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

Pie-Slice

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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15 Calendars for 2015

Calendar by Stationery Bakery on Etsy $18

15 Calendars for 2015

So far this month, I’ve only had to scribble out “2014” and write “2015” a handful of times, so this year feels like it’s off to a great start. Usually I spend close to three or four months correcting checks and letters, so to keep myself on track and organized this year, I’m trying to get better about using a calendar. I find I’m better when I stick to my digital calendar (because it follows me around, beeping at me on my phone all day), but it never hurts to have a beautiful desk or home calendar to keep important dates on hand. So this year I chose 15 of my favorite 2015 calendars, from printables and posters to oversized art calendars and smaller agenda calendars. I hope you’ll find something in here to keep you ready and up for the challenges and excitement that 2015 will bring. xo, grace

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DIY Festive Phone Case

DIY Festive Phone Case

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Considering my phone is in my hands for about 60 percent of each day, I put a surprisingly small amount of thought into its aesthetic, which is strange, because it’s the perfect accessory — easy to change and totally customizable. No matter what your personal look is, your phone can pull it off! At this dark and depressing time of year we all need a cheap and easy way to keep that sparkle continuing from the holiday season. The perfect antidote to those January blues? Lots of shiny gold, some soft, luscious pink and plenty of polka dots. We’ve even used up some of those wrapping paper scraps you’ve been holding onto. -Fran

Design Sponge Phone case final_2

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Rethinking The Resolution: 4 Tips To Make Those Goals Stick

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Rethinking The Resolution: 4 Tips To Make Those Goals Stick

New Years resolutions seem to happen, by and large, in three phases. Phase one is what I like to call the Blindly-Optimistic-Shameless-Binge period. This happens not long before January 1st, shortly after your resolutions are written. You have determined that this is the year in which you will eat healthier, floss more, take yoga classes, and actually read that stack of New Yorkers that until now has functioned as an overly-expensive coffee table ornament. You feel good about these goals. They seem, from the haze provided by way too many holiday cookies and cocktails, remarkably achievable. In the last few days before the New Year, you kindly grant yourself one last cigarette, one last side order of deep-fried mac n cheese balls, one last Saturday spent in bed binge-watching Breaking Bad with a box of Lucky Charms. It’s okay, because in the new year, you’ll be better.

Phase two comes promptly after the obligatory New Year’s Day hangover begins to fade. You get out of bed, brew a fresh cup of coffee, and feel utterly rejuvenated at the prospect of the new year and the new you. The potent image of a more vibrant, responsible, and decidedly grown up you is intoxicating and, for a short while, you become drunk on its motivating power. As you flit about, expertly checking off the list of things you want to accomplish—obtaining that gym membership, making the long-overdue therapy appointment, buying copious amounts of organic produce for juicing—you might find yourself being lulled into a false sense of accomplishment. You’re unstoppable.

Phase three happens right about the same time when it no longer is appropriate to wish people a happy new year. You’ve been at this “new you” thing for a solid few weeks and the whole sparkling novelty of it is beginning to wear off. Instead of feeling rejuvenated and empowered, you feel exhausted, starving, and disappointed that you still don’t look like Nicki Minaj. You also really want cake. Before you know it, you’re lying face down in a pool of self pity and Dorito dust, the resolution list tacked above your desk only serving to remind you of what an abject failure you are. If any of this sounds even the slightest bit familiar, let me just say that (1) you are not alone and (2) STOP IT RIGHT NOW, you are going about this all wrong.

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#DSShapes

#DSShapes

DS Hashtag Challenge: #DSShapes
Over the holidays, I tried to take a break from constantly having my phone at hand. The 21st century temptation to photograph, document and share every beautiful or interesting moment that I came across was always there, but I found that the less I photographed, the more I noticed. Every beautiful old door, stained glass window and great menu design seemed like a great jumping-off point for some project, online or off. I wasn’t able to totally step away from my phone, because I did end up snapping a few moments from our holiday vacation. And when I went over those photos, I noticed how many of them were about catching great moments of “shapes in the wild.” Everywhere I looked there seemed to be some sort of geometric detailing popping up everywhere: In old windows, in the form of tiles on doorsteps, and even in the overlapping of tree branches in our yard. So for January’s #Hashtag Challenge, I’d love for you to share the shapes YOU see in everyday life. Maybe it’s a great wall mural, tiny rectangle-patterned cookies or a handprinted pattern — whatever it may be, share the shapes YOU see during your day and upload them to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and hashtag them #DSShapes. We’ll choose our favorites and share them here next month! xo, grace

Images above, clockwise from top left: BostonPollen, Denai_Jones, SandraNygard, Citron_Press_

10 Lessons Gleaned from 2014 For a Better 2015

10 Lessons Gleaned from 2014 For a Better 2015

Biz Ladies: 10 Lessons for a Better 2015
With the holidays behind us, the decorations put away, the confetti swept from the floors and “2015” on our calendars, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the past year and use the lessons learned from it to inform this year. But, aspirations aside, I have to admit that the thought of establishing a make-or-break New Year’s resolution (that I rarely keep) can feel a bit daunting. As a small business owner myself, I’m constantly learning and refining as I go, using the wisdom of yesterday to craft a better tomorrow. So instead of adding another thing to the list of things to think about, I’m using the lessons gleaned in 2014 to make 2015 more efficient, enjoyable and streamlined. In 2014 I took on every and any project that came my way, which stretched me far too thin, so this year I’m going to be more selective with whom and what I spend my time and energy on. I’m excited to share with you all the lessons that these 10 super-talented and successful individuals shared with us that they’re applying to make 2015 bigger, badder and better. — Sabrina

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A Home Where Creativity and Family are King

The Dining Room: Nina has almost as much affinity for chairs as she does ceramics so naturally her dining room table had to be surrounded by an array of different seating styles. Lighting by Moooi.

A Home Where Creativity and Family are King

Without a doubt, the last two years have been the most influential in terms of shaping my home’s design. Being bold and less afraid to make a mistake, I’m more focused on what makes my space a good fit for me as opposed to what others may deem the “right” look. Sure, there is something to be said for the simplified, modernist take on the bachelor pad, but I favor the rich luxe of my blue velvet sofa, fur table runners and a gooey mix of street art and highbrow design. After all, it’s just me in here, so I say it’s time for my taste to be king! The spaces that catch my eye tend to also throw the rulebook out the window in favor of crafting a home that brings to life the owner’s unique image of where they’d like to live.

Nina van de Goor and her husband have definitely found their stride when it comes to designing for their family’s needs. They knew right away that their vision of a home with layered styling and color in the Netherlands would abide by no rules, would be always in flux, and fun. When she is not designing ceramics and artwork for her shop, Nina uses her home as an ever-changing canvas featuring artwork by friends, her own designs and pieces that all have their own story. The couple also knew that they had to keep in mind their growing children when they decorated their space. When kids enter the picture, it can be easy to sacrifice fashion for function. As you’ll see, however, the two chose to work at finding ways to highlight artwork and color in order to kickstart the entire family’s creativity. We couldn’t love the results more. Garrett

All photos by Nina van de Goor

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