In Florida, The Rustic Bungalow of Two Florists

In Florida, Two Florists' Rustic Bungalow, Design*Sponge

In Florida, The Rustic Bungalow of Two Florists

Florists Melissa and Sean Stevenson are a bold pair unafraid of zigging when others zag. While others were working for “the man,” they took a risk and opened their own studio, Kaleidoscope Flowers & Botanicals. And while families were snatching up all of their neighborhood’s new-construction homes, they were settling into one of its retro, beachy bungalows.

Drive by on any given day, and you’ll find the family’s pet tortoise, Adele, waddling across the front yard. Maybe she’s headed to her nook under the house, or maybe she’s going to visit her friends: a pair of plastic flamingos. The set’s pink hue pops off of the bungalow’s mint paint job, the two colors coming together in a perfectly 1950s sort of way. Tiptoe over Adele, then up the geometric front steps, and you’ll find yourself in a curated, vintage-inspired home that’s cozy and unique.

This look is achieved with an eclectic mix of secondhand finds, rustic styling and one-of-a-kind artwork — all three of which Melissa and Sean have used to give each room in their home a distinct look. In their bedroom, for example, a wrought iron bed frame anchors the space and sets the tone for its Scandinavian design. On the other hand, the at-home studio, headquarters of Kaleidoscope, leans more heavily into the rustic theme with exposed wood and thrift shop vases. As you click through and take a peek at the entire home, it’s not hard to see why this bungalow is one of my favorite spaces we’ve seen this summer. It has an ease about it that makes me want to move right in. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Austin Trenholm

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Popham Tiles + Best of the Web

Popham Tiles + Best of the Web

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This week has been a total whirlwind and I’m trying to focus on squeezing in a few more moments of summer relaxation whenever I can. When I saw these new tiles from Popham, I immediately felt like they had the summer vibe I was going for and imagined myself taking a little midday nap in a colorful hammock like this. All of Popham’s new designs have a warm, summery feel, and if your space is in need of a little jolt of color or just a fun pattern-filled update, check out their latest designs. That peachy wave style below is so beautiful — and it reminds me of little Matisse-style slices of watermelon. Until Monday, have a great weekend! xo, grace

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Goji, Mango & Turmeric Smoothie

Goji, Mango & Turmeric Smoothie

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I’ve mentioned before on this column that monothematic cookbooks are some of my favorites. We’ve featured recipes from quite a few here, from books on yogurt, avocados, eggs, and food on a stick. When I saw the most recent Green Kitchen Stories book, GREEN KITCHEN Smoothies: Healthy and Colourful Smoothies for Every Day, I was magnetically drawn to its recipes (not just smoothies!) and didn’t know how to choose which to try first — by color or ingredient, or both? All of them look delicious! In the end, I chose the Goji, Mango, and Turmeric Smoothie based on color, unique flavor profile, and nutritional properties. I can sincerely say that I have started a Vitamix savings fund to make the best use of this “cook”book! —Kristina

Why David and Luise love this recipe: This is one of our favorite recipes in the entire book and it has the most unreal color! The smoothie tastes very unique with a wide variety of fruity tones mixed with a spicy punch from ginger and that unexpected twist from goji berries. We also add turmeric to it for a nice roundness in flavor, more intense color and some anti-inflammatory properties. Add chia seeds for a more filling drink or leave them out if you prefer it a little lighter.

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Photography by David Frenkiel

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A Treasure Hunter’s Home Full of Simple Comforts

Nick's Home Tour on Design*Sponge

A Treasure Hunter’s Home Full of Simple Comforts

Three years ago, Nick Huff and his boyfriend opened a mid-century modern furniture store called Hutch in the heart of Omaha, NE. Their collection of local, new and old furniture and décor is thoughtfully curated by working with makers in the community and frequent vintage-hunting. Nick is a self-proclaimed, “chronic thrift store junkie” and enjoys the thrill of discovery. “We are the [fanatics] first in line at all the area estate sales.” His own home is full of objects that are handmade, vintage or family heirlooms. Nick loves identifying human connections and significance with the artifacts he finds for his store and with what he chooses to place in his home. “It is important for me to find things that tell a story. These items comfort me and make my home feel complete.” His decorative practice is to use objects with an original, historic reference and an adventurous approach to mixing various styles with texture and bursts of color. After owning his home for the past year, Nick welcomes pieces that offer comfort and a unique narrative that reflects his appreciation for storytelling through objects.

Nick spent six months to find and furnish his 1920s brick duplex in midtown, Omaha. The area is full of neighborhood charm, including a local farmer’s market and a few restaurants close by. Nick values the diversity and culture of the community he is a part of. “I often find myself chatting with my neighbors as I walk to and from work every day. There is something comforting in that.”

After the passing of his Grandpa, Nick visited Arizona to take care of the family home and was gifted an original Navajo bowl and tapestry from his Grandma’s best friend, Midge. “Over the years, she would often make and give my Grandma beautiful objects including tapestries, large pots and woven bowls. I always felt a special connection to what my Grandma received.” Nick was overwhelmed with emotion when Midge handed him the gifted items. “In that moment, my world stopped and I was very thankful.” With those gifts leaving a lasting impact on him, Nick wants each guest to feel this same sense of comfort and discovery when they are in his space. “This life is too short. We all need to enjoy the ride and lift each other’s spirits.” Bethany Joy Foss

Photography by Joshua Foo

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Fall Color Report

Fall Color Report

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I tackle market editing from an analyst’s point-of-view. The turning point of my career was when I was working as the Design Room Manager at a well-known fashion brand. I readied the fabric and mood boards, I chose the wood for our hangers, and best of all: I named our colors each season. Dream job? You bet. But the day I walked the floors of boutiques and department stores with our Business Director, I realized the right side of my brain was utterly and completely united with the left side of my brain. I was dizzy with bliss.

When color authority Pantone releases their color forecasts and collections, I love trying to pinpoint the genesis of the chicken-or-the-egg theory as fashion color forecasts appear in the housewares market. Fall 2016’s color collection is no exception, so let’s take a look at what the market is serving up for autumn.

Click through to learn more about the reasoning behind Pantone’s chosen colors for autumn and see where they’re popping up in the home goods market. If you don’t work in the industry, I think you’ll be surprised! –Caitlin

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Living and Working Downtown With Postmodern Treasures

Living and Working Downtown With Postmodern Treasures, on Design*Sponge

Living and Working Downtown With Postmodern Treasures

The final installment in a series of three home tours covering Dana Arbib‘s A Peace Treaty universe (see Living It Up on the Lower East Side and An Airy Modern Greenhouse in Brooklyn, as well as Dana’s own stunning place), the apartment and office of Jamee Gidwitz — the president and founder of Rêve Public Relations — is located within Manhattan’s historic Financial District. While her company specializes in representing accessory brands, her fiancé John Betts is the CEO of nearby Noble Markets. Jamee herself has lived in the building for almost nine years, while she and John have occupied their 1,475-square-foot unit for nearly two. The now-residential building is the former 1928 JP Morgan Bank headquarters, converted to apartments a decade ago with interiors by Philippe Starck. Jamee’s love for mid-century modern furniture and postmodern artwork has dictated the feel of the apartment, and high ceilings, white walls, and blonde wood floors provide a perfect backdrop. “We wanted a modern yet warm space that felt tonal but not overly thematic,” Jamee explains. “I like the organic elements, and tried to have base objects be more or less neutral (woods, glass, concrete, taupes) and use color and pattern strategically to accessorize and emphasize.”

“Jamee is one of the few people I can randomly call to discuss Mid-Century German Lava Ceramics, and she will know exactly what I’m talking about,” Dana Arbib shares. “When I first saw Jamee’s home, it was clear that we share an obsession in curating rare niche design objects. She is a mid-century furniture collector: her home is a curated revival of 60s modernism and like me, she doesn’t take design too seriously, she likes to have fun with it. Though we no longer work together, our shared aesthetic is forever!”

With acclaimed designers and artists from Eero Saarinen to Frank Gehry to Chuck Close represented in her personal collection, Jamee also enjoys displaying the work of friends who have made pieces that integrate seamlessly into her decor. “The vibe really sets Rêve apart from other PR firms,” Jamee imagines. “Stylists and editors can come over, have a coffee and a chat, do a little business, have a little fun… and our clients hugely benefit from having their collections walking distance from Time Inc., Condé Nast, and Bauer Publishing. I can’t tell you how many 7 am or 10 pm pickups we’ve been able to accommodate thanks to our unique set-up and way of working.” —Annie

Photography by Genevieve Garruppo

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DIY Upcycled Vintage Upholstered Speakers

DIY Upcycled Vintage Upholstered Speakers

DIY Vintage Upcycled Upholstered Speakers, on Design*Sponge

Tessa Dee Miller enjoys breathing new life into things seemingly past their prime. As the owner of The Nest, a vintage decor and apparel shop in Reno, NV, Tessa has ample opportunity to upcycle found treasures. Her refurbished speakers had some nice features to begin with — like the decorative grates in front — but she could see them fitting into a more contemporary home with just a bit of a cosmetic makeover and several options to configure.Annie

As a music lover, every room in my house must be equipped with a record player, amp, and speakers for spontaneous morning dance parties to get the blood flowing. Record players have a nostalgic aesthetic on their own, and amps hide away somewhat discreetly under the record player, but speakers can be such an eyesore. Feeling like speakers constantly commanded too much of the wrong kind of attention in my living room, I decided that they needed some sprucing up. In true DIY fashion, I pulled out a can of spray paint and some fabric from the stockpiled stacks in my craft room and went to town. After a super simple makeover, my speakers feel more like works of art, and I get compliments on them all the time!

One of the most underrated thrift store gems can be found in the section that is the iffiest to venture into: electronics. While I frequently skip past the plastic graveyard of old cameras and boomboxes that most likely don’t work anymore, I have oddly enough always had great luck with speakers. I’ve never picked one up that hasn’t functioned well, although aesthetic-wise, most of them could use a little love to be able to fit seamlessly into my décor. This DIY may not be for the snootypants audiophile, but if you are okay with less than top-of-the-line sound quality speakers that aren’t an eyesore, listen up!Tessa Dee Miller

Photography by Jocelyn Noel

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Dorm Life: The Number One Essential + DIY Décor

You can actually make the floral bedding shown in this image. Click here for the full instructions. Another trick to customize your dorm space is to use double-stick tape to hang a roll or a few sheets of your favorite wrapping paper and voila, wallpaper!

Dorm Life: The Number One Essential + DIY Décor

By this time, most college students are back on campus and struggling to come to terms with life in a small room that feels nothing like home. I’m actually going through this right now, minus the small room. I just bought my first house and I am in the process of making it my “home.” Adding some simple décor and making sure you have the basic essentials at hand can make you not only more comfortable, but perhaps a bit inspired, too.

Let’s face it, dorms can be drab, unwelcoming places with ghastly lighting, noise pollution and bathrooms that are in desperate need of a major makeover. While you can’t redecorate the entire building, you do have some control over your personal space. When it comes to dorm life and even my new house, there is one element that can drastically change your space immediately. Once you remedy this one glaring issue, you’ll quickly feel more at home and ready to tackle a few DIY projects that will further transform your dorm into your new home. Can you guess what it is? 

Click through to see our favorite essential and visit the slideshow for six DIYs to brighten your space and your mood! And college graduates, take note. This tip can work for your space, too! –Caitlin

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Studio Tour: Tommy Lei

Tommy's studio must also function as a retreat, so having a space where he can read a book or browse a magazine was vital. This CB2 rose gold floor lamp helps create a more intimate space for relaxing.

Studio Tour: Tommy Lei

When Tommy Lei and his two sisters were looking for office spaces at the same time, they decided to join forces and seek out an office that they could divide into three to save costs. “[My sisters] ended up choosing this office en suite that’s divided into three separate rooms,” Tommy explains, which was more than ideal for their collective needs.

Nestled in Alhambra, CA, Tommy’s office is a melting pot “where business meets leisure with pleasure,” located at the back of the suites — which also boasts the largest window and most privacy. As a creative consultant and the founder of MYBELONGING, a high-fashion menswear and lifestyle publication, Tommy sought to craft a space that fostered his creativity and productivity. But most importantly, he begins, “I really wanted the space to reflect and be an extension of me — as cliché as that sounds.” Although he is in the business of sharing and creating online, Tommy has a strong need for personal space, “whether that be an office or a bedroom, it should be a sanctuary.”

From the get-go, the space presented a few perks as well as a handful of challenges. While the room is constantly flooded in light throughout the day thanks to the large window, there are few power outlets which severely limited options when it came to layout. In addition, this room hosts the electrical panel that controls the suites, so cue decor and design to save the day! “When I started the design process, I eschewed the conventional route of seeking out an interior designer or consultant due to my limited budget,” Tommy shares. Instead, he opted to enlist help through the app Homee (pronounced home-ee) which connected him with a real, accredited interior designer who provided him with a visual mock-up of his space and curated a selection of furniture that fit within his budget.

Tommy could not be more thrilled with the outcome which perfectly encompassed the look and feel he was going for. Along with his personal pieces and artifacts, the studio is awash in sophisticated earth tones, with plenty of black and marble accents. Accented with slim furniture to fit the space’s smaller footprint, his office is now his nest where he can “conceptualize, create and clarify.” –Sabrina

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A Shop Owner’s Ever-Evolving Pad in Nashville, TN

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A Shop Owner’s Ever-Evolving Pad in Nashville, TN

In the age of Etsy, Squarespace and others, more people than ever have been able to open up their own digital storefronts and thrive in the online marketplace. What’s great about these options is that they eliminate all of the costs associated with running a brick-and-mortar shop. Without a storefront or back room to hold any inventory, though, what’s a modern-day, e-shopowner to do when there’s a little overflow? If you’re Erin Sparks of Nashville, TN’s Vintage Sparkle, you decorate your own home with it.

Every inch of the 1,300-square-foot house she shares with her husband Zak is given a little pep with goods from the shop. A collection of vintage rocking horses here, rattan chairs and handcrafted goods there. From the icy blue-colored entryway all the way to the couple’s bohemian bedroom, layers of patterned and colored decorations rule. All these pretty furnishings don’t stick around long, though. Erin’s loyal customers keep the space in a constant flux, and it never looks the same way on Monday as it does on Friday. “Clients are buying pieces off the walls and shelves all the time, and I love that,” Erin tells us. “This home is, in a sense, my canvas.” With that in mind, take a peek inside this home as it is now — clearly its look won’t last long. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Samantha Nelson

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7 Far-Flung & Rural Instagrammers To Follow

The broad side of a barn in Jefferson County, WV. @thisbeautifulvalley

7 Far-Flung & Rural Instagrammers To Follow

Even though I live in the country in eastern West Virginia and have plenty bucolic scenery around me every day, sometimes I crave a quick visual vacation to the wilds of a forest landscape or the snowy peaks of mountaintops. Thanks to Instagram, there are loads of opportunities to take a quick break from our daily to-do lists and gaze at the stars in Helsinki, the dewy ferns in North Carolina, or the beautiful details in an old Virginian barn.

Daniel Gloyd of This Beautiful Valley turned me onto a lot of the creative forces and wonderful stories here in my neck of the woods. He spends a lot of well-worth-it time gathering the tales from the Shenandoah Valley. If there’s a standout, weathered barn, Dan can be found tracking down the history of the farm through stops at local markets. It’s wonderful to see my area come to life on Instagram, and equally as wonderful to see other rural places with landscapes different than mine.

Next time you need a quick dose of nature or adventure, walk the woods or sand these folks trek and take a peek at the world from their point of view. These seven Instagrammers share beautiful images that often become my foreground when doing visualization meditation, and I’m so happy to share every inch of their landscapes with you. Click through and get your daily dose of calm! –Caitlin

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In Australia, A Contemporary Nest For Homebodies

In Australia, Two Homebodies' Contemporary Nest, Design*Sponge

In Australia, A Contemporary Nest For Homebodies

When you’re a homebody, your home base holds the utmost importance. That being said, any tweaks made to it can’t be rushed, and you certainly can’t hurry along its design. Feeling the space out and settling into it is the only way you can be sure all your precious time spent within its walls will leave you feeling wrapped in coziness and comfort.

Fiber artist/essential oil expert Courtney Kirby and her husband Ali are two self-professed homebodies who greatly value this comfort and coziness. With unique, curving walls, a sleek kitchen and a child-friendly layout, their modern home in Melbourne, Australia sure is proof of that. To make sure these two themes ring supreme, they’ve curated the space over time, rather than immediately decorating it. The strategy — a brainchild of Ali — means everything in the home perfectly fits the family’s needs and wants. By thinking through each new piece they add, the house has organically become more of a reflection of their lives and a snuggly spot perfect for two homebodies and their two little ones. Click through to check it out. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Courtney Kirby & Safa El Samad

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In Brooklyn, the Home of Jonathan Adler’s Director of Interiors

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In Brooklyn, the Home of Jonathan Adler’s Director of Interiors

My life’s about to change in the most exciting way. This fall, I’m packing up and moving in with a very special guy. You know what that means: redecorating time! While we’re on the same page on most furnishings, I’m definitely much more bohemian than he is, and he is more contemporary than I. We’re not sure how long it will take to merge these styles, but we’ve been secretly hoping to be done in month or so. That might seem a little ambitious, but after we took a look at Benjamin Brougham’s Brooklyn, NY loft, we have renewed hope it can be done.

Benjamin, the Director of Interiors for Jonathan Adler, put together his Williamsburg rental from scratch in only two months. All it took was a keen eye for unique finds and a direct line to his favorite brand. To make the move-in quick, he scoured shops for intriguing, vintage pieces every weekend. It was a bit exhausting, but the encased butterflies, giant soldiers and neon sign he scored all work together to create the comfortable and eclectic vibe he was aiming for. Benjamin then anchored the home and these accessories with Adler pieces he’d had his eye on. Velvet chairs, a sleepover-friendly sofa and Jonathan’s iconic ceramics are just a few of the pretty designs he’s plucked from the brand’s collection.

Without a doubt, all of these furnishings are stunning, but my favorite aspect of Benjamin’s rental is its strategic use of color. When you enter, warm reds and oranges welcome you. Then it’s off to the living room where grey and cream Adler furniture shines. In a final shift, grey gives way to the bedroom’s calming blues, altering the mood. Overall, the entire spectrum gives the home a steady flow while also making the open-concept loft feel as though it has more distinct rooms than it does. Don’t take my word for it, though. Click through to see for yourself how easily one glides through this inspirational home. It’s a stunner! —Garrett

Photography by Maura McEvoy

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Reveling in the Dreamy Blues & Greens of Swimming Pools

I've never visited the famed Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, but this pool, with its palm trees and mountainous backdrop, is pretty magical.

Reveling in the Dreamy Blues & Greens of Swimming Pools

Believe it or not, it’s nearly mid-August and I have not set foot in recreational water of any kind. I live 5 minutes from a clean, safe river and I have a kid. It’s almost embarrassing. Honestly though, I’m a pool person, preferably a pool with no one else enjoying said pool. Even when I have the opportunity to lounge poolside, that’s pretty much where I stay. I’ll dip my toes in, but unless it’s the temperature of a warm bath, I rarely go full-body swimming. Here’s why: I get hypnotized by the pool’s dizzying array of reflections, light and colors. Pools have always had a certain dangerous allure for me ever since I repeatedly failed to get past the Minnow stage at my YWCA as a child. Truth be told, I couldn’t do the Survival Float. Boy, if they could see me now — I’m a survivor!

I have no idea if I’ll make it to the pool this summer, but I’ve found myself enjoying all types of pool imagery and the range of colors that remind me of the many swimming pools I’ve been lucky enough to sit beside. I’m seeing a lot of deep true-blues and indigos emerging for fall, and well, the mint craze is still raging on as we all know. I, however, think there is not a blue or green as captivating this time of year as the shades that make up the iconic pool landscape, filled with the texture of concrete and the promise of a round of Marco Polo. I’ve made some admittedly very me image collages (they’re not your usual product round-up) to satisfy my need to grab a piece of the pool experience and bring it into in my home and wardrobe. Click through and take a dip with me. –Caitlin

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11 Art Prints for Summer

Jennifer Ament's work has been at the top of my list for a very long time. And the simplicity of this "Watching Eye" piece feels modern and classic at the same time -- exactly the feeling I love in artwork. This piece is available at Serena & Lily for $325.

11 Art Prints for Summer

Something about the end of summer always makes me want to clean up, reorganize and redecorate rooms for a fresher feel. My rule is to never add, and only to subtract, but these days I’m finding that harder with the wealth of amazing artwork that exists online. I ended up making some of my own the other day with Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls team, but I’ve still got a ton of original artwork online pinned that I’d love to find a place for in our home. So today I’m sharing my 11 favorite prints online in hopes that someone else might have the perfect space for one of these beautiful pieces. xo, grace

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