Design*Sponge

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Biz Ladies: Why Cheap Can Be Bad

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When it comes to pricing your goods and services, there never seems to be a magic number. We’ve covered the topic quite a lot over the years and today we are adding to the collection with a post from Laura C. George, a business consultant for artists who teaches the ins and outs of building an income around art. She previously wrote about Fast Food Marketing for Your Biz and today she covers the topic of pricing for the right audience. You can catch further pricing strategies in her free The Art of Pricing Art video. Here’s to finding the price that fits! – Stephanie

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24 Hours in Minneapolis with Ship & Shape

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As the other half of the Twin Cities, Minneapolis has quickly become a personal favorite of mine, and today the ladies of Ship & Shape (Annika KaplanErin Smith, and Maddy Nyeare sharing their ideal 24 hours in the city. From small neighborhood cafes to a bit of lounging by the many lakes around the area, they show us all that MPLS has to offer.  Go ahead and spend the day with Ship & Shape! –Stephanie

Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg

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Relaxed Southern Living in Charleston

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Just six months ago – and after after ten years living in New York – interior designer Kate Dougherty and her boyfriend Ben Towill (co-owner of the Fat Radish, The Leadbelly and The East Pole) moved to Charleston, South Carolina. They were ready to embrace a slower pace and take a break from New York City life. One of the most exciting things about the move was that with more space, Kate would have the opportunity to flex her design muscles. She ripped out an article in the New York Times nearly two years before the move and had become a fan of Reid Burgess and his work with the design firm, New World Byzantine, and as fate would have it, just before Kate and Ben moved to Charleston, Reid listed this home on Craigslist. They instantly fell for the neighborhood, just blocks away from beautiful Hampton Park, designed by John Charles Olmsted (son of Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed New York’s Central Park), and when they walked through the doors of the house, they knew it was a perfect fit. Even though the house is small, it is filled with historic details and has the best Southern feature – it doubles in size when all the doors are opened to the porch. Now, they fling the doors open, listen to music (lately it’s been a lot of  Sam Cooke and old Gospel music) and have long dinner parties with friends. Not bad for a slower pace. -Amy

Photography by Olivia Rae James

Image above: “I like the bedroom to remain as calming, clean and simple as possible, like a little sanctuary – from the linens to the artwork,” Kate says. “The surf photo above the bed is by one of Ben’s favorite surf photographers – Thomas Colla.”

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Image above: “This is the guest room loft. It feels like camping up there. I found both the dream catcher and side tables in Mexico.”

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A Collector at Home in Australia

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No matter where she might be traveling to, photographer and prop stylist Kara Rosenlund is guaranteed to find something to bring back home. She is usually traveling in her caravan, Frankie, and her last trip was rather isolating in a remote desert, but yet she managed to find sun-bleached animal bones to bring home with her – a small reminder of the stark desert. Kara knows that while those types of souvenirs might not be everyone’s cup of tea, she personally finds a lot of inspiration in nature. “Mother Nature is absolutely the best designer, decorator and stylist,” Kara says. Kara and her husband, Tim, settled in this Queensland, Australia cottage in 2010 after a short stint living away from Australia in London. And when they came back to the continent, they knew they wanted an un-renovated little cottage that they could make their own. They used lots and lots of white so that Kara’s treasures can take center stage without feeling cluttered or crowded. -Amy

Photography by Kara Rosenlund

Image above: “Being an old 1890s weatherboard cottage, I wanted to stay true to the way of life and the authenticity of the original home; both through small sensitive renovations and also with decorating the house,” Kara says. “This style of ‘workers cottage’ was very popular in Queensland around the turn of the 20th century and still proves today to be such clever design in terms of energy efficiency. There is one main hallway with three bedrooms running off the thoroughfare to catch the cool breezes, high ceilings for the hot air to rise (it gets very hot in Queensland) and generous verandas on both the front and the back of the house for outdoor living – we never close our windows and have our doors open all year round. (The horse print is available on my site.)

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Image above: “My favorite thing to cook is traditional, slow-cooked dishes with European influences, like osso buco with polenta or a cassoulet; hearty home dishes. My favourite thing to do is to start a slow dish in the late afternoon, open a bottle of wine and watch the afternoon light turn into the evening with friends in the kitchen.”

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Three Months from House to Home

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I am always impressed by anyone who lets a photographer into their home after less than a year of living in the space, so you can imagine my amazement when designer Lauren Kelp and her husband Griffin let us peek into their home after only three months in Phoenix. The couple moved to Phoenix from Austin so that Griffin could attend business school. They toured this apartment thirty minutes before their plane left to go back to Austin. But despite the time pressure, the second they opened the door and saw the natural light, Lauren knew she could turn the place into a home. Even though they are new to Phoenix, Griffin’s school gives them a built-in social network and Lauren has already played hostess to fifteen classmates from Griffin’s school. She made Ina Garten’s Spinach Puff Pastry, everyone brought a bottle of wine and they chatted until the early hours of the morning, sharing stories of their childhoods. It was the first real test of their new home and it passed with flying colors.  -Amy

Photography by Constance Higley of Half Orange Photography

Image above: “To me, bedrooms should be the least pretentious room in the house,” Lauren says. “This is the room where you come to relax, unwind and decompress, so it should be a serene, unfussy place. So, naturally, our (okay, MY) monster stuffed animals take prime spot on the bed.”

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Image above: “I wanted to create a minimalistic feel in our living room and allow each piece to been seen. Our last house was packed full, which was fun, but it was time for a change. The console table is from HomeGoods, the blue chair is vintage, and the mirror is also from HomeGoods.”

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A Day In The Life of Lotta Nieminen

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When it comes to design powerhouses, there are few as prolific- and friendly- as Lotta Nieminen. I’ve been admiring her illustration work for years now and only recently realized that she’s been behind some of the branding and catalogs of my favorite designers and shops, too. After working for Trendi, Pentagram Design and RoAndCo Studio, Lotta opened her own studio where she works on not just illustration, but graphic design and art direction as well. Her client list is basically a rundown of some of the most impressive and design-forward companies working today: Hermès, New York Times, Volkswagen, International Herald Tribune, Monocle, Newsweek, New York Magazine and Bloomberg Businessweek. After reading about her work and following her online, I was so curious to see how she balances her work and life (especially when working at home) with such a busy schedule. Her answer? “The secret to an efficient work day? Taking a shower and getting dressed.” Her devotion to productivity and creativity is what I strive for every day, so getting to take a look inside an average day in her life was such a treat. I hope you’ll enjoy this day in the life of Lotta as much as I did. Thanks, Lotta!

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