24 Hours in Orlando, FL

24 Hours in Orlando, FL

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One Christmas, my family decided to get away, so we flew down south and spent the entire holiday week in Florida, driving up the coast and waking up to sunny, clear skies and dolphins in the ocean — much different from the snowy-white wonderland I’m used to as a Canadian. The traditional clementines we usually received in our stockings were replaced by (much more superior) fresh oranges that we plucked off the trees in the backyard. My memories of the trip and visiting Orlando are fond ones to say the least, but in the last decade, the city has changed and grown up from its reputation of just being home to fields of orange groves. Its downtown neighborhoods have maintained their tight-knit communities, and the greater Orlando spreads far and wide, boasting a bounty of lakes and oak trees. For photographer Jessica Bennett, it’s the people and culture that have kept her in love with the city for over 30 years — and her family for over 3 generations! When she’s not traveling, Jessica and her husband enjoy Orlando’s offering of great food, better coffee, and gabbing with the locals. Today, Jessica is sharing her ideal 24 hours in the bright and sunny city of Orlando! —Sabrina

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In Minneapolis, Crafting a Space for Home and Work

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In Minneapolis, Crafting a Space for Home and Work

Linda Aldredge, the owner and creative director of Lulu Organics, has grown up and lived all over the country. For the past two years, she has called the top floor of a sprawling Victorian in Minneapolis her home. When her friends bought the 4600 square-foot, six car garage space, she thought, “Wow! They really overbought!”. But then Linda says, almost immediately she found herself without a home shyly asking them if she could take over the upstairs in-law space. Between the 1600 square-foot apartment and three garages available to her, she had to the challenge of taking a very large open space and dividing it up to be functional for work and living. She loves the idea of a minimal home, but it just doesn’t work for her.

Linda says her decorating goals were fairly modest. She loves a space to look eclectic and bohemian, but being the nomadic soul that she is, she always prioritizes comfort and function. She’s adapted the space to work for her many crafting interests, and fills it with furniture and collected objects that have been in her family for generations, from photos to textiles to even a seam ripper – everything has special meaning for her. Features like the peaked roofs lend a magical vibe to the space that Linda loves, but most of all she loves that she is able to spread her wings in such a huge space that allows her to pursue her passions. -<a href=”https://instagram.com/_shannongrant/”>Shannon</a>

Photography by <a href=”http://www.joshgrubbsphotography.com/”>Josh Grubbs</a> and Styling by <a href=”http://www.tobyrae.net/”>Toby Rae</a>

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A Designer’s 370 Rennovated Square Feet in Portland, OR

Mira Eng-Goetz Belvedere Apartment

A Designer’s 370 Rennovated Square Feet in Portland, OR

Change of any kind gives opportunity for beautiful results. I think problem-solving and a variety of experiences brings out a unique creative edge. Having interests in several fields gives way to a new take on design. Mira’s career and condo have both changed drastically since she began them and each have been transformed by her background and vision.

Mira Eng-Goetz is an interior designer at the Jessica Helgerson design firm in Portland, Oregon. She moved to the city to start her career in interior design four years ago but her artistic drive has taken her all over the world. “My path towards a career in interior design has been anything but straight,” says Mira. “Prior to working for Jessica Helgerson, I studied egg painting in Ukraine, French in Toulouse, glass painting in Senegal, sculpture in Oakland, sushi in London and interior architecture in North Carolina.” Her renovated 1927 condo shows off the way her creative experience has helped her to approach problems and has added to her abilities as a designer.

Mira moved in three years ago and got to work. “My home needed some serious love when I first moved in. The original oak flooring was worn thin, the plaster was cracked throughout, the interior storm windows were broken, the cast iron tub had been painted way too many times, the plumbing fixtures were shot and the kitchen was incredibly cramped. I camped out for the first few months, with my trusty electric kettle, camp stove, rice cooker and futon.” Mira completely redesigned the layout of the kitchen and main room to add storage and flow throughout the space. She kept a consistent palette of blues, whites, wood tones and greenery. The apartment now is cool, bohemian, industrial and refined. Her use of white in the space helps it feel bigger, brighter and fresh. This change in Mira’s home has transformed the way she lives in a beautiful way.

Photography by Malcolm Lee

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A 1900s Dutch Home Built with a Contemporary Feel

This Dutch Home Built in 1900 is Oh So Current, Design*Sponge

A 1900s Dutch Home Built with a Contemporary Feel

When Manfung and Angel founded OHMYHOME, their hope was to provide “a place where people (could) find little treasures to spice up their home.” Their shop’s vision is clearly realized in their treasure-filled, 2-bedroom home in Rotterdam – a city in South Holland. Purchased in 2010, the 115-year-old space was in need of a major overhaul. At first these necessary renovations seemed too much of an undertaking for the family, but the space’s natural light won them over and they hit the ground running. “We replaced literally everything! New kitchen, new bathroom, new walls, new wooden floor(s), new doors…” the couple says. The clear goal of creating a bright, Scandinavian-inspired home was what kept the 3-month-long project on track.

While bringing their moodboard to life was an inspiring process, it wasn’t without its challenges. The biggest thorn in Manfung and Angel’s side was the narrow staircase that leads into their home. They had to rent a special elevator to bring the furniture in through the window upstairs. It’s these little valleys; however, that make the peak at the end that much more rewarding. Sitting back and enjoying the fruits of their labor didn’t last long though. The couple brought baby Levyn home a mere 3 months ago, and this new addition has the family on the hunt for a new home. That being said, if you just can’t resist what you see, pack it up and head out to The Netherlands. You very well could make this delightful home your own. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Joey van Dongen

 

 

 

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Rise and Shine to Your Scottish Pastoral Fantasy

Rise and Shine to Your Scottish Pastoral Fantasy, on Design*Sponge

Rise and Shine to Your Scottish Pastoral Fantasy

The rural setting of this quaint Orkney, Scotland cottage offers views onto the sea from every window. As if that weren’t charming enough, the property has belonged to the family of stay-at-home-mum Fional Annal since the 1950s, beginning with the time of her great-grandmother. Her grandparents built an extension onto the original house in the late seventies and lived out their days here. The house then stood empty for decades until Annal and her husband Leonard Sinclair, an electrician and avid DIYer, decided to make it their own during the summer of 2003. As their family grew to welcome children Jessica, Ollie, and Oscar, they embarked upon an extensive renovation project that left only the sitting room and part of the kitchen remaining. After two years of living with her parents in the farmhouse next door, the lot were able to move back in permanently starting July 2014. There are still several upstairs areas that need some flooring and decorating love, but the couple will tend to those jobs as and when time allows. The completed project provides a home with almost 3,000 square feet, divided up amongst 13 rooms on two floors.

Annal favors a cozy, vintage vibe in her decorating, and one that establishes a connection to the past. Even though much of the house is now new construction, she achieves a lived-in and homey feeling with wallpaper in most rooms, as well as a large collection of thrifted and heirloom furniture pieces. The couple were even able to repurpose many wooden and glass items from the old structure. The current home pays homeage to its history but with a nod to modern living, most notably through the various framed graphic prints on the walls. And though the stylish finished product makes it hard to believe, practicality is highest on the family’s priority list, which is why any design decisions also had to be completely child-friendly. Those lush, bold patterned wallpapers are lovely, but also cover a multitude of sticky-fingered trails!

Though the kids will soon grow up and out, Annal and Sinclair hope they will always return here to enjoy the enjoy the freedom and security that come from island living, and the slow pace of life that suits the family so well today.  —Annie

Photography by Fiona Annal

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Something from Nothing + Best of The Web

Something from Nothing + Best of The Web

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As I browsed the web this week, I couldn’t help but be reminded of one of my favorite books as a child, Phoebe Gilman’s Something From Nothing, a fictional classic where scraps of a blanket are re-cycled and re-designed for endless uses. I found myself shaking my head with disbelief and amazement at the endless possibilities and opportunities there are to make something from nothing in an effort to better your life and/or the world around you. We live in an age where you can buy a travel-friendly living essentials kit (pictured above), build a house in the trees from free lumber you find at the side of the road, trade One Red Paperclip for a home, and one where you can practically invent your own career thanks to the internet. It really is the age of ‘anything is possible’ where you can build something from practically nothing, so on that note, Happy Friday and cheers to an inspired weekend!

Below is a summary of this week’s highlights from D*S and around the web:

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Yossy Arefi’s Fruit Pie

Yossy Arefi’s Fruit Pie

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Many times, the recipes you see on the In the Kitchen With column are the result of years of patient pursuit (and vigilant spam filters). I begin to admire photographer, baker, and author, Yossy Arefi’s photography a few years ago and reached out to her immediately through her blog, Apt 2b Baking Co. After several unsuccessful attempts, we were finally able to get in touch via Instagram this year. This week’s Apricot and Raspberry Pie is the result! I agree with Yossy that summer is the best time for pies because of the wonderful selection of fruits available. I am also always in pursuit of the next best crust. Try this out and let us know what you think! –Kristina

Why Yossy loves this recipe: Summer is my very favorite season to be a baker, which I know sounds a little backwards, but it’s because I love making fruit pies. My favorite pies strike a balance between sweet and tart, so I often combine an extra-sweet fruit like apricots with a fruit more on the tart side in this case, raspberries. The pairing also provides a nice mix of textures within the pie; the apricots are luscious and soft and the raspberries provide little bursts of crunchy seeds, which I love. The small amount of almond extract in this pie is a subtle flavor note that complements both fruits, but if you are allergic to nuts or don’t care for almond extract, feel free to omit it.

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Photography by Yossy Arefi, portrait by Christine Han

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A Beauty Stylist’s 300-Year-Old Maison in Paris

A Beauty Stylist's 300-Year-Old Maison in Paris, Design*Sponge

A Beauty Stylist’s 300-Year-Old Maison in Paris

Listening to the Seine’s seagulls from your living room, looking out over 12th-century landmarks, and awash in light all day, Lucille’s Parisian home is nothing short of fantastical. Built in 1650 and fully renovated by her and her husband, the 5-room-2-floor home offers a calming retreat for the beauty editor, her husband Charles and their two little ones. When the family was on the hunt for a new home 3 years ago, they never fathomed they could snag a spot in the popular and historic Le Marais neighborhood. With a resurgent art scene and a focus on fashion, the oldest neighborhood in Paris has the caché that so many Europeans want a piece of. After visiting over 70 homes, the couple took a risk and toured what was the “old, dirty, and very different,” apartment that they have flipped into their new home. The space’s light, unique layout and atypical design had the couple hooked from the get go.

Once the papers were signed and the movers were ready, Lucille and Charles only had 2 months to make their new home livable. It didn’t help that all the renovations were coming to light in August – a time when most Parisians close up shop for holiday. Luckily, the two were able to find the help they needed to achieve the “simple, authentic and cozy,” look they had always dreamed of. New flooring throughout and new paint for all of the walls – but only after knocking some down – have given this 300-year-old home new life. They aren’t done yet; however, as a brand-spanking-new master bath is on the horizon. If the rest of their home is any indication of what that’ll look like, I am positive the results will be stunning. I think you’ll agree that their painstakingly-planned renovation could not have come together in a more beautiful manner. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Lucille Gauthier-Braud 

 

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Wildin’ Out at a Nashville Family Ranchion

Wildin' Out at a Nashville Family Ranchion, on Design*Sponge

Wildin’ Out at a Nashville Family Ranchion

Ivy and Josh Elrod, parents to Chance (age 3), Rev (8 months), Mr. Pickles (their 10-year-old Tabby cat), and Lana Cloud (a six 6-month-oldpuppy), relocated to Nashville from Brooklyn toward the end of last year in a hurry. The family purchased a house just two weeks before opening their design store and gallery space called Wilder, “because we are crazy,” jokes Ivy, who is an accomplished dancer, actor and writer. Josh, a talented painter and actor, actually performed onstage as a Blue Man for ten years before this latest chapter in life. The 2,000 square-foot home consists of ten rooms spread out on one floor, which inspired a Brooklyn-based friend to name “The Ranchion” (ranch-mansion). “As New Yorkers, anything bigger than a bagel is a mansion.”

With a newborn child and a newer business to run, the couple set out to buy a house that didn’t require any major overhauls. Luckily for them, they found this updated 1950s home that included a 2014 addition with modern conveniences. They especially love the big half-acre lot on which the property is situated, rare for this boomtown where developers are squishing buildings more closely together than ever before. Another nostalgic feature is the train that runs behind the house, which is visible through the trees during winter. The couple is finished with moving for a very long time, especially because Ivy and Josh inhabited 37 apartments between themselves in total during 20 years in New York City. But just because they are setting down roots in Nashville, however, that doesn’t mean the decorating process is or will ever be finished. Keeping things changing for the family’s needs is an ongoing evolution. The vast open space in the home (when compared to previous dwellings) removes former limitations on the  process, and as Ivy explains, “allows for lots of unwieldy dancing.” To her, home is ultimately where the Elrod family finds itself together. And with all the moving she’s done in her life, “I know my feeling of home has less to do with things or geography, and everything to do with where my people (creatures) are.” —Annie

Photography by Skye Parrott, except where noted

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Before & After: The Young Duchess Room at Stony Ford

Before & After: The Young Duchess Room at Stony Ford, on Design*Sponge

Before & After: The Young Duchess Room at Stony Ford

Stony Ford, a quaint country estate, was once used as a horse breeding establishment from 1864 to 1900, toward the beginning of its known history. During that time, owner Charles Backman entertained many dignitaries, including President Ulysses S. Grant (who enjoyed his last cigar here). After conversing about horses all day, the gentlemen would retire to the home’s smoking room (now master bedroom) and discuss the finer points of equine mating science. Over a hundred years later, new owners and pro photographers William and Susan Brinson have a different program in mind for their restoration, but still want to honor the history of the house. The old Greek Revival fixer-upper in Goshen, New York, within the state’s fabled Hudson Valley, originally enticed the couple by way of a historic homes website, where they watched and waited for three years before signing on the dotted line. The house needed lots of cosmetic attention, but first the basics like flushing out water treatment systems, installing a new boiler, and relocating 200 bats that had set up shop in the attic, took precedence. Now, repairing walls and making drapery to better insulate the 5,200 square foot, three-story home are goals before winter comes. One of the first spots to get a makeover is a guest room named for Young Duchess, one of the mares who once resided at the farm. In fact, the homeowners found books from the 1870s that list the horse names, and so named all the rooms on the second floor after the female horses. Modern horsehair wallhangings by Golden Pony Workshop reference the site’s horse history. The home can be tracked as far back as 1850, but it is unclear exactly when it was built.

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Hard Work Makes a House a Home in Marietta, GA

From left to right: Izzie, Jamie, Nick, and Fritz in the house they have worked so hard to create into a home.

Hard Work Makes a House a Home in Marietta, GA

I am an instant-gratification decorator. When I get a vision in my head about charcoal walls or restoring a piece of furniture, it eats at me until I do something about it. I love how quickly things can change and I love the feeling that I did it myself. In the end, my house will reflect me more and carry more meaning to me than if I left it alone. This 1970s ranch was sold to a renovating power couple who immediately tore down walls, put up molding and turned it into their beautiful home.

Jamie Krynwicki Wilson, interior designer, and Nick Wilson, project manager for a contractor, bought this Marietta, GA home two years ago. Since the time they moved in, they have renovated, remodeled or refreshed every room in the house — and mostly without any help. “I went into every home [while looking for a one to buy] with the intent to renovate. It’s a blessing and a curse when you’re a designer, but it’s great to be able to visualize a home’s potential before you even think about buying. I’m proud to say that other than the cased openings the contractor’s team made for us, every paint stroke, trim piece, shiplap wall and ceiling was done by Nick and I,” Jamie says. “We broke the house up in phases to make the work more manageable physically and financially. And I discovered it’s nearly impossible for me to not end up painting my entire body when a baseboard needs a fresh coat.”

Jamie’s cohesive, lived-in approach to interior design makes her home look put-together without feeling stuffy or formal. “We knew our home was the one because it checked all our must-have boxes and left us with a blank canvas to finally create our first home together,” Jamie says. “Nick left the decorating up to me. However, I always think it’s important for a home to feel collected and to tell a story about the entire family that lives there. To look and feel livable, so no one is afraid to make themselves at home.” The changes and the new layout of the space are set off with cozy, colorful pieces, creating an aesthetic that couldn’t be achieved without the couple’s hard work and clear vision for their home. —Lauren

Photography by Morgan Blake

 

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Textile Connections: Shipibo Textiles from Peru

Textile Connections: Shipibo Textiles from Peru

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One of the most interesting and important conversations happening right now in the design community is the discussion of cultural appropriation. There have been some fascinating and enlightening debates online and in person at various events across the county and the feedback continues online where, on sites like this, people make sure we stay on top of topics that require more information, deeper research and understanding.

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When it comes to understanding the cultural roots of any design detail, I find it’s helpful to start at the beginning with the history of an object, style or technique. That concept was the basis of our Past & Present column, and inspires a new column starting today with Harper Poe of Proud Mary. Harper travels the world in search of more understanding of the roots of textile design, so I’m thrilled to share her first of many posts here on the history of some of the most iconic textile designs. Today we’re starting with the textiles of the Shipibo-Conibo tribe of the Peruvian Amazon and Harper will tell us more about their work, the significance of the textiles and how they’re made (and where to find authentic examples of them now). Stay tuned for more posts in coming weeks!

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More about Harper: Harper Poe was born with a serious case of wanderlust. Always looking to experience something for the first time she decided to incorporate her lust for discovery into a social enterprise, Proud Mary. Harper scours the globe in search of traditional textiles and handcrafts which she then employs global artisans to create for Western markets. She is equally inspired by the ideas of economic development, craft preservation, and the celebration of beauty, which she pridefully shares with her customers and clients.

Textile photographs above by Kelly Merchant Photography

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Home Ec: An Interview with Mrs. Meyers Herself

Home Ec: An Interview with Mrs. Meyers Herself

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All last year we’ve been working with Mrs. Meyers Clean Day on a series of DIY projects, events, videos and an entire column here, Home Ec, dedicated to helping you find ways to make the home you love (on a budget, using your own two hands and using natural/homemade materials whenever possible). Most people don’t know that Mrs. Meyers is actually a real person, Mrs. Thelma Meyers, who inspired the entire line. Her daughter was so proud of her mother’s home keeping efforts (which she did while raising 9 children), that she decided to create the line to celebrate Thelma’s love of gardening. So for today’s Home Ec I thought we’d switch it up a bit and talk to the woman herself about what it was like to keep a home and raise all of her children in a way that made her happy. xo, grace

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DIY Hanging Plant Lamp

DIY Hanging Plant Lamp

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Lighting fixtures almost never take center stage in home decor because we have so many other things to be focus on, like furniture, rugs and artwork. But as this DIY project will prove, a little creativity goes a long way toward making something formerly overlooked become the star of a room. This project is all about finding more ways to add plants to your home by combining the idea of a hanging planter with a beautiful pendant lamp! This would be a great way to add some accent lighting to a dark part of your room while giving a light-loving-plant some time in the spotlight, both literally and figuratively. So, let’s get started! Mette Jakobsen

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