How To Stay Sane When You Work From Home

How To Stay Sane When You Work From Home

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Part of doing your own thing is figuring out where to work. This month, I’ve had to start sharing my workspace with my partner, and it’s forced me to really consider how I actually handle working from home. Whether you have a “home office” or a coffee table in the living room, the hardest part of the whole process is actually getting the work done, and without going crazy.

Case in point, since writing the last paragraph I’ve sent two emails, g-chatted a friend, and “hopped on a call.” So how do you achieve balance when you’re in the same space all day and night? I’m still not 100% sure, but I do have a few tips. –Adam J. Kurtz

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Redefining Entrepreneurship for You With Nicole Crowder

Redefining Entrepreneurship for You With Nicole Crowder

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Entrepreneurship is a hot trend these days, but how the world at-large perceives that role is not for everyone — and that’s a really, really good thing. As Nicole Crowder has learned, everyone’s pace and each person’s approach to self-employment is unique and should be respected.

After quitting her full-time job as a photo editor, Nicole pursued her passion for upholstery and designing one-of-a-kind, custom furniture only to discover that the structure of her full-time business was draining her rather than uplifting her. So she asked herself: “How do I want to redefine entrepreneurship for me?” In the end, she jumped back into her role as Senior Features Photo Editor for The Washington Post in DC, and scaled her upholstery business down to a pace and size that she felt more comfortable with. As a result of questioning the system and being open to change, she has created some of her best work for countless small businesses and boutique hotels.

Today, Nicole is sharing more about how she redefined self-employment, how balancing a full-time job with freelance work helps each role, and insight into the modern model of work and how she’s managed to battle those expectations — all with a smile. –Sabrina

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10 Inspiring New Orleans Spaces

Sara Ruffin Costello lives my southern fantasy, from top to bottom - complete with the dreamiest front porch ever. Her New Orleans home is basically what I would want if I ever won the lottery and could afford to fix up a stately old home. That's pretty unlikely, so I'll just live vicariously through her home tour at One Kings Lane.

10 Inspiring New Orleans Spaces

Tomorrow afternoon, Julia and I are driving down to New Jersey to catch a flight to New Orleans. After a really rough few months dealing with some major health changes in my life, we both decided we could use a few days away. I’m so excited to unplug a bit, go for long walks with my favorite person in the world, and take in endless amounts of visual inspiration in the form of incredible homes and nature. I haven’t visited New Orleans since college, so I can’t wait to walk around all of the amazing historic neighborhoods and bring back some new ideas for our home. So, to get in the spirit, I thought I’d share some of my favorite interiors from around The Crescent City. Enjoy! xo, grace

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São Paulo, Brazil City Guide

São Paulo, Brazil City Guide

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Isadora Sinay grew up in a small town an hour’s drive from São Paulo, Brazil, but after moving to the bustling city for school — where she received her degree in filmmaking — she stayed put. “I call this city home,” Isadora begins, “and am deeply in love with it despite some of the problems it may have.”

When she’s not busy working on her PhD in Jewish Literature or working as a writer and translator, Isadora can be found reading, watching films, caring for her two cats and exploring this great city. Boasting a countryside and natural landscape fit for postcards, you may wonder why anyone would opt for the metropolis that is São Paulo over other areas of Brazil — but the diverse city offers vast options for everything from food, to outings to nightlife. One of the most populous cities in the world, vibrant São Paulo is known to be a hub for the financial industry as much as it’s known for its rich culture and architecture, and today, Isadora is taking us on a virtual tour of her (almost) hometown. –Sabrina

Photography courtesy of each location

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10 Working Moms Share Their Biggest Business Lessons

Jennifer Hill:  "Life is (hopefully) long and there are many opportunities. You have time to make your ideas come to life, you don’t have to do it all at once. Take your time, don’t rush through things – enjoy them. Be really mindful about the decisions that you make. A big one in the last few years: being 'really busy' doesn’t make you successful. It can make you sloppy and kind of annoying. Also, be honest. In a Pinterest-perfect world, being honest is really refreshing."

10 Working Moms Share Their Biggest Business Lessons

The older I get, the more I look at my friends who are parents and business owners with complete and total awe. Not only do I have the pleasure of working alongside some amazing working moms, but my personal and professional life is full of parents who are dreaming big and running their own creative businesses while raising their families. I look to these remarkable parents for inspiration and motivation (I hope to join their ranks one day), but I also look to them for helpful ideas and lessons because they are juggling so many different demands and priorities at the same time. If that old adage, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person,” is true (and I think it is), working parents are some of the most efficient and wise business owners I know.

So today I’m sharing the biggest business lessons and advice from 10 incredible working moms. These women have launched businesses and worked hard to find moments of work/life balance, and we can all learn something from them. Whether you’re balancing life, work and kids or life, work and pets — or just life and work — this advice is a must-read.

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DIY Projects & Pops of Color Modernize a Virginian Colonial

DIY & Pops of Color Modernize a Virginian Colonial, Design*Sponge

DIY Projects & Pops of Color Modernize a Virginian Colonial

Packing up and shipping out comes with the territory when your pop’s a pilot. Just ask Brad Lindow’s family. Over the past decade, his job has taken them to eight cities all across America, none of which they’ve lived in for longer than 18 months. When the news came that Brad’s latest assignment would mean a move to Williamsburg, VA, he, his wife Suzy and their two daughters made a decision. Eager to lay down roots and finally unpack every box they’d lugged around for 10 years, the family decided it was time to take the plunge into homeownership. No more compromising and no more rentals for these four.

Since they’d never bought a home before, the family wasn’t quite sure what to expect from their Virginian house hunt. As it turns out, it was an unusually quick process. Suzy only had to search for two weeks before coming across a gem she simply had to show Brad. Fifteen minutes into walking the property, he too realized the home was just right. The 2,400-square-foot Colonial was that good. “Sometimes you just get lucky at the slots on the first pull!” Suzy exclaims.

While the Colonial was move-in ready, Suzy and Brad knew a little gussying up would make it truly sing. With the help of a lot of caffeine and an eagerness that only comes with owning your first home, the thrifty couple buckled down and took on the renovations themselves — something not out of the ordinary for these two. “We work well as a team. [Brad’s] very organized and pragmatic when working on a project, and I have the design vision and fearless, let’s-just-give-it-a-go approach to DIY,” Suzy says. Together they painted the entire home and installed wooden floors throughout the space, all of which left Suzy with a perfectly-blank slate primed for decorating to her heart’s content.

The opportunity to finally decorate her home the way she wanted to was something Suzy had dreamed of for years. In their previous rentals, she would consciously work within a style she thought friends and colleagues would approve of, never putting her own tastes first. Clean, catalog-like living rooms and modern, stark design ran wild. Sitting in the contemporary homes she’d anxiously designed, she longed for a home with “a big, boisterous mix of colors and bold patterns, vintage finds, and quirky touches.” The second she became a homeowner, however, a lightbulb went on. The freedom that came with not having to answer to a landlord was all the confidence she needed to make her home distinctly hers. Click through to see every bit of DIY, stenciling and decorating Suzy’s done to give her family’s home the bright and one-of-a-kind look she’s always dreamed of. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography courtesy of Suzy Lindow

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Studio Tour: Guts & Glory

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Studio Tour: Guts & Glory

Since meeting five years ago, partners Faun Chapin and Meg Paradise have done some pretty incredible things together. As a pair, they’ve raised a piglet, gone on enough antique shopping sprees to last a lifetime (if that’s possible) and, as of six months ago, have even gone into business together. This latest venture, Guts & Glory, is “a design studio that specializes in building well-crafted brands rooted in big ideas.”

A go-to studio for everything from logos to website design, Guts & Glory is conveniently located inside the couple’s new home in Oakland, CA. “Our friends describe our space as the Brooklyn loft that you always dreamed of but could never afford,” the ex-New Yorkers tell us. Twenty years worth of vintage finds and eclectic furniture decorate their gorgeous live/work space, and two skylights consistently splash the loft with radiant sunbeams.

Oftentimes, that sunlight finds itself dancing across the red hair of these two bibliophiles as they sit at their vintage table, their noses in books pulled from their extensive at-home library. The home for their book collection — a custom, built-in cabinet — required a full week of construction to get right, but the results are truly stunning. On its many shelves, amidst secondhand finds, sit tombs on design, a few personal favorites, and all means of inspiration for Guts & Glory’s work. Click through to glimpse where this happy couple rests their heads and burns the midnight oil. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography courtesy of Alanna Hale

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Monday Mood: Reinvent

Monday Mood: Reinvent

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It’s already April?! To be honest, this year has been slow and has involved a lot of waiting for me, but spring totally came out of nowhere and I’m in the mood for an overhaul of my life. Reinventing, spring cleaning, up-cycling — call it what you want, it’s time to donate whatever clothes you haven’t worn in a year, reinvent yourself, rethink your approach if something isn’t working, and give your home a deep scrub. Today’s picks take you everywhere from de-cluttering tips and creating a capsule wardrobe, to recycling everything: from plastics and old ladders, to ripped jeans and magazines! –Sabrina

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Pattern Downloads from Luisa Rivera

Pattern Downloads from Luisa Rivera

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CLICK HERE to download today’s final pattern from Luisa. Until Monday, have a wonderful weekend! xo, grace

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Balancing Retro Style With Color in a Small 1960s Bungalow

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Balancing Retro Style With Color in a Small 1960s Bungalow

It’s so inspiring to see how different people use color in their homes. For many, the rule of thumb is to pick a color scheme for the entire house and play up hues from that same palette in each room. It’s definitely a tried and true way to make a home look cohesive and avoid any clashing. For Claire Brody, this rule wasn’t appealing when she and her husband Parker started designing their home in Austin, TX. Unexpected (and gorgeous!) color pairings have found their way into each room of the house.

Claire, a blogger and interior stylist, and Parker Brody, a corporate-level merchandiser for a sporting goods line, started dating in high school. When their degrees took them both to Austin, they fell in love with the city. The couple lived outside of the city when they first got married, but they were craving to be downtown. When the pair found this 900-square-foot rental home with tons of natural light for the right price, they jumped on it. Because they don’t own the home, Claire hasn’t had the ability to renovate it like she would want to, but their landlord has allowed the couple to paint, replace light fixtures and replace window treatments to help her vision come through.

Their 1960s bungalow is the perfect setting for Claire and Parker’s love for retro furniture and colorful rooms. “I love for a space to feel collected and unique,” Claire shares. “That was my ultimate goal when decorating this house. That being said, our home is also what I call my blank canvas – I experiment a lot. Through the change, I always aim to create a unique space that is inviting and meaningful to us. I love vintage furniture and accessories and use those items to add personality and quirk to each room.” Claire’s experiments in this home have definitely been successful — a result that balances sophisticated styling, playful colors and a vintage-meets-modern approach. –Lauren

Photography by Kayla Snell

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Leela Cyd’s Beet Pickled Eggs

Leela Cyd’s Beet Pickled Eggs

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One of my favorite creative professionals is photographer Leela Cyd. We’ve had her on the column several times over the years not just for her beautiful photography and no-nonsense, great food, but also for her fantastic self-portraits! Today, we have Leela’s recipe for Beet Pickled Eggs from her recently published cookbook, Food With Friends. It also happens to be the cover recipe for the book, which Leela wrote and photographed herself. These gorgeous eggs would make an incredible addition to any meal with friends — especially a picnic as the weather gets nicer! —Kristina

Why Leela loves this recipe: I love this recipe because of the vivid color and vibrant flavor. Seriously, I’ve been afraid of mayonnaise and deviled eggs for my entire life, all that mayonnaise and gloppy taste — no thank you! But while living in Portland, I took a client to a celebratory drink, at the now-shuttered Gruner restaurant, and these little gems were served alongside. Their electric pink color matched a pickled, slightly sour taste. The memory stuck with me. When I developed the recipe, instead of mayonnaise I subbed some Greek yogurt and never looked back. These are a FUN food to serve, people go gaga for the color. They’re light, easy to eat and a total crowd pleaser.

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10 Jewelry Designers to Follow on Instagram

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10 Jewelry Designers to Follow on Instagram

There’s something genuinely thrilling about discovering new jewelry, especially handmade pieces designed with thoughtfulness and care. This kind of jewelry — full of personal flourishes and one-of-a-kind details (especially when minerals are involved) — is what I’m always looking for. And I’ve found a good amount of it through well-curated Instagram feeds.

I love knowing that a designer’s own hands have touched each piece, from workbench to gift box, and getting to peek inside their process and personal story online is a bonus. Here are 10 indie jewelry designers whose Instagram feeds share their inspiration and their creative process — as well as their beautiful final pieces. —Aria

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10 Must-Shop Brands on Tictail

10 Must-Shop Brands on Tictail, Design*Sponge

10 Must-Shop Brands on Tictail

Just as 2016 was kicking off, a new shop called Tictail opened in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. At first blush, it appears to be a clothing brand or maybe even a home goods store. Curious to learn more, I spoke with Co-Founder and CEO Carl Waldekranz to get to the bottom of what exactly Tictail is. As it turns out, the brick-and-mortar store is really a small part of what Tictail is all about. At its core, Tictail is a global online community of over 100,000 independent brands, each one using the platform to house their online storefronts.

It’s also the result of years and years of hard work and dedication by Carl, a man who’s not unfamiliar with entrepreneurial spirit. “I was surrounded at a very young age by people who worked tirelessly on pursuing their passion projects,” he says. It was this influential dynamic that instilled in him the spark and drive necessary to get an independent company off the ground. Working alongside Co-Founders Birk Nilsson, Kaj Drobin and Siavash Ghorbani, the team has slowly but surely worked to curate a beautiful collection of makers, the majority of which sell jewelry, fashion, art and interior decor.

Democratizing e-commerce — and giving power back to small businesses — is always top-of-mind for the company. In fact, seeing the brands on Tictail thrive is the most rewarding part of their job, the founders tell us. Their site has helped creators quit their day jobs to pursue their passions and has also seen online shops grow into brick-and-mortar spaces. Through Tictail, Romeo Hunte even became a go-to resource for Beyoncé. I’m not surprised in the least by these success stories — the entire site is full of some fabulous finds.

Now for the big question: How does Tictail differ from Etsy and other DIY marketplaces? Founder Carl says that while others are focused on handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces, Tictail is more geared towards the maker who is ready to make it big. “They are choosing Tictail to build their business, to take it to the next level through the reach, distribution, marketing tools, and community that Tictail has to offer,” he explains.

I love finding new resources like this. In all my giddiness, I’ve combed through Tictail and hand-picked some of the best up-and-coming creators for you to peruse. Who knows, you may even snag something from a shop that’ll be the next big thing. Click through to see which 10 caught my eye, and to take a peek inside the recently-opened NYC shop. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography courtesy of Tictail, Inc.

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A Tiny and Charming Cottage in Nashville, TN

A Tiny and Charming Cottage in Nashville, TN

A Tiny and Charming Cottage in Nashville, TN

Finding the perfect home is often a waiting game — but one well worth it in the end, if you’re willing to exercise some patience and get creative with clever rental solutions in the meantime. For Jordana and Trent Nicholson, the wait for “the one” continues in Nashville, TN, where the housing market is on fire. “With so many people moving here a day, homes get snatched up left and right,” Jordana explains. “Since we aren’t quite ready to purchase a home yet, we’ve been renting and it’s been great for us!”

Jordana works as a digital content creator and stylist and Trent is a UX/UI designer, so hunting for and decorating their 800-square-foot, 1940s cottage-turned-duplex was an enjoyable process. “We snatched up this tiny home the second it was posted to Craigslist and we were luckily the first ones who inquired about it!” Jordana says. Located in one of Nashville’s loveliest family-friendly neighborhoods, their home is close to plenty of restaurants and great parks. “We immediately fell in love with the charm of this tiny place — it’s definitely one of the smallest rentals we’ve been in, but we couldn’t pass up the old kitchen with original black-and-white vinyl flooring, bright rooms with old windows and the beautiful hardwoods.” Although the cottage is on the smaller side, Jordana and Trent have relished in simplifying their life and ridding oodles of their unnecessary belongings, as Jordana shares: “Living in a bright, clean and clutter-free home just feels so good to us.”

Despite the ongoing slow search for a forever-home, this charming cottage tickles this creative couple’s fancy for the time being. Between making meals together in the kitchen, listening to jazz music on the back porch, or exploring the city’s sights and sounds, “Nashville is the place to be right now,” Jordana says, “it’s exploding with new places and things to check out almost weekly (there are 83 people moving here a day! Crazy)!” Sabrina

Photography by Crystal K. Martel

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