New: The Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines Paint collection

New: The Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines Paint collection

Joanna Gaines
Since the very first second it hit the airwaves, I have been a huge fan of HGTV’s Fixer Upper. For starters, it was the first show that embraced the style I personally love (reclaimed wood, thrift store goods and modern detailing like concrete counters, brass fixtures and subway tiles), and it single-handedly created a new appreciation (and #hashtag trend) for an old favorite: #SHIPLAP!

Joanna Gaines with Magnolia Home Paint Can
Co-hosts (and spouses) Joanna and Chip Gaines can, in my book, do just about anything they set their minds to — from ripping out walls and cabinets and making-over homes to starting a B&B and raising a farm full of animals (and beautiful children). So it was no surprise when I heard The Magnolia Home (Joanna’s shop and studio) was launching its first collection of paint colors.

image01-4-1024x512
Paint is my go-to design solution for just about any problem. Boring walls? Furniture that
needs some love? Exterior that needs to feel modern again? Paint is almost always the answer. But not everyone is ready to make a huge commitment, so I love when collections pop up that embrace modern neutrals and deep hues that won’t leave you running for the hills when “Icelandic Poppy Red” turns into “Nightmare Firetruck Crimson.”

Today I sat down and asked Joanna some questions about the new collection (and yes, there’s a color called “Shiplap”), and for some tips on how she likes to use paint at home and in her clients’ spaces. Read on to see her answers and check out more from her new collection of paint. You can view all 25 colors from her collection, and shop online, right here. xo, grace

VIEW MORE

Sacramento, CA City Guide

Sacramento, CA City Guide

city-guide-sacramento

Jennifer Snyder is a writer, editor and host of the Creating Your Own Path podcast, a weekly interview series featuring inspiring individuals and change-makers from various creative industries. She’s also a proud native to Sacramento, California and grew up exploring the Northern California coastline.

As someone who is perpetually interested in the stories found tucked away in life’s adventures, Jennifer enjoys traveling and exploring her own city as much as possible, which she documents on Instagram.

After living in several neighborhoods throughout the Sacramento region over the course of her adult life, she and her husband have settled in West Sacramento with their two adorable rescue pups. Today, Jennifer is joining us to share more about the sunny capital of the state of California — the ever-charming Sacramento. –Sabrina

Photography by Jennifer Snyder

VIEW MORE

An Airy Modern Greenhouse in Brooklyn

An Airy Modern Greenhouse in Brooklyn, on Design*Sponge

An Airy Modern Greenhouse in Brooklyn

When Dana Arbib of A Peace Treaty offered to take us on personal tours of her friends’ most beautiful homes (after sharing her own stunning apartment), we couldn’t wait to see all the spaces that mean the most to her. The first is that of her “fauna curator” and former roommate Christan Summers, who now lives with partner Ivan Martinez in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Dana couldn’t be happier to see her friends — and the brains behind Tula, a mobile plantscaping shop — growing and thriving in a greenhouse of their own. “I’ve always been inspired by Christan’s nurturing spirit,” Dana says. “I love that we share a similar drive to embrace, and modernize the ‘old-meets-new’ process — while never compromising the integrity of ancient techniques, education, and history. Christan’s apartment is a luscious sanctuary, and really showcases her keen eye for design, composition, style, and the beauty of nature.”

The 930-square-foot modern loft offers a mezzanine for Christan and Ivan’s stock of handmade planters, at least until their proper retail showroom space is complete. The pair like to keep things “as minimal as plant and art lovers can,” Christan explains. “No clutter, no unnecessary objects that collect too much dust. If you take away all the plants, this place is pretty empty. We love the feeling of a gallery space — we can always change the arrangement.” Ivan brought the sleek essentials, like a table, chairs, and bookcases, while Christan introduced some beloved vintage furniture from her grandmother and parents. And despite the two-story vertical, the couple has made a point of hanging few pieces of art. “We like the walls left white — we fill the space with green instead.” —Annie

Photography by Genevieve Garruppo

VIEW MORE

A Remote Cottage in Australia Teeming with Artwork

A Remote Cottage in Australia Teeming with Artwork, Design*Sponge

A Remote Cottage in Australia Teeming with Artwork

The sun dipped low and kissed the mountains, emitting just enough of a glow for artist Helen McCullagh and her husband Liam to lay eyes on the property that would soon be theirs. The pair smiled as they surveyed the tree-filled land’s 175 acres. Lemons, peaches and kiwis blossomed and – amongst the greenery – a cottage stood tall. Left untouched for quite some time, the New South Wales, Australia home was on the brink of being totally overrun by the surrounding wood. Vines entrapped it, and you could even see through some of the floorboards down to the grass below. Helen and Liam were eager to be close to nature, so they jumped at the opportunity to make the cottage their own.

Situated near a national park and one of the cleanest rivers in Australia, the cottage is home to many critters. Some of which surprise the couple by swooping in through the kitchen’s original wooden doors and sunbathing on the porch. “Our inside (and) outside worlds are definitely one [and] the same much of the time,” the couple explains. Helen even recalls a moment recently when, while she was painting, a snake casually slithered in through her studio window. Most families would run for the hills, but this commune with nature is perfect for the self-sufficient pair. For Helen and Liam, these brushes with the wild are a worthy tradeoff for living slightly off-the-grid, growing their own food and enjoying the solitude of the park.

The cottage’s big windows, original fireplace, and wood paneling have proven to be some of the couple’s favorite aspects of their home. I particularly love how they’ve modernized the 1913 treasure’s wood-covered walls by simply giving them a fresh coat of paint and hanging works by Helen and some of her talented colleagues. These works are strategically accompanied by low-profile seating and storage, as furniture that sits lower to the ground ensures wall space is always free to be filled with even more art. Thankfully, besides purchasing a few new chairs and sofas, it hasn’t taken much to bring the 100-year-old cottage into the 21st century, and that’s a-okay with Helen and Liam! Click through to see the rest of their colorful and cozy home, as well as all of the pretty compositions Helen has committed to canvas. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography courtesy of Edwina Robertson

VIEW MORE

Living In: Carol

Living In: Carol

2
LivingIn_Carol_0000_tumblr_nx7w2r6klU1sy3bdbo4_1280

The drama of 2015’s Carol is set in motion when Rooney Mara spies Cate Blanchett while perusing the doll display of a Manhattan department store. From there, the two set out on a love affair that changes both of their lives. The backdrop of the tale is a mixture of pastels, rich winter hues and sets that could’ve come right out of a paper doll house. It may not have taken home any Oscars this year, but we couldn’t resist digging into the stylish film and finding a few ways we can bring home the look of the movie. Enjoy!  —Garrett

VIEW MORE

Monday Mood: Creative Inspiration, Insider-Info + Resources

Monday Mood: Creative Inspiration, Insider-Info + Resources

mood-creative

Inspiration is definitely not hard to come by, but diluting and diversifying your influences is oh-so important if you’re looking to establish your own style (a topic I’m passionate about, as you can tell).

Setting the tone this week are works by some of my favorite artists, as well as a plethora of insider-info and links to visit when you’re on the hunt for fresh, relevant and up-to-date creative inspiration and resources — all intended to inspire and light a gentle fire under your bums to start the week strong.  —Sabrina
VIEW MORE

Happy Passover + Best of the Web

Happy Passover + Best of the Web

1_24_15_Isabel_Halley3717
For the past few years, I’ve celebrated Passover with Julia’s family, and this year we’ll be hopping in the car and heading north to meet with the rest of her extended family to honor the holiday. I love family heirlooms and beloved hand-me-down pieces, but a part of me always longs to see artists and designers tackle traditional/religious elements in a modern way. So when I heard from Isabel Halley in Brooklyn about her contemporary Seder plate, I was in.

1_24_15_Isabel_Halley3927
Isabel uses a pinching technique to create these lightweight handmade pieces that make up her “Not Your Grandmother’s Seder Plate” design. Each piece features hand-painted writing in hebrew (on the undersides) and is finished with a clear glaze and 22-karat gold rims to create a sophisticated contrast. I love the idea of a young family investing in this piece and turning it into something special that will be handed down for generations to come. If you’re looking for something modern and special to use on your Passover table, click here to check out Isabel’s new design. Until Monday, best wishes for a safe and happy holiday (and weekend!). xo, grace

bestofweb_422

  • I cannot believe Prince passed away. I am still in shock. I can only be happy for the next galaxy or planet he’s on now — they’re going to love him so much. “Life is a party and parties aren’t meant to last.” So true, but so sad.
  • In happier news, this awesome ode to patterned rugs made me so happy. Patterns forever, please.
  • This article on why the web ISN’T dead (yay!) makes me happy. I love the connections that form online and how strong of a community-building tool it can be.
  • The stripes on this Vogue cover make me so excited for summer. Wide stripes are the BEST.
  • Speaking of patterns, I just splurged on this French Dot swim suit at J Crew. I also bought a long sleeve rash guard because I’m always too cold to go in the water.
  • Julia’s cookbook is available for pre-order! I have watched Small Victories come to life over the past few years and I could not be prouder of her. This book is 30 years in the making and overflowing with love, inspiration and practical advice to help anyone and everyone put meaningful (and delicious) meals on the table. And that gingham spine? It’s like Julia, in book form. I love it.

bestofds_422

In the Kitchen With: Melina Hammer’s Fresh Fish Tacos

In the Kitchen With: Melina Hammer’s Fresh Fish Tacos

unnamed-1
Photographer and stylist Melina Hammer has been one of our more frequent contributors in the past, providing easy-to-make, flavorful and seasonal recipes. This week, she shares a recipe for Fresh Fish Tacos, which is designed to be simple enough to get kids in the kitchen and cooking along with you. It comes from her new cookbook, Kid Chef. Kid Chef is a book full of many great recipes that kids can learn to tackle on their own, or to help out with in a meaningful way. The clear and concise recipes are, however, great for novice cooks of any age and keep with Melina’s dedication to eating in season, and with flavor. —Kristina

unnamed-3
Why Melina loves this recipe: I love this recipe because it is foolproof and the payoff in bright flavors and textures is amazing. Juicy, flavorful fish mingles with zingy pickled onions and bright salsa, creamy sour cream and lacy slaw. The combination is just so good. And, because the various elements can largely be made in advance, this dish asks only a little of your time to bring it all together — great for kids who want quick satisfaction, as well as for grownups pressed for time. I must confess, this was the first fish taco recipe which made me excited to eat it. This one is a game-changer!

VIEW MORE

Design Confessions: Our Team’s Guilty Design Pleasures

Design Confessions: Our Team’s Guilty Design Pleasures

gdp2
While most of us who work in the design community like to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and hottest new looks, styles and products, we all have a few guilty pleasures we return to over and over again. I’m of two minds about “guilty” pleasures. First, I don’t think guilt should actually enter into the equation at all (most times): because if it’s something you love and it’s in your home, that’s all that matters. Who cares if it’s overdone or in everyone’s Instagram feed? Your home is about creating a space where you’re surrounded by things that make you happy and you definitely don’t need to share that with anyone or change out your home decor so it’s current and seasonally appropriate. You do you, basically.

That said, I love digging deeper and figuring out what design secrets or trends people still indulge in long after our community at-large deems them “over.” Whether a much-reviled (but still popular and hot-selling) “Keep Calm” poster or flocked wallpaper, or just an obsessive gallery wall of pictures of your pet, I wanted to know what design elements our team was secretly hiding at home and let them out into the open. Hopefully that will encourage YOU to share some of yours, too. At the end of the day, the term “guilty” is being used here with a healthy dose of sarcasm. Each one of us here loves and celebrates quirkiness, individuality and character in a home — no matter what shape, size, color or pattern it comes in. So I’ll get this started below… xo, grace

chiswick-floral-wallpaper-from-laura-ashley-bedroom-wallpapers-and-best-laura-ashley-wallpaper-designs-patterns-reviews-catalogs-ideas-2016
Grace: Hi, my name is Grace and I’m completely and totally obsessed with floral chintz patterns. Think “early Laura Ashley.” The softer and powdery-pink the better. Maybe it’s because my mom dressed me in Laura Ashley jumpers until one fateful day when I switched schools and realized all the cool kids wore Stussy (I felt like some invisible DJ yelled “REMIX!” and I ran home to change). To this day, these prints will always be my weakness. I let myself indulge in these patterns in the form of (sometimes scented — oohh) drawer paper liners.

3635706_resp_medium

VIEW MORE

Studio Tour: PRESERVATION

Studio Tour: PRESERVATION | Design*Sponge

Studio Tour: PRESERVATION

When I moved to Des Moines, IA three years ago, I heard that the city was growing and changing. But I had no idea how quickly it would transform. The newest neighborhood, the East Village, is home to small boutiques, foodie restaurants and trendy salons. In August, I noticed a store I hadn’t seen, and knew from the window display that I had to go in. PRESERVATION was unlike any other preowned clothing store I had ever been in — beautifully curated pieces are everywhere, and the space is dually used as a photography studio. Owner and merchandiser, Nicole Lorenson moved into this Des Moines storefront last summer and spent two months building it out to fit her shop and studio before opening the PRESERVATION doors. “I chose this neighborhood because I love the sense of community that the East Village provides, and I love that the building is so old and historic but has a modern and open feel inside. The windows in my space are amazing, along with the original floors and high ceilings,” Nicole shares.

Nicole is a classically trained fashion and portrait photographer with a timeless-meets-modern aesthetic, much like her store. Her collection of vintage clothing and home goods has been building for years, and her new storefront allows her to share her love for these pieces with her customers and clients. One of the ways this space has gone beyond selling clothing is the photography aspect of the store. Photography events happen on a regular basis, where she invites the community in for mini photo sessions, gallery openings, or even day-to-day photo shoots of customers in their new clothing. The PRESERVATION space has expanded Nicole’s ability to be creative full-time doing two things she loves.

When designing her space, Nicole stayed true to her personal aesthetic and brand. “My main goals were to be modern and simple and visually interesting,” Nicole notes. “I grew up on a farm, gardening with my mom, and I really wanted to bring a sense of the outdoors in with the plants. I also spent a lot of time in Southern Colorado as a child and was always very inspired by the desert and native culture there… hence the southwest vibes.” The white, wood and vintage pieces make this lovely little shop open, airy and ready to be restyled again and again with Nicole’s ever-changing inventory. –Lauren

Photography by Nicole Lorenson

VIEW MORE

My Personal Anthem: Why I Dream In Purple

lovep

My Personal Anthem: Why I Dream In Purple

March 1987.  My first year in NYC at the School of Visual Arts. The big apple was rotting from the crack epidemic. I saw it first hand, felt it grab at my neck looking for gold chains and I smelled it at night on my corner. I was mugged five times at knifepoint. I worked as a coat check girl at the Marriot Marquis in Times Square, when it was an empty, dank place. I survived on tips and stealing toilet paper from my employer. It was all a sign of the times.

I had graduated from the emotional haze of Purple Rain, singing Let’s Go Crazy at my high school graduation, to the deep, dark tunnels of NYC, taking the A train at midnight train from Times Square to my 11’ by 17’ room at the Sloan House YMCA on 34th and 11th.

Prince taught me the good, the bad and the ugly. He taught me how to dress and how to snarl. He taught me you can look like a girl boy or a boy girl, or both and then fall in love riding off on a motorcycle without a care.

He made it ok for me to walk in through the out door and shop at second hand stores. He elevated me from the white kid in the projects wearing Goodwill threads, to a movie star, a confident young thing who could rock an Edwardian collar like no one’s business.

His androgyny slayed me. His talent made me stand still. His lyrics made me feel butterflies.

And his style – his style humbled me.

No matter where I was, or how dark it got, Prince Rogers Nelson always whispered this in my ear:

Honey I know, I know, I know times are changing

It’s time we all reach out for something new

That means you too

– Prince, Purple Rain

-Caitlin

VIEW MORE

DIY Spring Party Floral Staircase

DIY Spring Party Floral Staircase

Photo_12 copy

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘let’s party!’” – Robin Williams.

There’s something in the air, and it’s utterly exhilarating. Scents of blossoms, narcissi and hyacinth, leaving the house without a coat, footwear that doesn’t weigh you down, and promising new shoots popping up on the stark, black ground. Everything feels lighter.

For this how-to, I wanted to combine such a fresh time of year with something that we are increasingly creating as a focal point for celebrations and events — stair flowers. I am always drawn to a good staircase, I think it must hark back to my childhood: being the youngest of four, I frequently would find myself sitting on the stairs listening in to the older conversations or wildly flying down them with friends in sleeping bags. More recently, the stairs have become a place where I sit with my children to reflect, to calm the heck down. There’s a slightly magical notion, too, that they lead you somewhere. What better place to adorn with a wild and rambling arrangement than the center of the home?

Photo_16
Photo_17
My friend Camilla’s hallway is bright and airy. The stairs are a little crooked. There are Danish numbers on a black-painted runner that count you up the stairs. It was everything I could dream of for this elaborate spring party centerpiece. —Anna Potter

Photo_18

Photography by India Hobson
VIEW MORE

Before & After: The Redleaf Manor Ballroom Conversion

Before & After: The Redleaf Manor Ballroom Conversion, on Design*Sponge

Before & After: The Redleaf Manor Ballroom Conversion

The Zevan family of Wynnewood, PA sure does love their books. Tracee and Steve, along with young sons Declan and Ronan, display all their favorite reads on the shelves of their restored ballroom living space within Redleaf Manor, located on the Pennsylvania Main Line. The historic 30,000-square-foot English Tudor Revival mansion was designed by architect Frank Furness and built in 1881. Redleaf Manor, named after the leaves of the ancient copper beech trees located on the property, was commissioned for Philadelphia millionaire William Henszey. In the modern era, the building has been converted into seven condominium units, of which the Zevan family occupies 1,080 square feet. Tracee, an interior architecture design assistant, envisioned expanding the existing floor-to-ceiling library look in the den and establishing an open, modern floorplan in the kitchen.

Once serving as the mansion’s ballroom when the manor was a single-family home, the space retains its 11-foot ceilings and leaded glass French doors and windows. The fireplace and crown moldings are original to the site as well. “It felt more like a Paris apartment than a condo in the suburbs,” recalls Tracee upon her first visit to the home. “It was love at first sight.” Other features needed renovation, like a poorly-patched ceiling layered in wallpaper, and a distinct lack of overhead lighting throughout. During three months of construction under the oversight of architect Mindy O’Connor, the Zevan family stayed elsewhere in the building to keep an eye on the project.

In the updated ballroom, the whole family can hang out, share a meal, play board games, and entertain friends. They forewent a dining room table in favor of extra couch seating — a series of IKEA chairs pushed together, often reconfigured based on need. They eventually plan to add pocket doors and many library ladders to accommodate the tall ceilings. “What we lack in surface space, we make up for in vertical space,” Tracee notes, “And I’d like to utilize that to its fullest advantage.” The all-white home provides a feeling of serenity, and the color scheme makes the rooms feel larger. Still practical for kids because “everything is slipcovered, so it’s a trip to the washing machine when covers get dirty,” Tracee shares. When the work is done, she loves to sit in front of the fireplace, looking outside at the pristine grounds, with a cup of tea and her pick of many, many good books. —Annie

Photography by Wendy Concannon

VIEW MORE

Updated Style: Scandinavian Design

Updated Style: Scandinavian Design | Design*Sponge

Updated Style: Scandinavian Design

At Design*Sponge, our focus is to bring inspiring home ideas to everyone. Since the beginning, Grace has been showcasing homes belonging to real people in a range of styles, costs and practicality. The idea that million-dollar flats and rehabbed small houses are both lovely and noteworthy resonates with us and our readers. Scandinavian design started with the same values: Design should be democratic and available to everyone, and it should be as beautiful as possible. This Northern European modernist movement started taking shape in 1930 at the Stockholm Exhibition as a shift away from the realism and romanticism that had been in style. Scandinavian designers set out to combine their culture of craftsman tradition with a new style that would promote functionality and accessibility without removing grace and beauty. In the 1950s, Scandinavian design — close to what we know of it today — was launched.

Designers from Sweden, Norway and Denmark were impacted by the other modernism trends happening around the globe, but maintained a voice all their own. Scandinavian design, like the mid-century movement in the United States and Western Europe, can be thought of as a focus on minimalism to improve lives. It differed, however, from other mid-century modern styles of the time due to geological isolation from popular materials and a focus on bringing nature and organic lines into the products. Industrial designers from Northern Europe have created iconic products still sold today. Arne Jacobsen’s iconic bent wood 7 chair, Hans Wegner’s Wishbone Chair, and Marimekko’s graphic and nature-inspired prints are just a few of the items originating from Scandinavia that are still found in our homes.

Today, Scandinavian design is widespread. Rounded furniture edges, mid-20th-century modern art and natural shapes are sampled from stores across the world, not to mention the continued IKEA movement. Scandinavian design usually exhibits a neutral or soft color palette paired with natural wood tones and textures. In the United States, we have our “designed” products and then our day-to-day functional items that lack a sense of beauty. In Sweden, Denmark and Norway, even the most mundane objects are often designed to enrich lives with color and shape. On Design*Sponge, we see elements of Scandinavian design whenever an IKEA desk makes an appearance, but we also see stunning homes fully embracing the Scandinavian point of view. Homes with chunky sofas, Danish modern chairs, and minimalism with a cozy feel make us melt. Scandinavian design with contemporary styling feels effortless and refined at the same time.

Click through to see some of our favorite homes with an updated take on Scandinavian design, and inspirational products to bring a Scandinavian look into your home. –Lauren

VIEW MORE

10 Floral & Plant Temporary Tattoos

Anna Bond's gold floral tattoo set remains my favorite design, when it comes to florals. It's sweet, subtle and so elegant. $6 for 2 here at Tattly.

10 Floral & Plant Temporary Tattoos

More than white walls, “Keep Calm” posters and bookshelves organized by color, I find that tattoos are one of the most divisive design elements in the creative community. Most bloggers and designers I know have them (or design them), but they seem to draw an awful lot of ire when shared online. I know that any time I’ve shared mine, or the process, people on social media “feel sorry” for me and like to inform me that when I’m 90, I’m going to really regret the decision. To which I always say: If I’m lucky enough to live to 90, I’ll have more to think about (and celebrate) than a few stretched-out tattoos.

But all those complaints and concerns haven’t stopped the temporary tattoo trend from all but exploding over the past few years. Companies like Tattly (founded by Tina Roth Eisenberg, who will be in my new book this fall!) have teamed up with some of the most talented indie designers around to create stunning works of art that let you dress up your arms, legs and everything else in between with tiny masterpieces that you can wash off in a few days. I’ll always prefer the real thing, but with summer around the corner and short sleeves about to emerge, I thought it would be fun to share some of the most beautiful floral and plant-based designs (some are scented!) you can find, buy and try. Whether you make the leap from temporary to permanent or not, these are a great way to have fun with vintage and original images outside of the frame. xo, grace

VIEW MORE