Who Inspires Us?

If pretty design images take you to happy places, then pack your bags.  This week, we are all about the inspiration.  Platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are teaming with eye-candy, and it’s easy to whittle away the hours in search of the prettiest photos and “what’s trending now.”  This week, we thought we’d share some of our favorites; a few you might recognize, but here’s hoping we’ll introduce you to some new ones along the way!

Design Sponge - @designsponge - if you haven't heard of it, you may very well be living under that proverbial rock.  Described by the New York Times as “Martha Stewart Living for the Millennials," Design Sponge was named Top Home Influencer of 2017 by Forbes. DS is a daily blog, with inspirational stories coupled to their eye-catching photos. Our favorite sections include "Interiors" and "Life & Business."  They also have a strong following on Pinterest.


SF Girl by the Bay - @sfgirlbybay - a design and lifestyle blog coming to you from sunny California; She is one of the West Coast’s leading interior design bloggers, with a self-described "bohemian modern" style.  Find her too at: www.sfgirlbythebay.com 

This photo is one of the first that turned us on to her. Does that chair look familiar?  They're no strangers to Minnesota, with Wadena being the birthplace of Homecrest wire patio furniture back in the 1950s.  But, the sheepskin rug draped across it?  That's all @sfgirlbythebay (so cute!!)...


Painted Planks - @paintedplanks - a worthy Instagram follow.  She calls them “little iPhone snaps of life.”  We call them yummy.  Her feed ranges from a clean modern/vintage interior design to breathtaking outdoor captures to the occasional letter-board inspiration - think Conde´ Nast meets Country Living


Vibeke Design - @vibekedesign -  though you may want to translate the page from Norwegian into English.  Or you can skip the words entirely, and just stare at the pretty photos…  all pale hues and natural elements -less frilly than shabby chic, with a Scandinavian charm that sets her apart from Miss Mustard Seed.  Her blog is replete with breathtakingly detailed photos that leave you feeling as though you've been transported into a European cottage in the mountains. See her blog at: vibekedesign.blogspot.com.by

 

welcome home.

Meet Spring Cleaning's Best Friend!

Freshen up and get organized!

There’s all kinds of tips out there on the best products + methods for deep cleaning everything from your kitchen cupboards to your ceiling fans...and spring is a great time to do it!  You can open the windows, let the sun shine in, and spend a Sunday “refreshing” your home…  But, how can you keep that “just spring cleaned”-feel for longer? By giving equal attention to Spring Cleaning’s best friend, Declutter.  The less “busy” the space, the easier it is to regularly dust, vacuum, and make sure cobwebs aren’t collecting behind things.  The following are some of our favorite tricks! I hope they'll inspire you, as you tackle your space...

hook racks in a kid's room or husband's closet are a great way to keep clothes off the floor!

hook racks in a kid's room or husband's closet are a great way to keep clothes off the floor!

You don’t have to do everything at once!  If you’re anything like me, the thought of trying to declutter your entire place in one fell swoop can seem like an overwhelming task...so overwhelming, in fact, that you decide it’s best not to start.  So, pick one area to do first...and, even better, pick your favorite area!  Whether it’s the sunroom where you enjoy your morning coffee, the bathroom where you get ready in the morning, or the bedroom where you hang out and read.  Diving into your favorite room first will motivate you, since you’re emotionally invested in the space, and the end results will spur you on to tackle the next spot!

vintage olive buckets house doggie toys in style!

vintage olive buckets house doggie toys in style!

Remove anything that doesn’t bring you joy.  Sounds weird?  This KonMari method (www.konmari.com) is one of our favorite ways of deciding what to keep and what not to keep.  So often we get caught up in the idea of something being practical...but does it make you happy?  Does it bring you joy?  Maybe it used to and it doesn’t anymore; maybe it never did, but you felt a responsibility to hold onto it?  The question of joy is an easy one because the answer comes from the heart.  So, start by going through the space, picking up each item and asking yourself: Does it spark joy?  You won’t have to think about the answer; you’ll feel it.  

single hooks hang by the door to catch keys and the dog's leash...or mount three of them on a barn board for a dramatic look and added storage!

single hooks hang by the door to catch keys and the dog's leash...or mount three of them on a barn board for a dramatic look and added storage!

Dig out some bags + boxes and mark them for donation, resale, or give away to friends.  Then, fill them with the items that didn’t pass the “joy” test.   There’s a Goodwill in just about every city; some charities (like Salvation Army and the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota) will even pick up your donations. There’s also resale.  Just know that when it comes to getting money for your second-hand goods, they need to be in excellent condition and generally not more than a couple of years old…  You can Google “consignment” or “resale” with your zip code, if you wish to bring them to a store.  Or you might opt to sell your stuff online.  Craigslist, OfferUp, and Facebook are popular sites where you can sell for free!  Be sure to include good, clear photos of your items and dimensions.

a divided bin comes in handy in the kitchen for frequently-used, small items

a divided bin comes in handy in the kitchen for frequently-used, small items

After you’ve decluttered your favorite space, tackle the area that bugs you the most!  Is it the junk drawer, the hall closet, the spice cabinet?  Wherever you find yourself grumbling every time you have to interact with the area is the one that needs your attention.  First, look at the space and decide what you want it to be.  Maybe it’s a linen closet, but the cleaning supplies always seem to end up there.  Would it be more practical for it to serve as both, linen and cleaning closet?  Pull everything out and start sorting.  You might think that it isn’t possible to do a “joy” test with linens and cleaning products, but I can honestly say that stain-free, white Turkish bath towels and Mrs. Meyers Lemon Verbena Multi-surface spray actually give me joy.  So, yes, it’s possible.  Once you have your joy pile, separate that into categories: like with like.  Cleaning products together, linens together, outdoor toys together, etc.  Does it make sense for each of these categories to live in this space, or would some of them make more sense somewhere else?  (hint: I like to keep the swimming pool toys -which we use regularly- in a basket in the front hall closet, where we can easily grab them as we’re walking out)  Once you’ve determined what should go back into the space, identify the organizational and storage pieces you need to keep it tidy.  Hooks, bins, shelves- look at the space and look at your stuff- then, make a shopping list.  Our favorite go-to places for baskets, shelves, racks, and hooks are Piccadilly Prairie and IKEA.  But, make sure to take your measurements and needed quantities with you, so you’ll come home with exactly what you need!  Then, install your goodies, and introduce your stuff to its new home.

vintage crates add graphic interest with a pop of color!

vintage crates add graphic interest with a pop of color!

Remember, decluttering takes time.  Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to do too much! Knock out your favorite and most-bothersome areas first, and then take a room here and a closet there as you have time. Begin to see the process as a cycle, where things of joy move into your home and those lacking joy move out...

welcome home.

2017 Design Trends - What's Hot Now + How to Incorporate it Into Your Space

Springtime means freshening up and breathing new energy into languid rooms. After the cleaning and organizing, adding a new element -such as a wood wall- or just swapping out some accessories can make all the difference! 

Between television and social media, style trends are spreading quicker than ever. Here are some of the 2017 design trends that are inspiring us- we hope they inspire you!

     The Modern Farmhouse style has exploded in popularity. Why? It's that this style provides a juxtaposition to the rest of our lives.  With everyone's hectic schedule -work deadlines, kids' sports, and the constant stream of updates on our mobile devices- coming home to a space that's clean and natural, with just the right amount of "nostalgia," can bring a calming sense of balance to lives that are anything but.

     This entryway incorporates a number of elements typically found in the Modern Farmhouse style: 

1. Lots of white + natural light-- choose a clean, neutral white (we love Benjamin Moore's Simply White), and ditch the fussy drapes or shades that are blocking your windows for natural colored shades (either fabric or fiber) that fit inside your window frames...or, if privacy's not an issue, leave your windows completely exposed.

2. Shiplap-- this popular take on "wood walls" continues with the white theme...installed horizontally or vertically and painted white, it adds texture and depth without the clutter. There's even a removable "shiplap wallpaper" out there.

3. Speaking of clutter-- cut down on the accessorizing. Instead of myriads of small knick-knacks lining a shelf or mantel, choose 2 or 3 larger pieces.  They'll add drama and interest without being too busy.  And, when selecting those highlights, opt for natural materials, including one plant or bouquet of branches (in a striking container, of course).

4. And, lastly, that table... reclaimed wood is going nowhere anytime soon (thank goodness!).  The character and age it gives to a room can't be faked, not even with the best repros.  Opt for something clean, but as rustic as possible. You won't believe the difference it makes!

 

     This picture really illustrates how the seamlessly a Modern Farmhouse look can blend with other styles. The sliding barn door (classic "farmhouse") is given a more modern look with the triangular wood pattern and sleek, black handle. The fiddle leaf fig in the wicker basket and a pink chindi rug add just a touch of bohemian.  

     And we can't be sure, but we're wondering if that wooden wall hanging on the left might just be one of our very own Minnesota makers?

Handmade, reclaimed wood art $525, available at Piccadilly Priarie.

welcome home.