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

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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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In Their Own Words: 100 Episodes of Inspiration

In Their Own Words: 100 Episodes of Inspiration

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In 2001 I sat down in front of a radio mic for the very first time. I was a junior in college and was convinced that what the College of William & Mary needed more than anything else was, in fact, a jam band radio show. WCWM had a pretty strict indie-only policy, but my roommate was the director of the radio station and took pity on my surburban hippie phase and let me play Phish every Friday from 12-2. While I left my jam band days back in college, there was a tiny part of me that always missed the radio.

So when I found out about Heritage Radio Network back in 2011, I knew I wanted to see if they’d let me start a show dedicated to design, creativity and small business issues. Thankfully they agreed to let me have a try and, two years later, I’m happy to have recorded my 100th episode. I’m taking a break from the show this season to work on our house upstate, but I’ve been hearing from people on social media lately who just discovered the show for the first time over the holiday break. It made me think that now might be the perfect time to recap some of my favorite episodes for anyone who didn’t know Design*Sponge had a radio show or for anyone who needs a little inspiration for life and work. I’ve broken down my favorite shows into categories like work/life balance, finances, social media, inspiration and publishing/blogging. I hope you’ll give these shows a listen, because the guests I’ve been honored to sit with have shared some of the most valuable work and life advice. From building a more inclusive design community and life as a working parent to finding your voice on social media and hiring your first employees, this show has been the biggest joy of the past two years of my work life. I hope you’ll give it a listen! xo, grace

*In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, who was and will always be a source of such great inspiration, here are some wonderful ideas of ways to celebrate his memory, honor his legacy, give back and do more to continue the work he did so bravely.

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Pierre Frey + Best of the Web

Pierre Frey + Best of the Web

Pierre Frey fabric at DesignSponge
I think most people spend their downtime doing something healthy and active, like going for walks or getting fresh air. But I tend to spend my time falling down internet wormholes looking for things like “antique embroidery” or “rooms covered entirely in ribbons”. Sometimes these searches end with me closing my laptop, metaphorically empty-handed, but sometimes they end in a long list of beautiful things I one day want to find a way to use at home or work. This week I was looking for multi-colored embroidery patterns and fabrics and ended up stumbling on some stunning textiles, one of which popped up in our #DSShapes hashtag challenge too. Two appearances in one week meant I had to do a post on this gorgeous rainbow-colored fabric from Pierre Frey called Carriacou. Inspired by a kaleidoscope, Carriacou is stunning over-sized pattern that, to me, looks like my dream of all dreams, which is to live in a room with walls upholstered in ribbons. It’s as dramatic and over-the-top as that sounds, but in such a wonderful way. So if you need a little color and pattern inspiration, check out more images of this pattern here. It’s a nice splash of color for grey winter days. I’m heading out to tackle our bathroom floor of doom (see my fail here) so until Monday, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Thanks for all your Home Ec requests, too- feel free to keep sending them and we’ll add them to our to-do list. xo, grace

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In the Kitchen With: Leela Cyd’s Orange Parfaits

In the Kitchen With: Leela Cyd’s Orange Parfaits

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Parfaits fascinated me as a child. I loved being able to see the different layers in the tall, fancy glasses. It wasn’t until I started tinkering in the kitchen that I realized that there was no magic behind them at all, and they are one of the easiest desserts to make.  Photographer, Leela Cyd, whose grapefruit spritz we had on the Behind the Bar column last week, has shared her own Cara Cara Orange Parfait with us this week. Like her cocktail from last week, this one uses citrus, perfect for winter. Kristina

About Leela: Leela Cyd is a photographer, recipe developer and writer based in Santa Barbara, CA. She also teaches photo workshops around the world, hosting one this summer in Cinque Terre. Her greatest passions are traveling and cooking, so she often combines the two by creating food-related stories for magazines such as Kinfolk, Sweet Paul and Anthology. Leela has a cookbook of her very own she’s working on, published by Clarkson Potter, due out in Spring 2016.

See how to make Leela’s parfaits after the jump!

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A Confidently Simple Home In Australia

The Dining Room: The family entertains often, so an open concept proved to be the best option when the renovation got underway. Suzy loves how, "the flexible layout - with lots of rooms, courtyards and balconies on different levels - allows (the family) to all find the space that we need for work and play."

A Confidently Simple Home In Australia

I grew up as the oldest in a modern-day Brady Bunch. We three boys and three girls were not too unlike our TV counterparts. We weren’t nursing pre-formal injuries or fighting over who got the attic, but we definitely got into our fair share of shenanigans. With our shelves bursting with Beanie Babies and the walls a shrine to The Teen Queen, our formidable tribe was bent on giggling until Grandma gave us the old quieting down. It should come as no surprise then that while growing up, family came first. That is exactly the reason why the Pickles + Russell home caught my eye.

The catalyst for Suzy and Adam’s move and renovation was family. Their concept? A functional yet simple space for everyone. The two were expecting a second child and knew they had to expand so their own growing tribe could flourish. It’s almost unbelievable that only two weeks after crafting a wish list the perfect fit hit the market. The family’s space turned out to be this home in Darlington, Sydney. Since the home was built in the late 1800s, the two knew they were undertaking a gut renovation, but the idea of bringing their wish list to life was just what the couple wanted. They were working on a tight budget, and a bit of the redux was done by the pair. Suzy and Adam built on a second-story addition with a new kitchen, bedroom and two bathrooms. The original space was so compact that Suzy still remembers how the builders, “used to joke that it was the most expensive carport they had ever built.” Choosing where to cut costs and where to splurge was vital, so the couple focused their finances on outfitting the space with concrete floors and ceilings and a new hot water system. Secondhand accessories and eBay purchases helped with their bottom line. Suzy and Adam kept the bones of their home simple while infusing color in key areas. This way, they could make cost-effective adjustments as their tastes changed. The result — a home with everyone in mind.  Garrett

All photos by Suzy Pickles and Adam Russell

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Goodbye, Takeout. Hello, Freekeh Salad

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Goodbye, Takeout. Hello, Freekeh Salad

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When Julia and I decided to buy our home, I knew we’d have to make some changes and budget cuts to adjust for all of the new projects and expenses that come with a (very) old home. I’d fallen into a terrible take-out rut in Brooklyn, thanks to my work load and weather that inspires me to do little other than watch reruns and work on the couch. Watching Julia make such delicious and healthy food for our family has inspired me, but I definitely needed a little nudge to get into cooking mode myself. But moving to a small town where the takeout options are slim to none really helped me get back in the cooking mood.

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Lately I’ve been focusing on breakfast (my favorite) and lunch (I make a mean grilled cheese), but Blue Apron sent us some cooking kits to try, and I decided it was a great excuse to try my hand at the sort of healthy meals that Julia always makes for us. I requested a vegetarian kit and was curious to see what the quality of the produce would look like — especially in the winter and after being boxed and shipped to me. But after trying most of the major DIY meal services (many of which sent some pretty sad-looking produce), I can say without a doubt that this kit was my favorite. Why? Mainly because of two things: The produce was fresh and crisp and the recipe wasn’t SO basic that it felt like something I could do without help. All in all it ended up being a meal that was easy enough to do without too much prep, but not so simple that it wouldn’t impress a guest or make for a nice meal. I also loved learning a new skill — pickling — which, as a southerner, I’m embarrassed to say I had never done. If you want to try out the meal I did here, Roasted Brussels Sprout Freekeh Salad with Pickled Raisins, Parmesan and Hazelnuts, click through for the full recipe below. xo, grace

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This post was produced in collaboration with Blue Apron — fresh ingredients and great recipes delivered to your home, on your schedule.

*Blue Apron is offering the first 100 Design*Sponge readers two free meals with their first Blue Apron order. Click here to order!

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Before & After: The Power of Removing a Wall

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Before & After: The Power of Removing a Wall

One of the best parts of having your own space is being able to save up and work hard to make changes that suit your personal style and needs. I always love seeing home makeovers come together that involve DIY elements and people making their own design decisions, so this kitchen makeover from Brittany of Brittany Makes is close to my heart.

Brittany and her husband saved up to turn their small kitchen into a bigger, brighter workspace by turning three tiny rooms (a kitchen, dining room and living room) into one open-plan room. By taking down two walls, they gained more counter space (including a free-standing island) as well as room to maneuver around while cooking and cleaning up. I love the dark paint, marble counters and gold accents, but I mostly love that they kept this space realistic and as affordable as possible by buying materials and decorative details from IKEA, Target and Home depot and doing as much of the work as they could themselves. The floors were stripped down to the 50-year-old subfloor (I’m dealing with that in our home, too) but Brittany is waiting for a second round of saving up to tackle that final project. I really love seeing a space come together in stages so I can’t wait to see what floors they choose. Click through for more images after the jump and full sourcing herexo, grace

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