” It’s her dream of a secret garden for everyone in the heart of the city. —Annie
“After” photography by Julia Lehman
I love when work means travel. I value getting to take in new places and experiences whenever possible, but I need a home base. There’s nothing like coming home to my peaceful house after being gone. This photographer duo has created a bright, beachy space that allows them to find rest and calmness in between trips and projects.
Beulah Anne Ekkelenkamp is a fine art photographer, fashion photographer and online shop owner and her husband, Alex, is a fine art wedding photographer. They contract separate clients and also own a destination wedding photography business together that takes them all over the world. Their home is an important touchpoint for them when their weeks are full of projects, people and new places. “The size is perfect for the two of us; it’s spacious but not too large to feel empty. It’s low maintenance, so it’s perfect for two people who are constantly traveling and on the go. As self-employed newlyweds, renting this apartment has truly been a pleasure,” says Beulah. The home’s white backdrop, natural textures and minimal amounts of furniture keep the space low-maintenance, yet inspiring. “My husband and I chose our home because it was a more private town-home style apartment surrounded by a lot of lush greenery. I am most thankful for the natural light, high ceilings, and the trees right outside our windows. We’ve nicknamed our home The Treehouse because it feels as if we’re up in the trees.”
They’re currently based out of Melbourne, FL but Beulah is originally from Brooklyn, NY and Alex recently moved from Alberta, Canada. Their beachy home reflects both where they are and where they’re from. “My decorating goals were to create a type of coastal living atmosphere that was clean, open, and minimal, but still cozy and welcoming, and not sterile. We live 10 minutes from the beach, so I wanted [to] incorporate that feel, but I’m a native New Yorker, and didn’t quite want to live in a typical beach house,” says Beulah. “I rented the apartment before my husband (then fiancé) moved here from Canada. He thought he was arriving to stacks of boxes and beige walls. I surprised him by having the apartment painted and decorated before he arrived! With immigration, visas, and packing and moving everything he owned, he was so relieved to move into a finished space.” Their simplistic, sweet space allows Alex and Beulah to retreat whenever they are home without having to worry about clutter or upkeep. –Lauren
Photography by Beulah Anne Ekkelenkamp
Kelli, Sasha and I woke up in Detroit this morning and we’re on our way to a very special interview and photoshoot for the new book. Before we head out, I wanted to share another beautiful pattern designed by Frances Macleod that’s available for free download today! Whether you use this to brighten up your desktop, laptop or phone, I hope this will bring a little color and brightness into your day. xo, grace
Click here to download Frances’ day 4 pattern!
I’ve always thought perspex (the same material as plexiglas or lucite) was a great material to work with. I remember back in school we made protective handles for plastic carrier bags — cutting, sanding and melting the sheets until they formed smooth, glass-like curves. Light, strong and elegant. I’ve been a fan ever since, but didn’t realize I could be creating simple structures in perspex from my own home with just a few inexpensive tools. This mirrored box is a great example of taking a cheap product and making it look much more expensive, and it’s much easier than it looks! —Fran
When it comes to adding wall art to one’s space, there are a few schools of thought. We’ve watched the rise of the collection approach — which provides the cohesive interest of a salon wall — and now we’re seeing the return of statement art that boldly sets the tone of the room in a single, large piece. The singular, oversize approach is on the rise perhaps as a way to calm the mind and provide an aesthetic refuge from the image overload stream that our digital lives have become. Whether it’s an inspirational piece like a colorful map or a painterly floral, a single piece in a communal space like a living room or dining room can have the effect of focusing everything within the space, from the conversations that take place within to the arrangement of the furniture.
With a modern nod toward minimalism, homeowners are finding expansive ways to adopt some of the less-is-more tenets of minimalism with the adventurous and colorful imagery they’re consuming on their screens every day. These bold wall pieces can transform a wall and a space in ways that a micro approach generally can’t. There’s no up-close examination, no wondering what the frame holds — there’s simply a wash of emotion that sets the tone for how one perceives the room and what happens within it. In oversize art’s uncomplicated simplicity, it’s a comfort to feel like we’re not missing anything — it’s all layed out before us and we can simply enjoy the room and people within it! —Caitlin
Checkout the slideshow above for some of our favorite spaces outfitted with a single piece of art!
This post is brought to you by Minted. The Minted Art Marketplace features limited edition art by independent artists. Large format prints are now available in sizes up to 44″ x 60″.
All week I’ve been in NYC with Kelli and Sasha for photoshoots and to celebrate Julia’s birthday. Today we’re all heading to Detroit for another quick shoot and in all the scheduling I forgot to post yesterday’s pattern from Frances Macleod! So today we’re getting not one but two new patterns to download, inspired by her recent travels in Turkey. Thank you so much to Frances for sharing this with us today! xo, grace
Click here to download Tuesday’s pattern files (yellow/blue image above- for personal use only)
Click here to download Wednesday’s pattern files (red and blue image at top- for personal use only)
Figuring out exactly what you want to do when you posses a variety passions is difficult (and something I personally struggle with. Sometimes, the best way to find out what you really want to do is to try many things and see what you naturally come back to. After over 15 years of working in retail, starting various design businesses, and selling vintage pieces at flea markets, Nilea Alexander‘s destiny began revealing itself. Shortly after she married her husband, Lamine, they both decided to make a career leap and open a cafe that fuses French and Senegalese food (inspired by Lamine’s native heritage to Senegal, West Africa). In 2013, Cafe Rue Dix opened its doors to the people of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, offering a twist on traditional West African food with a hint of French influence. More than a restaurant, Cafe Rue Dix embodies everything Nilea and Lamine enjoy, right down to the eclectic decor for which we have Nilea and her on-going love for design to thank. After a year in business, her inclination for creating an experience took a more serious form. During the winter of 2014, the Rue Dix name expanded and Marche Rue Dix, was born, a retail shop offering everything from vintage clothing to travel gear to artisan home goods. There’s no saying what’s next for Nilea and Lamine, but one thing is for sure: if it’s rooted in something they love it, they’ll make it happen. Today, we’re thrilled to chat with Nilea about their two businesses, the value of ideas, the importance of hiring well, and how fostering a connection between product and people is always a key ingredient to any successful business. –Sabrina
Daniel Friedman is the owner and founder of Bindle & Keep, which offers bespoke, fitted, androgynous suits. Each suit is one-of-a-kind and meticulously tailored, but still comfortable enough to wear all day and night. With a name that derives from the concept of a bindlestick — which belongs to a traveller, seeking new frontiers — and keep — reminding us of home — Daniel seeks to break new ground in the fashion industry to deliver give his clients exactly what they’re looking for. As someone who opts for custom clothing himself, Daniel’s business was not only birthed out of natural interests and passions, but out of necessity: after suddenly losing the ability to read and write due to undiagnosed Lyme disease, Daniel realized self-employment was his destiny, and has since paved a path towards a future that “fits as well [his] suits.” Today, Daniel is joining us to answer some questions about the twists and turns he’s encountered in his business and personal life, an upcoming HBO documentary produced by Lena Dunham about his company, and how authenticity and fostering a niche has led to success. –Sabrina
Photo of Daniel by Seze Devres
I have always pined to visit France (who doesn’t dream about spending a day there?), and today we get a taste of that through the eyes of mother and daughter, Marjorie Taylor and Kendall Smith Franchini, of The Cook’s Atelier. Located in historic and charming Beaune, the wine capital of Burgundy, Marjorie and Kendall combine their passions for food, wine and French lifestyle, offering an epicurean centre, a wine shop, and cooking classes that bridge the gap between farmer and cook. Rooted in history, authenticity, family, and tradition, Beaune continues to make its mark on the map with people flocking from all over the world to enjoy its world-famous wineries and more. Centred around arguably some of the greatest things in life — seasonal food, wine, local markets, and flowers — today’s guide from Marjorie and Kendall features a taste (quite literally) of what beautiful Beaune has to offer through the lens of their business, all in support of small and local. –Sabrina
Photography by Emily Johnston and The Cook’s Atelier
On their honeymoon in France four years ago, Holly Carlisle developed a passion for photography after tinkering with husband Scott’s charming old film camera. She’s now a pro who, in addition to running her floral design business Rosegolden Flowers, shoots travel, editorial, and still life work regularly. Holly’s favorite photographic explorations involve documenting her own journeys around the world, as well as the 1927 craftsman house in Birmingham, Alabama filled with mementos from adventures had with Scott. The couple also share their 1,500-square-foot Crestwood area abode with energetic blue dog Bella and yellow dog Sam, who are lucky enough to have doting parents and plenty of space in which to play. The Carlisles sourced stylish but reasonably-priced furniture so they don’t feel too worried about wear from puppy playtime.
When they first moved in two and a half years ago, Holly and Scott discovered another shared interest – interior design. The pair renovated their kitchen and master bathroom, but lost steam when it came time to decorating. They knew they wanted the residence to feel and function a bit like a studio, and the plan was to fill it sparsely for ease of moving around items against the soft backdrop of Benjamin Moore White Dove-painted walls. Eventually, hosting a New Year’s Eve party provided a push needed to finish the decor. They framed and hung artwork, reworked their shelves and bookcases, and turned the sunroom into a cozy spot for their houseplants, as opposed to its previous role as a storage unit for Holly’s floral supplies. The home is perfectly positioned to receive multiple sources of bright filtered side light throughout the day, which is an ideal setting for both flora and fauna alike. —Annie
Photography by Holly Carlisle, except where noted
After working as a Visual Effects/Animation Producer for nearly a decade, Lisa Muñoz turned a new leaf (pun intended) and launched Leaf and June, an Interior Plant Design company, bringing greenery to New Yorkers’ homes, retail spaces, events and offices everywhere. Her boyfriend, David Azzoni, is a Partner at Turntable Lab, a New York-based DJ Shop (and is also a DJ himself, who’s been making people dance for over 16 years)! Together, Lisa and David are partners in life, love, music “and eating pasta and tacos,” adds Lisa.
After living with three roommates for years in and around Brooklyn, Lisa set her sights on this Brownstone on a tree-lined street in the Clinton Hill neighborhood. “This apartment won my heart when I saw that it had six large windows facing East and West,” Lisa says, “and also had an extra space for an office!” When Lisa moved in, there was just enough room for her things, but with the addition of David after a few months, they began to feel the limitations of 930 square feet. It forced them to play Tetris with their things, and free themselves of furniture they weren’t completely in love with. As a result, their current space is only filled with their absolute favorite and most-loved pieces. Lisa says of the downsizing experience: “It’s really incredible how much stuff you can accumulate in your life and how little you actually miss once it’s gone.” They’ve happily called this space home for nearly five years, and despite the limitations they face living in a rental — they have to restrain from their dream of renovating the kitchen — they’ve found work-arounds and practice compromise to make their space work for them, using casual and easygoing decor and — you guessed it — oodles of plants to breathe life and warmth into their space. –Sabrina
Photography by Erica Gannett
Rollerblading on Peachtree Lane until the streetlamps came on, swimming until dusk on Stagecoach Drive; my childhood homes in Texas hold many of my fondest memories. I may not live there anymore, but the Lone Star State will always be with me. That being said, I am always extra excited when we get to feature the homes of fellow Texans.
Ryan and Cary Ray completely overhauled their 3,500-square-foot Highland Village, TX home. “It needed so much work,” Cary says. “It was built in 1999 and had seashells everywhere; tile, sinks, sconces, hardware — everywhere,” Cary says. The two were able to see the burgeoning potential under all those questionable designs, and were eager to take on the fixer-upper. New flooring, paint jobs, demolishing walls and from-scratch bathrooms took up the majority of the four-year renovation. It was quite the undertaking, but the since neighborhood was so great, the couple charged through.
Decorating the space took time as well. Waiting for deals, scouring Craigslist, and hunting at estate sales were just some of the ways that the young couple was able to achieve the “welcoming, collected” home they had always wanted. “I see so many beautifully decorated spaces that feel so rigid… I never want to take my home that seriously,” Cary explains. A little bit rustic, a little bit modern — I adore the interplay of the home’s various styles. Take a closer look and you’ll see how this couple has fit two brand headquarters, vintage finds and various collections into their charming Texas abode. Enjoy! —Garrett
Photography by Ryan Ray
Pattern design is one of my favorite areas of the design community and I’ve been so thrilled to work with some of of my favorite designers this summer to bring free downloadable patterns to DS. This week I’m excited to share the work of artist and designer Frances Macleod, who found inspiration in a family wedding.
Frances recently traveled to Istanbul for her sister’s wedding and was greatly inspired by the art and architecture of her new brother-in-law’s home country of Turkey. Whether she was taking in beautiful tiled floors, a garden courtyard or the scrollwork of ancient buildings, Frances kept photos of inspiring moments and turned them into these patterns for us here today. She says, “These patterns turned into quite the labor of love. I’m so happy with how they turned out and grateful for how they represent the growth of our family.” I love when beautiful art and design has a personal connection and these patterns are a great example. Thanks so much to Frances for sharing these with us this week! You can check out more of her work online right here. xo, grace
Download today’s pattern (above) right here (please note these are for personal use only).
In less than a month, we are almost halfway done with the photographs for the next Design*Sponge book and I couldn’t be happier about the way they’re turning out — or the process of meeting these amazing women in person. Working alongside Sasha Israel on the east coast has been a total dream and the even bigger dream has been having a team that’s so hardworking and helpful that I’ve been able to take a brief pause from writing to travel for these shoots and be present for this amazing process. It’s rare that my mind isn’t already “on to the next one” during any given moment, so to be able to step away from my laptop to plan, enjoy and live in these photoshoot moments has been monumental. These are memories I will hold on to for the rest of my life and I cannot wait to share them with you in book form next Fall! In the meantime, I wanted to share a few behind-the-scenes peeks at this week’s shoots, from San Diego to NYC. xo, grace
Sasha out on a tiny NYC balcony in 90-degree weather, getting the best shot.
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