In the Kitchen With: The Best of our Rice Dishes

In the Kitchen With: The Best of our Rice Dishes

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When I discovered the bulk bins at Bread & Circus (which would later become Whole Foods) many moons ago, I became obsessed with trying all the different rice from all over the world that they had on offer. It opened up a new frontier for me, and was one of many factors which fueled my love of cookbooks. Over the years on the In the Kitchen With column, we have had some great rice recipes which use different varieties of rice, and different cooking methods. The recipes we’ve collected here are also great for warmer weather because they don’t require the use of the oven. –Kristina

Danielle Chang, founder of Lucky Rice, shared her method for making Perfect Steamed Rice, a great starting point for anyone who loves short-grain rice. Leftover steamed rice is the base for her fried egg-topped Indonesian Fried Rice, also known as Nasi Goreng, a simple dish with layers of flavor and texture.

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12 Gorgeous Restored, Refinished and Reclaimed Floors

12 Gorgeous Restored, Refinished and Reclaimed Floors | Design*Sponge

12 Gorgeous Restored, Refinished and Reclaimed Floors

This last week, I started the process of packing up my current home and cleaning and painting my future home. Both are very similar in a lot of ways. They are both brick apartment buildings built a century ago, they’re both spacious two bedrooms, and they’re both full of beautiful original hardwood floors and moulding. One thing that will change the way I decorate my new home is the finish of the floors. My current floors are a very orange, light wood stain. The floors in the new place are dark and deep with red undertones. The dark pieces that gave weight to my old floors will get lost now and lighter or brighter items will show off the beauty of the rich wood and its finish. All that to say, now more than ever, I’m appreciating the impact that a finish and texture of a floor makes on a space.

The 12 floors in this gallery have been reclaimed from barn wood, refinished with coffee grounds or a white wash, or restored to their former glory. Enjoy! –Lauren

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Before & After: Going Glam in a Bachelor Pad Bedroom

Before & After: Going Glam in a Bachelor Pad Bedroom on Design*Sponge

Before & After: Going Glam in a Bachelor Pad Bedroom

Over the course of six weeks this past spring, I tackled the last room to be decorated in my dad’s home – his bedroom – as a participant in the bi-annual One Room Challenge. As you can see in the home tour, the rest of the house already has a moody, yet comfortable bachelor pad vibe that I wanted to continue in the bedroom. The room was an off-white when my dad moved in, and the only thing I had changed in the space was the ceiling color, which we painted a pale blue-grey, leftover from the kitchen walls. The furniture in his room was a mix of leftovers from the rest of the house, including a beautiful pair of red leather chairs and a large oriental rug. Although they worked well together, I wanted to free up some space (those armchairs are really huge) and start with a clean slate. The bed and media stand were both IKEA, so they moved along to a new home through Craigslist and we were left with just the mattress in the room, giving me a great opportunity to rethink the room’s layout and color palette.

In a continuation of the rest of the home’s aesthetic, I mixed dark, moody colors in the bedroom with wood and neutrals for a cozy, masculine space. The main challenge in this room was to keep it from becoming a dark cave due to the sole window in the room. I also brought a bit more glamour to this room, walking the fine line between glamorous and masculine that suits a bachelor’s pad perfectly. The introduction of gold elements were softened by the mid-century accents and more traditional wood and leather finishes for a well-balanced design.

After exploring the impact of dark walls in a room, I knew a dark ceiling would actually help expand the room, and the high-gloss Drawing Room Blue by Farrow & Ball provided a hint of reflection that helped this effect tremendously. It turned out to be one of the most striking features in the space and provided a bold element that complemented the patterned curtains behind the bed. The large floor mirror also brought a great presence to the room – the large area of reflection ended up acting as a second window. With the addition of bespoke elements, and some bold design decisions, my father’s bedroom transformed into one of the most interesting rooms in the house. I had so much fun designing this comfortable retreat for him! —Kevin

Photography by Kevin O’Gara

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15 Beautiful Black and White Rooms

15 Beautiful Black and White Rooms, on Design*Sponge

15 Beautiful Black and White Rooms

It usually happens around this time of year — bright flowers are blooming, sunny skies are shining, and published interiors take on the saturated colors of the season. The most dramatic color combination devoid of any color at all, the black and white look is a classic decorating motif that lends itself to just about any style. At opposite ends of the visible spectrum, variations on tonality can make a space feel strong and bold or soft and delicate. High contrast moves cause interesting details to pop, without the added interference of a hue. Our 15 favorite black and white moments from the archives feature all types of rooms in refreshing restraint. Think of this as a palate cleanser in between your summer eye candy. —Annie

 

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Being Your Own Boss & Taming Beards with Calvin Quallis

Being Your Own Boss & Taming Beards with Calvin Quallis

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For many entrepreneurs, mustering the courage to commit is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome — in the beginning. Of course, once you take the leap, it quickly becomes obvious that it was the right choice and that the real hurdles are yet to come.

Running a business is not easy, nor is it always glamorous, but for Calvin Quallis, there was simply no other option. Inspired by his own needs, he launched Scotch Porter (while also working a full-time job) to bring relief and help to anyone with facial hair through a line of products — from beard oils to balms, serums and combs. Today, Calvin is joining us to impart some serious business wisdom and insight, applicable to those just starting out or veterans in their field. –Sabrina

Portrait photograph by Tamara Fleming

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DIY Modern Floral Hair Comb

DIY Modern Floral Hair Comb

DIY Modern Floral Hair Comb // Design Sponge

I’ve been a longtime fan of flower hair combs, and I’ve got to say, it’s nearly impossible to have a bad day when you’re wearing flowers in your hair. This year, I’m giving my favorite hair accessory a refresh with a modern twist on the classic hair comb.

I’m stepping outside the flower section and including some of my favorite plants like succulents and Tillandsia. Then, for a geometric pop, I’m adding some delicate copper shapes to the mix. I hope this is the year you discover wearing flowers in your hair is indeed for the cool kids. —Gwendolyn

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Studio Tour: Craft Boat

Craft Boat Studio Visit on Design Sponge

Studio Tour: Craft Boat

Like many other craft items linked to my childhood, I’ve always had a curious relationship with stationery from India. Block-printed notepads, embellished cards and hand-sewn mini calendars I received on special occasions would always have a remarkable texture, the pages would be tinted in creamy hues, and I always discarded them as difficult to draw and write on. As time went on, I grew to appreciate these handmade, naturally-dyed or not-dyed beauties made with recycled paper, studded with glorious imperfections, and a sense of permanence that regular paper just didn’t possess.

Now that I’m doing most of my “writing” on my laptop and making notes online, I haven’t really had the need to pay attention to these items in a long time. That is, until I stumbled across Craft Boat, a Jaipur-based handmade paper goods company reusing cotton fabric waste from the garment industry to make stationery and home goods. Their stunning designs reuse traditional techniques like marbling and block-printing but in vivid, contemporary colors.

This brand is run by the sweet and whimsical Priti Pugalia, who has a background in fashion design and, most fascinatingly, an internship program with a sustainable design studio in Auroville — a unique community in Pondicherry dedicated to universal learning.

Priti founded Craft Boat in 2014 while working in the fashion industry and was inspired by visiting a handmade paper-making unit. The idea of working with paper appealed to her because of the immediate aesthetic satisfaction and the many possibilities that are derived from making paper to developing products out of it.

As a small team of three, two team members help with production, managing the stock, and packaging. This leaves Priti to focus on research, development and design explorations with collections inspired by sustainable design and experiments in pattern making.

The ever-inspiring Priti describes her day as beginning with, “A cup of tea, yoga and [attempting] to learn how to play flute. And then it’s dreaming all day in between paper, people and about places I want to put handmade paper goods.” Rohini

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Creating Aromatic Experiences with Azza Gallab

Creating Aromatic Experiences with Azza Gallab

Life&Biz-azza

The sweet smell of cookies baking; your grandmother’s perfume; the familiar smell of home: for many, these scents and more trigger fond memories and have immense power over our mood. But where smells begin and end for most of us, they’re always top of mind for Azza Gallab.

Rooted in her Sudanese background where fragrances play a huge role in many of life’s milestones, Azza’s passion for aromatic experiences goes beyond her fondness for her mother’s perfume and the candles in her own home — it influenced her to launch her own business, Haremesque.

After making scented candles as a hobby, Azza quickly fell in love with the process as well as the freedom that self-employment offered, and she hasn’t looked back since. Today, Azza (who already opened up in a more personal way through her Comfort Zone feature) is sharing more about the influence of her Sudanese background on her business, the struggles of wearing many hats, and the poetic quotes that inspire her. –Sabrina

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20 Reasons Pink Is The Greatest Color

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20 Reasons Pink Is The Greatest Color

Okay, I realize pink isn’t the greatest color to all of us, but for me, pink will always be my main squeeze. Growing up, I was never really into pink. I was more of a purple kinda gal, and I couldn’t get enough wisteria-themed decor into my teenage bedroom. But something happened when I crossed over into my 30s and I became a full-fledged pink fan. So when I thought of last month’s hashtag challenge, I leaned into my pink obsession big time with #DSPink.

What I love so much about this feed is the incredible range and depth of color. While the expected bubblegum-pink was of course present, there were stunning photos that showed the delicacy and sophistication pink can have. From pink crystal stemware and barely-blush shades of quartz to hot pink street art and neon pink nails, this feed is nothing short of a nonstop smile fest for me. It’s impossible for me to scroll through all of these amazing entries and not feel like the day is starting off on a great note. So whether you need a pick-me-up, a dose of inspiration or just a little pink indulgence, I hope you’ll enjoy this feed as much as I did. I’m continuing to add to and showcase photos from this feed on our own Instagram page, so it’s never to late to join in. xo, grace

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Giveaway: Folding Coffee Table

Giveaway: Folding Coffee Table

Exclusive Giveaway: Folding Coffee Table, Design*Sponge
Thanks to a booming Kickstarter campaign, designer and woodworker Collin Garrity is bringing to life one of his greatest visions: an easy-to-use coffee table “with the strength, beauty and quality of an heirloom.” His stellar-looking design is made of durable, Missouri Black Walnut and White Oak and miraculously takes less than a minute to unfold. What I love most about the creation, though – besides its sleek look – is how well it works both inside and outside of a home. Leave it in the living room, and it’s a stylish side table. Pop it into your trunk, and picnics in the park are a breeze. All in all, it’s a fabulous piece and we’re so pleased to give it away to one of our readers!

Click here to enter before midnight Central Time on June 15th. Collin will then contact one special fan who gets to bring home his design! To learn more about how the table works and to take a closer look inside the studio where Collin will craft the handmade prize, follow the jump. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Marcus Anthony VIEW MORE

10 Indian Graphic Designers

10 Indian Graphic Designers on Design Sponge

10 Indian Graphic Designers

India has always had a fantastically joyous history of graphic design, from fluorescent painted signs advertising goods on the walls of the smallest villages, to the 1950s practice of auto-rickshaw owners adorning their vehicles in everything from flowers, birds — even popular actresses. And, of course, I can’t forget the kitsch, hand-painted Bollywood movie posters made iconic.

As I travel home to India each year, I love watching the graphic landscape change and evolve. Clever contemporary airplane literature carries the promise of delights on the other side, dynamic new posters dominate the highways, and super cute food packaging references India’s quirks, history and humor. It is a joy to drink it all in.

Here, we take a look at 10 Indian graphic designers — a new generation of global talent drawing from different cultures and varied influences, but still reveling in their Indian roots. —Rohini

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A San Diego Rental Proves How Design Can Comfort Kids

A San Diego Rental Proves How Design can Comfort Kids, Design*Sponge

A San Diego Rental Proves How Design Can Comfort Kids

Moving is stressful. Period. The logistics, the financial burden, and the house-hunt itself can be enough to make anyone pull their hair out. Add children into the mix, and you’ve got a whole new ballgame. My parents saw this firsthand when they uprooted me in sixth grade. While it ended up being the best decision, at the time it was terribly hard on me.

When transitioning in between homes, an inviting place to land can make all the difference. Isobel Benesch made it her mission to ease that moving stress for her own children when her husband Dustin started a new job in San Diego, CA. Their children Holden and Gray are under the age of four, so Isobel and Dustin were a bit anxious about how the move would affect the family. In order to make the transition easier, Isobel went straight to work adding colorful and familiar decorations to their new rental. Paintings came out of storage, playful bunting went up, and works created (and inspired by) the boys were scattered around the space. She wasn’t sure if her strategy would work or not, but it’s proven to be a wild success. Holden takes pride in seeing his work displayed, and the home’s seaside color palette has kept him and Gray soothed and smiling since day one.

While most of the fun touches Isobel has added are inspired by her children, the realities of renting also played a major role in her choices. Permanent changes were out of the question, so instead she’s gone about dodging and covering up some of the home’s less-than-ideal qualities in some pretty clever ways. As you peek inside, you’ll barely notice the “blah” carpeting now that she’s layered patterned rugs on top of it. You’d also never know that the space was a rental after gazing upon the eye-catching mural in the kids’ room. She and Dustin stenciled a stunning, geometric pattern on the home’s standard, white walls. Overall, they’ve crafted one of the most personalized rentals I’ve ever seen, and proven just how comforting design can be. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Chrissy Powers

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10 of Our Favorite Brooklyn, NY Interiors

10 of Our Favorite Brooklyn, NY Interiors, on Design*Sponge

10 of Our Favorite Brooklyn, NY Interiors

When our intrepid leader Grace launched Design*Sponge from her Brooklyn, NY apartment nearly 12 years ago (!), it was clear there was something special happening with the confluence of brilliant design minds setting up homes and studios throughout the borough. Since then, we have been honored to share snippets of thousands of eclectic interiors shaped by our courageous, creative, and generous neighbors. Brooklyn cool has been exported and copied all over the world (much to the delight and chagrin of various parties), but in truth there isn’t one style that neatly sums up the lives being lived here.

I have had the good fortune of calling the Greenpoint neighborhood my home for the past seven years, and in that time I have seen so much diversity in the ways residents carve out their own small slices of respite from the big city in this rapidly-changing urban environment. People make contemporary pads look more rustic, update older homes with modern conveniences, or find ingenious ways to utilize each usable square inch of space — sometimes by highlighting the luxury of the void. We have shared so many beloved home tours through the years, and amongst all the clamor of pristine white-painted walls, reclaimed wood, and vintage furniture, these are some of our most favorite Brooklyn spaces to date. —Annie

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Spring Floral Arrangement by Swallows & Damsons

Spring Floral Arrangement by Swallows & Damsons

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In a desperate attempt to hold onto a fleeting spring, I went on a wild rampage cutting all the remaining blooms for one last party. An unseasonably hot May week in England brought great celebrations to most folks, but not for me. This being the first year I have successfully grown my own flowers in the garden, I simply couldn’t bare witnessing the big, blousy or delicate and papery blooms being frazzled in the midday sun. Nothing was left unscathed in my garden, the same for my neighbors and even my friends. I wanted them to last forever; I wanted to freeze time, which is the antithesis to my usual mantra that flowers are transient, impermanent and fading. Quick to ditch this belief, it seems, when the flowers in question are ones that I have grown by my own fair hand!

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Reluctantly, I took the buckets of remaining tulips, narcissus, hellebores, blossoms and lilacs with their heady scents out of my cool cellar to capture their last breath before we make way for the new summer season and all its bounty. —Anna

Photography by India Hobson

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Monday Mood: Float On

Monday Mood: Float On

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Last week, we floated into June which, for me, made summer feel real (yay), but it also brought on some anxiety realizing how quickly this year has flown by so far (boo). Time really does fly, so this weekend had me preoccupied with the oodles of random items on my ongoing mental to-do list: ranging from a few home projects I’m finishing, to gearing up for summer and focusing more on health by diving back into a workout routine.

Alas, peppered with puns and plays on words, this week’s Monday Mood will have you click-happy and help you float into the work week with a huge variety of fun links — covering everything from a hiplet dance video and a donut pool float, to bold grout ideas and Vogue‘s best bathrooms. –Sabrina

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