Room to Grow in a Newly Built, Bright Bungalow

Room to Grow in a Newly Built, Bright Bungalow

Room to Grow in a Newly Built, Bright Bungalow

As much as I adore the charm of an older home, there’s something thrilling about the thought of having say in your home’s design and layout. For Kyree Meagher and her fiancé, electrician Ben Harvey, the ability to choose certain features — such as their high ceilings, stone bench tops with waterfall edges, and large windows — has led to the the home of their dreams. Just like she found “the one” in Ben, Kyree says she can “certainly picture growing old [here].”

The soon-to-be-married couple bought this stunning house in Piara Waters, Western Australia merely three months ago, but for only having moved into it in February, it’s impressive how quickly they were able to transform it from a house to a home — something Kyree attributes to the seven months prior she spent planning while the home was being built. As the brains behind their home design, she used this time to collect Scandi-style inspiration.

Though much has already been done inside to complete the space, the to-do list is long when it comes to their outdoor space. Kyree and Ben sense a lot of timber, stone, garden walls, and a hanging chair in their future, but above all else, the biggest priority is fostering a child-friendly space. On top of hanging chairs, baby chairs are on the horizon as well! After their wedding in November, Kyree and Ben plan to grow their family, so when furniture-shopping they opted for pieces that were comfortable and timeless, but also durable and kid-safe. “I adore crisp whites and anything neutral, really!” Kyree explains, “but I also think it’s important to make spaces actually liveable and not too clinical.” Though their home is brand new, it still feels warm and lived-in. The power behind a little styling and personalization through art and accessories never fails to impress me, from making an older home like mine feel updated, to bringing character to a new one! –Sabrina

 

 

VIEW MORE

Before & After: Jenna’s Laundry Room Makeover

jenna

Before & After: Jenna’s Laundry Room Makeover

Making over our little laundry closet is a frequent daydream of mine. I imagine sliding a pocket door open to a bright white space with ticking stripe curtains and copper shades (basically this picture) and plenty of room to iron and fold things. Right now, I’m just so thankful to have a washer and dryer in the house that I’m happy to let the makeover be a dream and live vicariously through other people’s makeovers, like this incredible before & after from Jenna Diermann.

Jenna and her husband worked together (and with some professionals) to get the job done and the final result is basically laundry nirvana. More than enough space to clean laundry, sort, fold and just about anything else you could need to do to get your home in order. What I love most about this project is seeing the in-between stages: those moments when you’re just making due with what you have and doing little things (like curtains and a coat of white paint) to make it work until you can save up enough to do the full makeover. Thanks so much to Jenna for sharing the full process from start to finish here and congrats on such a beautiful makeover. Click through to see the final result and all the steps in between! xo, grace

“After” photographs by Gary Johnson

 

VIEW MORE

Home Ec: 10 Healthy Meals From Your Garden

A healthy watermelon salad is a great summer meal or treat. If you want something more substantial you can add grilled chicken or tofu to accompany it.

Home Ec: 10 Healthy Meals From Your Garden

Earlier this month, I wrote about the things that scare me most, and one of them related to the way my image (weight, dress, etc.) could negatively affect my business. I thought long and hard about being open with that fear, because it’s one that I still struggle with on a pretty deep level. But since we’ve been upstate, I’ve been better about trying to get outside morewalk more and eat healthier food in way that lets me feel good about myself, no matter what the scale says. Those healthy decisions to hike before I open my laptop or eat veggies instead of yet another processed something-bar for lunch have had a really positive effect on my mood and overall well-being lately.

So for today’s Home Ec I thought I’d share some healthy recipes that are not only good for keeping you and your family feeling good inside, but that are based around things you can grow in your own (or find from a local) garden. Even if you don’t have space or time for a garden, these recipes will hopefully inspire meals based around veggies that are both filling and easy to find at most grocery stories or farm stands. xo, grace

unnamed

This post and the Home Ec section are brought to you by Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day. Visit the Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Home-Grown Inspiration section featuring 20 DIYs, including seven from Design*Sponge!

VIEW MORE

18 Reasons to Love Stripes

Photo by Thuss & Farrell

18 Reasons to Love Stripes

This month’s hashtag challenge, #DSStripes, was a totally selfish choice. I have been striped-obsessed since I was a little girl and the infatuation has only grown stronger as I’ve gotten older. So when it came time to pick a challenge for April, I knew I wanted to take the opportunity to be awash in photos of stripes. And of course, your photos didn’t (and never) disappoint. From stunning striped curtains and swimsuits to striped staircases and wallpaper, each stripe was a joy to discover. Perhaps my favorite entries, however, were the photos that were unexpected — like rows and rows of tightly stacked paper that look like stripes from above. This month’s challenge was such a blast to search through, so thank you to everyone who shared such gorgeous photos with us. Click through to see my favorite 18 examples of stripes at home and out in the wild. xo, grace

VIEW MORE

The Golden Carrot in Hoboken

One side of the shop has beautifully textured soft pink plaster walls. These screen print frames depicting floral silhouettes are the perfect offset to such subtle walls and soft color. "For some reason the name, The Golden Carrot, instantly made me think of the illustrations in a Beatrix Potter storybook," Nicky says. "I envisioned a space that had a soft, enchanting innocence to it, and I wanted people to feel transported when they stepped inside."

The Golden Carrot in Hoboken

Have you ever walked into a store and said to yourself, “I could totally live here?” I feel like I say that every now and then, and after seeing these amazing photos of The Golden Carrot, I’m pretty sure I’ve found my retail home.

Founded by Nicky Corriher, The Golden Carrot is a brand new (opening Friday, May 1st!) jewelry shop in Hoboken, New Jersey. Designed by prop and soft goods stylist Kate Jordan, the interior is a dreamlike space with soft pink walls, botanical screen print frames, a beautifully edited (and displayed) collection of vintage memorabilia and the sort of luxurious details (like velvet curtains and comfy armchairs) that make you want to sit and stay a while. Nicky and Kate have been working together since January to design and open the shop — Nicky said she wanted it to feel like the “bedroom of [my] dreams” — and this Friday it will open to the public for the first time. I’m tempted to hop in the car and drive down myself, as this is basically all of my dream home elements in one space. The exposed antique brick, textured pink plaster walls, brass detailing and botanical elements are my soft spots, so this store is on my summer travel list for sure. If you’re lucky enough to be near Hoboken this weekend, be sure to visit in person or check out the website to browse online. Thanks so much to Kate and Nicky for sharing this beautiful space with us. Read on for more photographs and a peek at their cuter-than-ever gold bunny logo. xo, grace

All photographs by Nicole Franzen

 

 

VIEW MORE

DIY Rope Coil Doormat

DIY Rope Coil Doormat

DIY Rope Coil Mat
There are a lot of different positive and negative aspects to renting. On one hand, you have the opportunity to concentrate on collecting (and creating) furniture you love, but on the other hand, it’s difficult to make the bigger changes that bring all your carefully chosen pieces together. As much as I love my apartment, if I had my way with it, I’d make some big renovations. The first thing on the list would be the floors. I’ve always wanted beautifully light, nordic flooring covered in colorful or textured rugs, creating peaks of interest. Unfortunately, instead of that I’m left with a beige carpet running throughout which just has no personality at all. I’m not letting this stop me from decorating my floors, though, starting with this coiled rope doormat. —Fran

VIEW MORE

In Red Hook, a Functional Apartment Complete With a Little Elbow Grease

A Functional Apartment in Red Hook, Design*Sponge

In Red Hook, a Functional Apartment Complete With a Little Elbow Grease

Philadelphia-native and graphic designer Sean Tice came to Brooklyn in 2007 to work as a Web Producer for CBS Interactive, where he met Kristy Hadeka, a then fashion student at Parsons The New School Design. Kristy grew up in Vermont just a mile from her family’s slate quarry, one that has been in operation since 1897. In the spring of 2009, the couple paid a visit to the quarry upstate and left with a handful of slate pieces for their home — to use as trivets for tea kettles and hot dishes and as coasters for beers. They eventually began gifting pieces to friends and the response was so overwhelmingly positive that the two struck out to produce a line of slate products. Complete with a company mascot, their English Labrador Retriever, Garp, Brooklyn Slate Company was born.

At the time of the company’s inception, Sean and Kristy were living in South Slope, but feeling a gravitational pull to Red Hook, especially given that it was walking distance to their workshop. “I was immediately enamored with the neighborhood,” Sean says, “I really enjoy the proximity to the water and this feeling that you’re ‘cut off’ from the rest of the city while still being very close.” After apartment-hunting for a while, they stumbled across this one-bedroom gem that also offered a full basement and backyard — perfect for Garp! They were immediately sold on the apartment’s old hardwood floors, tin ceilings, oversized windows, and opportunity for customization. But it was a challenge looking past the walls, which were all painted brown or yellow; one in particular was even covered in a huge decal of an apple tree! “It took us about three days to clean the walls and paint [them white]…” they laugh, “and I learned that one brown coat takes at least three white coats to completely hide it.”

While the property has a huge basement, the apartment itself has no closets. But ever the creative opportunists, Sean and Kristy saw this as a chance to customize the home to make it perfect for them. They rolled up their sleeves, and within a few days, they had built-in shelving everywhere — both in the kitchen in lieu of cabinets, and in the dining room area— and had custom-made a lot of their own furniture, from their floating media consoles to their birch ply dining table. Like the apartment’s dwellers enjoy finding new uses for existing items, Sean and Kristy’s home oozes with form, function and fun. –Sabrina

Photography by Brooklyn Slate Company and Valery Rizzo

 

VIEW MORE

13 Amazing Female Podcasters to Follow

Two Brown Girls, hosted by Fariha Roisin and Zeba Blay. Fariha and Zeba are writers and critics who dedicate each show to a mix of topics, ranging from culture politics to pop culture and style. I really enjoy when they delve into the topics that some people avoid (feminism, race, politics) and find their loose, conversational style a nice contrast to the sometimes slightly over-structured podcasts that seem to be all the rage.

13 Amazing Female Podcasters to Follow

Last week I had 17 hours of traveling on my hands to and from DC and Philly, so I decided to catch up on my listening (and Chinese app playtime) and download some new podcast episodes to listen to on the ride. I found myself wanting to hear something different and unlike the shows that seem to get all the press these days, so I searched for shows hosted by women and women of color. I spent the trip not only discovering new and important stories and points of view, but feeling like I made a handful of new online friends to follow and learn from on a regular basis. Some of these are shows I’ve listened to for years (like JV Club and Hot Grease), and others are new favorites (like Pushing Hoops with Sticks), but each one is guaranteed to get you thinking and talking about the broader topics in not just the creative community, but life in general. So if you’d like to hear what these talented women are talking about (and what the amazing women they interview have to say, too), click through to read more about their shows and find where to listen online. xo, grace

VIEW MORE

#DSBlues Hashtag Challenge

#DSBlues Hashtag Challenge

blue3
This morning we’re launching a special edition hashtag challenge with Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, inspired by their scent: Bluebell. Whether it’s the cool blue of the ocean, a handmade tie-dye print, or lovely irises from your garden, snap a picture of the beautiful blues you see in your life every day, hashtag it #DSBlues and we’ll share our favorites here at DS, on the Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Instagram feed (during our takeover next week!) and our feed as well. I can’t wait to see what everyone shares. I’m hoping to discover some gorgeous new wildflowers or other blues from nature, so feel free to snap away! xo, grace

blue4
blue2
blue1
Images above from top to bottom: Alasully, Kelly & Troy’s Home Tour, Suite One Studio, Happy Cactus Designs.

Smart Submissions: When To Send, Lend and Say No

Smart Submissions: When To Send, Lend and Say No

smartsubmissionsdesignsponge2
The very first job I had in the design world was writing press releases for a small public relations firm in Brooklyn. It was the job that taught me how to interact with press, how best to present a new product or company and — more importantly — how NOT to do all those things. I think about that job a lot these days when I both receive and send requests related to press. To cut straight to the chase: I’m consistently shocked and saddened to see how much time and money independent designers and companies put into sending or giving away free product, thinking that it’s required for great coverage. So I want to break down that idea and talk about when it’s the right time to send a free sample, lend a product or turn down a request that isn’t worth it. For me, sending too many free samples or products is the fastest way to run out of working capital, rather than create more of it. So I’m going to talk about how to identify the difference between when to give/lend/pass and what to send instead. xo, grace

VIEW MORE

Life & Business: Jamie Leigh Moore

Life & Business: Jamie Leigh Moore

Jamie_moore_lifeandbusiness

Architect, surgeon, artist; these were my career prospects as I knew it as a 15-year-old in high school. I remember feeling confused and stunted while staring at a list of possible careers on a computer screen, results based off of a few multiple choice questions and answers. None of them felt fully right for me, but then again, I didn’t know what any of them really meant.

Discovering what it is that you’re meant to do, let alone what you want to do, is terribly hard. And often, even going to college can only confuse you more as you realize the infinite possibilities. This was the story for me until I discovered my passion for illustration and design at nearly 20 years old — and I think it’s the story of most business owners — just as it was for production designer and prop stylist, Jamie Leigh Moore.

Inspired by powerful women in the creative industry paving their own way, Jamie move to Brooklyn, NY, and started hustling her work and name around. She worked various contracts in the field, such as her position as a crew-member on the show GIRLS, and after lots of hard work, dedication, and sleepless nights, Jamie made a name for herself and went it alone. She’s now a successful freelance business owner with a portfolio of projects for clients including Tribeca Film Festival, Nick Jr., TLC and San Pellegrino. Today, Jamie’s chatting with us about understanding what makes you marketable, how calm is key, and the “series of palpably awkward missteps and false starts” that led to the start of her business. –Sabrina

VIEW MORE

Do You Run An Online Business? You Should Know About These New VAT Laws

Do You Run An Online Business? You Should Know About These New VAT Laws

lifeandbusiness_ISSY

If you’re an online seller, you’ve probably already heard some noise around the new EU Vat laws that came into force in January, but, if you’re anything like me (and the majority of North American vendors), you might be left wondering what it has to do with you.

When interior design coach Issy Zinaburg first got in touch with me to share her advice on the these new laws, I felt confused and awfully silly: As an online shopper and seller myself, I didn’t know much about the new laws and what implications they had on me and my favorite online shops, but Issy is all about helping women gain confidence in design and business. So when she heard rumblings about the law in late 2014, she joined forces with eight other business owners and together they founded the EU VAT Action team, campaigning for a unilateral suspension of these laws for micro-businesses. Today, Issy is taking us through the basics of this complex law, what is and isn’t, and breaks down why it’s relevant to you, whether you’re an online business owner or not. –Sabrina

VIEW MORE

24 Hours in Edinburgh with Eloise Leeson

24 Hours in Edinburgh with Eloise Leeson

edinburgh-24hourcityguide

Eloise Leeson is a CrossFit-oholic, food enthusiast, skilled barista, blogger, bad joke connoisseur and lover of all things shiny. She was born on the south coast of England, but moved to Edinburgh when she was just five, growing up in and around the borders of Scotland. On top of the wonderfully rich culture, when I asked her what her favorite thing about Edinburgh was, she answered, “the light on the golden buildings and the feeling of possibility early in the morning!” Eloise wrote the original Edinburgh City Guide over four years ago, and she’s back today to eagerly share an update on this great city! –Sabrina

VIEW MORE

A Stylist’s 1830s East Coast Farmhouse

A Stylist's 1830s East Coast Farmhouse | Design*Sponge

A Stylist’s 1830s East Coast Farmhouse

I love taking a look inside old homes. There’s a level of charm and quirky character that newer builds rarely have. Things like parlor doors, original hardwood floors and built-in details get me every time. It’s not to say, though, that older homes don’t come with their own set of issues — they absolutely do. Necessary updates, original structures that are smaller than current standards, and creaks and squeaks are all part of owning a century-old (and then some) home — but for the right people, it’s a dream. This 1830s farmhouse in Natick, MA was exactly what the Alfanos were looking for.

Emily Starr Alfano is an event/wedding designer and stylist and Bill Alfano is the marketing and outreach director. Emily, Bill, and their dog Bruno found this gem in July 2014 in the sweet town of Natick. They toured the home the same day it went up for sale and put in an offer the next day. This house was move-in ready with a beautifully redone kitchen, which made finding such a great, historic home even more exciting. “Since I spend so much time here, and use various rooms for work and staging pictures, it was important the house either had certain existing elements or could be transformed,” Emily says. “We just straight up lucked out with this house. I don’t think either of us ever dreamed we could have a house with such character but many modern updates…especially in our first house!”

Their good luck hasn’t come without work and adjusting to the home. “Despite many updates and upgrades over the years, at the end of the day the house is almost 200 years old — there are obvious challenges! Among them are super small doorframes which make moving couches, tables and other large items fairly difficult. We’re pretty sure our staircase is the original and it’s essentially a straight line up. We’ve got wonky walls and ceilings that aren’t straight!” says Emily. “We found this perfect-for-us piece of real estate. I think more than anything we wanted to create a space that reflects us a family and honors the original design…quirks and all.” I love the way they have embraced their house, with the wonderful things and the challenging things, and have made it uniquely their home. —Lauren

Photography by Joyelle West

 

VIEW MORE

A Timber Pole Home Among the Eucalyptus Trees for a Growing Family

A Home Among the Trees, Design*Sponge

A Timber Pole Home Among the Eucalyptus Trees for a Growing Family

This time last year, I went on a eucalyptus kick. I hung some in my shower, I pinned DIY eucalyptus decor and flower crowns on Pinterest, and I hunted every flower shop close-by for more. There’s just something about eucalyptus. So I’m a tad envious of Sara Hingle‘s home, surrounded by beautiful eucalyptus trees in the heart of Burleigh Heads, Queensland, Australia.

Nestled in the lush bushland, you’ll find an old timber pole house, home to Sara, the founder and Creative Director of These Walls Paper + Textiles (a wallpaper company we featured last month), her partner Mick, a project manager, their sons Joshua (5) and Thom (2), and occasionally Ruffie the dog and Maggie the cat. And beautiful as it can be living there, their split-level 1970s home comes with its own share of problems: keeping on top of the landscaping is a challenge, and during the tropical storms that frequent the area, the nickname “the Titanic” gets thrown around for their leaky home. But all of their home’s cons don’t come close to outweighing the pros: the location (which boasts close proximity to the ocean while remaining in the bush), the charm and character, the space, and feeling it brings.

When telling the story of how they met their home, Sara laughs: The night following their son Josh’s first birthday, Sara’s mother jokingly commented that they needed a bigger place for their growing family. Up until then, they were busting at the seams of their small duplex, and with a newly-mobile son, Sara and Mick ended up spending the night staring at the glowing screen of a computer, buried deep in a session of “internet real-estate window-shop[ping].” The following day, while on a country drive among the trees and beside the ocean, they stumbled across the home of their dreams and hours later they were signing the paperwork.

With an acre of yard for young Joshua to run around in, the home was the perfect size and accommodated the addition of Thom shortly after. But Sara and Mick quickly learned the expenses that came with being a young family. This meant that huge additions and renovations were off the table, especially after the costly and tiring job of removing a pool. Once they were settled in, they threw a few coats of Dulux China White on each wall, and with the addition of new furniture, carpeting and lighting, the house started to feel like home. It wasn’t long before Sara worked her magic with wallpaper and textiles, which added plenty of warmth and personality to the space. –Sabrina

VIEW MORE