A Kitchen Remodel Fit for a Cookbook

Eva and her husband did all the demo on their own, including taking out the arch, and building reclaimed wood countertops and open shelving. They hired a contractor to remove the sliding glass door, install a wall with a window and install the flooring.

A Kitchen Remodel Fit for a Cookbook

Now that we’re deep into working on our home, I have a newfound and extreme appreciation for anyone who decides to DIY any level of their home makeover. From small painting projects to total overhauls, doing things on your own while you still live in the same space is no small undertaking. Today’s makeover comes from Eva Kosmas Flores, who had her own book contract (so exciting!) as inspiration to give her home kitchen a serious DIY makeover.

Based in Portland, OR, Eva is a full-time stylist, photographer and blogger. When she and her husband bought their 1930s English cottage-style home this summer, they knew the kitchen would need an update. So when Eva’s cookbook contract with Haughton Mifflin Harcourt came in and she knew she’d need a place to shoot her recipes, it was the perfect excuse to start with the kitchen. Along with her husband, Eva made over the majority of the space by hand, creating a dream room that will not only be a great place to cook on a day-to-day basis, but will be perfect for her book photography. Read on to hear more about the process and see photos of the final look! Thanks, Eva! xo, grace

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A Jewelery Maker’s 400-Square-Foot Nest in Philly

The first thing Madeline did when she got the keys to her place was paint all of the walls white, except for the bathroom, which she painted with Valspar's 5005-4B Green Peppercorn. "I have an enormous plant in my shower," she adds, "It's kind of ridiculous, but it does make my bathroom feel a bit like a tropical oasis, and you just can't beat that!" Adding a shelf to the radiator created more function and storage. On the windowsill is an oil painting Madeline's had since she was a teenager, along with her signature scent (Cannabis Santal by Fresh) and some candles.

A Jewelery Maker’s 400-Square-Foot Nest in Philly

When I graduated from art school and was working my first “big-city job,” I lived in a small, all-white 300-square-foot studio apartment in Toronto that I coined my “nest.” I’d ride my bike to work and back, so my $40 spoked beauty became a permanent fixture in the entryway, leaning in the space under a floating shelf. When jeweler Madeline Tolle shared with me that she jokingly calls her white 400-square-foot studio apartment by the same name and that one of her biggest concerns is the function of her bike, it felt like déjà vu! “I need my furniture to be in a way so that I can get my bike in, and rotated around to then hang on the ceiling!” And, oh, do I commiserate!

But even though Madeline’s space may be small, it’s darn mighty. As an independent jewelry maker who runs her own business, she spends most of her days away at her studio, so when she gets home at the end of a long day designing and producing her jewelry and managing her business, Georgraphy 541, her humble studio apartment is her sanctuary where the name of the game is calm coziness. -Sabrina

Photography by Zack Gross

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Home Ec: How to Keep a Clean Home

Home Ec: How to Keep a Clean Home

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Today is the very first post in a new and ongoing series on our site called Home Ec. Inspired by the classes some of us grew up taking, these new posts will be about simple ways to keep your home functional and beautiful and working to meet the needs of your family. Whether that means mastering the art of decluttering, making spaces pet-friendly, finding ways to keep kids’ rooms clean or just making tidying up easier, these posts are about finding ways to help make your home make you happy. There is never (ever) one right way to do things and there is no home or home plan that is perfect for every person. These posts are intended, much like Modern Etiquette, to help share some trusted guidelines that you can use, or tweak, to suit your needs.

I was SO happy to see all of your requests and ideas for upcoming columns, so please stay tuned for those topics soon. But first I wanted to start with a topic that’s near, although not always dear, to my heart: cleaning. To be quite honest, I don’t love cleaning. I am someone who has both learned to live somewhat minimally (so messes are less likely to happen) and someone who is pretty okay with things being piled up here and there and getting to the dishes when I have time. But I genuinely understand and embrace the idea that a clean, tidy house is one that helps you feel relaxed and restored at home. When the Mrs. Meyers Clean Day team sent me a copy of their “no-nonsense” clean home book, I gravitated toward one section of the book immediately: A quick and easy guide of what to clean in your home and how often. Broken down by frequency (i.e.: once a day, once a year), the book made all of the household chores on my list feel less like a burden and more like a simple guideline of things to do. Because let’s be honest, not everyone has time to mop the floors and scrub the sinks every day. But once a week? That might be doable.

No matter what frequency is right for you, this easy, downloadable guide is designed to help you have a map to follow when you have the time to spruce things up a bit. Whether you’re just spraying down your counters or getting down and dirty with your tile floors, it’s always true that chipping away a little bit every day always makes things a little easier. So I hope this starter guide will help you feel more in control of things at home and help make messes feel less overwhelming. Remember: no one, and no home, is perfect. If you can only get to one of these things on this list, it’s better than none. And it gets you one step closer to feeling like you can come home, drop your bags at the door and feel relaxed and calm. xo, grace

Download the printable guide here!

Anna Taratiel

"Dirtiest" collage by Anna Taratiel

Anna Taratiel

Lately I have been stumbling upon more and more incredible artwork on Instagram via our latest hashtag challenge, #DSShapes. In just a few weeks we’ve gotten over 5,000 entries and the photographs have been some of the best — and most inspiring — that we’ve seen since we started these visual challenges last year. There’s something about focusing on shapes, our most basic building forms, that inspires not just home design and patterns, but artists of all types.

Earlier this week someone recommended I check out an artist (more on him next week!) that lead to another and yet another that ultimately ended with me discovering Spanish artist, Anna Taratiel. Often working under the name “Ovni,” Anna creates stunning work that uses colorful tape as its main medium. Inspired by found objects and recycled materials, Anna likes to use bold, geometric shapes and bright colors to create work in a wide range of sizes, from small pieces on paper to huge installations in cities across the world. I’ve selected a few of my favorite pieces to share here this morning, but you can check out more of her work online herehereherehere and here. I hope it will inspire you and get all of us going on this cold winter morning. xo, grace

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Folded Clay Jewelry Dish

Folded Clay Jewelry Dish

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With an ever-increasing supply of jewelry, I often find my key pieces get lost amongst the pile, down the backs of sofas or mixed in with keys and loose change at the bottom of my bag. Organization is not my strong suit and it usually takes losing something special to me to change my attitude. Recently, that was a ring from my first-ever serious relationship. His grandma bought all the “daughters” of the family a ring with their birthstones set into it. We weren’t married, but it was her way of blessing the relationship and making me part of the family. That ring still meant a lot to me, even many years (and relationships) later.

I’m hoping it is misplaced somewhere around my flat. I’m pretty much betting it is, but a small part of me panics that it’s lost forever each time I think about it. So for my own peace of mind and in an attempt to avoid future disaster, I’ve made these jewelry dishes to place around my home in key places (front door, kitchen sink, bedside table, etc.) in an effort to keep my keepsakes safe. —Fran VIEW MORE

Studio Tour: Maira Kalman

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Studio Tour: Maira Kalman

In a time when all of lower Manhattan seems to have been overrun by big-box stores and Equinox gyms, the West Village studio of legendary illustrator Maira Kalman seems almost mythic — a romantic, unfussy, and deeply “New York” vestige of what the area used to be; something that one would expect to find in movies, but never in real life. Housed just a few floors down from the apartment she has called home for over 30 years, Maira’s studio is everything you want a studio to be and more. Homasote-covered walls are bedecked with handwritten quotations, inspiring bits of ephemera, news clippings, and photographs of Maira’s children. Tools of the trade — from brushes and watercolor palettes to pigment-covered paint rags — cover workspaces, just as beautiful and interesting as the pictures they create. A Frank Gehry cardboard chair sits in the corner, surrounded by books. With a feeling that reads more “club house” than “office,” the whole space pulsates with a nearly palpable creative energy.

Like Kalman’s own work, which toes the line between the naive and utterly genius, her studio’s charm comes from its imperfections and personalized touches. It’s a functional space, but one that bears the markings of time, labor, and love. Although each item within Maira’s studio seems to hold a special significance to her, like reminders of specific events or people, an outsider might look at it as something of a treasure trove. Despite its small size, this is a space you could get lost in. —Max

Click here to purchase Maira’s latest book, My Favorite Thingsand check out our tour of her beautiful apartment here!

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DIY Origami Wall Display

DIY Origami Wall Display

DIY Origami Art by Coco Sato for Design*Sponge
As a paper artist, I am constantly experimenting with new ways to use origami that showcase the essence of Japanese aesthetics. This framed modular origami wall display is a unique and striking way of showing off your paper skills. Modular origami is formed by interlocking simple unit pieces, making it easy for all crafter levels, including children! I am excited to share this DIY tutorial with the Design*Sponge community and I would love to see your interpretation of this project, so if you give this a try, please share photos of your creation on Instagram or Twitter by hashtagging #giantorigami and tell me your story. Hope to see you there! –Coco Sato of Giant Origami

Photography by Emma Gutteridge

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New: Rebecca Atwood 2015 Fabric Collection

New: Rebecca Atwood 2015 Fabric Collection

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I’m 90% sure it wasn’t intentional, but somehow everything in my home has gravitated towards blue and white. Whether it’s a vintage indigo fabric turned into a headboard (DIY to come!), our growing collection of old Blue Willow china or my favorite Frances Palmer pitcher, every time I look around I find myself catching all the blue and white. So when I saw the new 2015 fabric collection from Rebecca Atwood, who certainly knows her way around a great blue, I was hooked.

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Inspired by the coast of New England, Rebecca’s latest collection includes a series of digitally printed designs and one-of-a-kind, hand-dyed shibori panels. The digitally printed linen fabrics use water-based pigment inks (which are ultra-low VOC) without any harsh chemicals and use a process that produces close to no wastewater. The new pillows have patterns inspired by potato prints, collage stripes and oversized brush marks. I’m such a sucker for patterns that look like simple, handprinted designs, so those brush mark and potato print-inspired pieces are going straight to the top of my wish list. Click here to check out more of Rebecca’s collections and to order online. xo, grace

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Life & Business Profile: Maptote

Life & Business Profile: Maptote

Life and BusinessL Maptote

Some of my favorite brands, products and businesses only offer a handful of things, focusing on quality rather than quantity and valuing simplicity over complication. And it’s these sentiments that Brooklyn couple Rachel Rheingold and Michael Berick brought to Maptote, a line of soft goods decorated, illustrated, and designed with — you guessed it — maps! Founded in 2006, Maptote has been featured in dozens of publications and Michael and Rachel have had the chance to work with some massive brands, from Martha Stewart to Urban Outfitters to the Hudson’s Bay Company, so I’m tickled pink to be sharing their thoughts on security, quitting their day jobs, the business side of creativity and the importance of having an authentic passion for what you do. — Sabrina

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Life & Business Profile: Bre of Scout & Catalogue

Life & Business Profile: Bre of Scout & Catalogue

Life & Business: Scout & Catalogue

I only started my blog, Hands and Hustle, last year, but blogging has already helped me find and hone my voice. It’s also led to friendships and new connections, has been immensely rewarding and, most importantly, has helped me fine-tune what I want to do and how I want to do it. And blogging is exactly what helped Vancouver-born Bre discover and develop Scout & Catalogue (which, yes, is spelled with a “ue” if you’re a Canuck like Bre and me!). What started as a blog chronicling her experience living in Mexico has turned into a successful accessory brand inspired and influenced by Mexico’s Bohemian beach culture. Today Bre chats with us about borrowing from the best, brand beliefs, the importance of support and what fuels her. —Sabrina

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The 20-Minute Bedroom Refresh

The 20-Minute Bedroom Refresh

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When it comes to hitting the “refresh” button on life during the New Year, it can be tempting to go all out — from joining a gym and purchasing healthy foods to (finally) making over your home so that it’s more beautiful, relaxing, and cheerful. Things like time and budget, however, can throw an unwanted wrench into your refresh plans, and you might find yourself at a stand-still. When things like this get me into a snag, I find it helpful to turn to this age-old truism: A little goes a long way. If re-outfiting your wardrobe is out of the question, sometimes all it takes is a fresh manicure or haircut to make you feel new and refreshed. By the same token, if getting your home in top-to-bottom order seems a little too overwhelming, choosing a single space or nook to focus on can yield similar mindset-recharging results. For a quick at-home update, I often turn to the bedroom. As an overall space, it’s generally pretty easy to tackle, bed linens are often affordable, and a few simple steps can make a world of difference. Continue below for my tips for giving your own bedroom a good ol’ 1-2-3 makeover! —Max

This post is sponsored by Target. Shop Home Décor for modern luxury made easy.

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24 Hours in New Orleans, LA with Juley of Upperlyne & Co.

24 Hours in New Orleans, LA with Juley of Upperlyne & Co.

New Orleans 24 Hour City Guide

I’ve never been to New Orleans myself, but in my mind it’s a place that takes you a step back in time; a place filled with soul, plenty of character(s), historic streets that fill up every night with music and dancing, coffee shops and stores that are always bustling and, at any given time, the sound of a saxophone playing in the distance. Turns out, this isn’t too far off from the truth (other than the saxophone bit — maybe I got a tad carried away there).

New Orleans is home to Juley Thuy Le (pictured above) of Upperlyne & Co., a blog-turned-business. She’s a proud Southerner who simply can’t shake the city and confessed that she had a hard time fitting all of her favorite places into one day. Now, time for my confession: In crafting this post I asked Juley to confirm the proper pronunciation of New Orleans, which, as it turns out, is the charming, soulful way you’d expect: “Never, ever, ever New Or-Leens. [It’s] New Or-lins!”

Get the full scoop of Juley’s 24 Hours in New Orleans after the jump!

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An Eclectic Apartment in Seattle, Fit For a Quirky Illustrator

Kelsey's tall 15' ceilings were the perfect backdrop for all of her art and shelving. The full-length mirror is an old closet door Kelsey salvaged and removed the hardware from, costing her $40 rather than $400. And yes, that is a real Eames Leg Splint hanging beside the shelf which Kelsey bought from someone in Palm Springs. She (yes, the splint is female in her world) is Kelsey's pride and joy!

An Eclectic Apartment in Seattle, Fit For a Quirky Illustrator

I’ve known Kelsey Dake for a few years — okay, fine, I’ve been following her and liking her photos on Instagram for a few years. We’ve become sort-of Internet acquaintances and, though we’ve never met, we share a few similarities: 1. We’re both illustrators 2. We love glasses (though her collection trumps mine) 3. We share an affinity for bizarre, antique finds that others might cringe at (such as my beloved deer skull I smuggled from Germany in my carry-on!). So I was thrilled when she agreed to give us a tour of her Seattle, WA apartment where she lives with her Lakeland Terrier, Truman.

Kelsey’s eclectic, open-concept studio apartment, which was once a brewery, definitely has its quirks; The floors are all slightly slanted feeding into an old drain, and there are absolutely no rooms or walls (other than the four that contain the unit). But Kelsey has found a way to own it, creating the illusion of rooms and letting her unique personality and high-end furniture pieces do the talking. To help maintain the integrity of the industrial building, Kelsey made a lot of her own decor items, such as lamps using galvanized pipe, shelves from reclaimed cedar and curtains out of drop-cloth to fit the apartment’s massive commercial windows. Anchored with vintage signage and a floor-to-ceiling American flag, her space is 100% her own and that’s the way she likes it. –Sabrina

Oh, and if you like this tour get excited because Kelsey has recently purchased a 1931 Tudor Revival home in Phoenix, AZ and she’ll be letting us in on some of her renovation projects later this year!

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In Arizona, Cultivating a Timeless Look

DesignSponge Sneak Peek

In Arizona, Cultivating a Timeless Look

How does one cultivate timeless style when it comes to a home? Personally, I vacillate between eagerly falling in love with current trends to cherishing key pieces in my home that have endeared themselves to me over the years. I sometimes wonder how new, trendier pieces will fit in down the road, even though it shouldn’t matter if what you love falls in and out of style. Either way, it is interesting to observe what happens over the passage of time.

It’s exciting to see a home decorated so that it possesses a very distinct look, yet feels inexplicably timeless, whether it is 1955 or 2015. Bonnie Flynt has one of these homes. When we first got in touch, Bonnie’s daughter, Crystal, said something about her mom’s home that really stuck with me: “What I love about her style is that it’s not trendy. She’s always done her houses in this way — lots of old things, things from her days as a kid finding arrowheads, beads, and other things on the ranch.”

Bonnie has lived in this particular space in Tucson, AZ for 16 years and it’s true that the objects that fill it feel like they’ve been there much longer. Growing up on a ranch in California instilled in Bonnie a deep appreciation for nature, things made by hand and American Indian art. She’s spent her life collecting these things that inspire her and loves to display them throughout her home. Bonnie says that though her home is small, she wants her space to feel lived-in, cozy and — as I see it — discoverable. Mixed in with her collection of vintage objects are some modern elements, usually by way of vintage-looking pieces from John Derian or Don Carney. This blend of old and new is set against a backdrop of mostly white walls on the interior, and desert plant life on the exterior. The overall effect is a welcoming home, one that echoes the sensibilities of Bon Boutique, a shop she runs with Crystal. Their similar stylistic interests inform the aesthetic of the shop, which sells a mix of home, garden, clothing and accessories. By staying true to what she’s always loved, while embracing the new, Bonnie has honed a timeless style expressed through both her work and her home. -Shannon

 

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A Scandinavian Cottage by the Sea

The Living Room: Lohne chose a large sectional so her entire family could comfortably enjoy the space at the same time. "We love to watch movies and snuggle up in this big couch," she says. The curtains are from Kidinteriors.

A Scandinavian Cottage by the Sea

We live in an age of information and access — with just a few clicks, you can find endless amounts of artists and homes to inspire. Here at Design*Sponge,  I talk to homeowners from an average of three different continents every day and it’s almost baffling how seamless our ability to connect has become.  With that ease of communication, you would think we’d have seen every corner of our wonderful world by now, but that’s definitely not the case. There are still so many more gems to uncover and things to learn and when I came across Lohne’s home in Norway, I definitely learned a thing or two.

Our peek inside this cottage is not only a case study in how to decorate with a muted palette, but a bit of a geography lesson as well. This quaint house that Lohne, her boyfriend and three daughters call home is on the island of Jøa. Only accessible by ferry and 21 square miles small, the island is only home to a few hundred people. Sweeping panoramas of the sea are visible from almost any point on the island and this cozy home was originally owned by Lohne’s grandmother. Lohne recalls it being a childhood haven for her, a “…safe place, quiet and peaceful place.” Fast forward to 2011 and her dream was realized when the home finally went up for sale. There aren’t many homes available on Jøa so Lohne knew she had to go for it. With both Lohne, a nursing-home attendant, and her boyfriend, a carpenter, working hard to provide for their three children, it was important that their family’s home be a place where they could comfortably unwind and enjoy one another after a long day. It is not a huge space, so the family was very careful when making design decisions that left no part of the space wasted. Each room was designed with a specific use in mind. A dining area with pillows so guests feel comfortable enough to lounge and catch up, a living room that brings the family together for games, and a dream kitchen that lets Lohne’s love of cooking blossom. Custom-made design surprises and unique touches make this home feel like the perfect place to gather with friends and family on a cold winter day like today. —Garrett

All photos by Lohne Strøm

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