A Bungalow Full of Thrifty Finds & Charming Surprises

A Bungalow Full of Thrifty Finds & Charming Surprises, Design*Sponge

A Bungalow Full of Thrifty Finds & Charming Surprises

In the past, figurative painter and interior designer Amy Lind has been the mastermind behind her and husband Josh’s homes. When they moved into this charming, 1930s-era bungalow, however, Josh asked to be in on the decorating. With that in mind, the couple set out with a clear plan of action, eager to work together on finding their combined aesthetic. Using Pinterest, Josh collected homes and decorations he liked, then passed them off to his wife to get her thoughts. By the end of the design planning process, the couple had defined their style as “rustic, modern and simple” and were ready to put it to work in their Savannah, GA Craftsman.

Amy is a proud penny-pincher, and she’s made a game out of finding stylish steals that fit their newly-defined style. She doesn’t discriminate on where the pieces come from either. Dressers from garage sales, thrift shop chairs or the occasional dumpster-dive gem are all welcome in her home, and these found objects greatly outnumber the newer pieces. Many of the decorations she’s snagged are centered around travel, something she and her husband hold near and dear to their hearts. They even have a scratch-off map hanging in the living room that helps them keep track of everywhere they’ve been. The theme continues into the at-home studio where a plaster piece picked up on a trip to Florence serves as a stylish reminder of Amy’s time abroad. Even toddler Forrest’s room is outfitted in the look. Globes, maps and outdoorsy accessories in primary colors paint a scene perfect for letting his imagination run free.

All of these vintage finds are set against a backdrop of charming original details that you’re hard-pressed to find in newer construction. Near the downstairs phone, a quaint seat folds out of the wall, offering a little respite while you chat. This treasure alone would be enough to sway me into buying the home, but that’s not all. Behind the upstairs bookcase sits a secret room. When Forrest turns four, his parents plan on letting him see the room for the first time. Talk about a big birthday reveal! They aren’t sure how they’ll decorate the space yet, but if the rest of their home is any indication, I’m sure it will be colorful, fun and barely cost them a dime. Click through to see all of the thrifty goodness for yourself. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Amy Lind

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12 Red, White & Blue Interiors For The Fourth

12 Red, White and Blue Interiors for the Fourth on Design*Sponge

12 Red, White & Blue Interiors For The Fourth

Besides being the symbolic color palette of America’s Independence Day, I think red white and blue are pretty dynamic color companions when it comes to design. While blue is one of my favorite colors to use in interiors, red may be the most energetic hue in the bunch, and is often used for that very reason. I love the way red can instantly bring life to shades of blue, or warm up a white room (like the first space in the slideshow). For these reasons, I’ll definitely be looking for red, white and blue in interiors even after celebrating America’s independence today.

There are so many ways to bring this palette into your home in subtle — or loud — ways. Whether you employ large swaths of red, white, or blue by way of paint or artwork or accessorize with small pops of these hues, consider these colors as accents for energized rooms and lively spaces. It’s a palette that can be used well beyond our nation’s flag! — Kevin

 

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Home Zine + Best of the Web

Home Zine + Best of the Web

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No matter how many amazing technological and social media breakthroughs we make, I will always love the idea of a magazine. Whether it’s printed on glossy pages or thick matte stock, there’s something about a collection of ideas and stories — unified around a single theme — that will always be my go-to choice for inspiration. My collection of print magazines spans from old House & Garden issues from the 30s and 40s to all of my favorite issues of Nest and beyond. But I’m always on the hunt for new publications to add to my watch list.

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One of my new favorites is Home Zine, out of Australia. Created by Carla McRae and Tallulah Fontaine, Home Zine is now on its third issue, which focuses on the idea of PEOPLE. The issue features artwork, photography, writing and ideas by artists like Megan James, Kaye Blegvad, Felix Wilson, Ghost Patrol, Leta Sobierajski, Wade Jeffree, Saki Souda and many more. I love the the contrast of thoughtful and serious photography alongside whimsical, candy-colored illustrations, so this issue was a major highlight of my week. If you’re looking for something fun to add to your magazine collection, click here to check out and order the latest issue of Home Zine online. Until Monday, have a wonderful weekend! xo, grace

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In the Kitchen With: Greg and Lucy Malouf’s Toasted Quinoa Salad

In the Kitchen With: Greg and Lucy Malouf’s Toasted Quinoa Salad

Toasted Quinoa salad photo by Alan Benson

This week’s recipe for Toasted Quinoa with Coriander, Lime and Crunchy Pumpkin comes from chef Greg Malouf and food writer Lucy Malouf, authors of the cookbook New Feast: Modern Middle Eastern Vegetarian, their seventh. I was very attracted to this recipe not only because summer is the best time to enjoy wonderful tomatoes, basil, and summer squash, but because it is super quick to pull together, travels well, and can be served at room temperature without losing any flavor. Like the farro salad we had on this column a few weeks ago, this can serve as inspiration for combining your own flavors and ingredients. Perfect for summer when your garden is giving you lots of choices! —Kristina

Why Lucy loves this recipe: There are so many reasons to love this summery salad, not least because it makes a delicious, gluten-free change from the ubiquitous tabbouleh! These days, most of us know that quinoa is a brilliant “superfood,” with high levels of protein, fiber, iron and other essential elements, but it’s also quick and easy to prepare and wonderfully versatile. I also love it for its pretty, pearly sheen. Here, it makes a terrific base to a salad, which is also chock-full of vital, palate-enlivening fresh herbs as well as spicy, citrus flavors from the lime-sumac dressing. Greg and I were so pleased to discover that fried shredded pumpkin (squash) works like fried onions to provide a sweet crunch to the salad and makes a lovely counterpoint to the tangy dressing. It’s best to use a firm squash, like a butternut.

New Feast by Greg and Lucy Malouf

Photography by Alan Benson

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15 Home Offices Sure to Inspire Creativity

15 Home Offices Sure to Inspire Creativity on Design*Sponge

15 Home Offices Sure to Inspire Creativity

When it comes to working at home, creating an environment that will ensure productivity is key, and the solution definitely varies based on your type of work and where you live. While some enjoy the luxury of a whole room for their home office, many of the workspaces in this slideshow have been mixed into a living space, kitchen, or bedroom. It’s amazing to see how even the smallest space (like the converted closet in the first photo) can become an easy and efficient workstation, while others have integrated systems of organization for props and supplies for design work. These offices differ in style, but there are several key features I noticed throughout these spaces. The first would be to keep a flexible surface (like a bulletin board) for organizing inspiration or key notes and documents that can be switched out periodically. The second would be to pick a color palette that either energizes you (include brighter colors) or keeps you focused (try a cooler, minimal design).

Whether you work at home or often find yourself finishing up work at home, there are many offices here that represent a range of homes and lifestyles. Consider your office as an extension of your state of mind and you are bound to create a space that inspires! — Kevin

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Facebook LIVE! Today at 1pm EST with Grace + Julia

Facebook LIVE! Today at 1pm EST with Grace + Julia

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Good morning! Today Julia and I will be doing a Facebook live video at 1pm EST! We’ll be broadcasting live from our house in upstate New York for 30 minutes from 1-1:30 pm.

Join us live and learn how to make Julia’s famous herby green sauce (perfect for topping your weekend lunch or dinner!) and get a tour of some of my favorite design items from the kitchen and dining room (as well as a quick tour of our little herb garden and Julia’s DIY planters). We’ll be taking questions and answers, too, so CLICK HERE to tune in live at 1pm EST today! xo, grace

Before & After: A Philadelphia Family Apartment in the Heart of the City

Before & After: A Philadelphia Family Apartment in the Heart of the City, on Design*Sponge

Before & After: A Philadelphia Family Apartment in the Heart of the City

The “envelope” of a renovation project is critical to its success. Mona of Mona Ross Berman Interiors in Philadelphia first sorts out the floor, walls, lighting, windows, hardware, doors, and other finishes in a home before focusing on bolder decorative touches. “Many people assume that furniture and accessories are what designers focus on to make a space work,” she explains, “But really, I always start with the envelope because if that’s not working, nothing will look right.” Her firm helped their clients — a family of six, including four daughters — transform their two-bedroom pied-a-terre at The Dorchester overlooking Rittenhouse Square. Built in 1980, the apartment needed a complete overhaul to give it the modern look the couple desired. Along with the help of contractor Kenny Grono of Buckminster Green, they gutted the kitchen, removed crown molding, repainted traditional oak parquet floors in sleek black, re-tiled bathrooms, and lightened up what was overall a dark, dreary space.

Though the project had a relatively short eight-month timeline, several months were spent upfront planning what was to come. “Taking time at the start of the process is critical,” Mona advises, “Because without good planning and a strong team in place, the project is likely to run over budget and over schedule — and drive everyone a bit mad.” Rethinking the floor plan proved necessary. The design team had to create sleeping quarters for three teens, a toddler, and their parents. They wanted to open up the kitchen and main living space to create a large great room. They also hoped to reallocate closet space for laundry and even a nursery, and to carve out a mudroom to help keep things tidy.

“We had to figure out how to bring more light into the apartment,” Mona adds. Heavy traditional draperies were covering up large mid-century modern-style windows. The team then added track lighting, flushmounts, and baseboard fixtures wherever possible, as electrical wiring for recessed lights was not an option in each location. The parquet floors also appeared dingy, but it was too expensive to replace them and not worthwhile to refinish them. Instead, they were painted black to provide a simple, neutral backdrop for contemporary furniture. Crown molding was also removed for a more modern and simplified feel. In terms of layout, the master suite was reconfigured to create more closet space and additional privacy. What was once a closet became a very small but working nursery for a toddler.

The team’s guiding aesthetic principle was to create a modern, almost hotel-like vibe so the family would feel like they were “getting away” when they stayed in their city apartment. Functionally, it needed to accommodate a large family that entertains often. “When we realized we could make that work,” Mona shares, “We were all thrilled.” —Annie

Photography by Courtney Apple

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12 High-Style Spaces in Virginia and West Virginia

This blush-hued guest room at the Quirk features art by Aimee Joyaux. Local, Quirk Gallery artists decorate all of the Richmond, VA hotel's guest rooms.

12 High-Style Spaces in Virginia and West Virginia

Growing up in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, we were only an hour and some change from Washington D.C, across the local bridge from western Maryland, and 15 minutes from the Virginia state line where the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers meet. Being closer to D.C. and Virginia’s horse country, it was often difficult to explain to my NYC friends that I wasn’t a mountain mamma from the “almost heaven” (as in mountain-height) state of West Virginia, but rather an East Coast valley girl from the Shenandoah Valley.

I’m as fascinated by the coastal and colonial homes of Virginia as I am with the farmettes, cabins and former mills of West Virginia. Click through the slide show to see some great examples of homes in these neighboring states that represent some serious style. —Caitlin

*Sadly, many West Virginia counties, families and businesses have been affected by massive flooding last week, including the famed Greenbrier Hotel and Resort. Please consider helping their recovery efforts, if you can, by donating through the Greenbrier’s Neighbors program here.

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DIY Paper Mushroom Tutorial

DIY Paper Mushroom Tutorial

Paper Mushroom Tutorial by Kate Alarcón for Design*Sponge

I was putting folded laundry away in my son’s drawers when I happened to notice a honeycomb ball on top of his dresser, with its bottom pointed toward me. Normally, honeycomb paper is cut and shaped to highlight the honeycomb pattern, but the bottom of the ball showed a ring of perfectly spaced paper rays. It struck me that it looked just like the gills of a huge mushroom, and I filed that thought away for future reference — maybe a holiday window display?

Then about a week later, I was at Impress Cards and Crafts, where I teach paper flower classes, and —gasp! — I found tiny honeycomb paper designed for use in handmade cards. I hadn’t even known that honeycomb paper came in anything other than the large size used to make party decorations.

I brought home a packet in “ivory” and kept it on my nightstand so I could spend some time every night just messing with it. As I shaped, stretched, and manipulated the honeycomb paper, I was struck by how organic it looked and felt. I made a three-dimensional shape and played with it, turning it inside out. Somehow the way it moved reminded me of some kind of sea creature — maybe a jellyfish or sea anemone?

Paper Mushroom Tutorial by Kate Alarcón for Design*Sponge

I became a little bit obsessed and started reading about honeycomb and other hexagonal structures in nature. I learned that this pattern appears on salt-worn rock formations, insect eyes, and inside bones. Just as with crepe paper, I was charmed by the notion of using a manufactured material to explore structures in nature, particularly when the material itself is inspired by natural forms. I needed a material that was bulky but also light and regular for my mushroom gills; nature uses this honeycomb structure for the same reasons.

I hope you’ll whip up your own colony of mushrooms. They mix beautifully with paper flowers (how cute would they be arranged with some paper hellebores and daffodils?!), and I think a little pot of them would make an enchanting gift. —Kate

Paper Mushroom Tutorial by Kate Alarcón for Design*Sponge
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Why Mirrors Will Always Be Impactful in Design, Part 2

If you have open wall space and a mirror, you have the opportunity to create a design moment or functional zone. Since Kristen Cesiro didn't have enough space to get ready for the day in her tiny Brooklyn bathroom, she designated this area in the bedroom as a vanity. An Anthropologie mirror pulls the whole space together.

Why Mirrors Will Always Be Impactful in Design, Part 2

I recently professed our love and appreciation for the almighty mirror, a tool in the design world that has proved to be steadfast time and time again.

Mirrors hold aesthetic power in their ability to function both as a “look-at-me” focal point or grounding agent in a room and a strategic, barely-there chameleon that works to amplify other design elements or home features — like wallpaper, ceiling height, and natural light.

So without further ado, as promised, here’s Part 2 of our deep-dive into the magical prowess of mirrors. —Kelli

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Making The Ordinary Extraordinary with Aubry Bennion of Hello Maypole

Making The Ordinary Extraordinary with Aubry Bennion of Hello Maypole

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Striking a balance means something different for everyone. For some, it means cutting ties or quitting a job outright to pursue a passion. For Aubry Bennion, it meant launching a business while remaining supported by her corporate job — one she still holds even after reaching successful heights with her small business. Born out of a love for celebration, Aubry Bennion started Hello Maypole as a way to bring joy to life’s most ordinary occasions through her line of fun and colorful felt balls that can be mixed or matched, suspended by string as a garland or DIY’d into a wreath.

Balancing a fun-loving attitude with business savvy, Aubry is joining us today to chat more about her start on Etsy, the stress of juggling many (felt) balls, what it means to run a niche business, and how, in today’s age, even a business with the humblest of beginnings can have a fighting chance. –Sabrina

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A Dozen Talented Stylists to Follow on Instagram

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A Dozen Talented Stylists to Follow on Instagram

The world of social media and blogs has opened many eyes to the work and incredible talent of photo stylists behind gorgeous print ads, movie sets and editorial photo shoots; a perspective that we didn’t have before the digital era. Interior and prop stylists are popping up all over Instagram, sharing their recent projects, their home styling, and the behind-the-scenes glimpses into their days. We’ve gathered 12 interior and photo stylists who inspire us with their creativity and curated feeds. These stylists from all over the world are doing their part to showcase the work of designers, photographers and brands in the best and most beautiful way possible. –Lauren

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5 Decorating Tips We Learned From Chicago’s Freehand Hotel

5 Decorating Tips We Learned From Chicago’s Freehand Hotel

5 Decorating Tips We Learned From The Freehand Hotel, Design*SpongeLooking around, you’d never know that Chicago, IL newcomer Freehand Hotel is a hostel. Hostels are often thought of as seedy, and not the kind of place where you’d be kicking back in a mid-century lounger holding a tiki drink and bobbing your head to an up-and-coming DJ. That’s what makes this place so unique. Its fabulous furnishings and laid-back attitude are reinventing affordable and stylish lodging.

The look is thanks to the designers of Roman and Williams, the same team behind Ace Hotel NY and the Highline. They’ve taken what was one of Chicago’s most-notoriously unsavory motels and flipped it into the gem that it is today. The space’s new style has been deamed “folk, prairie,” and its warm tones, inspired by the Midwest, give both the guest rooms and public spaces a revitalized coziness and an approachable charm that you simply don’t get with other modern, streamlined places. All in all, it’s impossible to leave without an itch to redecorate your own pad in such a retro way — I know I left with endless decorating inspiration. While my notes were copious, I’ve pared down what I found most inspiring about the hostel into 5 ways you can bring the look of Freehand Hotel home. Follow these, and your space can be just as unique and fun as my favorite new spot in Chicago.

P.S. If you want to check out Freehand Hotel for yourself, use code DESIGNSPONGE when booking. You’ll save 15% on private quad, king and queen rooms.

Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography courtesy of Daniel Kelleghan

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9 Summer Reads + Matching Beach Towels

The 100 Best African American Poems by Nikki Giovanni + African pattern beach towel

9 Summer Reads + Matching Beach Towels

My summer plans always include three important things: sunscreen, bug spray and at least five books to read. With a lot of opportunities for outdoor time, these essentials are tucked into a tote bag and hung by the door for spontaneous outings with my 10-year-old daughter and neighbors. Often my daughter and I will disappear into our own rooms to get dressed for the day (or a river float!) and emerge wearing nearly identical outfits.

Needless to say, it’s no surprise that my beach towels end up matching my current read’s book cover. Based on this phenomenon, I thought it would be interesting to round up some great summer books with towels that, well, kind of match. Whether you’re a book person or a swim person, I hope a few of these will make you smile, and maybe even end up in your tote bag.

Happy summer! —Caitlin

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In Indiana, A Stylist Jazzes Up Cookie-Cutter Construction

In Indiana, A Stylist Jazzes Up Cookie-Cutter New Construction, Design*Sponge

In Indiana, A Stylist Jazzes Up Cookie-Cutter Construction

When purchasing your first home, you oftentimes want it all. Your laundry list of must-haves tags along to every showing, a reminder that the potential house has to be in the right neighborhood, look a certain way, and be the perfect price. Finding a needle in a haystack can be challenging, though, and when push comes to shove, sometimes being flexible ends up working out in ways you never imagined. Such was the case in 2013, when interior stylist and blogger Heather Jorde and her husband Connor set out to buy their first home together. Letting go of their hope of owning a quirky, older home in Indianapolis, IN led them to a dream in disguise: new construction.

This disguise came in the form of bland furnishings and little personality, but those aspects actually served up such a rare opportunity that the couple gave it a shot. The home was a blank canvas where they could let their imaginations run wild. Heather and Connor’s greatest out-of-the-box thinking comes to life in the entryway and their daughter Charlie’s nursery. The “cookie-cutter” entry sings thanks to a snazzy, hand-painted graphic. Its modern shape and rustic decorations both combine Connor and Heather’s styles and set the tone for the rest of their Scandinavian-inspired abode. Follow this stylish entryway’s staircase, and you’ll find more one-of-a-kind surprises, including Heather’s DIY pièce de résistance: the stenciled wall in her daughter’s room. This fun tree design is accompanied by a DIY hanging clothing rack. It simultaneously solves the room’s storage issue and gives the home yet another enviable, custom touch.

While this Midwestern home boasts endless pretty moments, it’s the sentiment behind each one that truly makes this house special. Every tweak was designed to bring the family closer together, creating a space that keeps them smiling and laughing. Click through to see exactly how Heather and Connor have made this newly-construced home work for their family and stand out in a sea of sameness. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Heather Jorde

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