DIY Pine Serving Tray

DIY Pine Serving Tray

DIY Pine Serving Tray

Is there anyone who doesn’t enjoy breakfast in bed? It’s one of life’s small pleasures. Whether you’re treating yourself or you are lucky enough to have it brought to you, in the moment you can forget about what’s waiting outside the bedroom door and enjoy a moment of self-indulgence. One of my favorite aspects is the idea of bringing the table — decor and all — to the comfort of your bed covers. It’s essential to have something green from the garden placed in a vase along with napkins, condiments and any other sundries you may need. A serving tray is a necessity! Try making this one as a subtle hint to a loved one, or just to remind yourself to spend a few more slow mornings enjoying breakfast in bed. —Fran

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DIY Daisy Nail Art by Jessica Washick

DIY Daisy Nail Art by Jessica Washick

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Last week our favorite nail artist, Jessica Washick, joined us for the first of three great DIY nail art projects aimed at those of us with shorter nails (hooray!). We kicked things off with my personal soft spot, DIY cat nails, and this week Jessica is back with a summer-perfect DIY look inspired by spring (and early summer) flowers.

These sweet daisy nails are easy to do and will save you some $$ at the salon if you give them a shot on your own. So, let’s get started with Jessica’s tutorial after the jump! xo, grace

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Floral Profile: From the Ground, Korea

Floral Profile: From the Ground, Korea

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One of my favorite aspects of social media is getting to discover new people, businesses and ideas I would have never known about without that digital connection. In particular, I love seeing how certain trends, concepts and pursuits can cross borders (and oceans) and how they’re interpreted abroad.

The world of floral design has exploded in the last decade, thanks in no small part to studios like Saipua and Emily Thompson, and new florists are popping up left and right, devoting their time to growing and arranging amazing flowers. I’ve been following some of my favorites for years now, but I’m always on the hunt for great new designers and last week, I found one.

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Eunyoung Lee is a designer from South Korea who studied abroad in London to get ready to open her own studio, From the Ground. Her photographs take my breath away and her way with flowers, even after less than a year of being open, is so sophisticated and elegant. I’ve spent the last week liking all of her old photos online and trying to find out more about her, so I figured I should just write her an email and see what happens. Thankfully Eunyoung was excited to talk, too, so we exchanged a series of emails about her business (“I have traveled far to become someone who I want to be“), her philosophy on flowers, and everything else in between. I found her work, and her insight, so inspiring and I hope you will, too. Thanks so much to Eunyoung for joining us today! xo, grace

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The Curated Quarters of a Prop Stylist

The Curated Quarters of a Prop Stylist, Design*Sponge

The Curated Quarters of a Prop Stylist

Living in close quarters can be tricky. It takes way more than the slightest touch of ingenuity to turn tiny into inviting. Rebecca Bartoshesky didn’t let a lack in square footage get her down when she began crafting her Williamsburg, Brooklyn one-bedroom five years ago. As a prop stylist, she is always bringing home new treasures that add a little spice to the 400-square-foot space she calls home. Careful to never let her apartment cross over into “prop-house land,” Rebecca has “gone with the flow in terms of decorating (her) space,” she says. The apartment’s effortless style can be attributed to several factors, from not letting the small size dictate her taste to taking her time when renovating. By letting these renovations evolve throughout the years, she has been able to thoughtfully modernize her apartment without compromising the vintage charm and original details that make this peek so unique.

I lived in a micro apartment even smaller than Rebecca’s not too long ago. Accepting the challenge of small-space living proved so daunting that I simply didn’t do anything to the apartment at all. “If I can’t make it perfect, I won’t make it at all,” I thought. If only I had remembered what my parents taught me growing up: that in the end, it’s our imperfections that make us perfect. I believe the same can be said for houses. The slightly off-center, one-of-a-kind and strikingly unique places that our readers call home are in no way perfect. That’s why we find them so interesting. Rebecca’s unabashed acceptance and excitement around making her small home the best it can be is inspiring and the results could not be more beautiful. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Maxwell Tielman

 

 

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Kojo & Lee Salon Tour

When it came to decorating the interior of her salon, Nikki-lee kept things simple. "It's been quite a process, because we didn't have £50,000 laying around to do a shop renovation. My husband and I have done all the work ourselves (with A LOT of help from our families, too!)."

Kojo & Lee Salon Tour

Haircuts can be a tricky thing. For some, they’re a ticket to self-esteem and a better day and mood, but for others, they can be a stressful practice in letting someone else take control of your appearance. After chopping off all my hair in high school (inspired by this video, of course), I finally let go of being afraid of a fresh ‘do and I now relish getting the chance to relax and have someone else figure out what the heck to do with my hair. I follow some of my favorite hair stylists online (including mine) and recently I discovered a new favorite, Nikki-lee of Kojo & Lee Salon, through Anna at Swallows & Damsons.

Anna created a gorgeous arrangement for Nikki-lee’s salon and I was smitten with her beautiful space. I immediately wrote her to see if she’d be up for a tour and thankfully, she was! With the help of photographer India Hobson, today I’m thrilled to share a peek inside the stunning salon of Kojo & Lee, located in a gorgeous 1800s building in Sheffield, England. The space feels like equal parts salon and historic parlor, which I love. If only I lived close enough to make this my regular haircut spot. If you’re in the area (109-111 Devonshire Street Sheffield S3 7SB) you can make an appointment via email or follow Kojo & Lee on Instagram right here. Thanks so much to Nikki-lee for sharing this incredible space with us today. xo, grace

Photography by India Hobson

 

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Life & Business: Ceciley Hallman of BE WISE Magazine

Life & Business: Ceciley Hallman of BE WISE Magazine

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I had the pleasure of over-hearing a conversation the other day — while I was on the train between two people whom I had never met — that left me inspired. They were discussing the idea and importance of being your authentic self, and how great people like Ellen and Caitlyn Jenner are for supporting, and being positive examples of, inner strength. In today’s society, one that can be marred with negativity, it’s so encouraging and uplifting to witness strong individuals and the mediums in place to support them, and BE WISE Magazine is no exception. Started by Ceciley Hallman out of Salt Lake City, UT, BE WISE Magazine is all about uplifting and inspiring its readers. Launched in 2012, the magazine features candid essays and inspiring columns from people from all walks of life, all in support of self-worth, encouraging the power and influence of wisdom. Today, Ceciley is chatting with us about how her business came to be, how it has affected and changed who she is for the better, and the importance of pursuing your dreams, big or small. –Sabrina

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Life & Business: Erin and Kerry of The Commons

Life & Business: Erin and Kerry of The Commons

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With a combined 35 years experience in the fashion and design industry, Erin Connelly and Kerry Clark Speake watched as the industry evolved from making things with their hands in the sewing rooms and design studios they worked in, to moving the process overseas. As people who love making things with their hands in a collaborative, creative environment, they were disheartened by this shift and decided to take some time off of work to road-trip across America.

During their adventure, they were bowled over by the talented makers they discovered, creating home products right in their own backyard. While they were thrilled by the abundance of talent and production happening right here at home, they were surprised to find that there wasn’t one place you could go to find a curated collection of the best of these goods, so they solved their own problem and launched The Commons, a destination for American-made goods for the home. Today, Erin is joining us to answer some questions about their business, integrity and honesty, the art of American Craft, and the importance of knowing your vision.  –Sabrina

Portrait photograph by Megumi Shauna Arai

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Athens, GA City Guide

Athens, GA City Guide

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Today’s city guide brings us to Athens — Georgia, not Greece! Though it’s not as romantic-sounding as its European counterpart, Savanna Jane Osburn aptly describes her neighborhood of Normaltown, “the most perfect little city.” Savanna has traveled the globe (but no, while it’s on her bucket list to visit Athens, Greece, she’s only been as close as Israel — I had to ask!), but the more time she spends away from her hometown, where she was born and raised on a farm, the more she realizes Athens, GA, has everything she needs.

Athens is a city with a progressive, relaxed and eclectic reputation. Known for its collaborative community and culture, it came as no surprise that Savanna partnered with The Broad Collective — who share in her kindred belief in the local Athens experience, economy, and bringing the people together that support it — to write today’s guide, broken down by neighborhood. Additionally, they’ve put together this custom Google Map with all of the below listings. Enjoy! — Sabrina

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The National Stationery Show: Hartland Brooklyn

Hartland at the National Stationery Show.

The National Stationery Show: Hartland Brooklyn

While wandering around the National Stationery Show, the bright and beautiful display created by Hartland Brooklyn stopped me in my tracks. I was greeted by creator Emily Johnson, who started Hartland Brooklyn in 2012. The name Hartland comes from the town in upstate NY where Emily grew up on a flower farm. Her childhood setting seems to have made its way into her designs, which often incorporate floral motifs. When I met Emily a couple of weeks ago, she was gearing up for a move back upstate with her husband, where they will be turning an old general store into their home and studio.

Hartland Brooklyn’s designs, which are printed on high-quality felted paper, are bright and happy with subtle elements of humor and heart. One of my favorite pieces in her new collection is a calendar of floral arrangements made in partnership with floral designer Ariel Dearie. In this collaboration, Ariel designed and photographed arrangements that Emily then illustrated. The end result, which incorporated a lot of neon colors and simple lines, would make a great addition to any floral-lover’s home. The following images show some of my favorite designs from the collection, including amazing tattoos depicting NYC street food. Yeah… get excited! X, Emma

Photography by Emma Tuccillo

 

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A Catskills Home with More History Than Meets the Eye

Design*Sponge Home Tour

A Catskills Home with More History Than Meets the Eye

When it comes to historic homes, the common phrase, “they don’t make them like they used to” often applies in unexpected ways. Take the home of Jeffrey Monteiro and Clayton Dean Smith in Peakville, NY, in the Western Catskills. It is part of a small hamlet surrounded by seven other houses, including what was once a general store/post office, a hotel and bar and a one-room schoolhouse, among others. Eager to make the historic space their own, Jeffrey and Clayton have taken on a number of projects and worked around a few structural challenges in the six years they have lived there.

From discovering wall insulation made of denim jeans paired with 1930s newspaper, to working around the lack of a basement (at the time it was built in 1890 it originally had earthen floors), they are continually striking a balance between modern convenience and historic charm. Perhaps the most surprising experience was a couple of years ago when they were shoring up the stone wall attached to the house. While working on the wall and the slope near it, the stone mason happened upon what was once the burial ground for unwanted household items, including ceramics, utensils, tin toys, intact glass bottles, boots, belts, clothing, tools and other household detritus to the total of 5 tons that had to be carted away. Which explained why that particular slope was pitted and unstable — it wasn’t earth that was under there! It only added to the sense of history that we appreciate about the hamlet. To this day, the occasional cup and saucer emerge from the front lawn.”

Whether it’s gardening, decorating or digging up archaeological curiosities, it is always a work in progress, but the two realize that just being in there is part of the process. There are certainly more projects on the horizon, such as solving the awkward layout of a bathroom that adjoins the master bedroom with the guest room (privacy please!), but they are content with the tranquility and connection to nature that the space affords them. When they aren’t busy working around the house, Jeffrey, who has a background in design and fashion, runs <a href=”http://www.jmgenerals.com/”>J.M. Generals</a>, an online store showcasing American Cashmere along with an array of American-made lifestyle and body care products. Clayton is an actor working in film, television and theater, currently finishing <em>Off Track Betty</em>, a film he wrote and directed to be released later this year. —<em><a href=”https://instagram.com/_shannongrant/”>Shannon</a></em>

<em>Photography by <a href=”http://maxwelltielman.com/”>Maxwell Tielman</a></em>

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Sizable Style on the Smaller Side: A Manhattan Studio

Sizable Style on the Smaller Side: A Manhattan Studio, Design*Sponge

Sizable Style on the Smaller Side: A Manhattan Studio

Kiel Wuellner moved from Chicago to Manhattan with a burning determination to succeed. “Many of my friends and family had doubts that I would be able to handle the hustle and bustle as well as the amount of work it takes to survive here,” he explains. The home he has set up for himself in the Financial District should put those naysayers to rest. Kiel has taken inspiration from his work as a freelance interior designer to craft a 375-square-foot space that truly embodies his stylish POV. Finding the design sweet spot for his apartment took him over a year to perfect. “When I first moved into the space I went a little overboard with the mid-century look and feel. Everything was so bold with charcoal-painted walls and bright, contrasting colors,” he says. In the past little bit, however, his studio has been given new life by adding in the “minimal textures,” and “highly edited clean lines,” you’ll see throughout. Kiel also cleverly uses rugs, chairs and tables to give the illusion of there being multiple rooms in the singular space.

This studio seems to be just one of many stops in the “Kiel Takes Manhattan,” storyline as he is not one to be satisfied sticking to the status quo. “While my apartment is not luxurious, it’s in a high-rise of extremely large and fancy apartments. It inspires me to work harder to achieve my goals.” With taste like this, it’s clear that Kiel’s success as a decorator will have him in one of those penthouses in no time. The only thing more memorable than his beautiful home is what it embodies — a young man’s NYC dream realized. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Kiel Wuellner

 

 

 

 

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A Pastor’s Victorian Farmhouse in Portland

A Pastor's Victorian Farmhouse, Design*Sponge

A Pastor’s Victorian Farmhouse in Portland

“That was horrid… that house is so dark.”

“Oh my gosh, this is our house. It’s going to be amazing.”

When Pastor Josh White and his wife Darcy first toured the Victorian farmhouse in Portland, OR that they now call their “nest,” the two were not exactly in agreement that it was the perfect “forever home.” Previously owned by a hoarder, the windows were papered over and the entire interior was in shambles. But a little faith gave them the confidence to strip the bathrooms, add windows to many walls, and remove all of the carpeting. “I never thought we could handle a fixer-upper — something that would evolve over time — but I am in love with this place. It is like it was made for us,” Darcy says. “We literally had 1 1/2 months to get the house move-in ready. We made it… but we have accepted that it is a work in progress!”

Darcy’s favorite renovation story involves a little trickery by Josh. The couple agreed that, in order to save money, they would hold off on remodeling the kitchen for a bit. “It was awful — one little window, a little corner kitchen unit with a disgusting old sink that faced the wall, horrible aqua countertops, etc. One day during the remodel, Josh called me into the kitchen to ‘show me something’ and it was literally empty. No sink, no dishwasher, cupboards…” Darcy explains. From there, Josh hit up the salvage shops around the neighborhood and brought the beautiful kitchen back to life.

While Josh eagerly demolished the three-story home, Darcy focused on planning the home’s decor. “I would say that our main goal was to create a cozy, forever home,” she says. Memories from the many travels she and Josh have been on in their 19 years together inspired her to create a space that would let family and friends “feel like they are on vacation,” when they stepped inside. “So whether it is a villa in Costa Rica, a hippie cabin on the Puget Sound, a modern beach house on the Oregon Coast — we take whatever speaks to us most in those homes (we have vacationed in) and try to recreate it in our own space.”

What I love most about this Victorian is that it is a perfect example of how this couple worked as a team to create something magical. Josh’s “daring and bold” point of view and Darcy’s “thoughtful and careful” approach perfectly complement one another, resulting in a truly personal and charming home. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Luke and Mallory Leasure

 

 

 

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The Ruffle Sessions: How to Create a Ruffled Flower Centerpiece

The Ruffle Sessions: How to Create a Ruffled Flower Centerpiece

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I have unashamedly used this blog post to indulge in some of the more blousy, romantic and ruffle-y florals. I’m aware that the term “ruffle-y” may well not exist, but I have permitted its use with the fickle excuse that perhaps the English dictionary hasn’t yet published quite the right word for these beauties.

Year after year in our little flower shop, future brides come to talk wedding flowers and a great proportion ask for their favorites: “Peonies” and “ranunculus.” Unfortunately more often than not, these fleeting flowers won’t be available simultaneously on their big day. There’s just one short, magical season when both exist together and I thought I should shout it out loud!

Ranunculus are in fact my all-time favorite flower, but I would never say this in front of the others. They appear at the start of winter as a cut flower, through to early summer when they join their larger headed peony friends. I love their delicate layers of papery petals, their little furry black centers and the huge array of varying colors available. They bend the opposite way than you hope for and their heads will become too heavy for their hollow, slimy-thin stems; but all is forgiven for the hues, tones and overall gorgeousness they give to an arrangement.

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Peonies are little divas when they are deciding to open, which is befitting their meaning, “king of the flowers.” Hot water, sunlight, removing all leaves and teasing open the buds can all help, but ultimately they will do what the heck they want. When you need them to “wow” at your dinner party on Saturday, you can be sure they’ll be the best looking peonies you ever saw the following Tuesday. That said, if you give them the time they need, varieties such as coral charm will slowly open from a hot, rich, blinding pink through to a soft blush and finally to a creamy peach, fleshy tone. It is wonderful and absurd to watch and very much reminds me of an Anaïs Nin quote that inspires me regularly: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

My two favorite ways to arrange these voluptuous florals are as follows! —Anna Potter of Swallows & Damsons

Photos by India Hobson

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Fayce Textiles: The Beauty of Subtlety

Fayce Textiles, on Design*Sponge

Fayce Textiles: The Beauty of Subtlety

Fayce Textiles, on Design*Sponge

Hailing from New England, Kim Rosen of Fayce Textiles set up shop at ICFF amongst a sea of furniture and lighting displayed to the trade and public alike. Her subtle collection of inky, pastel linework fabrics are entirely screen-printed by hand on unbleached linen. Each pattern aims to quietly enhance the communication between objects in a room without commandeering all the attention. The Relics Collection of throw pillow covers and wall hangings, produced by an inventive combination of digital and analog practices, features graphic embroidery over fragments of design inspiration from vintage materials including antique china and 20th century architecture. —Annie

Photography by Chattman Photography via Fayce Textiles

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A Tour of The Grey in Savannah + Chow Chow Recipe + Weekly Wrap Up

A Tour of The Grey in Savannah + Chow Chow Recipe + Weekly Wrap Up

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Savannah, GA always has been, and always will be, one of my favorite places on earth. It is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever visited and it is chock-full of some of my favorite people. I haven’t been back in a few years, but my list of reasons to visit is growing longer every day, including this great new restaurant called The Grey.

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Mashama-Bailey
The Grey specializes in southern food and made its home in an old Greyhound Bus Terminal. Redesigned by Parts and Labor Design, the space is a mix of new and old, with original details (like the terrazzo floors where passengers used to stand and wait) preserved anywhere possible. The Grey is now home to chef Mashama Bailey, formerly of Prune, whose parents were married in Savannah in the 60s in a courthouse directly across the street from where the restaurant is located. Today Mashama is sharing a recipe for a southern classic with us: Chow Chow. If you’ve never had it, Chow Chow is a delicious mix of pickled vegetables, like peppers, onion and celery, that tastes delicious on its own or topped on just about any protein (or rice). Click here to check out more of The Grey online (and here to watch a great video on Mashama and The Grey) and click through (below) to read the full recipe for Mashama’s Chow Chow! xo, grace

Image of Mashama via Southern Foodways Alliance and images of The Grey via Parts and Labor Design

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