In the Kitchen With: Jordan and Rejina’s Beef and Veg Glass Noodles

In the Kitchen With: Jordan and Rejina’s Beef and Veg Glass Noodles

Beef and Vegetable Sesame Glass Noodles

One of the most exciting things about delving into new-to-me cuisines is learning about new ingredients. Since having Bo Ssam prepared by food stylist Adam Pearson, I started my intro into Korean cuisine with the book Our Korean Kitchen by chef Jordan Bourke and his wife, fashion designer Rejina Pyo. Among the many fascinating ingredients I learned about were sweet potato glass noodles! They can be used in this week’s recipe for japchae, or Beef and Vegetables with Sesame Glass Noodles. Don’t worry, if you can’t locate them, you can use regular glass noodles for this filling and easy-to-make dish; perfect for a quick weeknight meal. —Kristina

Why Jordan loves this dish: This was the first Korean meal Jina made for me, and it totally won me over and sparked my obsession with Korean food. The glass noodles are naturally gluten-free, if that’s your thing, and are perfect for soaking up all the delicious flavors.

Our Korean Kitchen cookbook cover

Food Photography and portrait by Tara Fisher, location photography by Rejina Pyo, Sarah Sanghee Woo, and Kisik Pyo

VIEW MORE

Decorating Ideas from Ministry of New in Mumbai

Decorating Ideas from Ministry of New in Mumbai

The Ministry of The New

Nicknamed the “Maximum City,” those who know Mumbai, India will relate to its reputation as a hurtling metropolis, where noise, color and sensation can sometimes leave you struggling to catch your breath. I have often wondered what it would be like to be a professional working in the city with all the challenges the hugely populated urban sprawl throws at an average local.

Dutch art director turned entrepreneur Marlies Bloemendaal and Natascha Chadha struggled with these very challenges, and as a result co-founded Ministry of New — an inspiring and collaborative work environment in the heart of Mumbai. A breath of fresh air away from the bustling road below, the 8000-square-foot workspace is housed inside a space once used for numerous wholesale book businesses. Intended to be an oasis in the Maximum City, the space is resplendent in sky blue and ocean hues, natural materials, playful working spaces, and plenty of textile and pattern play.

Setting the tone for its place in the design industry, pieces from some of the most talked about players in contemporary Indian design are woven into the space. Modern India inspired furniture pieces by Bombay Atelier dot the interior, a collection of Studio Wrap’s daybeds made of layered monochrome mattresses creates a playful meeting spot, antique Jaipur Rugs adorn the floors, and ombre paper lamps by Pepe Heykoop liven up the boardroom.

Out of the many inspiring ideas from this innovative workspace, here are five decorating considerations that would make me want to work hard (because they play harder)! —Rohini
VIEW MORE

Before & After: A Colorful Dual-Zone Space that Works Hard and Plays Hard

This pretty and pink space is both Lindsay and her daughter Rosie's favorite in the whole house. "What I love most about this room is how it functions for us," Lindsay begins. "Having a combo office for me and a play space for Rosie works so well for me as a stay-at-home, working mom." A copper sputnik light from Wayfair adds form and function.

Before & After: A Colorful Dual-Zone Space that Works Hard and Plays Hard

A flipped home can sometimes get pigeon-holed into the “generic” or “safe” category in an attempt to appeal to the masses. But for Lindsay and Chris Jackman, each home they’ve purchased, renovated, and flipped has been personalized with their own eclectic touches and marked by their family’s milestones.

After struggling to find an affordable house in their preferred neighborhoods in Greenville, SC, the couple stumbled across a foreclosure downtown. It was a former university frat house, and they spent their first years of marriage renovating it top to bottom. Lindsay and Chris fell so in love with the process that they decided they wanted to do it again… and again and again. “We’re now on our third house,” Lindsay explains, “but we’re so grateful to that first house for all that it taught us and the family adventure it set us on.” Since then, the couple has welcomed a baby girl into their lives, Rosie Mills, and along with Gracie, their Great Dane, their life is “a crazy ride of moving, renovating, and doing it all over again,” Lindsay shares, “but we wouldn’t have it any other way.”

In their most recent home, a 1950s Craftsman bungalow, space was limited at 750 square feet, so with their family growing, they decided to add an addition to the back and vaulted all of the ceilings to make it feel larger. Making semi-tiny living more accommodating for a large dog and an infant also meant creating multifunctional spaces, such as this colorful office and child’s playroom.

A room that literally works hard and plays hard, Lindsay chose to keep the wall where her desk sits bare and free of distractions save for some billowing, pink curtains and decor which lends itself well to getting down to business. Elsewhere — in areas where play is the name of the game — she layered on the pattern and color much thicker. “I wanted to go with a colorful, bright home,” Lindsay notes. “I have fallen in love with mixing unexpected colors and patterns and have really tried to have fun with that here.” Before, the room acted solely as a bare-bones office, but now it’s a dual-zone space where Lindsay can work while still keeping an eye on their growing daughter — and one which also offers little Rosie a place to grow into and call her own. –Sabrina

VIEW MORE

In Pennsylvania, A Car Dealership Becomes An Industrial Home

1

In Pennsylvania, A Car Dealership Becomes An Industrial Home

Tackling a home restoration project is not for the faint of heart, but restoring an abandoned building and the entire community surrounding it? A project of that scale requires vision, energy and a dose of adventure. To find two people with that level of heart is seemingly impossible, but John and Gisele Fetterman are two powerhouses who fit the bill.

The Fettermans call Braddock, PA home. It’s a borough just outside the city of Pittsburgh, and like so many Rust Belt cities, Braddock suffered the decline of the steel industry. Once a bustling, urban hub, the neighborhood John discovered in 2001 was a poor, violent ghost town. He came to lead a GED program, but after experiencing the persisting sense of community and envisioning its potential, John wanted to restore Braddock. That’s why today the title of “Mayor” precedes John’s name, and that’s why Braddock is nearly unrecognizable. Community centers, artist residencies, a craft brewery, an urban farm and a green-energy startup have replaced the blight.

John’s wife, Gisele, is equally responsible for the restoration. Born in Rio de Janeiro and raised in New York, Gisele was always troubled by the ease with which some could waste what others so desperately needed. This inspired her to create Braddock’s Free Store, which redistributes surplus and donated goods to neighbors in need via colorful, converted shipping containers. Gisele also co-founded 412 Food Rescue, which collects healthy food that would otherwise be discarded and distributes it to those in need.

John and Gisele have an ability to see potential in even the most challenging restoration projects, and their home was no exception. Others may have shied away from the vacant building containing abandoned cars and boarded up windows, but John and Gisele immediately saw the potential of their Braddock address. Built in the 1920s, their industrial home was originally a Chevy dealership, and historically, one of the very first indoor car dealerships in America!

The couple was sold on the history and unique bones of the building, including the original concrete ramps used to move cars from floor to floor. They bought it, moved in and set to work. Over the course of eight months, they moved from corner to corner of the space, while their children befriended the contractors who helped the Fettermans complete the transformation. Today, it’s a restoration symbol for the entire community! —Quelcy

Photography by Quelcy Kogel

VIEW MORE

Before & After: Making Safari & Outer Space Work for Baby and Guests Alike

baby boy nursery ideas nesting with grace 5

Before & After: Making Safari & Outer Space Work for Baby and Guests Alike

Situated in the charming town of Fairfield, CT and just half a mile away from the beach lies a 1,100-square-foot Cape-style house, home to blogger and designer Brooke Christen, her husband Kevin (an athletic trainer), and their children, daughters Ella and Lola and son Finn. The family moved to the East Coast from Utah nearly two years ago seeking a peaceful place to raise their children, and one close to New York City, where Kevin works.

“We now, finally — after a year and a half — can say that [our home] feels complete, but I am sure I will find something new to update,” Brooke begins. After overhauling two bathrooms, the kitchen, and changing the home’s floor plan (their master bedroom is where the old kitchen used to be), the last task on their to-do list was creating a haven for friends and family to enjoy when they visited from Utah. But with the anticipated arrival of their baby boy, Brooke quickly realized the work wasn’t done, and one more challenge was ahead of her: crafting a multipurpose room that could act as a nursery for Finn while still offering a spot in which guests could stay.

Working with the essentials — a daybed, crib, comfortable seating, and storage — Brooke managed to create a space that didn’t feel overly juvenile or too stuffy. Using a soft, neutral palette and lots of fun decor that marries outer space and safari, the room is inviting and comfortable for guests of any age, while still giving Finn all of the things he’ll ever need or want. “Finn loves to stare at the astronauts and stars on his ceiling,” Brooke shares. “Everyone wants to be where the baby is.”

While the transformation was a win-win, the process wasn’t as easy as it’s made to look. With a family of five living in a small home that hosts overnight guests often, “the most challenging part is making room for everything,” Brooke explains, “I have to really evaluate everything we bring into our home… There is no buying something ‘just because.'” This truth, paired with Brooke’s goal of fostering a comfortable space for the family that celebrates their story rather than the latest purchase, results in a home that feels lived-in and loved. As Brooke puts it best, “I am thankful that — even in a tiny house — we can still have six adults come and stay with us, and everyone will have a bed and a cozy spot to eat breakfast in the morning.” –Sabrina

Photography by Brooke Christen

VIEW MORE

DIY Summer Pom-Pom Doorknob Garland

DIY Summer Pom-Pom Doorknob Garland

Summer Pom Pom Door Swag by Jessica Marquez for Design Sponge

There’s a small, colorful town in Mexico called Sayulita that’s known for its beautiful beaches and great surfing. I was eager to explore the bordering towns while staying in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico for a wedding and planned a short day trip there. Sayulita is a walkable town saturated with color, crafts, good food (I had the best coconut paleta/popsicle in my life there!) and expats. Everywhere I looked were brightly colored storefronts and modern takes on traditional handicrafts, like amazing dream catchers and long pom-pom garlands in neon hues.

I was mesmerized by these garlands and so inspired by this vibrant town that I wanted to recreate some of Sayulita’s summery beach vibes back at home. Here, I’ve made a Mini Pom-Pom Garland to hang from a doorknob, and you can adapt this project in lots of ways. Make it longer, like a full garland, to drape over a headboard or curtain rod, or make even smaller versions for possibly the most fun curtain tie-backs and lamp pulls. Either way you make it, it’s an easy, cheerful project that adds a big pop of color and fun. —Jessica

Summer Pom Pom Door Swag by Jessica Marquez for Design Sponge

Summer Pom Pom Door Swag by Jessica Marquez for Design Sponge
VIEW MORE

A Mid-Century Ranch House Gets a Major Renovation in Mississippi

Home Tour with Emily Blount on Design*Sponge

A Mid-Century Ranch House Gets a Major Renovation in Mississippi

When Emily Blount, restaurateur of Saint Leo, and her family decided to move to her husband Dan’s home state of Mississippi, it was both exciting and terrifying. Emily was looking forward to the idea of having more space for their two young boys to grow up in, but leaving behind NYC was also pretty scary, since she had called it home for the last 13 years.

After a few moves and a lot of crashing with family, they finally settled into their new home two years later, in Oxford, MS. What began as a simple house hunt quickly turned disappointing when a deal fell through on the house they had their hearts set on. The hunt continued.

Unsure if their new find was the right house for them (due to its size and look), Emily turned to an architect to give her the push and vision that she needed to see this house for what it could be. The grey brick mid-century ranch house got a fresh coat of white paint, and new windows and french doors replaced the two windows that once made up the front of the house. After all was said and done, 1,700 additional square feet were added to the home, giving the family the open floor plan they were looking for, space for their two young boys to move about, and a home to entertain their large extended family and friends for gatherings.

Making sure to blend the original floor plan with the new addition, Emily became really good at editing furnishings and making sure the flow throughout the home was exactly what they wanted. When it came to the decor, she turned to her husband’s uncle, an interior designer, to help her narrow down what she was looking for. By the end of the process, she was able to mix old family pieces with ones that she and Dan picked up over the 13 years they lived in NYC and collected from Emily’s home state of California, giving the family’s house a polished, yet inviting look.

A few of Emily’s go-to spots when looking for a new piece of furniture or decor are ABC Home1st Dibs, and Matter Matter. Whether you are taking on a full remodel or just hiring someone for a small project, Emily has this piece of advice, “Interview people and make sure you can really talk to them, trust them, etc. Try to get as specific as possible about your needs and wants to get the most accurate price, be very specific about who is responsible for what.” Because in the end, after plenty of collaboration and communication with experts on a home they initially weren’t sold on, the Blount Family found exactly what they needed. —Erin Austen Abbott

Photography by Erin Austen Abbott

VIEW MORE

In the Kitchen With: Ping Coombes’ Five-Spice Pork Rolls

In the Kitchen With: Ping Coombes’ Five-Spice Pork Rolls

Lor Bak by Ping Coombes

My most recent craving for food has turned to Malaysian cuisine, so this week’s recipe comes from one of my newest books, Malaysia: Recipes from a Family Kitchen by MasterChef UK 2014 winner Ping Coombes. Ping’s recipe for lor bak, or five-spice pork spring rolls, is an adaptation of her favorite street food version from her home city of Ipoh. It’s another great summer recipe that doesn’t require you to turn the oven on, and can be prepped and kept in the refrigerator, and cooked right before serving. Remember to leave yourself an extra day (or night) to allow the pork to marinate. —Kristina

Why Ping loves this recipe: This is one of my favorite dishes as the spring roll is packed with myriads of flavors and textures. Juicy, flavorful meat encased in crispy pastry, what’s not to like?!

Malaysia cookbook cover by Ping Coombes

Photography by Laura Edwards

VIEW MORE

The Space Between What We Say And What We Hear

The Space Between What We Say And What We Hear

allanpeters
If there is one thing I’ve learned from 12 years of talking and living online, it’s that no matter how hard I try, and despite my best intentions, what I write can and will often be received and interpreted differently than I intended.

Words can be an imperfect tool to communicate our feelings and lately I’ve become incredibly aware of, and sensitive to, the gap between what I say and how it’s interpreted. In that space between what I mean and how it affects someone reading, there is so much room for misunderstanding, hurt and distancing. And there is nothing I want more than for all of our words to bring each other closer together, closer to understanding and toward a greater connection with everyone in our community.

That space between words and their interpretation offers so much potential for disconnection, but it also offers the potential for real understanding and change. I’ve been guilty of ignoring that space and thankfully many of you have been patient and kind enough to email me when I use words or express myself in a way that makes you feel unwelcome, unrecognized or disrespected. Whether that language is ableist, sexist, appropriative or judgmental, hearing your reactions has been an incredibly valuable tool in learning to choose my words more carefully.

A few days after the murders in Orlando, I saw someone on a food blog mention how they could “murder a hamburger.” I bristled at the word choice and felt a deep twinge of pain when I interpreted that wording as insensitive to the LGBT community, a community I am a part of and one that was deep in mourning. Then this week, after the deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and five Dallas police officers, I saw several people speak about flowers on Instagram, saying they, “would kill for those” or that they were “dying” over the arrangement. It was a personal turning point for me when I realized how big that gap can be between the intention of a causal comment, meant to express dramatic love of something lighthearted, and the effect it can have on someone grieving or dealing with a great loss.

We are all prone to hyperbole online. Including myself. Perhaps it’s the pervasiveness of click-bait culture, but I’ve realized that it’s all too easy and common for me to abbreviate and exaggerate my feelings in a way that can distort the true value of life. I care deeply about the people in our community and want all of us to feel equally heard, respected and connected. Here at Design*Sponge, I will be continue to actively pay close attention to the words I use and be mindful of their impact. Rather than a simple promise, I hope this can be the beginning of a conversation. What are some of the ways you have felt the distance between the intention of a statement and its reception? What are some of the words and phrases you’re sensitive to and/or trying to not use? What is something that you’ve said that you wish you said differently? Please tell me. I am listening. —Grace

Photo above by Allan Peters from #dslettering

Dreaming Bigger Than Your Current Circumstances With Ashley R. Ryles

Dreaming Bigger Than Your Current Circumstances With Ashley R. Ryles

Life&Biz-ashleyrr

“Fake it ’til you make it” can be a polarizing statement. To some, it comes across as disingenuous, but at its heart, I believe in the message that sometimes, in order to realize your dreams, you have to go with the flow with blind confidence and say “yes” to things you know you’re not quite ready for. There’s power behind pushing your edge, and embracing discomfort as much as self-love.

After learning to sew at a young age, fashion designer Ashley R. Ryles received her BFA in Fashion Design from Miami International University of Art & Design and traveled the globe along the way, gaining bits of inspiration from her trips to France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, and England. As a free spirit and lover of all things bold, her clothing line, Arryles, aims to empower the modern woman who doesn’t fear color and who appreciates her freedom to express herself.

But Ashley wasn’t always so confident and accomplished. For her, it took believing in herself and literally acting as the person she wanted to become to achieve her dreams. Today, Ashley is joining us to share some of her tips on the impact of speaking and acting like the person you want to become, and why your circumstances today shoudn’t impact what’s possible tomorrow. –Sabrina

VIEW MORE

In North Texas, a Maximalist’s Layered Bohemian Home

15-2

In North Texas, a Maximalist’s Layered Bohemian Home

Judy Aldridge wears many hats. She’s a mom, blogger, photographer and entrepreneur. With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that her North Texas home is as layered as she is. Her house’s look is maximalist in nature, with pattern, antiquities and a massive collection of artwork providing the basis for its design. A conscious disregard for whether or not certain pieces were meant to live together or are considered complementary further defines her bold, bohemian style.

What’s most impressive about the bohemian look is how affordable it was to achieve. What looks to be a collection of goods from far-off casbahs and dusty French shops is actually a clever balancing act. Yes, there are several heirloom antiquities peppered throughout the space, but it’s also comprised of many pieces from the nearby Salvation Army. The cost-saving shop has lent the home some enviable seating and decorations. All it took was a little patience and some perseverance on Judy’s part. She’s always got her eyes peeled for great finds, and it has paid off.

The backdrop to these Salvation Army finds and fabulous antiques is a collection of artwork unlike any I’ve seen in a private home. Monkeys in fruit hats, evocative portraits and fashion sketches are just a couple of the fun pieces that her walls boast. Each work of art is so unique, you’d think the pieces are here to stay. Judy’s not one to let a look get stale, though, and her treasure trove of artwork is too abundant to allow that to happen. With a library of art in storage waiting to be hung, she’s able to rotate in new pieces every now and then to periodically freshen each room.

With pieces coming and going, the home never looks quite the same from one day to the next, but each new iteration is a literal eye-spy of great decor. That being said, there is no way you can absorb the entire space in one sitting, so be sure to bookmark this one. You’ll uncover something else to love about the maximalist, bohemian home each time you revisit it. Click through and enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Jane Aldridge

VIEW MORE

10 Instagram Feeds For Coffee Lovers

3

10 Instagram Feeds For Coffee Lovers

I’d say a solid 75% of my writing is done at coffee shops. I just love basking in each shop’s unique vibe and decor while sipping down one of their signature flavors. It keeps me inspired. My affinity for them is no secret either. When I find a coffee shop I love, I simply can’t help but rave about it to all of my friends. They know to not get me started on coffee shop talk. I’ll go to town.

I’ve made my way through a majority of my city’s options, but thanks to Instagram I’m not out of luck. It lets me virtually explore coffee houses from around the world anytime I please. And boy, have I done it. There is an endless number of feeds to ogle over, but today I’ve narrowed it down to just a few. These 10 Instagram Feeds for Coffee Lovers run the gamut of coffee culture. Some bring to life the personality of the shop with silly barista pictures and latte art. Others show off their stunning interior. All of them are sure to have you jonesing for a little liquid pick-me-up. Click through to hear a bit about each. Enjoy! —Garrett

VIEW MORE

An Actor’s Brooklyn Brownstone Honors His Heritage

2

An Actor’s Brooklyn Brownstone Honors His Heritage

This past summer, in between days filming Independence Day: Resurgence in New Mexico, Actor Gbenga Akinnagbe took a little road trip. With his foot on the pedal of a U-Haul, he drove a set of old movie theatre chairs from Albuquerque, NM to his Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn brownstone. He then turned right back around and flew back to continue filming. Needless to say, Gbenga is a man who will do anything for the apartment he loves.

The brownstone those chairs adorn has been Gbenga’s for three years now. Initially, he wasn’t too keen on making the jump from Manhattan to Brooklyn, but once he got a feel for the neighborhood he was hooked. Kids play outside, neighbors actually know one another and there’s a sense of community he hadn’t felt when he lived in Manhattan. It also didn’t hurt that he was able to snag so much space for a price Manhattanites only wish existed on their island. Boasting three floors and six rooms, Gbenga’s home lets him spread out like never before.

With such an abundance of space came a unique challenge: How to decorate it all. “My initial decorating goal was to create a classic home hospitable for guests… I wanted to create a space where friends and family could stay and feel that they had a home away from home,” Gbenga explains. To achieve this, he’s peppered in both modern and vintage touches, mixing the old and the new to create a look all his own. In one room, nods to his Nigerian heritage sit next to a sleek mannequin atop the fireplace mantel. In another, a modern sofa sits in contrast to the restored, original woodwork.

Gbenga tells us the space is a work in progress, but that’s okay. He’s in for the long haul, even if his agent would love it if he moved to LA. See, when you’re an actor, the West Coast is always calling. Gbenga says it’s not in the cards, though. “I am grateful for my neighbors and neighborhood. They make me feel at home, and like someone is always looking out for me. [I’ve] stayed in New York for so many reasons, Bed-Stuy being the best [one].” Click through to see the home that keeps Gbenga a Brooklynite year after year. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Melony Van Der Merwe

VIEW MORE

Lions, Tigers, Bears & Beyond: 15 Rooms That Celebrate Animals in Artwork

Located on the northern beaches of Sydney lives Alice Flynn and her beloved Penny Farthing painting of an elephant that she coined Henry. He resides in the family boathouse above an aged wood shelving unit.

Lions, Tigers, Bears & Beyond: 15 Rooms That Celebrate Animals in Artwork

Ah, artwork — one of the most cost-effective ways to add personality, life, color and decor to any space. While sometimes polarizing and subjective by nature, one thing an overwhelming amount of homeowners do agree on is that animals always make great subjects.

From bats and butterflies (okay, not technically a mammal, but we’ll let it slide) to deer and ducks, dogs may be man’s best friend, but in these 15 rooms, animals of all kinds are a wall’s BFF. –Sabrina

VIEW MORE

A Playhouse for Two Freelance Photographers in Emeryville, CA

A Playhouse for Two Freelance Photographers in Emeryville, CA, Design*Sponge

A Playhouse for Two Freelance Photographers in Emeryville, CA

Eager to escape the honking horns and to brunch without a wait, freelance prop stylist and photographer Jeanette Moncada and photographer Mikul Eriksson packed up their San Francisco home and moved to Emeryville, CA. Often overshadowed by trendy, nearby Oakland, it’s an atypical choice for two young, creative professionals. Jeanette and Mikul dug a little deeper into the city, though, and have uncovered an apartment in a creative enclave with a community unlike anything I’ve heard of.

Located in a 1920s-era industrial building, their sunny space boasts giant windows, concert flooring and an open floor plan. This uninhibited layout allots Jeanette and Mikul the space for an at-home photography studio, a must for the two creatives. Most days you’ll find them shuffling around lighting in whatever way helps them get the perfect shot. They bop around the space so much, they’ve even deemed it the “giant playhouse” as it helps them bring to life anything their innovative minds can dream up.

Creativity runs deep in their building. The makers, thinkers and doers that live there often share tools, host complex-wide brunches, or simply leave their door open for a pop-in and quick “hello.” Behind these open doors are studios similar to Jeanette and Mikul’s, most of which have been tweaked and changed to fit their owners’ latest projects. One night, a huge group of the renters even apartment-hopped, checking in on each other’s work. Luckily for us, we are getting the same opportunity today. Click through to peer inside the sunshiny space where this couple works, plays and loves. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography courtesy of Jeanette Moncada

VIEW MORE