A Perfumer and Teacher’s 1900s Brownstone in Harlem

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A Perfumer and Teacher’s 1900s Brownstone in Harlem

There’s an ephemeral romance that stirs up in me when I imagine the life and home of a perfumer. It seems like a career field out of a fiction novel where days are spent discovering scents and hand-mixing them in colorfully-tinted glass bottles in a sun-filled room. For perfumer Holladay Saltz, this rings (mostly) true.

Southerner Holladay and her husband and native New Yorker, Sam Saltz, live in a 780-square-foot 1900s brownstone with their cat, Prudence. Holladay runs her own fragrance and personal care line, Apoteker Tepe, from home where she spends her days mixing new concentrated scents, drafting new formulas, bottling and managing the design of print materials and her website. Sam teaches at a high school for recent immigrants in the Bronx. “I’m a native Southerner who longed to wear all black growing up and he’s a native New Yorker who loves mint juleps and bow ties, so our aesthetics balance pretty well,” says Holladay.

Their small home is filled with a balance of cobbled-together furniture from antique stores and family, multifunctional pieces and plenty of glass and Lucite to keep things visually light. Because the home serves as Holladay’s office and perfumery as well, functionality was of top priority, followed by highlighting the turn-of-the-century features such as the gargoyle in the entryway and original wood doors and beams — while still keeping it contemporary. - Sabrina

Photographs by Shay Platz

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Life and Business: BreadHive

Life and Business: BreadHive

Life and Business: BreadHive

One of the greatest things about running your own business is the freedom and ownership it offers. So many tales of successful entrepreneurs start with the desire to do what they love, even if it means working longer hours and on weekends — or having to completely start from scratch and invent and build your own job from the ground floor up. Out of Buffalo, NY, the ladies behind BreadHive did just that. Founded by Victoria Kuper, Emily Stewart and Allison Ewing, BreadHive was birthed from a passion to create good jobs in Buffalo for themselves and others. They offer artisan breads, bagels and granola through their worker cooperative to local shops and grocery stores, but have an adorable “drive-through” window for people who want to pop by to grab a loaf. Today they’re sharing their tales of success, hardship and what it means to be a breadwinner (pun slightly intended.) – Sabrina

Photos by BreadHive Bakery, KC Kratt, and Anna Miller.

Read the full interview after the jump…

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Life and Business: B. Finlay Millwork

Life and Business: B. Finlay Millwork

Life and Business: B. Finlay Millwork
Though brother and sister Kate and Brennan Finlay of B. Finlay Millwork live just miles from me, I first met Kate when we were both working at a hotel all the way across Canada in the beautiful mountains of Jasper, Alberta. Since then we’ve kept in touch and I’ve followed their woodworking journey since. Whether it’s a piece of furniture or a complete renovation, Brennan and Kate believe in collaboration and involving the client at all stages — which I experienced firsthand when they created and mailed me a massive wooden number for an artist collaborative project I hosted (when most sent me a JPG). They believe in quality and it shows in their wood pieces that marry function and beauty. Today, Brennan is sharing their tips with us about entrepreneurship, values and transparency in business. - Sabrina

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Helsinki, Finland City Guide

Helsinki, Finland City Guide

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Almost a year ago, New Zealanders Melanie and Jonathan Dower up and moved to the other side of the world to live in Helsinki, Finland. Jonathan works as a games artist and Melanie writes a blog (Hey Helsinki) about life in Finland, and she also contributes articles on Finnish design and lifestyle to various publications. They’ve spent the last eight months exploring their new home town and are thrilled to share their city with you in hopes that you fall for it as much as they have, saying, “Don’t let a Nordic winter put you off! This is a city inspired by the seasons where life continues all year round!” -Sabrina

Read the full post after the jump!

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Two Artists Make a Gallery of Their New York Home

The living room, like the rest of the home, follows an "anything goes" approach, in which most things tell a story or hold some sentimental value. "We let the kids really go nuts with their toys, and usually make a big mess," Johanna says. "We have lots of musical instruments to play around with even though none of us really know how to play any of them." Orange hammock chair purchased in Cape Cod. Grey stool by Philippe Stark. Carpet from ABC Home. Orange stool made by Rodger. Other furniture vintage and found.

Two Artists Make a Gallery of Their New York Home

When sculptor Rodger Stevens and illustrator Johanna Goodman relocated from Brooklyn to a new-construction craftsman in Nyack, NY, they opted to paint each of the home’s rooms a stark, bright white. “When Rodger was buying the paint, the salesman asked if we were painting a hospital,” Johanna jokes. Although an unadulterated white is typically the purview of hardcore minimalists (and, yes, healthcare facilities), the intention here was quite different. In addition to acting as a stage for the daily lives of Rodger, Johanna, and their two children, the home does triple-duty as a studio and a gallery for the couple’s massive collection of artwork. Hung in a salon style, the pieces (either inherited, found, or made by Rodger and Johanna) fill practically every inch of wall space in the home. A brilliant explosion of color and texture with hardly a spare piece of white to be seen, the home is a veritable treasure trove of inspiration, life, and love—and anything but stark. —Max

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Making It Work In A Bare-Bones Texas Home

"Our living room is by far where we spend the most time," Anna says. Anna made the coffee table the week before her daughter, Eden was born. Couch and curtains from IKEA. Vintage rocker.

Making It Work In A Bare-Bones Texas Home

If you are lucky enough to find the home of your dreams straight out of the gate, something that fulfills all of your practical and aesthetic needs and then some, you are most certainly in the minority. For most, the “perfect” home isn’t so much found as it is created, the product of an indeterminate mixture of time, trial and error, and “making it work.” For Anna Tovar, an artist and stay-at-home mother in Denton, TX, finding her own brand of perfection meant learning to go with the flow and accept that things take time.

Anna and her husband Lewis came to Denton as students at the University of North Texas. They stayed, however, because of the town’s laid-back charm and creative energy. As far as their home search went, a good neighborhood — something with trees, parks, and a good elementary school — took precedence over things like square footage or amenities. “When our house went on the market,” Anna says, “we just jumped on it.” The home itself is a decidedly simple postwar construction. Built in 1962, it had what Anna describes as a charmless, “boxy” feeling. “There wasn’t any inherent detail that made each room interesting,” she says. “It was all sort of bare bones, and not in the great, minimal-Scandinavian way, but in the this-actually-feels-like-a-box kind of way.”

Faced with a small budget and the arrival of two children (a son, Axel and a daughter, Eden), Anna and Lewis knew that getting things to where they wanted wouldn’t happen overnight. “We’ve lived here for five years,” Anna says, “and I feel like we just really started liking our house this past year.” The couple tackled most of the (numerous) home renovations almost entirely on their own, gaining quite a bit of DIY knowledge along the way. Furnishings were thrifted, acquired as hand-me-downs, or purchased on the cheap. White walls and inelegant accents were spruced up with color, bits of collected artwork, and thrifty strokes of genius (like wall decals made from contact paper). The half decade of hard work and diligence has most definitely paid off, though — the house today is a fabulously personal family home, one that can sustain the rambunctious activity of two kids, two dogs, creative parents, and the occasional picnic on the living room floor. —Max

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A Bright and Airy Home in Central Texas

Bethany Douglass' Texas Home Tour | Design*Sponge

A Bright and Airy Home in Central Texas

The older I get, the more I truly believe that you can learn a lot about people by spending time in their home. Sometimes that home tells a story about world travels and bold colors and exciting finds brought back from far away locations. Sometimes the story is closer to home and expresses how much family, history and a local area means to people. No matter what the story is, I like getting to see how much care, thought and love people put into their spaces. Because when someone really loves where they live, you can tell, and today’s home tour in Central Texas is a perfect example.

Bethany and Mark Douglass moved into this nearly 100-year-old home just over eight months ago with their children (Liam, Burke, Blythe and Olive) and the family’s guinea pig, Squeak. Mark is an educator and writer who works just a mile down the road from their new home and Bethany is a writer, photographer and home-educator who is passionate about creating spaces at home that inspire self-initiative, creativity and reflective moments for her children. Together, Bethany and Mark turned a once-dilapidated house into a bright, comforting home for their family and friends.

This 1,900-square-foot shotgun-style home was just what Bethany and Mark were looking for last year when they decided to downsize and find something smaller in their existing neighborhood so they could have more space in their budget to travel together as a family and invest toward retirement. Though the home needed a lot of work, the couple knew that, along with help from their family and friends, they would be able to restore this space to its former glory. Their DIY skills, combined with a real knack for spotting great yard sale finds, created a truly welcoming family home that houses all six people comfortably and leaves plenty of room for creativity, learning and lots of fun. Thanks so much to the Douglass family for welcoming us into their home. xo, grace

All photos by Bethany Douglass

 

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A Shopkeeper’s Home in Berlin

The Bedroom: The walls are dripping with Schöner Wohen's "Sand' in satin finish. Igor acutely white-washed the Ikea bed frame to compliment Timea's grandmother's white linens. The cherry tree artwork is courtesy of Jung, Koch, and Quentell. The throw is Timea's baby blanket! As the German's say, "Sehr schtick!" How chíc!

A Shopkeeper’s Home in Berlin

It’s no secret that a love for antiques runs deep here at Design*Sponge. When you think about it, antiques are like cats — they have many lives. There are probably pieces in your home that are older than you are, and I bet they’ve seen some pretty amazing places. Hunting down old treasures and discovering their past has been a hobby of mine for some time now. It’s not uncommon to find me scouring my favorite resale shops here in Chicago, looking for one of my favorite styles, mid-century German. Germany’s artisans have produced some of the most timeless and beautiful handiwork with many pieces still collected and coveted by auction houses and galleries today. The colors are always so vibrant and I know that they’ll immediately add visual interest to my space, like today’s first home tour in Berlin.

Timea of Mighty Vintage‘s love for “the find” is what drew me to the home she shares with her partner, Igor. It’s filled with vintage clocks, plates and all sorts of decorative details. Their fun and playful space is the perfect backdrop for the couple’s game nights and cooking/catch-up sessions. They fell in love with one of the oldest parts of Berlin, Rixdorf, while visiting its famous Christmas market. Fast forward five years later and they found the perfect place to house all their treasures. Timea and Igor decorate with overflow from her shop, making this home tour almost completely shoppable. So click through the beautiful photos and, if you fall in love with a piece, you might even be able to take it home with you. Enjoy! Garrett

All photos by Timea Gremsperger

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Je Suis Charlie + Weekly Roundup

Je Suis Charlie + Weekly Roundup

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In a world where terrible things and heartbreaking news are sadly not hard to find, I typically try to reserve this space as one where we do not discuss political issues. I know that for so many of you Design*Sponge is an escape, or brief respite away from the upsetting news around the world. But this week the creative community suffered a great loss, the death of 12 in Paris, including illustrators, whose lives were taken in relation to content they created. We spend so much time discussing creative expression and freedom here, but we often take for granted that basic right — the right to speak and express ourselves without the fear of retribution that risks our — or our family’s — lives. So today I want to dedicate this post to the members of Charlie Hebdo who were killed. We stand with you. -The Design*Sponge Team.

*Image above by Lucille Clerc

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  • Slate did a roundup of some of the incredible artwork illustrators around the world have created in support and memory of the Charlie Hebdo illustrators who lost their lives this week.
  • Beautiful mixed media collages by Karborn
  • Behomm: A new website that lets designers and artists trade homes.
  • Colorful abstract paintings by Jenny Prinn
  • We’re launching a special new section of DS next week dedicated to DIY homekeeping for the 21st century. I can’t wait to start writing these posts, they’re going to be incredibly reflective of where we all are in our lives right now, and are about making any home you’re in look and feel as welcoming as possible.

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Behind the Bar: Leela Cyd’s Grapefruit Spritz

Behind the Bar: Leela Cyd’s Grapefruit Spritz

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It is with great glee that I am able to bring Behind the Bar back from the holidays with someone who makes my heart skip a beat, photographer Leela Cyd. I look forward to Leela’s Christmas cards each year in my inbox because they always communicate her spontaneous, fun-loving (and hilarious) spirit. Leela is sharing her Grapefruit Spritz this week, which is quasi-healthy (grapefruit is good for you, right?), but truly delicious and beautiful. We hope you’ll take the time to make this simple cocktail this weekend, just because! -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, to be published by Clarkson Potter, due out in Spring 2016.  You can see more of Leela’s recipes here and here.

See how easy it is to make Leela’s spritz after the jump!
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In the Kitchen With: Edd Kimber’s Chocolate and Amaretto Pudding Pie

In the Kitchen With: Edd Kimber’s Chocolate and Amaretto Pudding Pie

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On December 1, one of my favorite photographers, Matt Armendariz, launched his 31 Days of Pie series. It was a feast for the eyes.  Even though the New Year is typically about recovering from decadent holiday splurges, I couldn’t resist just one more pie. This one, however, belongs to one of our favorite bakers, Edd Kimber, also known as the The Boy Who Bakes. In 2010, Edd won the BBC Two television competition The Great British Bake Off, and we have been lucky enough to enjoy his treats and baking tips via his blog and three cookbooks, ever since. This week, Edd shares a stunning chocolate and amaretto pudding pie that is worth breaking your new year healthy eating for!  -Kristina

About Edd: Edd Kimber is a baker, food writer and stylist. He is the author of three cookbooks, including The Boy Who Bakes and Say It With Cake, and his latest Patisserie Made Simple was just released in the UK (to be published in the US in 2015). He regularly writes for magazines such as Good Food and Delicious, and he was the winner of the hit BBC series The Great British Bake Off in 2010.

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7 Amazing Mid-Winter Escapes

We love this tree house in Italy with spectacular views.

7 Amazing Mid-Winter Escapes

In the middle of a particularly grey and cold East Coast winter, our minds have inevitably been wandering into “escape” territory. It’s so cold out that it’s hard to actually make a plan for a mid-winter break, let alone consider moving from the warmth of our little corners of the couch. So instead we decided to stay put, laptops in place, and dream of amazing winter getaways via some exotic Airbnb locations (a seashell-shaped house!). These seven home-away-from-home rentals make digging out your car and trudging through the snow seem far, far away. - Caitlin

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This post is brought to you in collaboration with Airbnb. Thank you for supporting sponsors that help us bring you original content like this and more.

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Before & After: A Master Bed + Bath Makeover

Before & After: A Master Bed + Bath Makeover

Before & After | Design*Sponge
I’m only in the very early stages of working on our home, but I already understand how easy it is to run through your budget and have to leave certain projects for another year. We’ve already bumped a few things into “sometime next year” status, but that’s just part of the game. So when I heard from photographer Heather Kinkel about a master bedroom and bathroom remodel eight years in the making, I felt like I was looking at my future.

Before & After | Design*Sponge
Heather and her husband Mike, both Phoenix, AZ natives, purchased a “classic Arizona ranch” home over eight years ago. The home was in need of some TLC, so they spent the first four years working on major issues and needs. Then they took a break for four years to build their budget back up and finally tackle their master bedroom. The goal was to turn their dark and window-less “suite” into a clean and bright space that would act as a restorative and relaxing sanctuary for the couple. With the help of an architect (who decided to extend the wall in the original bathroom and create a much bigger master bath), Heather and Mike now have a beautiful, airy space that is exactly what they wanted. Read on to see the full story and hear more about the process! xo, grace

*You can see more of Heather’s photographs on Instagram right here!

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360º Refresh: 10 Homemade Solutions for A Healthier Home and Body

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360º Refresh: 10 Homemade Solutions for A Healthier Home and Body

If you let it, January can be one of the bleakest, chilliest months on the calendar. After all, the sparkle of the holidays has come and gone, the spring equinox is still months away, and the temperature has shifted from uncomfortable to I’m-Never-Stepping-Foot-Outside-Again miserable. All that said, these weeks are also perfectly suited to shifting your focus back on something that was surely lost during November and December’s hustle and bustle: yourself. The time is ripe to hit the refresh button, put all of your indoor-time to good use, and give yourself and your home a little TLC. From toxin-free home cleaning products to all-natural anti-stress measures, these simple do-it-yourself projects will have you feeling clean, sparkly, and refreshed in no time! —Max

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Before & After: A Textile Designer Learns to Upholster

Before & After: A Textile Designer Learns to Upholster

Chair Makeover on Design*Sponge
All roads lead to Instagram for me these days. Whether I find something that inspires me, or find out that someone I’m emailing with runs a feed I already follow, those little square frames seem to be the common denominator of the creative community right now. And today’s first makeover is a case of connecting the dots between a new online contact and an Instagram feed I was already following.

I can’t remember how I first found textile designer Jenny Sibthorp‘s feed, but it’s a wealth of beautiful handprinted patterns with a seaside theme. Based in the Isle of Purbeck in England (home to another of my favorite ‘grammers), Jenny set up her own screen printing business last year and now works in a farm studio where she recently expanded to printing her fabrics for upholstery. Her first big experiment was this gorgeous chair, which she remade from top to bottom (including her own fabric!) along with the guidance of her workshop neighbor, who is an experienced upholsterer. From the tiny tufted back buttons to the lovely blue-and-tan linen fabric, the final project is a testimony to both the great bones of an old chair and the modern look and feel of Jenny’s fabric design. I always love a good “old-meets-new” story, so this makes me want to raid every thrift store in upstate New York to find a frame I can learn and practice on. Check out more of Jenny’s photos after the jump! xo, grace

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