The Classic Allure of Barn Lights + A $500 Giveaway

The Classic Allure of Barn Lights + A $500 Giveaway

700_studio1sf-portola-16a

The ability of barn lights to have a vintage and modern look all at once has always been a major part of their appeal. Whether hanging from a tall ceiling or lighting the way into a garage or barn, barn lights are definitely a star in our lighting lexicon. As the pendant light trend continues, the barn light is also rising once again and bringing its gooseneck sisters along for the ride. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever met a gooseneck curve I haven’t loved.

Those bold curves, paired with a classic industrial shade profile, get me every time. As LED lighting becomes more and more successful in producing a warm color temperature, the use of barn lights indoors and out is quickly becoming “a thing” again.

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite LED lights from the barn light genre from Cocoweb below, whose fixtures and finishes are right on. They’ve generously offered to gift one reader a $500 gift card for the perfect lighting upgrade! (P.S. They also have picture lights if you’re setting up entryway art or a salon wall! Or if you have a piano, their piano lamps might just help you get back to your practice schedule.)

barnlights

Images above: 1. via Remodelista. Renovation by Lisa Collins of Studio One|San Francisco Interiors & Design. Photography by Mark Adams. 2. Cocoweb Barn Light Collage by Design*Sponge

Click through for some more barn light inspiration and to enter the giveaway! –Caitlin

This post & giveaway is brought to you by Cocoweb. Cocoweb specializes in warm LED technology for their stylish collection of barn lights, picture lights and piano lamps. Visit their site here to learn more.

VIEW MORE

Interior Design Choices: Natural Stone

Kelly Wearstler

Interior Design Choices: Natural Stone

Stone is making its way back into homes in a big way in 2017. Rustic looks and reclaimed wood continue to be used to create a modern farmhouse look and feel, but they’re now sharing the limelight with this dramatic, organic material integrated into interiors in a much bigger way than granite countertops. Stone, like travertine, marble and limestone, is making appearances on wall surfaces as seen above in interior designer Kelly Wearstler’s beach house in the Fall 2016 edition of InStyle Home & Design.

While the the luxe appeal of of gold and copper metallics in interiors is still going strong, we’ve noticed that, in some new builds and remodels, those tones are being replaced with the softer sheen, but harder surfaces, of organic materials like stone. The grey paints that rose to fame in the last year perhaps opened the door to the rebirth of stone’s interior inclusion. Of course, we’ve also been speculating that the long-standing geode trend is simply moving onto larger surfaces. Regardless of the trend’s origin, stone has been a preferred building material for ages, and, with advancements in quarrying technology and the demand for green buildings, natural stone is the new go-to material.

stone floor

As the owner of a home built in the 1970s, I can attest to the warming benefits of my own massive stone wall that holds a large fireplace. I’ve added a wood stove insert in place of the original fireplace because it’s way more efficient and heats most of the house. The wall, constructed with mostly 12″ by 12″ stones, heats up nicely and makes the wall-length hearth bench choice seating in the wintertime. Natural stone has beneficial thermal mass (the ability of a material to store heat and slowly release it), which creates a higher indoor ambient air temperature. Energy efficiency has never looked so good!

http://www.minimalisti.com/

Because of the high demand for green building practices and materials, architects and designers are harnessing everything from the obvious aesthetic appeal to the solar reflectance benefits of natural stone. Adding in regionally sourced materials, as well as recycled stone from century-old barns and other structures, architects and builders are able to provide homeowners with the green building materials and practices they’re looking for.

Click through for more beautiful stone features in interiors and how I used the home buying process as a tool for learning more about sustainability! —Caitlin

This post is brought to you in collaboration with MIA+BSI: The Natural Stone Institute. Visit their website here to learn more about the sustainability of natural stone. 

Images above: 1. InStyle Magazine (Marble) | 2. Steven Graver  (Limestone)| 3. Minimalisti (Sandstone)

VIEW MORE

Before & After: A Country Home Gets A Powder Room & Living Room Update

powder-room-1edit

Before & After: A Country Home Gets A Powder Room & Living Room Update

Marcella DiLonardo is a freelance lifestyle photographer and her husband, Justin Jones, works in insurance — together they have the lifestyle blog Hey Modest Marce. They recently swapped the city life of Toronto for the more slowly-paced country life of Fonthill, Ontario (outside of Niagara). The couple had fallen in love with this home when they first saw the listing last spring, but it was just out of their budget. As luck would have it, it was still on the market by the summer, when the couple had saved more for their down payment, and they were able to make an offer. Their first home just happened to be their dream home. The house, although in the country, is still close to markets, and they’re lucky enough to have a hiking trail at the back of the property that they hike every weekend. The downtown, which Marcella admits is a little different from what she would have referred to as the downtown area in Toronto, is just a few steps away, as is an apple orchard. If the description of the outside sounds charming, the inside is equally so.

Despite the fact that Marcella and Justin have only lived in their home for a handful of months, they’ve already begun making it their own. They were lucky to have found a home (dream home, no less!) that was move-in ready — all that was left to do was make it feel personalized. Marcella immediately got to work putting her stamp on the powder and living rooms. As someone who appreciates the charm that comes with an older home, Marcella wanted to be sure to keep all of that intact — and, in fact, add as much back in as she could.

Marcella has mostly kept to a grey-with-white-accents palette that allows the beautiful original trim and details to stand out while still making the home feel warm and inviting. She shares her inspiration behind the palette, “I love how the mix of white, greys and wood [looks] together. It is so homey, but still elegant.”

The powder room was where she felt like she could have a little more fun with color; it was a previous add-on, meaning she could be less precious about updates she wanted to make as she wouldn’t be losing any original details. The wallpaper she chose for the powder room, called “Apothecary Garden” by Trust Worth, is actually a print from 1926, which goes amazingly well with their 1928 home. Trying to add in more of those original details that were left out in the addition, she added Delta’s Victorian line of fixtures and faucets to create a more seamless continuation of the home’s age. While the home was already one-of-a-kind, adding vintage-inspired wallpaper and light fixtures was a top priority to give the home its due and revel in its history.

The projects will continue for a while, something the couple embraces. Next on the docket in the new year is taking on the two-and-a-half/third floor loft with exposed beams and angled ceilings. We can’t wait to see what else this couple creates in their beautiful new home. —Rebekah

Photography by Marcella DiLonardo

VIEW MORE

11 Rooms with Gorgeous Winter Whites

11 Rooms with Gorgeous Winter Whites | Design*Sponge

11 Rooms with Gorgeous Winter Whites

We do our best at Design*Sponge to feature spaces full of color and pattern. White rooms aren’t usually the most interesting, and we like to push for designs that step out of what is comfortable to what is inspiring. It’s reasonable to assume, then, that white rooms layered with white furniture and accessories would be extra bland, but there can be something so beautiful and serene about monochrome palettes in the winter. Texture, light, art and smaller objects can bring these neutral spaces to life. Today we’ve rounded up 11 stunning rooms featuring winter whites to match the cloudy skies and snowy weather of the season. –Lauren

VIEW MORE

How To Begin Again

How To Begin Again

How To Begin Again – Adam J. Kurtz for Design*Sponge

With each new year comes a wave of emotional energy encouraging us to look inward to acknowledge changes we can make. Things feel possible and necessary, and that energy can push us through to February, at least. This is generally a good thing, but change is also terrifying and sneaking this s**t in literally six days after the pure joy and stress of the holidays is just plain rude.

A fresh start can come at any time, in any way. It might be a nagging feeling that you can’t ignore anymore, or a major life event may force you to rethink things all at once. Regardless of when, how or why, it’s never too late to begin again. You can embark on a new challenge, redirect an existing focus or come back to a passion that you abandoned years ago. It won’t be easy, and (did I mention?) it will be a little terrifying, but you can do it. Here are some tips on how. –Adam J. Kurtz

VIEW MORE

10 Designers and Artists Over 60 To Follow and Support

Wise Words with Nike Davies Okundaye on Design*Sponge

10 Designers and Artists Over 60 To Follow and Support

Writing this roundup of incredible designers over 60 was really exciting for a lot of reasons. I wasn’t familiar with most of these people, so finding new (to me) artists to discover and enjoy is always refreshing. I loved seeing the strong aesthetic voices they all have. Social media trends and pressures don’t play into their work, which stands proudly with a clear and refined style, honed over the past few decades.

Writing this piece presented more challenges than I expected, because many artists over 60 aren’t broadcasting their ages or popping up in my social media feeds. But the great thing about our work here at Design*Sponge is that it’s our job to look harder find untold stories and help those voices to be heard.

We’d love to hear from you on how we can make this a space that celebrates creatives of all ages and a resource for those that might just be joining the online design world for the first time. Have a look, and I hope you enjoy what they bring to the conversation as much as I do. —Erin

All photography found via the artists’ sites unless noted. 

VIEW MORE

Peek Inside the Brooklyn Home of our Favorite Envelope Artist

Peek Inside the Brooklyn Home of our Favorite Envelope Artist

lucy_halcomb_livingroom_05

Scrolling through artist Lucy Halcomb’s Instagram feed is one of my favorite pastimes. From her sunny Boerum Hill, Brooklyn apartment, Lucy creates the daintiest of paintings on the backs (and sometimes fronts) of colorful envelopes. Flipping through her tiny artworks dedicated to coffee cups, cornbread and cakes, feels like catching a glimpse of what Wayne Thiebaud would be doing if he had been on Instagram as a young artist. But Lucy, of course, has her own unique style and feel to her work, the majority of which celebrates the bright, bold colors that I am so craving right now, combined with actual cravings of mine like s’mores, mille-feuille and soft serve with sprinkles.

lucy

I was curious to see where all of these mini masterpieces are made, and today we’re getting a peek inside Lucy’s home, where she also creates larger illustrations and does freelance art direction work for clients. Lucy first saw her home when her friends were living there three years ago, but after they decided to move west to Seattle, WA, she knew she had to take the chance to move into this space — with its tall windows and abundant natural light (just a short walk from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade). I love imagining all of the teeny confections that come to life at this kitchen table and seeing how Lucy’s trademark sunny color palette finds its way into other areas of her home. xo, grace

Image above: Lucy’s sunny living room features a large painting (right side) by Kristin Texeira. “She paints these beautiful memory maps,” Lucy explains, “and this one is about the vacations I took with my family to the Alabama Gulf Coast as a child.” The pink and red image to the right of Kristin’s painting is a print by Lucy’s youngest brother, Will, from his Cowboy series. Below that is an etching by Nall, another Alabama artist. Lucy’s uncle gave her this Nall piece for her 30th birthday this year. It’s one of Nall’s earlier works from the 1970s and shows a man that her Uncle Dan knows.

VIEW MORE

10 Young Designers and Creatives to Follow on Instagram

10 Young Designers and Creatives to Follow on Instagram via Design*Sponge

10 Young Designers and Creatives to Follow on Instagram

Recently, I had to sort through several Rubbermaid containers filled with tokens from my childhood. One of the keepers was a small photo album filled with film photos (!) of purses and pillows I had sewn and sold — a portfolio, if you will. Fast forward to the post-college years, when I wanted to showcase my work via the Internet, but creating a website required intimidating black screens and a second language. So I waited.

Today, the gates are wide open to young creatives. With so many portfolio platforms and Instagram, the next generation not only has a platform for showcasing their talent, but they have a world of inspiration at their fingertips. They’re connecting with each other across oceans and creating safe, artistic spaces.

Fittingly, I am writing this roundup on the eve of my birthday, a time to reflect on age, where I’ve been and where I’m headed. Some of these inspirational young ‘grammers take me back to my Alma Mater, some take me back to my early computer classes, some take me straight to Google… because for the life of me, I have no idea who they are referencing or what their slang means.

Though I may not be getting any younger (and certainly not any cooler), I can at least keep one finger on the pulse and try to soak up some of their youthful creativity one like at a time. —Quelcy

VIEW MORE

10 Ways to Dress Up Your Shelves with Color

10 Ways to Dress Up Your Shelves with Color | Design*Sponge

10 Ways to Dress Up Your Shelves with Color

Whenever I visit someone’s home for the first time, I always get drawn to their shelves. Whether they’re filled with books, keepsakes, pictures or art, shelves are the one piece of furniture that tell the story of their owner. Just like no two memories, interests or aspirations are ever identical, neither are the contents of shelves that represent them.

There’s no reason for personality to be portrayed only by the contents of a bookshelf or cabinet, though. Sometimes a shelf itself can be the perfect representation of personality and style. Lately, we’ve been really inspired by how color and pattern create inspiring and one-of-a-kind statements in homes. There are so many great ways to turn your shelves into unique pieces that not only frame their content, but represent your unique style at large. I hope that these 10 Ways to Dress Up Your Shelves with Color will inspire you as much as they inspired me! —Sofia

VIEW MORE

A Jewelry Designer’s Serene Bungalow in Portland, OR

A Jewelry Designer's Serene Portland Bungalow, Design*Sponge

A Jewelry Designer’s Serene Bungalow in Portland, OR

When you work from home, you have to make sure your space sets you up for success. The perfect color scheme, just the right amount of light and an overall vibe that promotes focus are all must-haves. In order to make sure she was working on her made-from-home jewelry line in the best environment possible, designer Kiersten Crowley did all this and more. It took some work, but she and her husband Mike slowly transformed their bungalow in Portland, OR into a calming space perfect for the craftswoman.

As Kiersten and Mike put their home together, the colors they worked with were always of the utmost importance. Pieces in eggshell and black, warm wood tones and a soft palette were chosen in order to keep the space from buzzing too much. They also opted to keep the family’s TV and media in the basement and away from the main floor. This simple move has eliminated way more white noise than either of them thought possible. No longer do doors have to be shut for some quiet time in this home. Nowadays, Kiersten can sit in the living room around the newly-installed, wood-burning fireplace concepting pieces for her latest collection with only the background noise of a loving family in her ear. Finally, in order to keep her eyes and mind from getting distracted as she works, minimal accessories are peppered throughout the house. The Crowleys have pared down their stuff to only include meaningful items and stellar finds. A mid-century sofa and unique floor lamp here, a few one-of-a-kind cuts of wood there — that’s all they need.

Even though she’s built a business inside its walls, Kiersten says her favorite memories living in the home have been those she’s shared with her husband and children. It holds over a decade’s worth of growing pains, laughs, tears and love. Overall, this sure is one cozy home perfect for family and the family business. Click through to soak it all in. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Anna Harris & Jolie Goodson

VIEW MORE

A Home in Central Iowa Full of Memories to Take to East Asia

Libby, Tad and their children Linley, Whittaker and Eamon in the kitchen. Photo by Justin Meyer.

A Home in Central Iowa Full of Memories to Take to East Asia

My husband and I are starting to think about buying our first home or building a small cabin and keeping our apartment. Somehow building a cabin 30 minutes out of the city makes me nervous. That we’d miss out on things happening here in Des Moines, IA. That life would become less convenient. And then I heard about the Asay family. Libby and Tad Asay and their children are packing up their home to move to Eastern Asia later this month. They are excited for this new adventure, but it absolutely comes with costs they are willing to pay. They’ll be leaving behind their house in Ames, IA that they’ve lived in and have transformed over the last six years.

Libby is a photographer and stay-at-home mom and Tad is a mechanical design engineer. When Libby was 8 months pregnant with their oldest child, Linley, they purchased this house based on what they could make it into. “The moment we walked in our home we knew it had the potential to become the home we had hoped for. Because of the year it was built, the woodwork isn’t just simple; it has detail, history and character. One of the features at the top of our list when we were looking [was] a wood burning fireplace, so when we laid our eyes on that we were almost sold! The home was extremely outdated, but tackling home projects together is one of our favorite things to do as a couple,” shares Libby. “We could see what the home could be.” They’ve redone the kitchen, added wood trim to the 90s addition on the front of the house, painted and created an entryway. “Many projects remain that we didn’t get to (landscaping, a fence, shutter paint, bathrooms), but we are moving on and are excited to see how the next homeowners put their stamp on the place!”

Libby and Tad have an eclectic style that mixes modern, traditional and vintage elements together for a seriously comfortable and inviting look. Each room has its own personality while all flowing together seamlessly. “Our goal was to create a welcoming, peaceful atmosphere with decor that reminds us of the things we love and are grateful for in a way that is child-friendly,” Libby shares. These last weeks in their home are full of packing and gratitude for what their house has been for them. –Lauren

Photography by Libby Asay

VIEW MORE

An Eclectic Retreat in Arizona Designed on a Dime

An Eclectic Retreat in Arizona Designed on a Dime, Design*Sponge

An Eclectic Retreat in Arizona Designed on a Dime

When she and her daughter first moved into this two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment in Mesa, AZ, actress and stylist Ashley Yazzie Ward was pinching pennies. She would collect change here and stuff loose dollars into piggy banks there, all in hopes of decorating her new home to her heart’s content. Most days she would pin pictures to her inspiration board hoping one day she’d be able to bring her dream home to life. Thanks to some serious patience and determination, all of her saving slowly began to pay off. Though it took time, she was finally able to start crafting the retreat of her dreams.

Just because she had the funds didn’t mean she was going to blow it all on one piece, though. Ashley knew she would have to stretch every dollar if she was going to afford herself the eclectic, streamlined look she loved. And it all started with some baby aloe vera plants she came across online. “Those free plants truly lifted our morale and aesthetic,” Ashley explains. They added to the calming vibe she hoped her home would embody, plus the plants kept her and her daughter company until Ashley came across the pieces she wanted at the right price. A thrifted Eames chair, secondhand leather sofa and a discount side table are just some of the pieces she’s tracked down to fill the space. Paint has also proven itself to be another cost-effective tool in adding visual interest to the space. A rich, black hue skims the kitchen, and the bedroom’s accent wall doesn’t disappoint.

Nowadays, the soothing apartment has welcomed Ashley’s husband and his son Hudson into its warm embrace. It’s not uncommon to find the foursome cooking together in their bright kitchen or cozied up together on the couch. Whatever they are up to, one thing’s for sure: it’s all thanks to the cleverness of one smart saver. Click through to take a look at the entire home. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Breanne Johnson

VIEW MORE

In Vancouver, An Old-Timer With New Design

Home Tour of Claire Mandell on Design*Sponge

In Vancouver, An Old-Timer With New Design

High school sweethearts Claire and Dave Mandell are native Vancouverites who love the food, fashion and art of their city. So when they were looking to buy a home, they wanted to be part of a funky neighborhood and settled in East Vancouver, British Columbia.

“We have young families on literally every side of us. Our neighborhood is full of cool restaurants, little shops and is really central for both of us when going to and from work,” says Claire, owner of JoyRide Nails.

There was a quick turnover between buying this 100-year-old house and moving in, but Claire was up for the challenge to have it furnished before they got the keys. “I’m a visual person, so I just used the floor plan and the photos of the house to put it all together,” Claire explains. Some of the furniture came from their apartment and most of the knick-knacks they brought along. It took about a month to get all the new furniture ordered and the design execution was underway.

The couple’s decorating goal was to create a space with neutral, larger pieces so that they could always change the look with accents like pillows, rugs, or art to make the space fun and bright. “It [isn’t Dave’s favorite thing, but] I like to change all the throw pillows up based on the season,” Claire says. They both love mid-century modern furniture and believe in setting a solid foundation of investment pieces that can be convertible, changed, and made to feel new again.

The most challenging part of the home for the couple was sorting out storage. Without a garage, and being an older home, closet space is a premium. “I had California Closets come in and we basically have built-in storage in every single place we can,” Claire shares. And like most older homes, it is a never-ending series of projects. The basement is the newest challenge they plan to tackle this year, making it into a place where the family can lounge and relax together.

“I think one of the coolest things about our house is the exposed beams on the top floor,” Claire asserts. The attic was blown out to make the ceiling higher and to add skylights, which adds so much natural light. Instead of removing the beams, most of them are still there, adding depth and lending a nod to the old structure of the house.

As you’ll see, the Mandell family’s home is a charming example of how a combination of old and new can invigorate a space’s character and soul. —Karla 

Photography by Janis Nicolay

VIEW MORE

Sara Wenokur Paper Cuts + Best of the Web

Sara Wenokur Paper Cuts + Best of the Web

rain2
Before we close up shop for the week, I wanted to send us off into this momentous weekend with some uplifting artwork by Sara Wenokur that celebrates color and life. So many people in our community are traveling to participate in marches across the country tomorrow, and I want to wish everyone (marching or not) a safe weekend and safe spaces in which to speak up and make your voices heard. So much of what we do here at Design*Sponge is about providing inspiration and a safe space to find your voice, both literally and figuratively, and I applaud everyone who is taking steps toward becoming more involved in the world and systems around them. No matter your viewpoint, all points of view and all constructive conversations (and debates) will always be welcome here. I know this site is a respite from life’s difficult moments for so many people, but I hope we can continue to be a place where we embrace the beauty and creativity in life while still digging deeper to understand the things that make it complicated and challenging. Thanks for being a part of the dialogue and for being here. Safe travels, everyone. xo, grace

You can check out more of Sara’s incredible work here on her website and here on her Instagram feed.

rain1
rain3

best of_Web

bestofds

3 Warm Meals To Get You Through The Winter Months

3 Warm Meals To Get You Through The Winter Months

BRUNSWICK1-475px1

Grace and several of our team members hail from the South, where one-pot meals like gumbo and a good stew reign during the winter months. One of our favorite warm meals is from old school Top Chef star Kevin Gillespie. His recipe for Brunswick Stew is eaten as an accompaniment to barbecues in the summer in Atlanta, GA where Kevin calls home. He told us that white bread is served to soak up every last drop!  In other places, like in Virginia at the Bonney household, Brunswick Stew was served in winter. Whip up a batch of this Southern treat this weekend! Get Kevin’s Brunswick Stew recipe right here.

in-the-kitchen-with-nikko47

Nikko Moy shared her version of a delicious recipe for Miso Stew that she found on Epicurious. The original Miso Stew was adapted from a recipe by Brooklyn-based Chef Alex Jamieson. This is definitely another warm meal to fix when you want something to warm you up. Bonus: The colors will delight your senses too! [Special thanks to Chef Alex Jamieson for granting us permission to print her recipe.] Find Nikko’s full recipe here.

Click through for our final warm meal recipe for the best French Onion Soup ever. Hint: It has a smoky twist! –Caitlin

Photo above by Matt Armendariz (Brunswick Stew)

VIEW MORE