Studio Tour: Loyal Supply Co.

Studio Tour: Loyal Supply Co. on Design*Sponge

Studio Tour: Loyal Supply Co.

Growing up, I thought tool sheds and workshops were pretty magical spaces. There was something about all of those neatly organized tools on pegboards that felt like the key to infinite possibilities. Learning to use each and every one of them was (and still is) a goal of mine and when we moved upstate, Julia utilized existing pegboards in the garage to create the beginnings of our own little workshop wonderland. Kimberly LaFoy and Ryan Habbyshaw of Loyal Supply Co. share our affinity for pegboard workshops so much that they used that classic organizational tool as inspiration for their design store and studio in Somerville, MA.

Working together with Mark Lewis from Unlikely Creatures, Kim and Ryan set out to create a space that functioned like a classic machine shop, with their large printing press at the center of the room, surrounded by smaller tools and functional home and office goods. I love the combination of “for work” and “for play” goods that they carry, and it turns out the curation of the shop was inspired by the owners’ own personal goals: “We work hard, but we also value our time away from the office. So our collection reflects that notion, offering the required materials to literally go fly a kite. Our compilation of items is always evolving, changing with seasons, needs and community interests.”

In addition to Loyal Supply Co.’s retail space, they have a workshop downstairs that acts as the production space for the prototyping and producing of all of their in-house product designs. Upstairs is the company office where Kim and Ryan research and design their goods. Now that I’m away from the “big city,” I find myself really appreciating stores like this that combine form and function well. This fusion makes the drive to visit feel worthwhile and, if you’re not in the Boston area, definitely worth a visit to their new online shop. Today, Kim and Ryan are taking us on a virtual tour of their shop for anyone who can’t visit in person. I know I’m going to be looking at pegboards much differently after this tour — it makes me want to line all our walls with this so we can create impromptu shelving anywhere we want. Thanks so much to Loyal Supply Co. and Joyelle West for sharing this tour with us today! xo, grace

All photography by Joyelle West

 

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Dispatches from Japan: Day Three

Dispatches from Japan: Day Three

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All week, potter Ayumi Horie has been sharing photos from her trip to Japan during cherry blossom season. We’ve already gotten a glimpse at the beautiful trees, sleeping deer and origami cranes, and today Ayumi is showing us more of Hanami season, when the entire nation is glued to news about where and when plum, cherry, apricot and peach blossoms are budding and falling. In the picture below, the moon pokes through a vast canopy of pink and white flowers and above you can see a detail of one of the vivid hana-momo, or peppermint peach trees (in the Waseda neighborhood of Tokyo). Thanks, Ayumi! xo, grace

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Life & Business: Hammocks & High Tea

Life & Business: Hammocks & High Tea

Life & Business: Hammocks & High Tea

Karen Young started Hammocks & High Tea (arguably two of the best things in the world) to capture the vision that the two words muster: a warm, sleepy, summer breeze and the understated luxury of a comforting beverage had in a small, beachside town. Inspired by her upbringing in South America, Karen launched Hammocks & High Tea from her apartment and has since brought these high-quality, thoughtfully crafted heirlooms to New York and beyond — but it hasn’t all been so romantic. Today Karen’s chatting with us about how scaling is easier than starting, the most important two P-words, her Incremental Growth Schedule (which we should all follow!) and how when life shakes you up, sometimes the best thing to do is shake it up harder. –Sabrina

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Life & Business: Liza Michelle Jewelry

Life & Business: Liza Michelle Jewelry

Life & Business: Liza Michelle Jewelry

Sometimes, it’s in those dark moments when you feel like everything’s going wrong that you notice the beauty that surrounds you and you’re given the opportunity to make a change — whether you realize it at the time or not. It’s happened to the best of us, and it was in one of these defeated moments where jewelry maker Liza Michelle’s business bloomed from.

Her handcrafted jewelry line, Liza Michelle Jewelry, is all about taking notice to the things around you, literally and figuratively. Inspired by Mother Nature, Liza Michelle handpicks berries, twigs and pine cones from nature and casts them in metal to ensure a unique and organic piece each time, whether for a bracelet, necklace or ring. She uses 100% recycled metals and ethically sources her semi-precious and precious stones.

Today, Liza Michelle chats with us about her business and the perfect storm of ingredients for success: discipline, freedom and hard work. —Sabrina

 

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Sydney City Guide with Jaharn Giles

Sydney City Guide with Jaharn Giles

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Sydney-born Jaharn Giles spent most of her childhood and young adult years in Brisbane with her family. After university, she caught the travel bug and moved to London to work as a fashion publicist. It wasn’t until she returned to Sydney two years later that she reunited with the beautiful city she now calls home.

After eight years as a fashion publicist, Jaharn found herself slowly falling out of love with the fashion industry and more in love with travel. Encouraged by her family and friends, she started the travel blog Mister Weekender and, three months later, quit her job. Jaharn is now a professional blogger, published writer and photographer who travels the globe writing, taking photos and planning her next adventure. She has been featured in countless publications and worked with huge brands, but one thing is for sure: if you’re an adventurist and nature-lover and have a question about what to see and do in Sydney, just ask Jaharn! –Sabrina

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Dispatches from Japan: Day 2

Dispatches from Japan: Day 2

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All week artist Ayumi Horie is joining us for a special morning guest series from her vacation in Japan. Ayumi and her fiancée traveled to Japan for cherry blossom season and this week she’s sharing photos from her trip, including some special moments like these today. Above are bunches of senzaburu, one thousand origami cranes, hanging at Azumamaro Jinja. They’re thought to give makers eternal good luck or one wish.

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Above, Ayumi was able to walk right up to a herd of deer in Nara Park. They’re so used to humans (human presence = deer crackers and treats) that they are unfazed by visitors.

A Beautiful Country Home in Rural Germany

A Beautiful Country Home in Rural Germany on Design*Sponge

A Beautiful Country Home in Rural Germany

I find that most cliched phrases have a good reason for being so commonly used. And in the case of this German home tour, “When you know, you know,” is the motto of the story.

Writer Katrin Scharl and her husband Moritz, a software developer, spent the majority of their relationship living in Vienna and Berlin. Though they had never lived in the countryside, they were both intrigued by the slower pace of life, open space and fresh air. So on a whim, the couple visited a few homes in Brandenburg, a rural area near Berlin. Intent on finding a small fixer-upper, they saw a few houses they liked, but decided to take one last appointment to see a home that didn’t fit their original specs. Twice the size of the other homes they saw, this home had a grand brick facade, huge acreage and was recently renovated by the previous owners — not exactly the scrappy reno they had planned. But as soon as they saw it, Katrin and Moritz knew it was, “the one.” So they packed up their things and their pets (an Irish setter named Ludwig and four cats named Marlene, Lulu, Emma and Lutz) and moved to the countryside.

Though the renovations by the previous owner were done well, Katrin and Moritz wanted to do some more work to make the space their own. So for the past three years they’ve made budget-conscious changes to the house with an almost entirely DIY angle. From building their own deck and IKEA kitchen to transforming a previously unused garden (left fallow for 50+ years), Katrin and Moritz have put so much of their own hard work — and love — into this home and it’s easy to see how their hard work has paid off (those hand-painted kitchen floors are my favorite). I love how well Katrin has used paint and wallpaper to transform the rooms and I’m blown away by the walled flower garden, orchard and vegetable garden they’ve created in just three and a half years. Katrin says it’s their dream home and it’s clear to see why. Thanks so much to Katrin and Moritz for welcoming us into their home. xo, grace

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A Crown Heights Family Makes It Work, in Style

The living room lacked much original detail, but the wooden joists were so beautiful that Skye and Jeremy decided to leave them exposed. A 1970s sectional by Milo Baughman for Thayer Coggin bears its original upholstery. "They're relatively easy to find in New York because no one has space for them," quips Skye. A coordinating arc floor lamp of the same era comes from Paris. Beside it sits the brass side table her grandparents picked up during a 1950s visit to Morocco.

A Crown Heights Family Makes It Work, in Style

When Skye Parrott, a photographer and creative director, and Jeremy Malman, the founder of Worth Motorcycle Company (a nonprofit group that teaches at-risk kids to restore vintage motorcycles), purchased the 1901 Crown Heights, Brooklyn limestone townhouse they now call home, it was apparent that a total gut reno was unavoidable. “There is a six-inch differential between the two sides,” estimates Skye, “which you can still see.” Years of neglect had ravaged the original interiors, and all that could be salvaged of them were the brick walls and wooden floor joists. Still, what seemed like a reasonable estimate for a nine-month renovation soon snowballed into 18, and after a year of waiting patiently while hemorrhaging cash, the young family was forced to move into an active construction site with their small children. The unforeseen expenses of a longer, more extensive project ate up a large portion of the budget that had been set aside for finishes. “All the money got spent on the stuff inside the wall,” says Skye. Scope creep forced the couple to get creative, and they were able to source brand-name appliances from Craigslist on the cheap, as well as to reuse most of the furniture from their former residence. Two bathrooms, a deck off the kitchen, and interior moldings have yet to be completed. “The nice thing about that stuff, though, is that it all can wait,” Skye reasons, in stark contrast to the structural reinforcements that took precedence over the rest of her wishlist.

During the pre-renovation planning phase, Skye and Jeremy allocated the two upper floors to their own 1,900-square-foot family home, where kids Stig, an eight-year-old boy, Oona, a three-year-old girl, and Marlowe, their cat, also reside. The structure’s two lower floors are dedicated to a rental apartment of equal size. When Skye and Jeremy were first looking to buy a home on a budget, they were realistic about the purchasing process. “We had to be flexible on everything, including the neighborhood,” admits Skye. It took six long months of searching and lots of failed deals until they found their current spot. “I would say it’s less that we chose this house, and more that this is the one that finally worked out.” Because they had been close to nailing down other prospects in the past, the couple got a momentary reality check after their contract for the Crown Heights house was finally inked. “We had to remind ourselves that since we were doing a gut renovation, what it looked like then didn’t matter,” she says. Now, after about a year of living in the home, the family loves their new neighborhood, and feels lucky that’s where they landed. Skye says, “People on our block actually say hello to each other!”

Skye and Jeremy haven’t decorated their home by any conventional rules, per se. Beyond selecting bamboo flooring and Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White wall paint, the couple has, “just filled our house with stuff we like, no matter what style or period it comes from,” Skye says. “Then, we try to find a way to make it work together.” There is a decidedly 1970s streak running through the space — from the orange sectional to the macramé hammock and glazed pottery, the home’s decor has got a tinge of disco hippie happening. Rather than attempting to sum up the vibe in any one way, “I think we both just want it to feel comfortable and cozy, and like somewhere that people, including kids, can live.”

The renovation drama has made these two homeowners all the more grateful that they never have to move again. “We’re just thankful! We feel very lucky that we bought our house, because it means we can stay in New York and not be locked into paying insane rents. It is such a luxury to have the kind of space we have here.” – Annie

Photography by Skye Parrott

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An Old Hospital Becomes a Home

An Old Hospital Becomes a Home, on Design*Sponge

An Old Hospital Becomes a Home

My home city of Chicago is an architecture fan’s dream city. There are so many different styles of buildings all crammed together, that five years into living here I still find myself walking to work with my neck craned upward. I can’t even imagine all the striking stories these buildings could tell. I am sure my apartment building — a 100-year-old walkup — can tell its fair share of stories, but I haven’t discovered much beyond finding out it’s been home to three generations of my landlord’s family. So when I heard that New York-based prop-stylist Kira and her photographer partner Scott found out their rent-controlled Crown Heights, Brooklyn apartment was actually part of an old converted hospital, I was excited to hear more about their building’s history.

Both Kira and Scott hail from small, New England towns that are a far cry from the buzzing, 24-hour marathon that New York can be. The hustle and bustle of the city is something the couple truly loves, but when they were on the hunt for their home, they wanted to ensure that their new space provided a calming refuge from the city. The old hospital conversion that they stumbled upon was not only convenient to public transportation, but to famers’ markets, the Brooklyn Museum, the public library and much more. “There was a lot to do within walking distance and there are tons of great restaurants, bars and coffee shops,” Kira says. The one-bedroom’s abundance of light was a huge selling point for the couple, as well as its ability to be changed to suit their lives. “After a few years this apartment definitely feels like home, especially since we have customized it so much to meet our needs. We’ve done things gradually, but it’s a process that never really feels finished,” Kira says. “We could go on tweaking and improving forever.” Being renters, it was important that the couple’s tweaks be minimally invasive so the changes were, “mostly just painting and making the occasional hole in the wall for a shelf or painting.” When planning, Kira and Scott’s aim was, “to create a space that felt like us, our colors and mood, but we also paid a lot of attention to having multiple functioning spaces in one.” Click through to see what a wonderful job they’ve done creating a space that’s unique to them while cleverly tackling their home’s challenges. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Alice Gao

 

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Dispatches from Japan: Ayumi Horie Guest Series

Dispatches from Japan: Ayumi Horie Guest Series

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It has always been a dream of mine to visit Japan, especially during cherry blossom season. Since a big vacation isn’t in my budget plans for a while, I was excited to hear that one of my favorite atrists, Ayumi Horie, would be visiting Japan for sakura season. I’ve long admired Ayumi’s pottery, but I also love the gorgeous photographs she takes and shares on her Instagram feed. So when she offered to take photos during her trip and share them here with us, I jumped at the chance for a little virtual morning vacation. So all this week, Ayumi will be sharing photos from Japan and letting us peek inside some of the amazing moments she captured, from lush, blooming cherry trees to deer sleeping at night under a pink sky. Thanks to Ayumi for sharing her trip with us this week and a BIG congrats on her engagement during the trip! xo, grace

Image above: Classic cherry blossoms in Shunjuku-gyoen in Tokyo.

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Image above: Looking across the moat, cherry trees on the Imperial grounds bend down toward the water.

#DSStripes

#DSStripes

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Waiting to announce the next hashtag challenge has been so hard for me, because we’re finally tackling my all-time favorite design detail: STRIPES! There’s not a room or corner of our home that doesn’t embrace a good stripe in some way and I think it’s almost impossible to go wrong when you’re dealing with such a bold and classic print. (I even tried to design a stripe tattoo, but it kept looking like a barcode. Whoops.) So for this month’s hashtag challenge, we would love to see YOUR favorite stripes. Whether it’s a photo of your bedding at home, a great couch in a shop or beautiful street art, we’d love to see your photos of the best stripes around town. Just share your photo online with the hashtag #DSStripes and we’ll feature our favorites on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and, at the end of the month, right here on D*S. I can’t wait to see how long it takes me to want to add even more stripes to our home after seeing all of your photos.

Julia and I are headed back to Brooklyn tomorrow for the Food Book Fair and then next week…we get to meet our new foster dog! We’re fostering this sweet rescue pup and, if it works out, she’ll become a new member of our family. Until Monday, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Also, thank you again for all of the incredibly kind comments and emails after this week’s essay about fear. I’m still reading them all (some more than once) and they are truly appreciated. xo, grace

Photo above (of an amazing striped tent) by @whitneyeveport, @bkevents and @paperartco.

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In the Kitchen With: Jeremy Sewall’s Mushroom Ragout on Toast

In the Kitchen With: Jeremy Sewall’s Mushroom Ragout on Toast

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This week’s recipe is a tribute to spring by Boston-based seafood expert, Chef Jeremy Sewall, who is sharing with us a dish from his James Beard Award-nominated The New England Kitchen, with co-author Erin Byers Murray. In a way, I think it might be a bit of a lost opportunity to not have a seafood recipe from Jeremy, like the amazing-looking Lobster BLT from his book, but on the other hand, I was so attracted by his Mushroom Ragout with Farm Eggs and Toast, I couldn’t resist! This dish is something that you can make with whatever mushrooms you have on hand, as opposed to finding a specific type of fish if this were a seafood dish. This would be a great brunch or lunch dish, and I can’t wait to make it one weekend soon.  If you’re lucky enough to be near Brooklyn this weekend, you can see Jeremy at the Food Book Fair! Kristina

About Jeremy: Jeremy Sewall graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1992, and later worked in kitchens all over the world before moving back to the United States where he garnered recognition from the James Beard Foundation, the New York Times, Esquire, Gourmet and the Boston Globe, among others. In 2006 he opened Lineage in Brookline, MA, and in Boston he later opened Island Creek Oyster Bar, Fort Point Channel, and Row 34 with Garrett Harker and Skip Bennett. Through his restaurants, Jeremy is dedicated to celebrating the diversity of New England seafood and the passion of the people who bring it to us.

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Photography by Michael Harlan Turkell

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Home Ec: How to Save Money on Window Treatments

Copper Curtain Rods: Save money on store-bought rods by turning everyday hardware store piping into a clean, modern curtain rod.

Home Ec: How to Save Money on Window Treatments

One of the most surprising home expenses that can build up quickly are window treatments. Every time I work with someone to help them find shades, curtains or blinds for their house, we’re both blown away by the price tags. Not that well-made textiles aren’t worth the cost (they are), but when you have more than a few windows, it can add up quickly and feel like you’re outfitting your entire house, not just the windows. When we moved upstate I splurged on cordless Roman shades for the two rooms we live in the most (our living room and bedroom) and even those seven shades (purchased during a huge post-Christmas sale) left me reeling.

So today I thought I’d tackle ways to bring privacy and sun-protection to your rooms without breaking the bank. Each of these DIY ideas can be tackled by a crafting beginner, even the roller shades, and can be done over a weekend — some even over just an hour or two. I’ve included a wide range of styles, from full curtains to decorative privacy film if you really want to let in as much light as possible. As with any textile, to give it the longest life, be sure to shake them out, lightly vacuum and dust as often as you can to prevent any set-in stains — and to protect your investment and DIY time! If you have any clever ideas for window treatments that you’ve saved money on or made yourself, we’d love to hear about them or see them in the comment section below. Or, if you just have a favorite inexpensive brand you think are a great solution everyone should know about, let us all know below! xo, grace

*If you need any more window treatment inspiration, check out our favorites from past hour tours here!

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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!

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A Colorful Home by Susan Hable and Rinne Allen

A Colorful Home by Susan Hable and Rinne Allen

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Had Julia and I not fallen in love with a home in the Hudson Valley, it’s entirely possible that I would have made a case for packing up shop and moving south, way south, to Athens, Georgia. Both Savannah and Athens, GA are cities that won my heart from the moment I stepped foot in them and they have equally fantastic creative communities.

Susan Hable of Hable Construction and photographer (and all-around creative) Rinne Allen are two of the most incredible women I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, and they are a major part of the creative community in Athens. Both of them have wonderful homes brimming with beautiful artwork, incredible collections and handmade pieces, and both know a thing or two about color and pattern. So it was no surprise to see that their new book, A Colorful Home, was a celebration of the warm, welcoming style I associate with both of them.

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What I love so much about this new book is the way that real life, the outdoors and family history play into each interior. So often decorating books can fall into the realm of “creating perfection” too easily, but the homes and lessons in this book are all about finding ways to translate the things, people and places you love into beautiful moments at home. The book spans a wide range of color palettes, including more neutral colors — if bold color isn’t your thing — and shows you a variety of ways to bring color inside, from embracing plants and clippings from nature to collected pieces and family heirlooms. Susan and Rinne always instill anything they do with such a sense of history, respect and love and it’s so wonderful to see this book come to life. Congrats to both of them, and if you’re interested in checking out a copy, you can order online right here or find an indie bookseller that carries the book here on IndieBound. xo, grace

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Quick Changes at D*S: Threaded Comments + Improved Slideshows

Quick Changes at D*S: Threaded Comments + Improved Slideshows

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Before we jump into today’s regular posts, I just wanted to post a few housekeeping notes about slideshows and comments here at the site. Last fall when we launched the redesign of D*S, we asked for your feedback on things that were and weren’t working for you. Each one of us here takes your concerns seriously, so we’ve been working with our site designer to implement some changes inspired by your requests. Two of the most common requests were static slideshow arrows (i.e. arrows that don’t change positions with each new slide) and threaded comments, so people can reply directly to each other and so people requesting extra information or a response from us can see that response more quickly, without having to sort through the full list of comments. So today, both went live!

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Slideshows now have 2 static arrows at the top of each slide that will not move. If you choose to click through with your cursor, you can keep it in the same place, but you can also use your back and forward arrow keys on your computer if you want to skip the cursor/mouse all together.

Comment threading is pretty straight forward, but just to clarify, you’ll see the option to “Reply” under each person’s comment. Just click that and your response will be filed right under theirs, so it’s easy to see your chain of conversation (see below).

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Also related to comments, please see our updated comment policy underneath the comment box on every post. We’ve had the same comment policy for the last five years, but this week’s conversation inspired me to update it a bit to clarify why we feel strongly about creating a safe space to talk, and what it means to participate in meaningful and constructive conversations here. The vast majority of people talking here understand why we moderate comments (thank you), but for anyone who doesn’t, the comment policy should make our position a bit clearer.

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We’re still working on a few ongoing issues you’ve all brought to our attention, so rest assured we’re not done implementing the changes you’ve requested. We’ve registered them all (many times over) and are doing our best to find a way to make as many of them as possible. Thanks for your patience! xo, grace