A 1920s Home Built with Charming Architectural Details

Tour a home full of charming architectural details on Design*Sponge.

A 1920s Home Built with Charming Architectural Details

When you buy a house built in the 1920s, your home doesn’t always come with all the amenities that you’d find in many homes today. A walk-in closet, master suite, spacious kitchen, and a modern layout are sacrificed for charming details of the past. Fortunately for Patti and Brian Wagner, their ambition and passion for old homes led them to have the best of both worlds in their 1927 home in Minneapolis, MN.

Patti is a senior designer at Target, and Brian is a commercial banker. They both have a love for old homes and have renovated several houses that they currently rent out. For their “forever home,” the couple is working to keep as much of the original character as possible while updating the space to include modern-day conveniences. They purchased their home toward the end of 2011 and have been renovating it ever since. Practically living in what is now their daughter’s room when they began renovations, they’d come home from their day jobs and go straight to working on the house for months on end.

After about a year, they began tackling the biggest part of the renovation process – turning the attached garage into a kitchen and building a new detached garage. “While my husband did demolition work on the old attached garage, he uncovered 11 steel beams!,” Patti shares. “Our house is pretty solidly built, I’d say.” From picking out the hardware to sketching out the cabinets, Patti and Bryan were a part of every little detail of the renovation process.

“For now, the majority of the renovation has been completed, but we still have a few more projects to tackle,” Patti shares. From beautiful archways and wall niches to vintage green tile in the home, the small details make a large impact. –Tawnee

Photography by Melissa Oholendt 

VIEW MORE

A Vintage-Filled Home in Greenville, SC Designed To Feel Like a Retreat

jessica_barley_masterbedroom_1-1000x667

A Vintage-Filled Home in Greenville, SC Designed To Feel Like a Retreat

Husband and wife business partners Neil and Jessica Barley own two small businesses: a vintage furniture rental and styling company called A Darling Day and a food truck and mobile catering company called Thoroughfare, in Greenville, SC. Mixing Jessica’s background in design with Neil’s culinary arts, it only made sense that these two could blend their skills so nicely in the event industry. “On any given Friday or Saturday, you will find us working a wedding or event in some capacity. We enjoy working together; it has helped us know one another and ourselves in honest ways, identifying how our strengths and weaknesses can balance and strengthen each other,” Jessica shares. “When we aren’t working, we enjoy spending time outdoors hiking, camping or kayaking with our beloved [dog] Murphy and hosting friends and family for meals and game nights.”

Their home has proven to be the perfect location for a home office for these two, giving them time to work on home projects in between the busy schedule of running two businesses, back to back. “When Neil and I moved to Greenville almost three years ago, we were moving to a new city in a new state. We did not know the area very well, but we wanted to be no more than 15 minutes from downtown and we wanted a basement or shed to work on projects (of which are never-ending!). When we first saw our home, we loved its open living area and the hardwood floors throughout the entire main floor. And we were moving from a house that was on a busy road, so the fact that this one was located on a cul-de-sac and backed up to a big park (with a path for walking Murphy) made it our clear favorite. We could picture living our lives in this space,” Jessica recalls.

From the warm living room to one of the cozy guest rooms, this home mixes vintage treasures with art in a way that leaves it feeling like a weekend retreat. Enjoy! —Erin

Photography by Jessica Barley

VIEW MORE

15 Rooms That Unabashedly Celebrate Bold Color

Red And Purple Turn This Guest Room Into A Place Of Inspiration For Those Who Rest Their Heads Here

15 Rooms That Unabashedly Celebrate Bold Color

Move over all-white walls and neutral-colored furniture! While we love the idea of the purported calm that comes with this look — and how it can allow pieces like bright artwork to pop — we can’t deny the thrill of a dramatic dash of color across a vintage piece of furniture, or the high lacquered pop-of-color in a revamped piece. Or, best yet, the all-over effect of a room completely drenched in, and totally unafraid of, color!

We have rounded up some of our favorite examples of undeniably striking rooms that adore bold color. Have you always been in love with color, unable to part with it? Or have you been totally on board with the all-white trend and are now curious about dipping your toes into the cerulean blue pool of color-filled walls and punches of pigment through your furniture pieces and styling? Either way, dream-like colorscape inspiration awaits! —Rebekah

VIEW MORE

A West Chelsea, NYC Jewelry Designer Treasures Home Most of All

A West Chelsea Jewelry Designer Treasures Home Most of All, on Design*Sponge

A West Chelsea, NYC Jewelry Designer Treasures Home Most of All

Talk about multitasking! Lisa Sadoughi creates her own line of fashion jewelry under the same roof as she raises her kids with husband Armand, embracing vertical living in a West Chelsea, Manhattan townhouse. Each of seven floors is dedicated to a specific function, from the Lele Sadoughi brand fulfillment and shipping center in the basement, to the team working on the top floor between two airy balconies, and the family abode stacked in between — every square foot is utilized. The layout allows Lisa to be close to her kids, while maintaining the distance necessary to focus and concentrate on the task at hand during business hours. “I am so fortunate to have our offices here and come downstairs to have lunch with them every day,” Lisa says. For all its fantastic features, the most challenging part of family life is the vertical orientation of their space. Lisa enjoys having all her responsibilities assigned to specific floors, which allows for a reprieve when working in the office, but it becomes less fun when she forgets something six floors up while walking out the door.

The home feels fresh and clean with white walls and organic materials, with colorful accents curated as tastes change. Some of Lisa’s favorite spaces include the adults-only sitting room, where an emerald green and ivory color palette recalls the boldness of her jewelry designs with its malachite murals and banana leaf printed pillows. In the office, vintage chairs were recovered in a black-and-white striped fabric, giving it a retro-glam look that perfectly offsets her bold jewelry pieces. Though Lisa didn’t necessarily intend to live and work in the same place, she now can’t imagine missing all the small breaks she takes to be with her little ones. The family set out to make a home suited to entertaining as well as relaxing with their young children, and made one that supports a thriving business, too. —Annie

Photography by Genevieve Garruppo

VIEW MORE

DIY Oversized Cross Stitch Wall Art

DIY Oversized Cross Stitch Wall Art

DIY Oversized Cross Stitch
What is it about miniatures and gigantic reproductions that’s so appealing? Perhaps that shift in scale creates a fresh perspective, and suddenly the ordinary is extraordinary. I’m always on the hunt for everyday wonder and was stopped in my tracks when Grace shared the work of Raquel Rodrigo, who creates large-scale cross stitch street art. This DIY is an homage to Rodrigo’s colossal outdoor installations that you can bring indoors for a bold, modern, colorful centerpiece to any room. —Jessica

DIY Oversized Cross Stitch
DIY Oversized Cross Stitch

VIEW MORE

3 Tasty Dips For Your Holiday Get-Together

3 Tasty Dips For Your Holiday Get-Together

anissahelou1

I’ve been one the hunt for some small mezze type dishes and dip recipes for my old-neighbor get-together next week. I bought my first home back in July and I absolutely love it — but I did leave behind the most wonderful set of neighbors a single mom could ever hope to have. Granted, we live in a small town so my new home is only 5 minutes away from my old neighborhood, but seeing those eight smiling faces every single day is a treat that I miss.

I’m excited to have them all over for a little holiday cheer next Saturday, and I’ll be serving up these little bowls of deliciousness that we’ll nibble on in between holiday stories and a lot of hugs. First up is London-based Mediterranean food expert Anissa Helou’s recipe for Syrian or Lebanese Muhammarah (shown above), a pepper spread served with wholewheat crackers with mastic.

I’m also excited to make and share Julia Turshen’s Zucchini -Tahini Dip and Kristin Donnelly’s Roasted Carrot Hummus.

Click through for the Muhammarah recipe and a link Anissa’s instructions for how to make your own wholewheat crackers! –Caitlin VIEW MORE

The Beauty of Self-Care: Lesson 10 – Detachment

The Beauty of Self-Care: Lesson 10 – Detachment

jessicanielsen-pattern-1-portrait

When it comes to my own self-care path, detachment has always been one of the most difficult concepts for me to grasp and practice. I am an empath through and through, and sometimes even making it through the grocery store without a gut-wrenching moment is very difficult for me. The sights and sounds of grouchy people can move me to tears.

I grew up in an alcoholic family and my brain was trained to be vigilant, watching and interpreting the moves and body language of everyone in my life so I knew when things were safe — and more importantly, when they were not. As an adult, it feels like I’ve spent a lifetime trying to tame those danger receptors in my brain, and detachment has been key to my self-care practice. Most talk of detachment focuses on detaching from outcomes, material things and people. I needed to detach from my own empathy.

Detachment, I’ve learned, does not have to be indifference. My inner-child would never let me get away with indifference. She and I agreed, after many years of negotiation, that our brand of detachment can be more of a shoulder-shrug “what-are-you-gonna-do?” Think George Constanza on Seinfeld — the guy complains a lot and has definite opinions, but he keeps on keeping on and still shows up at his friend’s house.

Detachment for me always meant isolation — hiding until the horrible thing went away. Then I learned the thing never really goes away, it just goes around the corner and hides in the bushes. It was my responsibility to learn to detach. In today’s exercise, I’m going to share a technique I use when I find it difficult to participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. If you’re looking for ways to find some peace and reclaim some extra energy for the coming new year, I hope you’ll use this exercise to become comfortable with the new reaction of not reacting–Caitlin

Click through for the five-minute exercise.

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-1-49-35-pm

Quote above attributed to Ali ibn Abi Talib

Image above created by surface pattern designer, Jessica Nielsen, for Design*Sponge

VIEW MORE

6 Spicy Sauces to Kick Up Your Meal in a Pinch!

Okay, I'm starting with my favorite, but it's one I can't use often because of the sugar content. BUT, if you're someone who can handle sugar well, this deliciously spicy honey is the best I've ever had. I first had it on top of my beloved "Hellboy" pizza at Paulie Gee's in Brooklyn, but you can now buy the honey on its own. It's amazing. People even put it on ice cream! I like it on roasted sweet potatoes. $20 for 2 here.

6 Spicy Sauces to Kick Up Your Meal in a Pinch!

These days I’ve been eating a lot of veggies as part of my new Type 1 diet, and I’m always on the hunt for something to spice them up a bit. Spicy, herby sauces are always my go-to (and Julia is a pro at making them in a pinch), but today I thought I’d share some of my favorite pre-made sauces and condiments that have been making my healthy eating life a little bit easier. From Korean chili paste to pickled peppers, these little jarred goodies can dress up just about anything from morning eggs to quick grilled veggies. xo, grace

 

VIEW MORE

Storytelling Through Drawing in a Philadelphia Row Home

Storytelling Through Drawing in a Philadelphia Row Home, on Design*Sponge

Storytelling Through Drawing in a Philadelphia Row Home

“We are pretty much always working on projects together,” says Kimberly Hall of husband Justin Hardison. “We’ve done photography and video collaborations, music, and graphic design. I’ve roped him into my work as a fashion and accessory designer, and he’s used my skills in many of his music projects.” Their latest venture is a print and pattern studio called Nottene (a Norwegian word that means nuts) where their work “comes from a practice of storytelling through drawing.” With space on the top floor of their 2,000-square-foot Philadelphia, PA home, they can sometimes include young daughters Wilhelmina and Berta-June, “who are also way into making stuff” in the creative process — a critical part of getting their business going and growing.

Kimberly tries out a lot of the ideas she has for Nottene in their own home. Redecorating is one of her favorite things, and she loves having a space where she can do it freely. She has been slowly painting every wall in the house, and will be putting up more wallpaper now that she’s producing a line of it. She hand-painted pale pink stripes in the family room, faux bois under the kitchen cabinets, a fake fireplace in the girls’ room, tiles in the bathroom, and hand-drawn molding in the living room. While she dives into the decorating, Justin takes care of the repairs and upkeep required of a 1900s brick row home, though they ask for their dads’ help with maintenance projects as often as possible.

After living in lots of places over the years and making tons of great artist friends spread far and wide, Kimberly also enjoys displaying their work in the house as reminders of them and their times together. The warm, welcoming community has filled the family in on the backstory of their own property, making it feel like home. “The neighbors on our block, the families we meet through public school, as well as the amazing artist’s community here have made our lives very rich in this city.” —Annie

Photography by Justin Hardison and Andrea Cipriani Mecchi

VIEW MORE

In Philadelphia, a Victorian Home With An Urban Farm

In Philadelphia, a Victorian Home With An Urban Farm via Design*Sponge

In Philadelphia, a Victorian Home With An Urban Farm

I’ve heard the story (urban legend?) of new homeowners finding stacks of vintage porn hidden within drop ceilings. That’s cheeky and amusing, but imagine finding a loaded gun while pursuing a renovation. Would you walk away slowly, then start to sprint as fast and as far away as possible? For Neal Santos and Andrew Olson, the discovery of a loaded gun was no urban legend, but it is a strong metaphor for their ability to turn abandoned, rejected corners of Philadelphia, PA into beautiful spaces with lots of heart.

With a background in horticulture, Andrew was in search of a place to live where he could garden and keep chickens and bees. He found an amenable landlord, which landed him on 51st Street, but his green thumb quickly surpassed the yard and spilled into the adjoining abandoned city lot. Andrew and Neal began working with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s City Harvest Program, which equipped them with compost, lumber and seedlings, enabling them to expand their garden endeavor. Farm 51 was born and became a community hub (as evidenced by the many pictures of cute kids tending to vegetables via Instagram). They ran a weekly farm stand, selling veggies, eggs, honey and flowers.

But before there was a picturesque farm stand, there were thousands and thousands of pounds of trash to be hauled, weed trees to be cut back and general debris to clean up. It was during one of the initial volunteer clean-up days that they discovered the loaded gun, and they admit, “We’re still never sure what we might find when digging deep for a new tree or shrub.”

A few years into their urban garden project, the house adjacent to the garden lots, a three-story Victorian, went on the market. Andrew and Neal, a freelance photographer, bought the house and fully committed to 51st street. Having suffered decades of neglect, the house was in poor enough condition to send several contractors running for the hills. Plaster walls and ceilings were collapsing. Plumbing leaks had rotted and buckled the floors, but they finally found a brave contractor who, like them, could see the potential in the old bones. He lovingly restored any original elements that could be saved, then Neal and Andrew did what they do best: they filled the space with life and beauty.

Owning the home enabled them to buy one of the adjacent lots through Philly’s Side Lot Program and added more security to their farm endeavor. They hope to someday open up more of the house to create more flow from home to garden. In the meantime, their house brims with Andrew’s painterly floral arrangements, which Neal seems to freeze in time with his lens. Between garden, home and camera, these two have so much inspiration to offer, and if that’s not enough, they have plenty of cute dogs, too! —Quelcy

Photography by Neal Santos

VIEW MORE

A Cheerful, Creative Home in Kansas City, MO

Lauren and Frank's Home Tour on Design*Sponge

A Cheerful, Creative Home in Kansas City, MO

Lauren Phillips and Frank Norton are proud to have been a part of the evolving creative community in Kansas City, MO for the past six years. “When we graduated college, it seemed like most of our friends left the Midwest for larger coastal cities — this wasn’t entirely true, but it felt that way.” The couple chose to set roots and have since discovered a voice in the local creative culture. “Sometimes, younger people will ask us for advice about their careers. Most people’s first impulse is to say, ‘Move to New York,’ but if more unique and creative people chose to push and grow the culture here, it would become a more fertile territory for young artists and designers.” Frank is a graphic designer and illustrator, currently working as an art director at Boulevard Brewing Company, and Lauren is a local art teacher. They made the conscious decision to be a part of a community that is already bursting with inspiring artists and designers by purchasing a home in Kansas City one year ago, instead of relocating.

They chose to search for a house in Waldo, a family-friendly neighborhood that is home to a handful of Kansas City businesses, parks and community events. Because of the competitive market in Kansas City, the couple searched for months and their offers were often turned away for buyers paying over the asking price in cash. “When we finally walked into this house, we knew it was the one.” They purchased a 1927, 1,700-square-foot house and immediately started with a fresh coat of white paint to best display their burgeoning art collection. The couple focused on simple details that were true to the style and time period of the house, while adding a crisp facelift with a few kitchen renovations. “Since we don’t have kids to think about, we wanted to create a place where our local and out-of-town guests felt welcome and comfortable.”

Lauren and Frank love to create and collect the work they display in their home. “We kept all of the walls very neutral to make the artwork stand out and have tried to build a relaxing, not overstimulating space.” Each of the thoughtfully placed pieces adds color and whimsy to the composition of the home, and the couple added personality by creating the work themselves or collecting from family members and friends. “Some things have been handed down from relatives, some things are from flea markets, some things we order online,” Lauren shares. Their attention to detail and lighthearted taste make the space inviting, inspiring and full of quiet moments of a designer’s enchantment. —Bethany Joy Foss

Photography by Lauren Phillips

VIEW MORE

Solidarity Sundays: Entertaining For A Good Cause

Solidarity Sundays: Entertaining For A Good Cause

table

Yesterday Julia and I opened our doors for the first meeting of our local chapter of Solidarity Sundays. Solidarity Sundays started as Suffragette Sundays in the Bay Area. It was a local activist meet-up led by Kate Schatz (author of Rad American Women) and Leslie Van Every. This fall, the group expanded nationwide and renamed to embrace a wider agenda of community activism, dealing with everything from general political issues and social concerns to the environment, LGBTQ+ rights and helping with food/hunger concerns. When we saw they were looking for new groups, we immediately opened our doors and were excited to have a chance to welcome new people into our home for a good cause.

img_3325

I’ve written about so many different entertaining themes here at D*S, but I thought it would be fun to share the details of how we organized our event in case anyone else wants to try something similar in their home. You don’t need a lot of space, time or money to make a BIG difference in your area, so if you want to connect with local people and support those in need, this is a great way to do that — and indulge in some entertaining fun. Below I’ve shared details for putting this event together at your house and some recipe ideas for keeping everyone snacking while they write letters and make calls. xo, grace 

VIEW MORE

Winter Floral Arrangement with Fungi and Roses

Winter Floral Arrangement with Fungi and Roses

ds-dec-16-lr-58-copy

The temperatures upstate dipped below 10 degrees this week, so I’m ready for a weekend full of warm and cozy everything. I’ve been dragging in wood for the fire and bringing down all the wool blankets so we can rest up and stay warm. I’ve got a boatload of work to finish before our holiday break, but before I dive back into to-do lists for the next few hours, I’m letting myself soak in the beauty that is this amazing winter floral arrangement (with mushrooms!) that Anna from Swallows & Damsons created for us. If you want a creative way to dress up your mantel, entryway or dining table, check out the full how-to after the jump! Until Monday, have a safe and restful weekend! xo, grace

Photos by India Hobson

 

ds-dec-16-lr-47-copy

ds-dec-16-lr-68-copy

There are such a lot of things that have no place in summer and autumn and spring. Everything that’s a little shy and a little rum. Some kinds of night animals and people that don’t fit in with others and that nobody really believes in. They keep out of the way all the year. And then when everything’s quiet and white and the nights are long and most people are asleep—then they appear.-Tove Jansson, Moominland Midwinter 

Magical winter, when the land is bare and toes are frozen. When outings outdoors are brief and purposeful and the air smells of pine, cinnamon and spice. My imagination thrives when my resources are limited. The last rose stubbornly holding on in the garden, uncovering lichen branches from under a hard frost or unexpected berries fruiting when all else is bare. I feel more grateful for each humble branch, expanding my repertoire to include anything that’s on offer, moss, feathers, fungi and dead bracken.

A winter garden arrangement is to play with these gatherings, a tiny frozen world where mini beasts or mythical creatures might dwell.  When I was a child my Mother used to give me a tray covered in icing sugar and I’d use my miniature farm houses, animals, sticks and leaves to create a magical snowy wonderland. I’m reinventing it for Christmas this year in floral form, hoping to keep the mystery and imagination alive. —Anna of Swallows & Damsons

Photos by India Hobson

 How-To: 

Materials:
-Moss
-Twigs
-Eucalyptus
-Beech
-Privet
-“Beatrice” roses
-Hellebores
-Ranunculus
-Astrantia
-Mushrooms
-Succulents
-Orchids

Steps:

Step 1. Choose a shallow dish or trough. I opted for a long concrete planter that would fit nicely down the center of a table. Place a sausage of scrunched chicken wire cut to size in the vessel and secure with strong tape. Fill your container with water.

ds-dec-16-lr-1-copy ds-dec-16-lr-4-copy ds-dec-16-lr-6-copy ds-dec-16-lr-8-copy

Step 2. Cover most of the chicken wire with moss, using wires bent into hair pins and poke into the moss to secure.

Step 3. Greening up. Start adding the tallest branches/stems of foliage in a line down the center of the mossed base. Stagger the heights as you might expect to find growing naturally outside. Bring in slightly shorter stems at each end and a few towards the front.

ds-dec-16-lr-12-copy ds-dec-16-lr-14-copy ds-dec-16-lr-22-copy

Step 4. Choose a delicate flower to follow the lines you have already created with the foliage. I began by using hellebores to weave in between the branches making sure that each stem is poked right through the moss so that it reaches the water in the container.

Step 5. Before the arrangement was landed with the more extroverted flowers, I added the Fungi to the base of the arrangement. I simply used a sturdy wire pushed slightly into the mushroom and then poked into the moss.

ds-dec-16-lr-36-copy ds-dec-16-lr-37-copy ds-dec-16-lr-38-copy ds-dec-16-lr-41-copy

Step 6. At this stage it should be clear where any gaps are, so I used the bigger headed statement flowers to fill in space. I staggered the roses in one area and then placed slipper orchids on the other side to balance them out. I find it more effective to group the flowers like this, rather than spreading them evenly throughout the arrangement.

ds-dec-16-lr-47-copy ds-dec-16-lr-50-copy ds-dec-16-lr-51-copy

Step 7. Lastly I balanced colors and shapes by adding smaller headed flowers and succulents. More hellebores, ranunculus and astrantia are dotted throughout the arrangement. I wired a tiny succulent in the same way as the mushrooms and added this also to the moss base.

And so I created a tiny seasonal garden with the most curious flowers and fungi that winter has to offer. Whose leaves and stems are “a little shy and a little rum,” so much so that I think I might just hide here amongst them until Christmas.

ds-dec-16-lr-59-copy ds-dec-16-lr-62-copy

#DSHoliday + Best of the Web

#DSHoliday + Best of the Web

woodlucker_butterfly

This week the holidays finally started to feel real because Julia and I went to our local Christmas tree farm to bring home a tree. Julia builds her own DIY menorah every year, so this month our house is filled with so much light and decoration. I’m always so inspired by the warmth this season brings, and I’ve been so happy to focus less on shopping and decorating (although I do love tree lights) and more on giving back.

This year we did our local toy drive and are volunteering at food and family shelters in our area, but we’re also following a suggestion left by writer (and D*S contributor) Ashley C. Ford that I wanted to share here. Ashley suggested people call up their local school system to find out about overdue lunch accounts for students in need. So many of these children aren’t able to pay off their bills and won’t be able to join their classmates for meals — or get the food they need (and may not be able to get at home). All you need to do is get the totals and chip in as much as you can afford, or coordinate with others (or local businesses) to help pay off the totals. It’s a nice way to get involved with your local schools and a great way to make sure that the next generation of makers, artists, dreamers and doers has the fuel they need to grow and learn.

Speaking of inspiration, I wanted to launch a short #Hashtag challenge for this month: #DSHoliday. Upload a picture (to Twitter or Instagram) of what YOUR holiday season looks like (traditions, decorations, giving back, etc.) and tag it #DSHoliday. I’ll pick one winner and mail them a signed copy of In the Company of Women AND a signed copy of Julia’s cookbook, Small Victories. Until then, best wishes for a healthy and happy weekend. xo, grace

Paper butterflies above by Woodlucker on Instagram. Peek inside their house here

bestofweb

Best of Design*Sponge This Week:

 

In the Kitchen With: Italian Doughnut Holes

In the Kitchen With: Italian Doughnut Holes

Castagnole by Kristina Gill | Tasting Rome

This week’s recipe is from my cookbook, Tasting Rome. Castagnole are traditionally a carnevale recipe, but I consider them the Italian equivalent of the doughnut hole. Even better, I consider them an easy cheat for rum balls at Christmas time. You can serve them strictly according to the original recipe or glaze them with something boozy (just make sure you omit the Sambuca in the recipe), and even add sprinkles of your choice. These are soft as pillows and best eaten immediately, but they will keep, and be perfect to have with coffee, even days after you make them. So make a beautiful batch, wrap, and give as a gift without fear. For an alternative recipe for castagnole from our archives, click here. —Kristina

Roman Street Sign photo by Kristina Gill | DesignSponge

Photography by Kristina Gill

VIEW MORE